Originally scheduled at Mt. Shasta Ski Park, Saturday's second Shasta Ascension Backcountry Ski and Snowboard race was granted a special permit from the Forest Service to hold the race at Bunny Flat. Chris Carr repeated as winner of the fundraising event for Friends of the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center.

Lack of snow might have shut down the Mt. Shasta Ski Park, but it couldn’t stop a fun-loving crew of backcountry skiers from competing in the second Shasta Ascension Backcountry Ski and Snowboard race Saturday.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Forest Service for granting us a special permit to hold the race at Bunny Flat,” said race director Hanne Meyers.

Originally scheduled to be held at the Ski Park, Meyers said they weren’t sure if the race was going to happen. But word came Tuesday that it could be held at Bunny Flat.

“We’re really lucky,” said Meyers, a member of Friends of the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center and co-directed the first Ascension Race two years ago.

“It didn’t happen last year because there was no snow,” she said.

The race drew 29 contestants, some of whom traveled to Mount Shasta from out of the area.

Chris Carr, returning champion from the first Ascension race and owner of Shasta Mountain Guides, fiercely defended his title, sweeping through the 5.25 mile course in under an hour. Beaming with pride and adrenaline at the finish line, Carr announced that it was, “A super fun race. Super fun course. Super fun people.”

“And it was a race,” Carr added, nodding toward second and third place finishers Skylar Laughlin and Dave Riggs, who darted across the finish line only moments after him.

The race was a fundraiser for the Friends of the Mount Shasta Avalanche Center, and 100% of the profits will benefit them. According to Meyers, the race raised $580.

Later Saturday evening, the 13th annual Snow Ball fundraiser featuring live music from Bellingham band Polecat and opening artist Ryan Dart also benefitted Friends of the Avalanche Center.