Saturday, September 28, 2013

For Andrew

Dear Coach Kastning,
We hope you're having a nice time in Utah, and that you're learning a bunch of stuff that you can come back and teach us. We're having lots of fun here on the Kenai Peninsula!  This morning, we spent about three and a half hours rollerskiing and running between Sunrise and Johnson Pass.  I heard a few people say it was the most fun workout they've done this year, so we were sad you had to miss it. But you'll probably get just as much enjoyment out of these pictures.
Come home soon!
The UAA Nordic Ski Team

The women's team on the Hope road.

Lukas and Brandon.

Canyon Creek Bridge.

Bench Creek

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flattop... Twice

Here's what we did this morning:
Flattop Peak, above Anchorage.

Little O'Malley Peak.

After climbing Flattop's front side, we ran down the back side so we could climb it again from the other direction.

This black bear was still hanging out in the same spot an hour later. 

During a drink stop.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meet the Freshman - Alex Loan

Here's the second installment in the UAA Ski Team Blog's "Meet the Freshman" series.  Alex is going to "redshirt" his freshman year at UAA.  For those who are unfamiliar with the NCAA's redshirt rules, it works something like this:  At the start of your first year competing in NCAA sports, your clock starts ticking and you have five years during which you can compete for four years. In sports where injury is more common, like football or even alpine skiing, the redshirt rule allows athletes to compete in a full four years' worth of NCAA athletics even if they have to sit out one year with injury.  But it can also be used to allow athletes time to develop, and maximize their potential during their NCAA sports career.  A redshirt team member is a full member of the team, but does not race in the NCAA college races.  Instead, Alex will be focusing on junior series races this year, including Junior National qualifying races, junior national championships, senior national championships, etcetera. Alex is from just up the road in Eagle River, and was one of the best Alaska high school skiers in the state last year.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Who Dat Wearing Dat Green Zoot Suit?

Passing through Copenhagen Airport earlier this week, I picked up a copy of the Politiken newspaper to find out the latest news in Denmark.  It didn't surprise me at all that the sports section was all about former Seawolf Lasse Mølgaard-Nielsen.  Read it for yourself:

Monday, September 23, 2013


Today was skills development day on the UAA Nordic Ski Team.  Significant improvements were made over the course of the workout, but there is clearly much work to be done.



In the evening, I went for a hike on Anchorage's upper hillside, and this is what I saw.

Meet the Freshman - Andrew Arnold

The UAA Nordic Ski Team Blog is never afraid to push the limits of interweb technology. Always on the cutting edge, my sources have informed me that it is actually possible to include video on this blog. Therefore, today we begin a series of interviews with first-year UAA skiers.  Dedicated readers of this blog will need no introduction to our returning skiers because you've been diligently following their progress already. But we have quite a few new team members this year, and this will be your chance to hear from them, in their very own (few) words.

Andrew Arnold is the first interviewee.  He's not actually a freshman, as you'll hear in his interview, but he did transfer from University of Alaska Fairbanks, so I'm sure the returning team members will make him carry their bags and wax their skis anyway...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Man Show

The entire women's team traveled north to Talkeetna and Nancy Lake for some relaxation, hiking, cabin time, and buzzing Denali in an airplane, leaving us boys to do some hiking on Rainbow Peak near Anchorage.

We saw a lot of stuff on this trip, including about fifteen dall sheep and two bears. Here's Davis pointing out the bears during a drink stop.

We got snowed on a little bit during our hike.  Winter can't be far away now...

Friday, September 20, 2013


I'd been out traveling in western Alaska for a few days, but came back to Anchorage just in time to be brutalized by this morning's nordic/alpine full team workout at the sand dunes at Kincaid Park. There was ice on the puddles in my driveway and snow on the tops of the mountains in the front range, but we stayed near sea level today.
The warm up run, with ocean below.

These were not easy.

Nor were these.  The women's alpine and nordic teams.

Men's alpine and nordic.

Afterward.  Some tired guppies.
Most - but not all - of the UAA Ski Team
Similar, but with a coach switch.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Glorious Life of a Cross-Country Ski Racer

Here's a glimpse into the world of Lasse Mølgaard-Nielsen, UAA Ski Team Member 2010-2013, as he prepares to qualify for and compete in next winter's Olympic Games:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Clark's Road

Not a bad morning for some intervals on the roads above Anchorage:
Marine.  Anchorage in the background.


Brandon and Alex


Marine. Those are the Chigmit Mountains in the distant background including Mt. Spurr, which occasionally dusts Anchorage in volcanic ash when it erupts.

I protest!

Though life is generally pretty good around the UAA Ski Team, it's not all rainbows and unicorns. There are occasionally disputes and disagreements between the athletes and between the coaches which must be dealt with and resolved. Just the other day, for example, Andrew sprung the news on me that he wants to add one more wax tech to our coaching team this winter.  Apparently, he feels our crew could be bolstered with some extra help with kick waxing. But I've always thought we handled the job just fine with three coaches.  Don't get me wrong, Sylvie is my best friend under the age of five.  She's fun and interesting to talk to, she's got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, and I truly respect her ideas and opinions.  But seeing her waxing technique in this video... I just don't feel she's ready yet.  I mean, look at what she's doing - putting purple kick wax in the glide zone - everyone knows you just don't do that!  I say let her get one more year of experience and then she can be our chief kick waxer for winter 2015.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Snow in the Mountains

OK, it wasn't much, but we did see new snow in the mountains today while out hiking.

Arlan De Yong

The entire UAA Ski Team sends its condolences to the De Yong family.  UAA ski coach Nicole De Yong's father, Arlan, passed away recently.  Our thoughts are with Nicole and her family.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Rabbit Lakes

The UAA Ski Team spent this morning galavanting around the countryside above Anchorage.  I, for one, can't think of a better way to have spent the morning.

That's Anchorage, in the background, below the clouds.