Alaska Ski for Women to go on as planned

Beth Bragg
Bill Roth

Just a few days ago, the Alaska Ski for Women was in jeopardy and skiers everywhere were feeling displaced and disappointed in a city where mild temperatures turned ski trails into soup.

Now, there's a whole weekend of skiing happening.

Sunday's Ski for Women is a go, event director Fiona Peichel said Friday evening.

"We are skiing!" she wrote in an email.

Skiing, not walking. On the four-kilometer Ski for Women loop at Kincaid Park, Peichel said. Earlier this week, the popular all-women's race was looking at the possibility of turning into a walk on the Kincaid trails.

On Saturday, skiers of both genders can race in Grace Christian's Ski for Relief, a six-kilometer race on the Hillside trails.

"Big ski weekend thanks to excellent trail groomers who have made fast, safe trails out of mush and ice," Robert Arnold of the Ski for Relief said in an email.

A change in weather allowed both races to go on as planned. Since Wednesday, cold temperatures have replaced mild ones, turning puddles into ice and allowing groomers to grind up the ice and make trails.

"Let's thank our wonderful groomers for doing their magic!" said a note on the Ski for Women website.

Both races will offer classic and freestyle skiing, and both will feature wave starts.

Both are fundraisers that ask for donations in lieu of entry fees. The Ski for Women benefits charities that serve women and children, like AWAIC and Clare House; the Ski for Relief benefits relief efforts in South Sudan and Myanmar.

The Ski for Relief begins on the Service High sledding hill at noon with high school racers. Middle schoolers will follow at 12:04 p.m., with open-class and masters going off at 12:06.

The first wave in the Ski for Women goes off at 10:30 a.m.

Day-of-race registration will be available Sunday at the chalet from 9-10 a.m. for the timed events and from 9 a.m.  to noon for the untimed party wave. The party wave starts at 12:30 p.m.

Skiers who need their skis waxed can pay the West High ski team $10 to do the job. Dropoff is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at West High.

Reach Beth Bragg at or 257-4335.


Photos: 2013 Alaska Ski for Women