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Looks like Reese beat us to the story, but I’ll add a bit to what he said. Yesterday we had our first on snow practice at Birch Hill and the conditions were great! Snow began to accumulate around Fairbanks sometime last weekend, so when the team heard the crew at Birch rolled the trails on Monday they began asking (often) when we’ll go for our first ski. We decided to stick to ski walking on Tuesday to wait for a bit more snow. Snow was falling Tuesday and continued throughout the night. We packed up the vans on Wednesday afternoon and made the 15 minute drive up to Birch Hill. The conditions far exceeded everybody’s expectations and it was noticeable with lots of smiles, laughs, hollering. It’s always fun to see a group of skiers begin to get their “ski legs” back during their first ski. Here are some photos:

Looking towards the ramp from the stadium. Huge thanks to everyone at Birch Hill for the awesome conditions!

Fairbanks grown Stefan Hajdukovich out for his first ski as a Nanook

Raphaela Sieber is a happy German

Senior Ian Wilkinson isn't able to control his excitement

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UAF’s redshirt freshman Raphaela Sieber took 2nd place in today’s 10 km mass start classic SuperTour event in Minneapolis. Sieber was third in yesterday’s 5 km free technique event. She was the first collegiate skier both days and has established herself as the top skier in the CCSA after two top-15 finishes at US Nationals earlier this month.

Raphaela Sieber, left, with her silver medal from the 10 km mass start classic SuperTour event. Caitlin Compton won gold while Maria Stuber took bronze.

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The UAF men’s team lent a hand to the Marshall School yesterday in constructing a new timing cabin. Though it looks like a deluxe ice shanty for fishing the local lakes, it is a top-o-the-line timing facility. We look forward to seeing it in action during our races this weekend here in Duluth.

Getting the first wall up.

The completed cabin (sans windows). Top row (l-r) Ray Sabo, Cody Priest, John Parry, and assistant coach Matt Dunlap. Bottom row (l-r) Alex Morris, Erik Soederstroem, and builder Jay ?? (Sorry Jay -- we missed your last name.) Not pictured: Lars Arneson.

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It was a good week for the Alaska Nanooks at US Nationals. Six top-ten finishes, three guys headed to World Juniors and U23s, and a US Collegiate Cup title.

We are now in Duluth, Minnesota, for CCSA college races hosted by the College of St. Scholastica at the Marshall School.

We skied at Korkki Nordic today north of Duluth. Excellent, old-school classic skiing on a great trail. Thanks to Dave Johnson and Chad Salmela for all of the help.

Awesome ski at Korkki Nordic near Duluth on Jan 11, 2011.

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Just finished packing for a 28 day trip to the lower 48. We hit US Nationals in Maine, then fly from Boston to the midwest for college races in Duluth and the Minneapolis USSA SuperTour.

Packing for a long road trip has gotten easier after six full seasons here at UAF, but it’s still a challenge. Basically we have to take enough wax, tools, and other equipment for 12 athletes competing in eight events over four weeks. We basically pack up the entire wax room and take it south.

Living on the road is a challenge, too. A simple ear infection or lost bag can create all sorts of issues. Fortunately, we have many friends all over the country who always lend a hand when we come up short. The good people at Michigan Tech, Northern Michigan, St. Scholastica, Chisholm Ski Club, St. Cloud State, St. John’s University, Team Homegrown, the Marshall School and many more have all helped us out over the years, and we are very thankful.

Many people ask how we can miss so much school on a road trip like this. Due to our university calendar, we only miss three days of classes for this four week road trip. We are on break for 25 of the 28 days. Later in the season will miss a bit more, but our student-athletes, like most skiers around the country, are diligent and hard-working. It’s not easy, but they get the job done.

I am very fortunate to travel with such a great team. They all pitch in when we have to pack up and head to the next venue. I couldn’t ask for a better group of university athletes.

Thanks to our friends out there — we appreciate your support on these long trips. We look forward to seeing you at the races.
-S. Jerome

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Jule stjerner er ikke til aa stole paa.

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Alaska Nanooks sophomore Tyler Kornfield took another race at the line — this time over teammates David Norris and Erik Soederstroem in the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Town Race Sprint.

UAF's Tyler Kornfield (center) bests teammates David Norris (foreground) and Erik Soederstroem on Saturday. Photo by Nick Nugent.

See the NSCF web site for complete results:

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Ah, the missing ski tie. Every skier knows the feeling. “I thought I put them in my pocket…” We search, then curse, then search some more, then use duct tape to get the skis linked together for the ski bag. Ski ties seem to disappear and then reappear at odd times and in odd places — like on someone else’s skis.

I don’t think too many people intentionally steal ski ties, they just have a way of getting mixed up and borrowed from time to time. My favorite rogue ski here in Fairbanks is pictured below.

Rogue ski tie

So, I have this idea about tracking a ski tie. Maybe we can put a GPS chip in a random ski tie, take it to Rumford in January, then use a web site to see how many places it travels in a season or two. I bet someone at Harvard, MIT, or MTU (or Ernie Page) could do this in a heartbeat. Might be a good senior project…


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What a weekend! The 7th annual Alaska Nordic Cup — the dual meet between the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks and the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves — was contested at Birch Hill in Fairbanks as part of the Goldstream Sports Tour de Ski/Fairbanks. A three days event, the TDSF featured a short Friday night free technique prologue, a mass start free on Saturday, and a pursuit start classic event on Sunday.

Trond Flagstad, the UAA coach, and I agrees well in advance to use actual times for all three events for scoring the Nordic Cup (no time bonuses, etc.).

In team points, the Nanooks won all six events and retained the Cup for another year. The total score for the weekend:

University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks 79

University of Alaska Anchorage 47

This is the fifth straight title for UAF in the seven year history of the Cup.

Tyler Kornfield (r) of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks wins the Tour de Ski/Fairbanks pursuit on Sunday, November 21, 2010. Photo byJohn Wagner/News-Miner.

The Nanooks also notched individual victories in four of six races. And, in the 2.75/3.0 km prologue on Friday night, the Nanooks swept both the men’s and women’s podiums and placed six skiers in the top 10 (overall) for men and five skiers in the top eight (overall) for women.

The weather was really odd for Fairbanks in November: fresh powder and temps in the high teens F to high 20s F all weekend. Incredible temps for a weekend of racing. The trails were in excellent condition; the groomers at Birch Hill did an amazing job getting the fresh snow packed down and ready to race.

Complete results may be found here:
or here:

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We had our first distance TT last Saturday at Birch Hill on fresh snow and relatively balmy temperatures in the upper teens. It was a good first effort of racing this season. Red-shirt freshman David Norris of Fairbanks posted the fastest time for the men in the 7.9 km skate event. For the women, red-shirt freshman Raphaela Sieber Germany was leading the event, but a wrong turn took her to the biathlon range and away from the competition. Freshman Aly McPhetres of Chugiak, AK, paced the women in the 5.1 km TT despite leaving the starting line without her hands in her pole straps.

Former Nanook Vahur Teppan skied well enough in Muonio to be named to a World Cup start for Estonia in Dusseldorf.  Keep it up VT!

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