N. Idaho ski area hosts wife carrying contest

The wife-carrying contest at Lookout Pass Ski Area. (Courtesy of Lookout Pass)
The wife-carrying contest at Lookout Pass Ski Area. (Courtesy of Lookout Pass)

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area will host the sixth annual Pacific Northwest Wife Carrying Contest at 1 p.m. Sunday during its winter carnival.

Men sprint about 50 yards with their wives or girlfriends slung over their shoulders. “The most efficient way is also the funniest looking,” said Bill Jennings, Lookout’s marketing director. It’s called the Estonian-style, where the wife hangs upside-down with her legs around the husband’s shoulders.

The sport originated in Finland during the late 1800s, according to Jennings. Each July in the Finnish town of Sonkajärven, the winner wins his wife’s weight in beer. At Lookout Pass, the top three winners take home $100, $50 and $25 respectively. Participants receive free T-shirts. The event is free.

The wife carrying contest is part of Lookout’s Winter Carnival, featuring a snowman building contest, scavenger hunts for kids and adults, face painting, balloon animals, snow volleyball, three-legged family races, egg and spoon races and music in the lodge.

Lookout Pass Ski Area is located at Exit 0 on Interstate 90 on the Idaho/Montana border.

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