Alaska REG Recap: Into the Wild

FasterSkierJuly 18, 2017
The Alaska REG participants near the start of the Hatcher Pass Road climb during their final session of the 2017 Alaska REG camp, held July 12-16 in Anchorage and Palmer. (Photo: Alasdair Tutt)

The following Regional Elite Group (REG) camp recap was submitted by NSCF-FXC Interim Head Coach Alasdair Tutt. FasterSkier encourages coaches and athletes from any regional offseason camps (dryland or on-snow, in the U.S., Canada or abroad) to submit their own recaps and photos to The Western and Eastern REG camps took place last month in Utah and Vermont, respectively.


On July 12, 16 athletes gathered at Hillside Ski Area in Anchorage for the 2017 Alaska REG camp, kicking off five days of testing and training. The first day was in Anchorage before heading north to Palmer for the remainder of the camp.

The camp was led by U.S. Ski Team Development Coach Bryan Fish who was joined over the week by Ja Dorris and Stan Carrick of Alaska Nordic Racing (ANR), Eric Strabel and Sam Sterling of Alaska Pacific University (APU), Jan Buron of Alaska Winter Stars (AWS), and Alasdair Tutt of Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks – Fairbanks XC (NSCF-FXC).

Addison Gibson (ANR) on course during the agility time trial where she posted the fastest time of the day. (Photo: Bryan Fish)

The first test was the infamous Gasline time-trial uphill run, a regular test for the Anchorage-based teams and previous REG camps. The course saw the athletes wind up beside an alpine run before appearing out onto the road overlooking the sea. The fastest times were set by Ti Donaldson and Kendall Kramer, both of the NSCF-FXC program. That afternoon, athletes were led through a strength workout by Bryan at the Alaska Pacific University gym.

Day 2 brought the agility test at Colony Middle School in Palmer and with it some of the more exciting and competitive testing of the camp. The fastest combined times (best two of three) were set by Addison Gibson (ANR) and Donaldson.

That afternoon, our grand plans for bounding drills were mostly foundered by a huge lightning storm that came in over Hatcher Pass that had us running back to the cabin to find a river where the lawn had once been, now occupied by a moose cow and two calves.

It was game on for some head-to-head double pole sprints just below the Government Peak Recreation Area trails in Fishhook, Alaska. Athletes raced in a king’s court format both up and downhill. (Photo: Alasdair Tutt)

On the third day, we had much better luck with our weather and a double-pole time trial was on the menu as our final test of the camp. Over a 970-meter course on Mountain Trails Road, the athletes were sent to chase down their best performances leading to three athletes being separated by only one second each. The best times were again set by Kramer and Donaldson of Fairbanks. That afternoon we braved the growing afternoon traffic with a rollerski up Hatcher Pass Road with some technique work at key points along the road.

Some highlights of the remainder of the camp were: an over-distance workout on the Reed Lakes Trail, where athletes were fortunate enough to avoid several brown bears in the vicinity who were harassing hikers (or being harassed), a critical viewing of the new Spiderman movie in which we decided Spiderman exhibited a great example of how the Central Governor Theory could be applied in a superhero scenario, and a final day classic rollerski up the Hatcher Pass Road.

Four REG skiers at Upper Reed Lake in the Hatcher Pass area during an over-distance workout on the second-to-last day of the 2017 Alaska REG camp earlier this month. (Photo: Alasdair Tutt)


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