Saturday, December 31, 2016


Everyone who's remotely familiar with us knows that the men of the UAA Ski Team are men of leisure. We are men of style. We are ladies' men. When we drink, we drink cognac. When we smoke, we only smoke the finest Cuban cigars. And when we're not out skiing, we're usually dressed in a bathrobe.

Team strategy is planned here. Coaches Tor and Andrew.

Kjetil Dammen ('05) in his inimitable apres-ski style.

When Andrew asks me to prepare the team's skis for a classic workout when we're on the road, I prefer to do so in comfort.

We have a new freshman on our team. When we asked for a picture of him skiing, we got this. I think he's going to feel right at home here.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

In Olden Tymes

This photo must have been taken a very long time ago because those skis look like something that you'd expect to see melting out of a Swiss glacier with a dead caveman. And these poles aren't bamboo. They're pre-bamboo, from an ancient time before bamboo was invented. You don't see baskets made of oak every day.

Are those Lovett skis?  You don't see those every day. Looks like red was this Skiwolf's favorite color before he discovered green and gold.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Peter Pan

This being a Name-the-Skiwolf contest and all (with the possibility of huge prizes for the winners) we don't want to make naming the Skiwolf too easy. That's why we intentionally blurred this photograph using the latest photo-blurring software being used by NASA and the CIA so that you wouldn't be able to read the names of the sponsors on the racing bib and easily figure out who this is. I can give you this hint, however: the photo definitely was not taken in March.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Skiwolf Challenge

This one's not so easy.  
You might need some help figuring out who this is.
So let's work through it together.

Let's see... ski safety straps. Those went out of circulation for good in about 1992.  Those Rossis with the opaque topsheets were an early/mid-80's ski, but they stayed in circulation in the rental fleets of  small, low-vertical local ski areas for at least another 10 years. And bindings with no heel release?  Again, you wouldn't see them at Vail, but maybe at a ski hill in dairy country...? Yellow coordinated ski outfits and parkas with hearts? I know where you could find a lot of those in years gone by. And isn't that leather on the palms of those mittens?  I'm not 100% sure, but I think so. And what do you need leather palms for on your mittens?  For rope tows. Nothing but leather will last more than one afternoon on a rope tow. OK, let's move on...

Sliding glass door to the back deck, and aluminum siding. They don't build houses that way in Sweden or Switzerland. Same mittens as in the previous picture by the look of it, so maybe they weren't leather after all. Bamboo poles. 3-pin bindings. This photo wasn't taken within the past 20 years...

Not a ton of snow on the ground. No huge mountains in sight... Who is it?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

OK, This One's Easy...

...Because she doesn't look any different now than she did when this picture was taken. Maybe a few inches taller, but that's about it.

And you know there are cornstalks under that snow.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


I went to college at the University of Wyoming in the 1980's. Our ski team always had lots of Norwegians on it. Perhaps partly because of this, the University of Wyoming also had a really big, really active Norwegian Student Association. Around that time, Norway was discovering all kinds of oil just offshore in the North Sea, and Norwegians could get all kinds of government grants, scholarships and loans to go overseas and study subjects like geology and petroleum engineering. The University of Wyoming, being in the heart of oil, gas, and coal country as it is, had really strong petroleum and geology programs. If you were a Norwegian skier and could could scrape together a full-ride athletic scholarship and combine it with a full-ride academic scholarship from the Norwegian government, you could do REALLY well for yourself while in college. You could tell who was Norwegian because they always drove the biggest cars and went on the best shopping trips to Denver. There was no shortage of Lincoln Continentals on campus. Here are some my friends from that era:
Americans didn't drive cars like this at the University of Wyoming in the '80's. Only Norwegians did.
But Norwegians weren't the only students at the University of Wyoming. We also had Norwannabe's. You have to understand that Norwegians were the most stylish, the richest, they drove the biggest cars, and they had the goofiest accents, so some people wanted to be just like them. They hung around in the bars where Norwegians were known to hang out like Dr Finfrock's Tavern and the Buckhorn Bar. They lurked around the edges of ski team parties. Wherever you could find Norwegians, if you looked in the shadows and in back corners, you could also find Norwannabe's.

I know you're wondering why I'm telling you all this. What does this have to do with the UAA Ski Team?  Not much.

But some photos came in the door here at Blog HQ today of someone who's apparently either a Norwegian or a Norwannabe.  The mountains in the background look more dramatic than anything I've seen in Norway, and the houses in the background don't look like the kind of places where Norwegians live. But there's a Norwegian flag in every one of these pictures. Maybe you can figure out what's going on here. We at the blog can't.

OK, of course I'm a big fan of the kid with the Sci Club Leffe zoot suit, but I have to admit I'm more intrigued by what's going behind him with the kid in the red. Are you kidding me? 35 seconds before the start and you're being offered a handkerchief? I always felt sad whenever I left Italy after a ski race. Because although things might not always work out according to plan when in Italy, you could always count on someone offering you a nice glass of wine, a really good cup of coffee, or a handkerchief when you needed one.

I hope he raced faster in Cogne than I did when I was in Cogne. From this picture, it looks like he probably did.

I like this one a lot.

Do you think someone had a favorite ski hat?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Name That Skiwolf - Round 1

Spy photos of Skiwolves in the early days of their skiing careers have been pouring in to the UAA Nordic Ski Team Blog's world headquarters here in the heart of Spenard all week, and it's been all our staff can do to keep up with the avalanche of mail. We've had to hire extra interns to sort through it all and try to figure out what's what and who's who so we can archive the files correctly in our vast Skiwolf Team Library.

Blog management doesn't know why we're suddenly receiving this deluge of baby pics, but they're all coming in anonymously and we can't figure out who's who among this multitude of images. Maybe you can help!  There might be a big prize for anyone who can figure out who's who in these Skiwolf pictures.

To start off, there's this one. This Skiwolf is very coy, skiing away from the camera so we can't identify her. I suspect nothing has changed in recent years, as the subject of this photo vaguely resembles someone whom we frequently find quietly hiding out in cabinets and closets of the team houses we live in during ski team road trips.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Looking for Speed

Besh Cup 1 Day has been happening at Kincaid for many decades and there was no reason to stop the tradition this year, so we all gathered 'round for a sprint race like we always do. We had plenty of fun.

Here's Hailey at around the halfway point in the quarterfinal, coming from way behind on the top of the previous downhill to glide up to, and past, Josefin Nilsson. These two advanced to the semifinal.

Here's Hannah Rudd in her quarterfinal. She was in second place at this point, about 2/3 of the way around the loop. From here, Hannah made sure she advanced to the semi final with a strong 500 meter push to the finish.

Here's Michaela.

Here's Sadie. And Hannah behind her?  I think so.

Skippy got into a bit of a tussle during the semifinal. I didn't see it. I'd heard a rumor that someone had skied into Casey about 150 meters into the race. Later, I was speaking with one of the officials who said there'd been a big crash that ensnared our Skippy. One way or another, Skippy found out that our zoot suits are not ski-pole proof.

Here we are: Tommy, Hailey, The Quail, Sadie, Skippy, Hannah, Pietro, Zack.
We did have a couple of firsts today on the UAA team: For one thing, Skippy won the qualification round. She's never won a qualification round before in her life so this was a promising start to a day that went very well for her with the exception of her wreck in the semifinal which sent her to the B-final instead of the A-final where she would of course rather have been. And I personally had a first, too. Today was the first time in my life that I've been the oldest person in a race of any kind. I've been to a lot of races where they give an award to the "oldest finisher". I was ready to accept my award for being born in the '60's and surviving this long but clearly nothing of the sort was forthcoming. That's OK. I've still go a long way to go.

Monday, December 12, 2016

More Press

If you want to see some photos by Bill Roth of the Anchorage Daily news, shot during yesterday's Anchorage Cup race, click on THIS LINK

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Going Coastal

Read it here first...

If you click on Tommy's right elbow, you can read all the articles in the month's Coast Magazine about Alaska skiing.

Friday, December 9, 2016

The Guider Is Allowed To Pull The Guidee?!?!

If you can spot ex-Seawolf Lutz Klausmann ('12) in this video, you may be eligible to win a special prize!

Click the Photo for the Video

Monday, December 5, 2016

All Our Ex's

Ex-Seawolves have been racing all over Europe this past weekend. Sadie Bjornsen ('09) was the "fastest woman in the world", winning the World Cup sprint qualifier over the weekend. Later in the weekend, she finished 14th in the 5km World Cup skate race. She ended up 11th overall in the Lillehammer mini-tour.  A solid start to the World Cup season for Sadie.

Sadie's little brother Erik ('11) also raced in the Lillehammer mini-tour. He qualified 30th in the sprint race, and finished 57th overall in the mini-Tour.

And Kjetil Hagtvedt Dammen ('05-'06) kicked off another year of pro marathon racing for Team Leaseplan Go with a 23rd place in the Ski Classics prologue in Pontresina.