Guinness World Records have awarded some whacky and wonderful things over the years… We’ve included our favourite ski and snow-related ones below to honour the eleventh annual Guinness World Records Day.
1994: Most days skied consecutively – Arnie Wilson and Lucy Dicker
Arnie and Lucy skied every day for a year: 240 resorts in 13 countries. We asked Arnie about the best and worst things about their World Record achievement:
“The best thing I guess was realising that Lucy and I had actually achieved what we’d set out to do – it seemed so surreal! We finished up on December 31 and we were crowned the “King and Queen” of skiing.
The worst thing was the night of July 22 after our borrowed Lada truck had broken down in Bariloche. It took four successive breakdown trucks to get us back over the Andes from Argentina back to its home in Temuco, Chile to get it repaired and then when we got there we realised we hadn’t skied that day yet, so we tried to hire a taxi to get us to the nearest snow – a volcano called Llaima. But the roads were flooded and not a single taxi would take us there. In the end we managed to hire a truck and skied Llaima for just an hour to keep the record going.”
2008: World’s largest snowman – the good people of Bethel, Maine
In fact, it was a snowwoman, named Olympia. And she had trees for arms, a mouth made of tyres and skis as eyelashes – genius.
“We actually built the world’s largest snowman (Angus, King of the Mountain) in 1999, and then beat our own record by building the world’s largest snowwoman (Olympia Snowwoman) in 2008.
It took a lot of hands on deck to make these projects happen, but people really banded together, from the school children who made the giant “carrot” nose to the construction company that donated use of their crane!
The funniest thing is that tourists still occasionally ask us and other places around town where we keep our snowman/snowwoman – like they are in a giant freezer somewhere! The look on people’s faces is priceless when they realize that the snowpeople have melted.”
2009: Smallest Snowman ever made – National Physical Labratory
This diddy thing was created by scientists at the NPL- it measures 10 MICROmetres across, that’s one fifth of the width of an average human hair! No rolling snowballs here – it was made from two balls normally used for calibrating electron microscopes. The eyes, nose and it’s tinsy smile were all etched on using an ion beam.
2013: Longest time juggling three snow balls with bare hands – Nathaniel Tower
Juggler extraordinaire Nate managed to juggle for a whacking great 11 minutes and 45 seconds – we’re getting chillblains just thinking about it.
“My hands are very sensitive to cold, so this was a tough record for me to set. The fact that my hands went numb after about a minute was both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, I didn’t have to worry about the painful cold anymore. On the negative side, it’s difficult to maintain control of the juggle when you can’t feel your hands.”
2012: Most pistes skied in 8 hours – Larry Olmsted & Jim Harlan
Accompanied by Jim on his mono-ski, Larry skied 64 pistes from top to bottom in Crested Butte, Colorado. If you fancy having a crack at beating it, he openly encourages it here.
“The best thing was just completing the goal. I love skiing, but I never raced, I’m just an accomplished amateur, and to be able to do something no one else has and successfully put in such a big day was fulfilling.
The worst thing was just the anticipation of the weather- we had to make the record bid whether it was raining, snowing freezing, whatever. I was for an article I was writing for Outside Magazine and I couldn’t go back home without giving it a go.”
2013: Largest collection of snowmen – Karen Schmidt, Minnesota
We’ve got our very own SNOman – but when it comes to collectibles we can’t hold a candle to Karen’s. She had 5127 items on last count and has even planned a snowman-themed afterlife. Karen, we salute you!
2013: Largest swimwear parade on skis (& snowboards) – Sugarelle
500 bonkers participants took to the chilly Siberian slopes of Sheregesh in their swimmers – never before had the world seen so many bikinis, budgie-smugglers and boardies on the piste.
2014: Largest Snow Painting – Yury Birilov
Musician Yury doubled the previous World Record by painting a giant heart of over 1000 metres squared on a ski slope in Igora. The heart was in honour of International Women’s Day and for the paint, he used eco friendly food colouring.
“The best thing was to energize people around me with that crazy idea of our record. Only together we could made the largest painting on snow in the world! And the hardest thing was to find the right place for the record. It was very warm winter here in St. Petersburg with no snow at all. Only at the ski slope we could find enough surface covered by the snow for our painting.”
2015: Biggest indoor ski resort – Ski Dubai
This picture is just a fraction of the whole place, which is HUGE (22,500 square metres) and also bags the claim of the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. There are five pistes, and you’ll also find a snowpark, which just so happens to be the biggest indoor park on the planet. Then you’ll find a giant ball run, tube slides, oh and real life PENGUINS.
2015: The World’s Longest Shot Ski – Breckenridge Distillery
Guinness couldn’t officiate this one (they don’t sanction anything with alcohol) but we couldn’t leave out Breckenridge Distillery’s Shotski from the annual ULLR Fest. Incidentally, they’re the world’s highest distillery at a heady 9600 feet. The 1250 feet-long shot ski record was made with 254 skis, 777 people and a LOT of their signature Peppermint Schnapps (well worth a sip, if you’re ever in Breck). The lovely Litch shares his best and worst moments:
The biggest reward was the pure excitement, joy and smiles on everyone’s faces after the shot is taken and the entire ski is raised over our heads with everyone chanting “ULLR, ULLR”…, bring on the snow and a new season!”
Of course we couldn’t forget Britain’s oldest skier – the wonderful Hilda
Our favourite record breaker, Hilda hit the slopes of Meribel aged 101 and has raised a family of ski champions. Check out our blog about her here.