Led by the intrepid Erik Flora, twenty-one Alaska Pacific University Athletes spent last week, July 8-15, living at the Thomas Training Center and skiing on the Eagle Glacier. The wide range in experiences, skills, personalities, and ages of the athletes created a dynamic group with everyone having something to contribute. In addition to skiing everyday on beautifully groomed trails, the group cooked, cleaned, entertained each other and generally created a functional and self-sufficient community for a week.
Life revolved around skiing. The only scheduled events each day were the training sessions. The long Alaskan sunlight allowed the athletes to train at 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM leaving plenty of time between workouts to refuel and rest in preparation for the next ski. A lot of distance skiing gave everyone an opportunity to work on the fine points of technique that are tricky to replicate in dryland training and some speed work and threshold work taxed those muscles and aerobic systems. To actually feel the klister frosted kick zone compress and respond to the body's movements was a joy after several months of striding on rollerskis. The usually soft snow encouraged the athletes to work on having quick feet and tempo in order to float though the mush. The coaches made sure there was a warm and dry home to return to and an effective drying room so every ski started in dry gear.
The glacier itself lived, breathed, and changed, making every lap seem to be on a slightly different course. The weather changed suddenly and drastically, even between different parts of the trail. The volatile mountain top weather patterns brought everything from crystal clear sunshine to white-out fog, rain, sleet, and hail, even a few brief snowstorms which with the wind created patterns of new white against old white across the glacier.
Athletes at camp:
Erik Flora, Frode Lillifjell, Casey Fagerquist, and Dylan Watts
Looking southeast from the camp