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Ski free on New Year's Eve at Squaw Valley — and maybe set a world record

Ski free on New Year's Eve at Squaw Valley — and maybe set a world record
Skiers and snowboarders can ski the last run of 2018 for free (on the illuminated run, center) on New Year's Eve at Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, Calif. (Grant Kaye)

The Squaw Valley ski area is gearing up to steal a world record New Year’s Eve, and you’re invited to help. The California resort hopes more than 3,000 skiers and snowboarders will sail down the mountain for a torchlight parade — and snatch the Guinness World Record set in 2006 by the Swiss.

Torchlight parades, in which skiers and riders descend the slopes holding LED lights aloft, are common winter ski area activities. It will mark the last run of 2018 at the Olympic Valley resort.

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The record Squaw is trying to beat is for “largest flare run ever.”

On Jan. 28, 2006, 2,854 Swiss skiers and snowboarders carried flares and covered a route between Riggisalp and Schwarzsee, according to the Guinness website.

(Don’t confuse this with the largest torchlit parade record set in 2014, which involved 10,050 people in Sweden but no skiing or riding.)

Squaw Valley’s event is free and open to anyone 5 and older who can complete the 3.2-mile Mountain Run descent. Participants should meet 5:45 p.m. Dec. 31 at the top of the resort’s Gold Coast Funitel.

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