GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — Continuing a decades-old tradition, servicemembers are invited to compete in the annual U.S. Forces Ski and Snowboard Championships this weekend in Garmisch.

Family-themed events surround the races, including a mini-bobsled race on Saturday and a team scavenger hunt on Sunday. With events set on the well-covered slopes of the Hausberg Ski Area, warmer temperatures shouldn’t affect plans, according to race director Drew Benson.

“The snow is still cold, hard and fast up there,” Benson said.

The ski and snowboard races are scheduled Saturday afternoon on the Kreuzwankl run. Racers in six age categories will make two ski or snowboard runs on a giant slalom course for a combined time. The race is open to all participants from all skill levels. Entry fee is $15 for adults, $10 for youths or $30 for family.

On Saturday evening, Outdoor Recreation will team with Edelweiss Lodge and Resort to play hosts to a mini-bobsled race for adults and youth. Participants will race in one of three age categories, competing against three other racers in each run, with the fastest two advancing. Bobsleds will be provided by Outdoor Recreation free of charge. The cost to participate is $5 for both adults and children.

The team scavenger hunt, also hosted by Outdoor Recreation, is slated for Sunday morning. Styled as a kind of “Amazing Race” on snow, the competition pits groups of five people of all ages in a race to gather clues throughout the area’s slopes, ski runs and lifts. Admission is $15 for adults and $30 for families.

“They have to navigate their way around the whole Garmisch ski area, so that’ll be really fun,” Benson said.

If you go:What: U.S. Forces Ski and Snowboard Championships and the Garmisch Winter Sports Festival

When: Friday through Sunday

To register, and for more information: Contact Garmisch Outdoor Recreation at DSN 314-440-2638 or CIV (+49)(0)8821-750-2461/2638. Participants also can register on-site Friday between 4 and 8 p.m. and Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon at the Edelweiss Resort Hausberg Lodge.

Entry fees: The ski and snowboard race is $15 for adults, $10 for children or $30 for family admission. The scavenger hunt costs $15 for adults or $30 for families, and the mini-bobsled race is $5 for both adults and children.

Lodging: Edelweiss Lodge and Resort is offering a room discount for the weekend. For more information, call (+49)(0)8821-9440 or email

Note: Helmets are mandatory for all racers.

— Steven Beardsley

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