Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Television Stars

Today, while I was slaving away at the office, one of my colleagues stuck his head in my door and told me that Andrew Kastning was featured on the Channel 2 News for "about a five or ten minute interview".  So naturally, I had to scour the internet until I found it.  If you're willing to sit through Dimond High School hockey, you'll get to see video of Nevio, Calisa, Lukas, and Jaime at Hillside during the UAA-UAF Showdown.  And you'll also get to see an eleven-second clip of Andrew saying good things about the UAA Ski Team.  Five or ten minutes?!  (Some of my co-workers tend to exaggerate!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Surfing the internet, I came across this picture of Martin KapÅ¡o taken earlier today.  He must be skiing fast because they don't usually interview the slow ones.  Martin skied for us last year, but is racing in Slovakia now.  If you look closely at his hat, you'll see he's rockin' the UAA logo.  Nice, Gofi!!

Friday, January 27, 2012


I had to skip UAA ski practice for a couple days so I could travel to Unalaska for work.  If anyone ever offers you a free plane ticket to Unalaska, take it!  Even after fourteen years of frequent travel to Unalaska / Dutch Harbor and the Aleutian Islands, I never cease to be stunned every time I step off the airplane.  There's no other place like it. Some people consider Unalaska Island a desolate, windswept outpost, but I think it's one of the most beautiful places in the world.


There's fantastic backcountry skiing and snowboarding in Unalaska.  You can ski right down to the beach.  Literally.

The Aleutian Islands are known for their nasty Bering Sea storms.  The big shipping crane on the left of the photo below is a replacement crane for the one just like it that blew down last year in a storm.

Unalaska was bombed by the Japanese in World War II.  That's a concrete "pillbox" in the foreground.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Home Again

The team got back on deep, cold Alaska snow again today after several successful weeks on the road.  Everyone seemed healthy, happy, and glad to be back to the perfect skiing conditions that we locals have been enjoying for the past month.  We'll have a solid month of training and racing here in Anchorage before the next road trip.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Danielle and I went for a ski tour while the team was racing in Colorado.  There's plenty of snow in Girdwood:

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Math Time

The alpine team completed both of their races at the University of Denver series last weekend, leaving the cross-country team to race this weekend and finish out the series.  At the conclusion of the alpine races, UAA was in 5th place.  On Friday, the UAA women went 4th/5th/6th to win their race by a lot, while Lasse picked up a lot of points with his fourth place finish.  The combined result of these efforts brought us past the University of New Mexico, into 4th place overall (alpine and nordic), and seventeen points behind University of Denver.  Today were the final races of the series:  15km mass start skating for the men and 10K mass start skating for the women.  Once again, the UAA women destroyed the field, with Jaime winning the race, Laura in third, and Steffi in fifth.  In the men's race, Lucky was tenth, Nevio was 12th and Lasse was 16th.  (The non-college skiers are taken out of the college scoring.) Today's results moved UAA past University of Denver and into third place!
I haven't talked to anyone about the race; I'm only looking at the results - but I notice something interesting and encouraging when I look at the women's results:  In the race for first, Jaime beat Eliska Hajkova by about six seconds, suggesting that they may have been skiing together until Jaime made a strong push at the end to win the race.  A little less than a half-minute back, Laura won her battle for third against Clara Chauvet by about six seconds.  And about a half minute further back, Steffi won her battle for fifth with a three second win over Kate Dolan.  Having not skied at Devil's Thumb Ranch myself since 1992, I don't know how the course comes into the finish, and it's dangerous to speculate about a race you didn't see, but the results would suggest tough skiing by our skiers near the finish, and that's the kind of thing that wins points in these college races.  Every point counts. A few years ago, when we were fourth at NCAA's, just a few more points would have gotten us second place!  I'm really encouraged by UAA's willingness and eagerness to dig deep to get the win in the tough finish line battles!  Congratulations to UAA on another successful weekend in the tracks. We are working toward the ultimate goal of great performances at the NCAA Championships in Montana in early March, and this weekend does nothing to dampen my optimism going into the second half of the season.

A sweep of Faceboook pages doesn't yield any photos from Devil's Thumb Ranch, so I guess the team was too busy waxing skis to take pictures.  You'll have to settle for the results (below):

Class: M - Men 15 km
PlaceBibNameClassDivisionAffiliationTimeTime Back
190OEDEGAARD, Rune MaloMUniversity of Colorado48:14.50
282SMITH, DidrikMUniversity of Utah48:18.6+4.1
392HAVLICK, MilesMUniversity of Utah48:19.2+4.7
473REINKING, TylerMMontana State University48:27.8+13.3
584KJOELHAMAR, VegardMUniversity of Colorado48:48.0+33.5
674PLETCHER, ReidMUniversity of Colorado49:01.7+47.2
785SCHALLINGER, MichaelMMontana State University49:16.7+1:02.2
878SMITH, TomMUniversity of Utah49:34.0+1:19.5
988DOUGHERTY, AndrewMUniversity of Denver49:37.9+1:23.4
1087EBNER, LukasMUniversity of Alaska Anchorage49:43.5+1:29.0
1196SCRIMGEOUR, MaxfieldMSteamboat Springs WSC50:05.1+1:50.6
1295LOOMIS, AdamMSteamboat Springs WSC50:08.7+1:54.2
1360HOYE, AndreasMUniversity of Colorado50:09.3+1:54.8
1469ZENI, NevioMUniversity of Alaska Anchorage50:10.0+1:55.5
1568BYE BREVIK, JoergenMUniversity of Denver50:10.4+1:55.9
1689PRESTSAETER, SjurMUniversity of New Mexico50:11.3+1:56.8
1777WALLACE, ConorMUniversity of Denver50:12.0+1:57.5
1879MOELGAARD, LasseMUniversity of Alaska Anchorage50:39.5+2:25.0
1961MALLAMS, IanMUniversity of Colorado50:42.4+2:27.9
2066KESSELHEM, SawyerMMontana State University50:46.4+2:31.9
2181OTTO, ChristianMUniversity of New Mexico50:57.8+2:43.3
2275JOHNSTON, GalenMUniversity of Alaska Anchorage50:58.6+2:44.1
2364MADDEN, PatrickMMontana State University51:00.1+2:45.6
2470FIGI, RolfMUniversity of Utah51:00.8+2:46.3
2571DU PASQUIER, ArnaudMUniversity of Colorado51:28.8+3:14.3
2658TREINEN, MaxMUniversity of Alaska Anchorage51:31.2+3:16.7
2754BROMLEY, LukeMIndependent51:42.9+3:28.4
2880MARKSET, TrygveMUniversity of Denver52:02.3+3:47.8
2997VON THADEN, CharlieMSteamboat Springs WSC52:26.1+4:11.6
3056LIOTTA, NeilMMontana State University52:37.3+4:22.8
3198WARD, MichaelMSteamboat Springs WSC53:22.2+5:07.7
3299WEINMAN, EvanMSteamboat Springs WSC53:44.0+5:29.5
3359NYGREN, HansMMontana State University54:10.6+5:56.1
3476NIESS, PierreMUniversity of New Mexico54:39.2+6:24.7
3553SMITH, CarlMIndependent55:07.9+6:53.4
3667LOONEY, AdamMUniversity of Wyoming55:09.6+6:55.1
3772SOLBERG, EivindMUniversity of New Mexico55:18.5+7:04.0
3851ZAVISLAN, StefanMUS Air Force Academy55:38.9+7:24.4
3994HOUGH, NathanMUniversity of Wyoming56:11.8+7:57.3
4083BOCHANSKI, KyleMUniversity of Wyoming56:12.8+7:58.3
4163RODGERS, PatrickMUniversity of Wyoming56:53.4+8:38.9
4293FIELD, CliffMSteamboat Springs WSC59:22.0+11:07.5
4355ODERWALD, DevinMUniversity of Wyoming1:00:47.5+12:33.0

Class: F - Women 10 km
PlaceBibNameClassDivisionAffiliationTimeTime Back
132BRONGA, JaimeFUniversity of Alaska Anchorage36:59.50
236HAJKOVA, EliskaFUniversity of Colorado37:05.1+5.6
321ROMBACH, LauraFUniversity of Alaska Anchorage37:23.6+24.1
429CHAUVET, ClaraFUniversity of New Mexico37:32.4+32.9
528HIEMER, SteffiFUniversity of Alaska Anchorage37:53.9+54.4
634DOLAN, KateFUniversity of Denver37:58.4+58.9
733KEMP, RoseFUniversity of Utah38:01.4+1:01.9
820CAPPEL, MakaylaFUniversity of Denver38:04.9+1:05.4
923KUTZ, CaseyFMontana State University38:06.2+1:06.7
1037KLAESSON, LinnFUniversity of New Mexico38:19.0+1:19.5
1131CARLSON, AseFMontana State University38:20.1+1:20.6
1222NORD, AnniFUniversity of New Mexico38:41.0+1:41.5
139JORTBERG, JessicaFUniversity of Denver38:45.3+1:45.8
1438ELDEN, MariFUniversity of Denver39:16.3+2:16.8
1530TYLER, ParkerFUniversity of Utah39:18.6+2:19.1
1627ROSE, MaryFUniversity of Colorado39:19.8+2:20.3
1718MCDERMOTT, CambriaFMontana State University39:25.7+2:26.2
1839PISKE, HaleyFSteamboat Springs WSC39:30.8+2:31.3
1919WILSGAARD, SiljeFUniversity of Denver39:39.0+2:39.5
2025NOYES, MaliFUniversity of Utah39:43.9+2:44.4
2126GILL, KatieFUniversity of Denver39:59.5+3:00.0
224HEAGNEY, CarrieFIndependent40:03.5+3:04.0
236BACKSTRUM, KateFMontana State University40:04.4+3:04.9
2412BREED, ElenaFUniversity of Denver40:05.1+3:05.6
2510KANADY, RachelleFMontana State University40:21.5+3:22.0
263JONES, MackenzieFIndependent41:00.1+4:00.6
272LIOTTA, AnnieFIndependent41:10.3+4:10.8
2815STEGE, KatieFUniversity of Colorado41:28.6+4:29.1
298BRATLIE, SolveigFMontana State University41:56.9+4:57.4
3014SMITH, KarinaFUniversity of Alaska Anchorage43:11.2+6:11.7
3116WEINER, BridgetFUniversity of Wyoming43:28.2+6:28.7
3211JECH, SierraFUniversity of Wyoming43:51.4+6:51.9
3324MADSEN, MarianneFUniversity of Colorado44:00.2+7:00.7
347DIXSON, Sarah DFUniversity of Wyoming47:10.4+10:10.9
351VONASEK, TaylorFUS Air Force Academy54:32.6+17:33.1

Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 1 Results - University of Denver Invitational

Class: F - Women 5 km
PlaceBibNameClassDivisionAffiliationTimeTime Back
130TYLER, ParkerF University of Utah21:57.10
234DOLAN, KateF University of Denver22:01.8+4.7
320CAPPEL, MakaylaF University of Denver22:02.5+5.4
432BRONGA, JaimeF University of Alaska Anchorage22:16.2+19.1
528HIEMER, SteffiF University of Alaska Anchorage22:18.4+21.3
621ROMBACH, LauraF University of Alaska Anchorage22:42.6+45.5
737KLAESSON, LinnF University of New Mexico22:43.0+45.9
833KEMP, RoseF University of Utah22:51.5+54.4
922NORD, AnniF University of New Mexico22:53.3+56.2
1036HAJKOVA, EliskaF University of Colorado22:54.2+57.1
1125NOYES, MaliF University of Utah22:59.8+1:02.7
1231CARLSON, AseF Montana State University23:12.1+1:15.0
1312BREED, ElenaF University of Denver23:13.2+1:16.1
1435YEATON, JessicaF Montana State University23:15.0+1:17.9
1526GILL, KatieF University of Denver23:17.7+1:20.6
1627ROSE, MaryF University of Colorado23:21.9+1:24.8
1719WILSGAARD, SiljeF University of Denver23:24.3+1:27.2
189JORTBERG, JessicaF University of Denver23:33.5+1:36.4
1918MCDERMOTT, CambriaF Montana State University23:34.7+1:37.6
2014SMITH, KarinaF University of Alaska Anchorage23:44.3+1:47.2
2123KUTZ, CaseyF Montana State University23:44.9+1:47.8
2210KANADY, RachelleF Montana State University23:56.7+1:59.6
2324MADSEN, MarianneF University of Colorado24:06.2+2:09.1
2429CHAUVET, ClaraF University of New Mexico24:18.0+2:20.9
2515STEGE, KatieF University of Colorado24:36.8+2:39.7
262LIOTTA, AnnieF Independent24:42.7+2:45.6
276BACKSTRUM, KateF Montana State University24:49.8+2:52.7
2816WEINER, BridgetF University of Wyoming24:53.7+2:56.6
298BRATLIE, SolveigF Montana State University25:01.2+3:04.1
304HEAGNEY, CarrieF Independent25:42.1+3:45.0
3117KIRVESNIEMI, AnitaF University of New Mexico25:45.6+3:48.5
3211JECH, SierraF University of Wyoming25:48.0+3:50.9
333JONES, MackenzieF Independent26:12.6+4:15.5
345MALLE, JohannaF Independent26:16.2+4:19.1
3513BRATLIE, AnnikenF University of New Mexico26:24.0+4:26.9
367DIXSON, Sarah DF University of Wyoming28:10.8+6:13.7
371VONASEK, TaylorF US Air Force Academy31:24.8+9:27.7
Class: M - Men 10 km
PlaceBibNameClassDivisionAffiliationTimeTime Back
190OEDEGAARD, Rune MaloM University of Colorado36:53.70
292HAVLICK, MilesM University of Utah37:26.5+32.8
382SMITH, DidrikM University of Utah37:29.2+35.5
479MOELGAARD, LasseM University of Alaska Anchorage37:52.9+59.2
573REINKING, TylerM Montana State University37:54.7+1:01.0
684KJOELHAMAR, VegardM University of Colorado38:13.9+1:20.2
778SMITH, TomM University of Utah38:20.6+1:26.9
888DOUGHERTY, AndrewM University of Denver38:27.0+1:33.3
986NORRIS, DavidM Montana State University38:36.1+1:42.4
1089PRESTSAETER, SjurM University of New Mexico38:37.2+1:43.5
1168BYE BREVIK, JoergenM University of Denver38:40.6+1:46.9
1274PLETCHER, ReidM University of Colorado39:08.5+2:14.8
1370FIGI, RolfM University of Utah39:12.5+2:18.8
1485SCHALLINGER, MichaelM Montana State University39:23.8+2:30.1
1560HOYE, AndreasM University of Colorado39:29.2+2:35.5
1677WALLACE, ConorM University of Denver39:45.0+2:51.3
1764MADDEN, PatrickM Montana State University39:45.5+2:51.8
1887EBNER, LukasM University of Alaska Anchorage39:50.6+2:56.9
1969ZENI, NevioM University of Alaska Anchorage40:04.0+3:10.3
2081OTTO, ChristianM University of New Mexico40:09.9+3:16.2
2180MARKSET, TrygveM University of Denver40:18.8+3:25.1
2276NIESS, PierreM University of New Mexico40:22.2+3:28.5
2366KESSELHEM, SawyerM Montana State University40:22.7+3:29.0
2458TREINEN, MaxM University of Alaska Anchorage40:36.7+3:43.0
2565SOERLUND, KristianM University of Denver40:52.4+3:58.7
2654BROMLEY, LukeM Independent40:55.3+4:01.6
2771DU PASQUIER, ArnaudM University of Colorado41:09.5+4:15.8
2861MALLAMS, IanM University of Colorado41:14.4+4:20.7
2975JOHNSTON, GalenM University of Alaska Anchorage41:29.3+4:35.6
3056LIOTTA, NeilM Montana State University41:46.5+4:52.8
3159NYGREN, HansM Montana State University42:20.4+5:26.7
3252FRIEDMAN, OscarM Boulder Nordic Jr Race Team42:24.5+5:30.8
3391PANZHINSKIY, EvgeniyM University of Wyoming43:19.0+6:25.3
3453SMITH, CarlM Independent43:30.7+6:37.0
3551ZAVISLAN, StefanM US Air Force Academy44:17.5+7:23.8
3662KLAUSMANN, LutzM University of Alaska Anchorage44:29.7+7:36.0
3772SOLBERG, EivindM University of New Mexico44:33.9+7:40.2
3867LOONEY, AdamM University of Wyoming44:51.7+7:58.0
3963RODGERS, PatrickM University of Wyoming45:01.4+8:07.7
4057VIA, WillieM University of Wyoming46:23.8+9:30.1
4183BOCHANSKI, KyleM University of Wyoming47:23.9+10:30.2
4255ODERWALD, DevinM University of Wyoming48:11.9+11:18.2

Saturday, January 14, 2012

CU Invitational

In case you missed it, the UAA XC Women dominated today's mass-start classic race at Steamboat Springs today. Here are some photos:

Andrew Kastning at UAA Ski Team Steamboat Headquarters: 

Jaime and Karina preparing for the discomfort of racing; undergoing UAA's onion-torture training:


Jaime & Laura:

And again, a little further down the trail:

Laura & Jaime on the podium:

After a successful trip around the race trail:

For more details, check out these links:



Monday, January 9, 2012

Champagne Powder

Over the weekend, the team reunited in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for their first road trip of the year - the first college races of the season (if you don't count the annual Alaska Cup between UAA and UAF).  The team will spend almost a week acclimatizing to the altitude (6,730 feet / 2050 meters), and getting their eyes used to blinding sunshine again. Steamboat Springs is known for its "Champagne Powder" - light, dry, deep, cold, high-altitude powder snow that falls so deep in the mountains that you need a snorkel for powder days in the backcountry.  I've spent a day or two "stuck" in Steamboat, skiing in powder so deep and light I didn't see much of anything on account of all the snow blowing over my head.  But alas, it's not like that there now.  The normal trails at Howelson Hill don't have enough snow for skiing, and the races next weekend are expected to be on a 2.5 km loop scraped together near the stadium start/finish area.

If it's champagne powder you're looking for, you need look no further than right here in Anchorage. The weather pattern just keeps repeating:  snowstorm - cold weather - snowstorm - cold weather - snowstorm.  We got another eight inches yesterday.

Here are a few pictures from my driveway:

And finally, there was a speed skating / ski duathlon yesterday at Cuddy Park.  I got crushed by Liam Ortega (as expected) in the speed skating portion, but I managed to avoid getting lapped twice, allowing me to make a comeback in the skiing portion.  A photo gallery of the event is here:

Friday, January 6, 2012

...A time to gather stones together

According to The Byrds, there's a season for everything.  Our team has spread out across the Western Hemisphere during the Christmas season, but we will come back together this coming weekend.  Karina has been socializing in Oslo. Max was (most likely) in Ostersund, Sweden. Nevio has (presumably) been eating spaghetti in Val di Fiemme. Lukas and Lasse held their mini-training camp at Lukas' house in the Black Forest in Germany, after which Lasse went to a ski race in the area and beat up on all the locals. Laura has been watching the flowers and green grass grow from her home in the meadows of Neukirch. Steffi went to Fairbanks to become better aquainted with -30 degree weather and with her future parents-in-law. Davis went to Palmer and brought Lutz along with him (and Lutz's sister and her boyfriend), and Maya, Brandon, Tor, Jaime and Galen stayed where the ski conditions were best - Anchorage, Alaska.  I saw Galen out skiing the other evening at Kincaid Park.  And I was happy to see on the internet that Jaime went to snowless Maine this week and scored a couple of good races on man-made snow at the U.S. National Championships. Andrew went to Colorado and reports a lack of snow there, too.  So it looks like all the world's snow is falling in Alaska this winter.


As for me, I spent a couple weeks in Zihuatanejo, Mexico before coming back to spend a week traveling around Alaska for work, dodging blizzards.  Lasse was concerned that I might get out of shape in Mexico, but he doesn't have to worry about that because I was training like crazy: every day we walked to a different beach (or to the bus stop), and when we got there we spent all day splashing around in the water before walking home again.  (And we stayed hydrated, too.)

Mexico has some nice coral beaches:

 When I went over the falls and landed on my board I became shark bait, so that was the end of that surfing session:

This is Yakutat, about two hours BEFORE the snowstorm:

Mt. Saint Elias rises 18,000 feet, straight out of the ocean, near Yakutat. Those aren't clouds in the foreground, it's ice.

To everyone who's not here in Anchorage:  This is what you're missing at Kincaid Park.

I went skiing with Lutz and Davis today.  4" of new snow overnight.  The groomers hadn't gotten there yet.

Lutz and Davis:

Lutz's sister and her boyfriend, Melanie and Mattias, came skiing with us at Hillside today.

This weekend, the travel team packs up and heads out on their first road trip of the season, for college races in Steamboat Springs and Granby, Colorado.  With any luck, they'll let me know how things are going so I can write about it here for the legions of UAA Ski Team fans that religiously follow this blog.