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Our summers goal is to improve specific base fitness. So far a lot of work and good progress. For most of our team we have put together 2 good glacier camps. Last week at the Thomas Training Center on Eagle Glacier our team skied between 300 to 420 KM, including 2 sets of intervals, 2 speed sessions, and 2 strength.

Charlie Renfro put together this sweet video, check it out!


Train hard and have fun!





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The  training season has begun! We have a tradition on the APU Elite team, every year in the first week of May we get our team together for a week of volume, a bit of intensity, and a whole lot of crust skiing. This year looks like it is going to be a good one. Our camp is off to a great start. Here are a few pictures.

Train hard and have fun!

Erik Flora

PK checking out some big bear tracks on 35 km mountain loop! Perfect skating


Intervals up into the mountains, then the Boys ripping it from Reed Lakes on 1 inch of new over perfect crust. Peter Kling and Erik Bjornsen

APU Ladies Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, and Kate Fitzgerald climbing 1200 ft out of Ship Valley

APU Women big smiles after great day including a "Tour de Ski" style hillclimb

Perk of AK "We skied 40 miles point to point ending at our door step" Pretty sweet!

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This past Saturday the APU Nordic Ski Center conducted a ski-a-thon.  No bibs, no money, just a bunch of skiers of all ages who wanted to see how many kilometers we could do individually and as a group.

Our route was the 5k Spencer Loop in Anchorage, which opens with a 1k hill, that allegedly, exceeds FIS limits for climbing on a 5k loop.  The trail then heads over a few more hills to finish it off.  So all the km skied were well earned and earned is soft new snow.  Everyone relished the chance not only to put in a good solid session of skiing but also to achieve our goal of 500 km as a program in a two hour time limit.  Why 500km?  Because that’s about what the APU Elite Team could do in a typical 2 hour session.  We blew right through the 500 km mark and finished with 900 km!

Community is so important.  It is through community we make skiing a part of our lives, we make it culture.

A break down by sub-group:

  • 23 Master skiers completed 355 km in 2 hours. Most skied by two Masters: 25 km!
  • 18 Junior skiers completed 330 km in 2 hours. Most skied by a single Junior: 30 km!
  • 14 Devo (junior development) completed 215 km in 90 min. Most skied by 4 Devos: 20km!
  • 55 skiers through 900 km on tough trail!
  • Over 70,000 vertical feet climbed

Luke out to see how many loops he could lay down

The whole group ready to start

Tired from 4 loops

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Just packaged 91 pair of skis for ski testing for the start of West Yellowstone’s Super Tour. We learn a lot everyday!

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The APUNSC Junior Team had a phenomenal camp in Hatcher Pass last weekend.  We had a few obstacles but they were no match for the group’s sense of fun, grittiness, and adventure.

The goals of the camp:

– Ski a lot in difficult terrain
– Learn international level waxing skills
– Review our ski technique and identify how to improve it;
– Decide a primary season goal, several intermediate goals along the path, and more importantly, the necessary process goals to attain them;
– But most of all, determine the world champion of speedball!

We accomplished all of these goals, even though the speed ball was conveniently left at the lodge.  The substitute, an orange, made for a thematically correct endeavor.  Fighting tooth and nail for the prize through three feet of snow.

A few pictures by MacKenzie Flynn . . .

Even rental vans in Alaska came without winter tires. So . . .

. . . we still made it happen!

Doug Watts and Nick Cusick most of the way through a 3 KM climb in the race hosted by the Mat-Su Ski Club.

Alex and Taryn taking thorough notes from APU's ski and wax specialist Casey Fagerquist

Nothing can get in the way of a prepared team!

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Glad to be into the Racing season! I view racing as a measure for where we are ‘now’ and a gauge to figuring out what we need to do to make the next step. As a team we work on the idea of each race being a stepping stone to the “A” race of the season and each race as an experience building learning process to reach the ultimate ski goal regardless of results.

This weekend was good. Kikkan has been working on a few concepts over the dry land season. She nailed the technique goals while racing in Finland. Plus we had a smashing good race today on the Hilltop Trails. Today’s race was 5 and 10 km skate on the Spencer 5 km trail. Definitely the most challenging trail in Anchorage, exceeding FIS climbing standards. A good test of fitness and efficient technique.

Here are a few pictures courtesy of Rob Whitney…

Holly Brooks climbing strong

Pete Kling throwing down and hanging tough

Sadie Bjornsen moving well with increased endurance

Tazlina Mannix tapping into new speed

James Southam in control and skiing fast

Coach Erik Flora loving every second

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It is amazing what can happen in a week, check out the contrast

Last week…

This week…

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In an interview I was once asked “What makes being a skier in Anchorage special?” My answer was that we have skiing available 11 out of 12 months a year, 100+ kilometers of skiing within the city limits, and nordic skiing is a part of everyday life. Here is a good example, yesterday my family and I were skiing at Glenn Alps for our “Sunday ski”. A photographer for the Anchorage Daily News was looking for a picture of what was happening in town over the weekend. Oskar, my son, and I ended up on the front page of the Monday paper. Skiing is normal in daily Anchorage life, just as baseball is in the ‘lower 48’. Here is the picture…

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The month of October was really good. We had a couple time trials and some really nice skiing. This weekend we ended the month with a sweet day at Hatcher Pass. ‘Hatcher’ is an hour north of Anchorage. Typically our first good track skiing of the season. Mark and Ed Strabel laid out some beautiful skiing. Here are a few pictures, enjoy!

The women's team ready to throw down. This is one of my favorite TT courses. The course starts at sea level and climbs for 30 minutes. A great test of aerobic system!

Working on hip strength and speed

Snow is a little later than usual. My son Oskar ready and waiting. It snowed that night!

The skiing is here! Morgan Smyth fired up, "This is why Alaska is so sweet"

Holly Brooks and Katie Ronsse enjoying a beautiful sunrise at Hatcher Pass.

Sadie Bjornsen enjoying. This year our team will ski 11 out of 12 months. I always love to say, "If you want to swim fast, swim! If you want to ski fast...Ski!!" We are ski training a lot.

We like to be at Hatcher early in the morning, so we can get in two good sessions a day. Here comes the sun!

Loving it at 30KM

Women trucking by...It is amazing how adaptive the human body is. We have been skiing a lot this year. The improvement in technique is outstanding.

Casey Fagerquist our head wax tech is in shape. It is good, only 3 weeks from now he will be averaging 50 km a day testing wax on the Super Tour.

Thank to Ed and Mark Strabel for making our training effective. Ed and Mark groom Hatcher Pass. They put in a lot of work and as you can see the tracks are gorgeous. Thanks Ed and Mark, we couldn't do this with out you!

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Another good session yesterday. This period our focus is race specific skills and speed. Here is video from yesterday’s session

Let it snow!

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