HomeTag Alaska

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The winter of Covid continues. Most of the FIS races scheduled for this country this year did not happen. A few did. No one in Canada has done a single official high-level race this winter. No one in Vermont has, either. Some athletes from Canada and Vermont did not race and were chosen for international travel teams. Some athletes in Alaska raced a ton and were not. It’s been a tumultuous winter for everyone, for...

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This article has been updated with additional information about the history of the Kincaid Hairpin FIS course, and with a link to an article compiling national club time trial results. ANCHORAGE — Sunday, the second day of FIS races in Anchorage, saw, at some level, more of the same: fresh snow (though much less than the day before), soft and slow conditions, and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen at the top of the results sheet. There were...

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ANCHORAGE — Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, Luke Jager, and Hunter Wonders won FIS races at Kincaid Park over the weekend against strong fields, in what would typically be statewide races used for Junior Nationals qualification but were this year held as a mostly Anchorage-based weekend after a state sponsoring body declined to host. This race writeup covers Saturday’s classic sprint qualifier, which along with Sunday’s freestyle distance races were the first FIS races held on this...

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This article has been updated with additional information about the Birkie, about all races in Vermont, and about the current state of emergency orders in Anchorage. FasterSkier has previously reported on the significance of FIS points, points earned in races sanctioned by the International Ski Federation that can be used to compare skiers to one another even when they did not engage in head-to-head competition. Under normal circumstances, an athlete’s FIS points are used for...

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HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — The phrase “early season skiing” tends to evoke several things for your average skier: Dark. Cold. Rock skis. November. And so on. Think a training opportunity to be endured as much as enjoyed. Happily enough, none of these things was in evidence Sunday morning at Hatcher Pass, elev. 3,500′, in Independence Mine State Historical Park in the Talkeetna Mountains above Palmer, Alaska. The sun was out. The views were...

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ARCHANGEL ROAD, above Palmer, Alaska — The tenth annual Race to the Outhouse #2, held amidst the Talkeetna Mountains on April 6, marked a neat bookend to the 2018/2019 race season in southcentral Alaska, and possibly in North America. While this season’s Race to the Outhouse #1 was held in early December 2018, roughly one month later than normal, it still marked the season’s first race in southcentral Alaska, and, behind perhaps only Frozen Thunder and...

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The 91st annual Mount Marathon Race, one of the oldest footraces in the country, once more descended on the small town of Seward, Alaska, on July 4. Crowds estimated at up to 30,000 perennially throng to the waterfront community, population less than 3,000, to watch racers push themselves up a steep mountain and hurl themselves back down. At the end of the day, a pair of Alaska Pacific University (APU) skiers, Jessica Yeaton and David...

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As discussed last week in 30-kilometer classic mass start at 2018 Spring Series this past March in Craftsbury, Vermont. She crossed the finish line in third, leading out a four-racer chase pack to claim the final podium spot in the final race of her career. She followed U.S. Ski Team (USST) teammate Jessie Diggins and USST and APU teammate Sadie Bjornsen, who took first and second in a tight finish. Randall was the oldest skier...

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Kikkan Randall competed in her first World Cup race in 2001, and her last in 2018. In between, she won 14 World Cup races, three Sprint Cup Crystal Globes, three World Championships medals, and one Olympic gold medal accompanied by one very enthusiastic broadcast call from Chad Salmela. She appeared in television ads, received the Skis to the City from the mayor of Anchorage, and had an ice-cream flavor named after her. And long before...

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This article has been updated with additional information on pro skiers who volunteered with Skiku, and additional pictures from Montana and New York. *   *   * It’s the last week of April. Skier New Year, May 1, looms next Tuesday. It’s roughly six months till  So, caveat lector: Just because your favorite skier has been taking a well-deserved break from finding and curating Instagram-worthy content for your enjoyment, this doesn’t mean that they’ve been sitting on their...

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In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Biathlon Union (IBU) 2018 Youth and Junior World Championships in Otepää, Estonia, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 18-year-old Grace Gilliland, who is representing the United States at her second World Youth Championships. On Friday, Gilliland placed 55th in the youth women’s 6 k sprint, meeting her...

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In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Biathlon Union (IBU) 2018 Youth and Junior World Championships in Otepää, Estonia, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 16-year-old Helen Wilson, who is representing the United States at her second Youth World Championships. On Wednesday’s 3 x 6 k. *** “My full name is Helen Wilson but...

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In an effort to showcase the North Americans competing at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) 2018 Nordic Junior/U23 World Championships in Goms, Switzerland, we asked those qualifying athletes several questions about themselves — actually, we had them fill in the blanks. Here we have 18-year-old Luke Jager, of Alaska Pacific University (APU), who’s representing the U.S. at his first Junior Worlds.  Jager started his week by racing to 60th in the freestyle sprint then...

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — No two races are exactly alike, the saying goes, and there’s a lot of truth to this cliché. But if you step back just a little bit, two race days can start to look awfully similar to one another. For example, for the second time this week, a Hanneman brother won the sprint qualifier, Reese Hanneman won the final, and Alaska Pacific University (APU) put three athletes in the final and two on...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Friday was a good day for Team Hanneman and its friends. Younger brother Logan Hanneman won the qualifier, older brother Reese Hanneman won the final, and Alaska Pacific University (APU) put three skiers in the final and two on the podium in the men’s freestyle sprint on a bluebird day at Kincaid Park on Day 2 of racing at the 2018 U.S. Cross Country Championships. A long day of sprint racing got...

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It was what most locals, or those familiar to the area, referred to as standard Anchorage weather: heavy, wet snow, temperatures reading around 31 degrees Fahrenheit, and a darkened sky that seemed to be brooding over whether or not to let the sun out of bed — the sky covered in a shroud of gray. With the Pacific Ocean just 600 meters to the southwest and Kincaid Park’s nordic venue, the host...

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HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — Thank you Ullr for the early-season weather and snow! The 2017/2018 ski season started for me on Sept. 30 with an overnight trip to the Snowbird Glacier in the Talkeetna Mountains above Palmer. The Mat-Su Ski Club (MSSC) believed to be the first cross-country ski race in the U.S. this winter, and the first ski race on natural snow anywhere on the continent. The race was held under partly cloudy skis and...

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Note: We’re seeking submissions for this year’s “U.S. or info@fasterskier.com with the subject line: “Fall Skiing”. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 3. *** HATCHER PASS, above Palmer, Alaska — Winter is in the eye of the beholder, but whatever you’re looking for to mark the skier’s favorite season, this spot at 3,500 feet in the Talkeetna Mountains probably has it. Seven kilometers of groomed trails? Check. Literally Extra Blue conditions? Check. A nearby lodge with a...

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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 Western 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...

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NCAA Skiing Championships (Jackson, N.H.): 15/20 k freestyle mass starts On the final day of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Skiing Championships in northern New Hampshire, the University of Utah pulled out a 16.5-point victory over the University of Colorado-Boulder (and finished 17.5 points ahead of the University of Denver) in the team standings, and the Petra Hyncicova, achieved their second-straight titles in as many nordic races this week. On a frigid Saturday morning in Jackson,...