|Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage|
Where Winter is Wonderful
Winter is in full swing! If you haven't joined us for one of our recent events, we hope you'll find something in this email that makes you want to get out and enjoy the trails.
|Ski for Kids - Sat, Feb 26|
A Day of Fun and Games for Kids ages 0 - 14
|Ski 4 Kids Day is a festive winter day full of events for children aged 0-14. Ski 4 Kids Day is a dual fundraising and awareness effort where obstacle courses, a mock-biathlon, and series of races to tempt and tantalize kids of all ages. Even better, proceeds from the event directly benefit the kids by purchasing skis for the Anchorage Parks and Recreation's outreach program and area schools. The ultimate goal is to help develop an appreciation of winter outdoor sports and to promote fitness for Anchorage area youth!|
Register Online now! Click here
In-person Registration and Bib Pickup at REI
12:00 - 7:00 p.m.
9:30 - 10:30 am
Event Day bib pick up and registration
Mize Moose Loop Race (3k)
Blue Bear Race (~ 1k)
CLICK HERE for course map
Oscar's Obstacle Course
Lemon Drop Sligshot Biathlon
11:45 am - 1:15 pm
Refreshments and snacks available Kincaid Chalet
Special guests Sarah Temple, Miss Alaska USA 2010 and Kali Scott, Miss Alaska Teen USA 2010 will be there.
Check out our website for more information
- Inside the timing hut helping the timer record bibs
- Outside at the SLINGSHOT BIATHLON
- Directing traffic for skijoring
- Skiing the course to make sure all are happy & heading in the right direction.
In addition, coaches are needed for Outreach: Mar 14-Apr 7, Monday through Thursday after school from 3:30-5:15 p.m. To help please email Margaret Timmerman or call 343-4217
|The Family That Skis Together... |
All About Junior Nordic
Not many families have the dedication and spirit of the Ward family. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday the family heads up to the Hillside to coach or volunteer for the Anchorage Junior Nordic League.
It all began about 6 years ago, shortly after the Ward family moved sight unseen to Alaska. Dave, the patriarch, is a lifelong avid skier and was used to driving for hours to ski the Sierras when the family lived in San Diego. Dave was immediately thrilled to discover Anchorage's extensive trail network and the community's focus on Nordic skiing. Soon, Dave discovered Junior Nordic, a ski development program for kids age 6 - 14. He signed up to be a coach, and the rest of the family slowly followed in his footsteps.
Over the years, all three Ward children: Sarah, Suzanne, and Meredith, have worked or volunteered for Junior Nordic. Most recently, Cheryl, Dave's wife, began coaching. She claims not to be a great skier, but she knows the basics, and most importantly, she knows how to respond when someone needs a little extra inspiration, or how to make sure everyone who leaves the parking lot comes back in one piece.
Why has the family put so much energy in to this program? To Cheryl, it was a natural progression. They've always liked doing outdoor activities together. Amid everyone's busy daily lives, the activity that each family member enjoyed and kept coming back to was Nordic skiing. "Nordic just clicked for us," she says.
|Justin, Sarah, Meredith, Cheryl, Suzanne, Dave|
The Wards say Junior Nordic gives back to them, too. Cheryl credits the program with getting her out exercising regularly again. Dave has made friends with many of the coaches, many returning year after year. It's not only for the benefit of their own kids, but it's fun to see the same kids each year, growing and developing in to great future adults. The family enjoys the energy of the kids, and coaching gets them out the door enjoying the outdoors together, even when they might have chosen to stay at home. Dave hopes he can help inspire a life long enjoyment of skiing as a great form of fitness. Also, says Cheryl, "This will be my only opportunity to maybe coach the next Kikkan Randall."
What will happen when the Suzanne, the youngest of the three, leaves the family nest for her own adventures? The Wards will continue to coach and volunteer. Sarah's fiancee realized early that to see his future wife, he needed to join the ranks. Now, Justin can be found among the Ward family and his lovely fiancee Sarah, coaching Anchorage's future athletes, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at Hillside park.
For more information on the Junior Nordic program,
visit the website
|AMH Anchorage Cup - The Sven|
|Citizen Racing at its Best: February 20, 2011 |
AMH Anchorage Cup action continues Sunday, Feb 20 at Kincaid with the Sven
|Photo by Thomas Van Pelt|
Johansson Race, A 10k and 30k freestyle ski race. The 30k race is the famous "Tour of Kincaid." When else can you skate the Horseshoe Loop? There will also be a 2.5k fun race for youth around the first half of the Mize Loop. Each of the races will begin in a mass start from the stadium.
Sign up online NOW for a $5 online discount.
Races begin at noon, with bib pick up at 10 a.m. at Kincaid. As always, there will be great door prizes, food, and cheer after the race.
Net proceeds from the Sven go to fund the NSAA college scholarship program. Click here from more information on the scholarship program.
CLICK HERE for more details.
|Meet the Groomer|
Meet the Fix it Man!
If you need something fixed Craig Norman is your man. He's been keeping NSAA in working order for about 10 years. He's a groomer, a mechanic and the ultimate creative mind. He's invented some pretty cool items to help with difficult tasks, including an electric self-loading snow-hauling sled.
Craig was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and moved to Alaska way back in 1967. Raised in Eagle River, he went to Chugiak High School. He learned to downhill ski at Russian Jack and Nordic ski in elementary school. Always hard working, Craig started his first construction company in his Junior year in high school, where he refined his mechanical abilities and learned, as he says, to "move dirt." He also taught himself to weld and to fabricate his own equipment modifications.
Craig's mechanical skills have been tested in some pretty extreme locations, including 4 years working in rural Alaska, and 6 months working in Greenland. His job? Core boring the ice sheet, over 10,000 feet deep! He also started his grooming career in Greenland, maintaining a 10,000 feet runway for C-130's. When he returned to Alaska he continued to work construction and road boring jobs.
He has two adult sons and lives in Wasilla with his wife of 25 years. Last month Craig shocked NSAA when he actually took time off. He and his wife spent a week in Maui, their first "real" vacation. It's about time Craig!
Q: What is your favorite type of snow to groom?
A: I love the powder! It's quick and easy and provides instant gratification, even though you have to groom it again the next day. But I miss the days where it took 4 cats in a row to chew up the ice. The new 600 machine has replaced that need. Before that, four of us would take out the machines right in a row, and it was constant communication between all four guys about what was going on and how each guy was doing.
How many pieces of equipment did you have to work on this past week?
Well, the tiller frame on the new 600 busted, so we had to tear off the whole rear end to fix it, but we managed to get it back in to service in 24 hours. The slideback truck was having fuel injector trouble, and it took a while to fix that. The Ford truck had some trouble, and there's always a few issues with one of the snowmachines.
What do you like about working for NSAA?
It gives me a sense of accomplishment to see the public having fun on whatever we produce. Also, there are a lot of mechanical challenges that keep me going. You just have to push yourself and get it done.
What's the most challenging thing about working for NSAA?
Electronics-- finding parts and dealing with three layers of potential issues: electronic, electric, and hydraulic. Pisten Bullys are not like snowmachines, each peice of equipment has its own set of difficulties. Not every fix is a perfect.
Why we like Craig:
Not only does he have a great sense of humor, he's also always in a good mood, even when he's been working for 20 hours straight. Not to mention the fact that he can fix ANYTHING.
|"Free" Ski Lessons! Donate to a good cause.|
Mon, Feb 21st - 1:00-2:30pm at Kincaid
Coach Sara Miller and the Alaska Junior Olympic team are offering 'free' ski lessons on Monday, February 21 (President's Day) from 1-2:30pm at Kincaid. Team Alaska is accepting donations and the money will be used to offset their costs to get to the Junior Olympics this March.
Check in between 1:00pm and 1:15pm. Skiers will be grouped by their ability and technique and will have their very own Junior Olympic athlete/coach. If you plan to come please send an email with your technique and ability and so they will have enough coaches. Get faster and support our junior athletes!
|Ask the Groomer|
Q: I noticed my favorite trail hadn't been groomed for two days. It's snowed a little bit and I'd really like to use my classic skis. Can you tell me why the classic trails haven't been groomed? I mean, don't we have a reputation to keep up as the best Nordic skiing community in the states? Signed, Twisted Knickers
Dear TK,The short answer is that our goal is to serve the most people while maximizing our limited resources. You've heard it before... it takes a lot of money to run our machines, especially since we need highly trained operators to create the kind of trails you're used to. In an effort to make our funds stretch the farthest, we typically assign an operator to each area (or, in some cases, an operator for 3 - 4 areas!). This way the operator intimately learns the conditions and history of each area during the season. They know where the trail is thin, or which areas freeze up the quickest, or where there's likely to be a bunch of debris down after a wind storm. While there are considerable advantages to this method, it means that our guys work hard. They groom when the conditions are right, and do their best to save their hours when things are already looking good. Sometimes they work through the night, and sometimes during the day. Yesterday, for example, one of our operators wrapped up just before 5:00 a.m., but still managed to call in at 11:00 a.m. to see if he was needed since it was snowing when he left.
We would love to have an operator staffed round the clock for each area. Wouldn't that be amazing!? But that would mean three 8 hours shifts each day, times 7 days or 24 shifts (168 hours). We have 5 major areas to groom: Kincaid, Hillside, Bartlett, 4 locations in Chugiak/Eagle River, APU & Tour Trail, plus 5 Middle schools and several Elementary schools. 168 hrs x 5 areas is 840 hrs a week. That's 21 groomers at 40 hrs a week. We usually employ, at the height of the season, 6 employees that are trained to run Pisten Bullys and 1-2 trainees who help with snow shoveling, brush cutting, and all around assistance. The groomers are also Head Mechanic, Logistics Coordinator, Snow Shoveler, Brush Cutter, and Operations Director in their "spare" time. Our operators do their best to do everything within their 40 hour shifts, with an occasional week with overtime. The reality is that we just can't afford to keep the operators in their machines all the time, so we need to make tough decisions. With the massive amount our groomers do in their limited schedule, hopefully a dusting of fresh snow on some nice tracks is a bit more palatable. We focus on grooming for the busiest times for the most skiers. This means the classic-only trails typically get attention before the weekend. However, you mentioned it had snowed, and this could throw a wrench in things. If a classic trail was groomed recently, our operator may decide it's still in good condition, despite a bit of new snow. (In fact, many skiers enjoy having a dusting over the track.) Other times, the operator simply determines that the trail is safe under current conditions, where another trail requires more work and receives more traffic-- so that one is the one he'll focus on. NSAA hopes you have noticed the efforts we've made to put in great track on nearly all of the ski trails, as often as possible. We've heard that this year's tracks have been as good as any year, despite moderate conditions. Great thing about Anchorage is that you have lots of trail options to ski if your favorite trail hasn't been groomed yet.
Have a question for our groomers?
|Doing the Tour?|
Getting Ready for the Tour
Are you in shape? It's not too late, here are some helpful links for training regiment:
XC Zone Article
Michigan Nordic Ski Racing Website
CXC Training Blog
Race Training for Muggles
Online Registion ends February 25. Sign up today for the discount!
CLICK HERE to register for Tour of Anchorage
|Ski Kincaid All Night - SKAN 24|
|Early Registration Closes February 14 at 10:00 a.m.|
Join a wonderfully wild and crazy group for the inaugural SKAN 24 race at Kincaid.
If you've been contemplating signing up- now's the time to do it! Early entry fees are $60/Student, $75/Regular, and $200 Family (up to four immediate members). This is a great chance to challenge yourself, your rivals, and even your friends! And if you're not the fastest skier around- there might be another contest you can win... (Shhhh...that's still top-secret.)
So gather up your friends and family and commit them to an asylum of a 6, 12, or 24-hour event. We've got some great opportunities and offers from our sponsors as well. For more information and registration, check out the active blog here.
WHAT?: Alaska's ONLY 24 hour Nordic ski race. You can choose to race for 6 hours, 12 hours or 24 hours. You can race solo or create a duo, quad or octo team.
WHEN? : March 26-27, 2011 - 10am start
WHERE? Kincaid trails and resting/camping out in the wax bunker
MORE INFO?: Check out the race blog or the website
PRICE?: Early Bird Pricing until 2/14/11: $75, $60, $200 (Solo, Student, Family)
I'm that crazy!: Register Me Now
|Winter Trails Day |
Saturday, February 12, 10:00 - 4:00
|Hosted by the BLM, Winter Trails Day promotes responsible winter recreation on our public lands. The event also connects trail users with various recreation groups in Anchorage. Activities offered at this annual event include free use of cross-country skis, skate skis, and snowshoes (provided courtesy of REI and the Anchorage Parks and Recreation Ski Outreach Program); a GPS navigation and geocache activity; a self-guided snowshoe hike and classical ski touring loop; and clinics on outdoor safety basics, avalanche transceivers, snow shelter construction, skijoring, winter mountain biking, winter running, and cross-country ski waxing. |
Numerous user groups provide information booths inside the Science Center on Winter Trails Day. These include Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Huts Association, Alaska Trails, Anchorage Equestrians, Anchorage Scoop the Poop Committee, Chugach National Forest Avalanche Center, Friends of Bicentennial Park, Municipality of Anchorage Trail Watch, Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage, Eagle River Nature Center, and more. Science Center staff offer complimentary hot chocolate, coffee, cookies, and marshmallows for roasting.
Winter Trails Day at the BLM Campbell Tract now attracts more than 1,000 visitors of all ages, thanks to the support of our many volunteers and partner organizations. Come join us!
For more information: call 907-267-1246 or Send an email.
|Girl Scouts |
Offering Nordic Skiing Opportunities -- Can YOU Help?
Girl Scouts of Alaska provides outdoor adventure programs for girls all over the state, including nordic ski events, and they need donations of skis, poles, and boots. If you have ski gear or snowshoes that is cluttering up your closets or garages, please contact:
Travel and Outdoor Specialist
Girl Scouts of Alaska
907.273.0393Send an Email
Ski and snowshoe gear will be available to any girl in the state to use during Girl Scout activities. Thank you for supporting Girl Scouts as they develop courage, confidence, and character in outdoor programs!
|This is where we ask you for money.|
We need your support (ie. cash)!
We also take checks, credit card and online payments.
(Great skiing takes great money!)
Support Nordic skiing in Anchorage!
Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage
203 W. 15th Ave, #204 Anchorage, AK 99501
AnchorageNordicSki dot COM