Monday, November 23, 2015

Kincaid Skiing

I like alpine skiing.  I really like it a lot.  But I like cross-country skiing, too.  I especially like it when I return to Anchorage from an out of state trip to find the kind of conditions we found at Kincaid Park:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

We Blame Huey

We were planning to ski slalom at Vail.  But it was kind of a madhouse over there the previous day and training space opened up at Loveland, so over the pass we went.  The snow came in behind us and buried our Loveland slalom hill in deep snow, but at least we had the place to ourselves. Contrary to what most skiers would do, we pushed as much powder snow OFF the hill as we could and got down to slalom training on the ice underneath.

Setting up for our annual race against Colorado Mountain College

Executing the Flying V to push snow off away from the slalom gates



Annamal; grooming the course in a brief moment of sun

Huey had been charging hard all day, taking the "big boy line" and making it stick, and wanted to get as many runs in the plastic as he could.  But toward the end of the session the snow came in real heavy again and we raced to get on the highway, through the tunnel and back down to Silverthorne before getting snowed in... but too late - we missed it by about 20 cars.  The tunnel closed just as we got there.

Sparky - exploring his options.

Moby and Huey


More of the same...

Things weren't looking promising...

Eventually, DOT sent us back down toward Denver, but we managed to snag a room at the Columbine in Idaho Springs.

This morning.  The roads were good, but the drivers not so good.  The traffic jammed due to an accident.
But we did make it back to the house this morning in time for a little breakfast and ski tuning, and we're off to Vail for our final day of slalom in about a half-hour.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Today we went over to Vail for a little slalom action and found the alpine equivalent of the first five kilometers of a Worldloppet marathon ski race. The traffic on the hill was insane, with slalom courses crammed in between giant slalom courses, other slalom courses, free skiers, coaches, and more giant slalom courses.  Everyone had to ski with their head on a swivel, watching out for crossing traffic. It was mayhem out there! But we had good snow and good training.  It was our first day in the slalom gates.  Progress was made.
Everybody was there.

Kat.  Negotiating a sea of plastic.

Chuck.  And Sparky.





Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Today, Hailey Swirbul signed a "national letter of intent" to come to Anchorage and ski for the UAA Ski Team next year.  Hailey is a high school senior from Carbondale, Colorado. Over the past few years she's been building quite a resume in the junior ranks, and she'll be looking to build on her success when she comes to Alaska next fall.  We're looking forward to having Hailey join our team!

Hailey Swirbul races in the Junior Worlds relay

Hailey Swirbul has been cross-country ski racing since age 9 and 'slogging around the trails' with her dad as long as she can remember.


It was a bit wintry out on the hill today at Loveland for our last day of giant slalom training. Somebody told me highest wind gust recorded on the mountain was around 70mph. Yesterday the French women's World Cup team trained on the hill immediately after us and asked us not to slip in the berms when we were done set so they could use Sparky's GS set. Today we trained after the French and they returned the favor, letting us use the training course they'd set. Tomorrow we move to Vail for slalom training.

Winter wonderland

Slipping the berms out (not in) for the French




Kat and Sparky.  Talking it out.


Sparky and Huey

Chuck in the gate. Alix on deck. We skied into a bit of a headwind today.

When training is over, it's not really over. Taking panels off today's GS gates to turn them in to tomorrow's slalom gates.

A Thousand Words

Here's an article from UAA's student newspaper of record. 
I don't really know what to say about it. 
You're on your own. 
Good luck.

The look says 'Blue Steel,' the outfit says 'child's life jacket.'

Monday, November 16, 2015

Giant Slalom

Today was the alpine team's first day in the gates. Sparky and Anna kept me busy hauling plastic around and taking video, but they let me off the hook for the last GS run and I took these pictures.

Today we had our own hill to train on.









It's been snowing all day.  It's supposed to get heavy tonight. The highway is closed due to the storm.  Life is good.