Blue Sky Cup is Skiing for a Cure

Blue Sky Cup is Skiing for a Cure

One of the most fulfilling sensations is knowing that you have participated in something that benefits others. At ANRF, we give supporters the chance to combine philanthropy with activities they love with a user-friendly platform for starting custom fundraisers that benefit arthritis research. Athletes and artists who participate in Racing for a Cure not only help by raising money. They also spread awareness about invisible diseases and build community support for an important cause. This winter, one Racing for a Cure team is taking their fundraising to extraordinary heights.  

For the sixth year in a row, skiers are hitting the slopes to test their limits, have fun, and cure arthritis. How does it work? Teams of four skiers or more take to the slopes at Vail to ski 40,000+ vertical feet in one day. The team that also completes select on-mountain challenges combined with the maximum vertical feet wins the Blue Sky Cup. This day of snow and endurance tests the limits of every participant all of whom are asked to ski a little bit harder, for a little bit longer, than any other day of the season.

Participants must attack the entire mountain and ski every lift in the Back Bowls plus complete other tasks while maximizing their vertical feet for the day. 40,000+ vertical has been the historical standard with multiple teams eclipsing 50,000. The event also showcases Vail Resorts’ signature technology, the Epicmix app, which records total vertical and runs for the day while guiding skiers to the shortest lift lines on the mountain.

The event was founded by Jim Nollsch and Hayden Fisher, and in 2015 collaborated with the National Arthritis Research Foundation to raise money for the cause. Blue Sky Cup is about more than an epic day on the slopes. The primary goal is to raise money for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Research. Mr. Nollsch suffers from RA, as does his father, William Nollsch, and his late grandmother, Anabell Nollsch.

Since the event began in 2015, Blue Sky Cup has contributed thousands of dollars directly towards RA research. And the great fun for a good cause is catching on. More skiers every year sign up ready for the downhill challenge of the season. It’s still not too late if you want to join in on the action. You can read more about the event or sign up at

Interested in staring your own team? Whatever your passion, you can do what you love and help find a cure at the same time. Visit to learn more.



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Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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