The sun is officially back in Fairbanks… ok, not exactly sure WHO officiated that, but for the sake of quickness, I’ll just say I did. After what seemed like endless months of depression-inducing darkness, that blazing orb has returned. It has brought with it mid-day temperature spikes, and some seriously gorgeous skiing.
For all of us student athletes living here in the Last Frontier, the winter can be pretty tough on the Vitamin D diet. The necessary habits of the competitive skier don’t allow for much exposure to natural light; the training sessions early in the morning before school usually take place alone and always in the dark. The two or three hours of daylight we get here in Fairbanks come right around noon, when everyone is stuck inside stimulating their grey matter. And by the time the second workout rolls around, sometime near 3 pm, the sun is already long set.
“So, how do you ever ski?” you may be asking, and that’s actually a pretty legit question. Fortunately, both major ski trail systems in Fairbanks have adapted to this pit of darkness, featuring amazing selections of lighted trails. Birch Hill has by far the best lit trails I have seen in the country, with over 15k of challenging terrain blasted with light until at least 10pm every day.
So needless to say, it feels weird to be skiing in the afternoon now with the sun blaring in your eyes. And it warms the snow up too, allowing skate skis to actually glide… imagine that!