LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) — It's been three years since Andrew Weibrecht retired from the U.S. Ski team, but the mountains always beckon.
So, the two-time Winter Olympic medalist is back on his skis for a unique fundraising event — he's skiing the summits of all 46 high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeastern New York.
The Albany-based organization was forced to cancel a fundraising ski event in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. When it happened again this year, Weibrecht moved forward with his own “Do it Yourself, Ski-For-Wishes COVID-19 Edition."
“It was unfortunate that our best intentions were derailed due to COVID-19,” said Weibrecht, who won Olympic bronze and silver in super-G in 2010 and 2014. “Knowing 2021 won’t offer a social climate in which we can hold any events, this seemed like an opportunity to combine my love of skiing and the outdoors with the needs of Make-A-Wish.”
The Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa in Lake Placid, which is owned by the Weibrecht family, began its Ski-For-Wishes Fundraiser in 2019.
The digital effort kicked off a month ago on Weibrecht’s Facebook and Instagram pages, and his long-time partners Head and Stio have pledged financial support.
“What started out as a concept I’ve been rolling around in my head gained serious momentum when I presented it to Stio and Head,” Weibrecht said in a release. “It’s exciting when things come together like this and partners whom you have a history with jump on board and put their resources behind making it a reality,”
So far, Weibrecht is up to 21 peaks and intends to complete his quest in about a year. He says he's looking forward to longer days and more stable weather to make a strong push before all the snow melts.
“Ski mountaineering in the Adirondacks is a special kind of experience," Weibrecht said. "Like with anything, you need to respect your limits and understand when the mountains are saying ‘no.'
“Given the current snow conditions and the depth at the higher elevations, I see no reason not to ski into May. My hope is to cover about half the peaks this season and the remainder next winter. We’ll raise money throughout the entire process, with a goal of positively impacting the Make-A-Wish Foundation and all the great work they do in turning dreams into reality.”
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