Slush cup washes out, but party goes on

Ohlson Mountain Rope Tow event was canceled for the second time

The 2023 Homer Rope Tow Rowan Springer Memorial Slush Cup event, originally scheduled to be held on April 9, was canceled for the second time Sunday morning, when the slush pit lost all of the water at some point Saturday night.

Typically, skiers dress up in costume trying to get enough speed to skim across a pond of water at the bottom of the hill. It has been a spring Rope Tow tradition for many years in Homer. The Rope Tow cabin still held the event party but without the fun of the slush, even though they tried to do it twice.

To create the pond, volunteers dig out a shallow pit in the snow and line it with tarps. The tarps that the Homer Rope Tow uses for the event are several years old. “The first time we lost the water we thought maybe a piece of ice popped through some of the tarp. We had to go through all the plastic and patch it up, it also happened the day before the event, it was a bummer,” coordinator Sammy Walker said.

For the past week, the pond was looking good, fully topped off with water and everyone was ready for the Sunday event.

“I got here at 9 a.m. this morning, to get things ready to go,” Walker said Sunday. “We expected people to start showing up at 11. And it was empty again,” he said.

The second time was a result of snow melt in the area around the pool with several days of warm weather.

Construction of the pool takes about 200 hours, all by volunteers.

The Rope Tow still offered music and food with about 100 people skiing and many more who were there just there for the party. There was also silent auction in the warming hut with donations from various people and organizations in Homer. Money raised from the auction will be used for parking lot expansion, plowing and general maintenance of the facility.

The Homer Rope Tow is owned and operated by the Kachemak Ski Club and is one of the oldest non-profit organizations in Homer.