Glacier skiing kicks off in Alaska, hosted by APUNSC

FasterSkierAugust 21, 2006

There are only a handful of summer skiing facilities in the world, and we Alaskans are extremely lucky to have one right in our backyard–the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier. Just thirty minutes south of Anchorage by car and a short ten-minute helicopter flight, the Thomas Training Center (TTC) is a great place to log dozens of kilometers and keep touch with the snow during summer months.

This past week, the APU Nordic Ski Center team held another successful camp at TTC. Several elite skiers, including Olympian James Southam, and a couple enthusiastic nordies from out of state, joined APUNSC elite team members and junior team members. Lead by new head coach, Erik Flora, everyone trained well over the six-day camp, and finished the week with big smiles.

The camp began with clear blue skies, and everyone, and everything flown in by the helicopters before 10 am. By the first afternoon we were enjoying solid tracks and a 9km loop. The loop got progressively better through out the week and by the end included banked turns and a jump off the high point. Skiing was good!

Highlights of the week included challenging interval sessions, classic sprint practice in the fog, wild game of SpeedBall, and evening saunas. This camp was a great melting pot of ages and abilities. The junior skiers had opportunity to watch the elite skiers train and see what it takes to be a full time athlete, while the elite skiers benefited from the comic atmosphere that is bound to come from a bunch of teenagers cooped up on a mountain!

On day six it was almost sad to leave. After a morning classic ski, lunch and a clean up effort, we hiked down the 5400ft-in-three-miles trail and parted ways.

Although this was probably my last trip up to the glacier this summer, I am already looking forward to next year! Hope to see some of you up there too!

Kikkan Randall is a member of the APUNSC elite team. This past winter she scored the best World Cup finish (5th place in Borlange) and best Olympic (9th) finish ever for an American woman, both in the individual sprint event. You can visit her website at


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