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Skiers send winter off in masterful style

Posted: Friday, April 30, 2004

The recent annual event drew 40 or so winter party-sport enthusiasts to the back side of Lookout Mountain near Homer. John Fowler, last year's Mountain Master, was in charge of setting up the slalom and cross-country course. He also built a "nice little kicker jump" where "people could fly a ways, if they were so inclined," he said.

The day began with the beer-a-thon a sort of cross-training event and went downhill, uphill, downhill from there. Other events included the "whiskey scramble," the slalom race, a cross-country ski race, and the crowd-favorite jump.

At the end of the day, John Faris was crowned 2004 Mountain Master. After taking first in the beer-a-thon and second in the jump he held on and skied fast enough in the other events to win.

"It was a good day," Faris said. "There was some stiff competition."

Sage Cohen grabbed the Mountain Momma title and Tom Klinker, a former Mountain Master, was crowned Old Mountain Master this year.

John Fowler said the weather started out poorly, but improved later in the day.

"It looked like we were going to get pounded by a blizzard," he said, "but it lightened up."

As per tradition, the former Mountain Master is in charge of organizing the event.

"It magically all fell into place (this year)," Fowler said. But he said he nearly balked when he had to pass on his helmet.

"I wore it all day," he said. "It was hard to take it off in the end and pass it off."

The object of his affection, the Mountain Master Helmet, looks like someone poured super-glue on a stocking cap and rolled it around in a junk-drawer. The broken skis, buttons, feathers and beads that belonged to 29 past Mountain Masters have been painstakingly attached to the helmet over the years, creating an interesting look.

Fowler said he also received a "little respect, a little bow," when he wore it Saturday.

"It's a powerful hat," he said.

Now Faris has possession of the helmet. And with it comes the duty of organizing next year's festivities which will be held on Diamond Ridge and the responsibility of creating another fun-filled day like Saturday's.

"It's safe to say a fun time was had by all," Fowler said.

Ben Stuart is a reporter for the Homer News.



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