Senior San Francisco skiers and snowboarders may want to get the legs and the party attitude in shape by February for a new Dodge Ridge Wintersports Area event. The resort is throwing a big four-day ski party just for the over 50 crowd.

The Senior Winter Challenge and Festival, Feb. 24-27, mixes slope fun by day with festival events in the evening. Dodge Ridge hosted the first California Senior Winter Games last March. That was the impetus behind the new event, but with expanded opportunities that shift it into a festival.

"Not only does the San Francisco-Bay Area ski Dodge Ridge, but we've broadened the event to include food, beer, and wine tasting with a full lineup of après ski activities in hopes of attracting them," event coordinator Amber Jenquin told us.

Lift tickets for Dodge Ridge are conveniently available in San Francisco at Lucky and Savemart stores. Skiers and riders run from $4-10 less than when purchased at the resort ticket windows.

Jenquin has also shifted the emphasis on ski racing. Competitors may enter races on skis, snowboards, or telemark gear. Participants can enter the competitive or noncompetitive category for races, too. "Many people like to run gates, but not under the pressure of competition," said Jenquin. Nordic races are available for classic or skating, and the All-Mountain Challenge adds a new type of race.

Festival activities added to the event include VIP mountain tours, kids events, banquet, a wine tasting, a brewfest, and the Taste of Tuolumne. Live music is part of many of the après ski events, and a fireworks show is scheduled for Saturday night.

A VIP All-Inclusive Package for the Senior Winter Challenge and Festival includes entry to all race events, a training clinic, banquet dinner, wine tasting, brewfest, Taste of Tuolumne, VIP competitor bag, commemorative race bib, and VIP credentials for $150. Single day event registration costs $40 for races and bib. Lift tickets, which are not included in the registration, cost $19 per day. Other activity-specific tickets are available, too. Registration is available online.

The event is a benefit for Habitat for Humanity of Tuolumne County. The organization recently acquired property and is trying to build multiple houses this year. "It's a fun way to give back to the community," said Jenquin.

More information.