Saturday, February 15, 2014

Our Boys Are Looking Good in Sochi

Our former UAA Ski Team members are all over my TV lately.

Here's Erik Bjornsen from the 2010-2011 UAA team:

Brian Gregg, who skied for UAA from 2004-2006:

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Don't you just love blurry photos?  I do!  They remind me of olden times, faded scenes with their sharp edges gracefully worn smooth by the hands of time, and our old cameras before modern optics, when we used pieces of clear quartz we found on beaches as lenses for our fickle daguerreotype cameras. Ah, the memories...

So, in the spirit of nostalgia, I am gracing this web page with some blurry photos I took today at UAA ski practice at Hillside:

I hope you've enjoyed looking at these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Anna Berecz

I was already really impressed by Anna's 27th place in the Olympic Super Combined event at the Vancouver Olympics.  But Anna has a new all-time Olympic best:  21st place yesterday in the super combined!  And she has many more Olympic races on her schedule...

Valuable People

Lots of stuff happened over the weekend.  Most notably, Marine and Lukas cemented their standing as RMISA MVP's.  What do all those letters mean?  They mean that for this season, Lukas and Marine scored more points than any other skiers in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Skiing Association.  In essence, the best skiers in the west. On their way to winning MVP honors Lukas won two races - one classic and one skating, while Marine won two skate races and one classic race.  Congratulations to Marine and Lukas! Now we have only the most important races left ahead of us:  the RMISA Championships in late February and the NCAA Championships in early March.  Preparations are under way...

Meanwhile at the Olympics, former Seawolf siblings Sadie and Erik Bjornsen raced in the Olympic pursuit races with mid-pack results.  This isn't the Olympic Blog (this is the UAA Blog) so I'm not going to spend the next two weeks talking about every Olympic result associated with UAA because I'd be filling up all the pages with Olympic stuff.  But I will say this:  While I was foaming at the mouth last month talking about all the former and current UAA skiers who are competing at the Olympics, one recent UAA skier flew completely under the blog radar:  Brian Gregg.  Brian skied for UAA in 2005 and 2006, and was an NCAA All-American in 2006.  Brian raced in the pursuit yesterday at the Olympics, and it's a pretty solid bet he'll race in the 50k race on the final day of the Olympics. (Link to Brian Gregg's Blog) And it's my understanding (based on what I heard on the monster TV mounted on the side of the Performing Arts Center downtown on Friday night) that Anna Berecz is qualified to race in all Olympic alpine events, so keep an eye on the women's alpine racing.

As for me, I went back to the Chugach Mountains yesterday and found more than a foot of new snow. Pretty sweet.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Rocky Mountain High

The team's gone off on another road trip, this time to Steamboat Springs, Colorado and Red River, New Mexico. Finally I can get some peace and quiet around here!

The team raced last weekend in Steamboat.  If you look at the results HERE you'll know everything I know about how things turned out.  But I do know that, in typical UAA road trip fashion, there's been some high jinks away from the racing trails, as evidenced by these photos that I've shamelessly stolen off the kids' Facebook pages:

Andrew Arnold doing a little avalanche control using no tools except his own body.

Meanwhile back home in Alaska, one of the greatest days of the year came yesterday - the day when you go skiing at mid-day and you not only see the sun, but you also feel the warmth of the sun.  I was so impressed that I took a picture of it:
World Cup Start area at Kincaid Park.
I wasn't the only one out enjoying the warmth of the sun.  This porcupine seemed happy enough:
(Porcupines don't smile when they're happy. They just get a certain look on their face. This porcupine has that look.)

But the sun still hasn't softened up the snow at all.  We went out for a little backcountry skiing adventure over the weekend and never even needed to put the skins on the skis. We were able to climb 4,000 vertical feet in our plastic ski boots on a bombproof crust. Doesn't make for great skiing, but it sure makes for nice hiking:

When I was growing up in New Hampshire, we called this kind of snow "wicked good powder".

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Nordic Head Coach Tells All

Andrew says all that needs to be said in this interview from earlier this week: