They’re always up to boogie down. They’ll throw you high-fives after you face plant. They are the first ones to tackle pond skimming come Springtime. And somehow, their oversized heads never seem to throw them off balance while sliding on their skis.

These are the mascots of the mountains — the proud, animated emblems that bring cheer to children and good luck to all who take to their territory. Though ever-optimistic, it is with regret that we acknowledge how little appreciation we throw their way. Today, we’re here to change that.  Tip your hats, dear Liftopians, and show some respect to the best of the best: five mascots who are pillars in their snowy kingdoms, living to make your holiday vacation just a little brighter.

Valle: SkiStar’s Cutting-Edge Snowman

This guy has a tight schedule. As the mascot for Vemdalen, as well as several different ski areas under the SkiStar umbrella, this Scandinavian snowman must have some magic in that old hat he wears that allows him to be all places at once. If you missed him in his rounds, don’t fret; the man is modern. You can catch him via his own app where you can sing and dance with him to your heart’s content. Yes, we’ll wait while you grab it.

Valle,-Photo-credit---SkiStar-Hemsedal_Kalle-Hägglund

PHOTO: Valle, SkiStar Hemsedal, Kalle Hägglund

The Griz: Fernie’s Miracle Man

The Griz can take down a bear and turn him into a fur coat (he proved it as a lad). Born in the den of this wild beast, The Griz ain’t scared of Fernie’s snow loads; in fact, legend goes that he’s responsible for them. Holding an 8-foot musket to his shoulder, he pointed it at the winter clouds and fired a fateful shot. The area’s skiers and snowboarders have enjoyed 29 feet of Rocky Mountain powder ever since. We tip our beanies…er, toques to you, Griz.

The-Grize,-Photo-credit---Fernie

PHOTO: The Griz, Fernie

Hantama-kun: Hunter Mountain’s “Sunny Side”

Skiing & hardboiled eggs go together like — well, we’re not sure. But a visitor to Japan’s Hunter Mountain Shiobara was on to something (something being the key word) when they sliced their egg, picked up a nearby bottle of sauce, and fashioned a face onto their mini meal. The egg then came to life and is now consumed — figuratively speaking — by adoring children who visit the resort. After a hard day, you can find Hantama-kun soaking in one of the region’s hot springs. How appropriate.

Hantama-kun,-Photo-credit---Fuzz-&-Fur

PHOTO: Hantama-kun, Fuzz & Fur

Snowli: Flumserberg’s Intergalactic Hare

Unlike the aforementioned hardboiled egg, it’s no surprise to see bunnies and skiing connected. But bunnies from space? This is Snowli’s story, the Swiss mascot of Flumserberg. After a long trip through the galaxies, this lucky rabbit landed in the Alps, taking to the region’s love of snow sports. Encouraging children to follow his lead, he hangs out at the Swiss Snow Kids Village and shows off his natural ability in making perfect jump turns.

Snowli,-Photo-credit---MySwitzerland.com

PHOTO: Snowli, MySwitzerland.com

Spike & Shred: NZSki’s Flocked Duo

The story behind these two native New Zealand birds (a kiwi and a kea, respectively) is a testimonial to the power of acceptance, equality, and the singles lane. Spike, a longtime skier in the region, and Shred, a boarder and newcomer, found each other after spending time solo on NZSki’s three mountains: Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Mt Hutt . Unlike some humans, these nonjudgmental birds were able to see past their differences in sliding styles—a shining example to all lovers of snow in the Southern Alps.

Spike-and-Shred,-Photo-credit---Snow.co

PHOTO: Spike and Shred, Snow.co

Do your ski area mascots deserve praise? Tell us about his or her (or its) good deeds, amazing feats, or bizarre backstory in the comments section below! 

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