Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 8:03 PM on Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ski for Women draws 65 to Lookout Mountain Trails, brings in over $1,100 for Haven House



Photographer: Ryan Long, Homer News

Shelly Laukitis leads a troupe of skiiers dressed up as Aleut hunters and lashed together with kayak skirting at Ski for Women at Lookout Mtn.

Dressed up in full costume, 65 skiers hit the trails at Lookout Mountain Sunday for Ski for Women, an annual fundraiser for the South Peninsula Haven House put on by the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club. The event raised more than $1,100.

The Homer Ski for Women ran parallel with the Anchorage event by the same name. Both were women-only events calling on skiers to complete 2.4 miles of classic or skate skiing to raise money for local nonprofits and organizations helping stop cycles of domestic abuse and violence against women and children.

For most skiers, Ski for Women is a chance to get out and ski with friends with no pressure added, minus maybe the weight of a heavy costume or the drag of ferry wings against a stiff alpine breeze.

But Ski for Women is really all about raising awareness about a serious issue affecting many Alaskans.

"One of the things that is an issue for the state of Alaska is that we have a very high rate of domestic violence. As much as everyone doesn't want to admit it it is affecting us in Homer," said Kris Holderied, the brains behind the Ski for Women event in Homer.

Costumes and bright colors serve to draw attention to the skiers, and hopefully to draw attention to the issue, said Holderied.

"One of the things that's fun about this race is that it's not a race. There's no prize for time. It's about the costumes, it's about a great cause, it's about getting outside in the winter time," said Holderied.

The Anchorage version of Ski for Women preceded the Homer version, but once all the skiers from Homer saw what it was all about, it took little time to bring the event to town, with the usual Homer twist.

"You cannot beat the creativity of Homer people when it comes to things like this," said Holderied.

Despite weather that was tops for skiing, the turnout this year was well below the 100 skiers that came out in force in 2009.

Holderied suspects the numbers may have something to do with the relatively icy conditions on the trails that had persisted for weeks before Ski for Women.

In an effort to help with registration for Ski for Women, and to help participants on the trails, Megan and Jan Spurkland offered a ski-waxing clinic Feb. 6.

The duo went over techniques in ironing, scraping, which waxes to use in which temperatures, how to layer waxes appropriately, and how to get the most out of both a set of skis and the wax used to keep them running quick.

Megan said that this was a tradition that she and Jan had started to help out with Ski for Women.

With 25 pairs of skis waxed this year, when compared to just three pairs waxed last year, it has become a quite successful tradition.

The clinic itself covered a more fundamental base than the extensive clinic offered last year.

"Last year we went a little more in depth and it ended up lasting around three hours, but we didn't want to do that this year," said Megan Spurkland.