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Wild Rumpus Sports

1st Adventure of Spring


Working our way up- Day 1

When the avalanche danger was too high on the slopes we changed our plans and took to the valleys and flat land on skinny skis. Originally, we had planned to do the Eklutna traverse and ski as many peaks as possible along the way weather permitting. That trip would have been about three nights. With the avi reports recommending that we don’t do any serious down hilling we figured we could do a quick lightweight overnight trip on our Nordic skis. After discussing several different options and looking at the forecasts we decided to hit up a route that Scott had backpacked/pack rafted a few summers ago.

Our route sent us into the mountains off of the Glen Highway about an hour from Anchorage. We used some common snow machine trails to access the mountains. The further we got from the highway the less snow machine tracks we saw! While we hoped and planned to ski on good crust once we got off the snow machine trails the crust wasn’t great yet. Thankfully, we were able to combine the marginal crust with old snow machine tracks to give us just enough of a base to travel our 50 mile route with decent ease- most of the time…


3 ft of sugar under weak crust. Had to dig before the tents could be put in place for the night


Ready for dinner and sleeping bag!

When we didn’t travel with ease:

Attempting to ski down a gully that turned into what would have been a chain of waterfalls in the summer. Down climbing frozen waterfalls without any climbing gear and Nordic boots was a fun twist.

Post-holing with and without skis on our feet.


Down climbing a snow covered waterfall.


Frozen creek with lots of overflow.

Skiing up steep climbs on narrow snow machine trails- had to double pole or hike. We initially attempted to be purest using the double pole technique, but soon the hiking became a judge free option.IMG_2058IMG_207512901475_10154105410428910_1225007018280123246_o


Minor hardships of the trip:

My pad had a huge leak. I woke up with no air meaning no insulation against the snow. That being said I had a cold butt and back until I blew my pad up for the remaining hours until morning.

Best parts of the trip:

Awesome views, jumped hundreds of ptarmigan from their hiding places in the snow, slept from 8pm to 7:30am, and eating an entire party pack of cola gummy bears about 8 hours into the second day of skiing.

*few weeks behind posting- trip was April 2 & 3

The Biggest Hug

I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people! This weekends win at the Birkie was a huge accomplishment and a level of result that I have been working towards. Crossing the line Saturday was the first time in my life where I threw up my hands and screamed in excitement! Taking the win, having the confidence to lead the last 800 meters of the race, and to pull it all off was an incredible feeling.   To top off all of my excitement at the line was seeing Lex Trienens and Tyler Kornfields faces light up when they realized I had taken the win. Lex was last years top American and by no means would his 17th place finish this year be satisfying to him. BUT within seconds of him crossing the line he had his skis off and ran over to give me the biggest,…

West with a Title

Happy Thanksgiving all! I’m getting excited about racing, snow, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Montana, and all things festive that I am blogging again. [round of applause] Getting to West was once again stressful as I procrastinated on most everything until the day before leaving. Had to base prep all my new skis and freshly ground pairs in addition to zeroing out the fleet. I nearly went through an entire block of Toko NF Blue in a single evening. I might have thrown out my back and shoulder in the process, but it was worth it I tell you- the bases are looking nice! Here in West things are going great. Awesome ski conditions and perfect grooming. Outside of training the ladies of the team are blasting Christmas music against the will of most every dude except for Packer. He has fully embraced the holiday spirit. I personally don’t mind a Frank…

Livin in Livigno

I’m in Livigno, Italy with five other APU athletes. We are two days into a pre camp before joining the USST for the Europa Cup races taking place over the next four weeks. We are living in a comfy hostel with our own kitchen and within walking distance of skiing and downtown. Packer found this place and it has to be one of the best set up I’ve experienced while in Europe.   The skiing here is incredible. There is one large loop going the length of the valley with pretty easy training terrain and then two shorter loops that have the terrain for a typical race course. We planned to adjust to the time change and altitude here because of the awesome skiing and affordable prices in this valley. Everything here is tax-free so six days here is equal to the cost of living in Switzerland for two days….

Craftsbury to Europe

The last of five races in Craftbury, Vermont took place yesterday. Myself and the majority of the APU elite team spent the past two weeks training and racing in Vermont before we embark on a five-week trip in Europe. The races over the past two weeks included a 30km classic, two sprints, 10km skate, and yesterday a mass start 15km classic. Our lone wax tech on this trip, Mike Matteson, provided awesome skis for every race. The classic skiing here served as good practice for future races in Europe- the fresh falling snow in Vermont made for greasy snow that was fairly slick and would kind of break from underneath your kick pocket. Even with good skis you had to feather it and gently find the kick. I honestly struggled with this a ton in each of the three classic races we did here.   In the two skate races…

Time back home

After two weeks spent back home in Anchorage my teammates and I are headed east to Craftsbury, VT for five races. This will kick start a five week trip in Europe before returning to Sun Valley, ID for US Spring Nationals. I never thought I’d say it, but I returned to Alaska to see the sun! Coming back home to Anchorage finally allowed me to warm up and catch up on some sun after a pretty cold, grey, and windy week in Michigan. Nationals wrapped up well and I enjoyed my time there, but I was ready to see the sun and mountains when the week came to an end.   I’ve spent the past two weeks feasting at the APU dining hall. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to fatten up before the upcoming travel. This dining hall is actually the bomb. They make nearly everything from scratch and Rob,…

Nationals-First Half

Getting to Senior Nationals and kicking off the first race four days ago occurred without any hang-ups. Traveling from Alaska to Michigan went smoothly, although it did take awhile. I flew to Anchorage and spent the night before heading to Minneapolis (on a direct flight, score!). The team then spent the night in Minneapolis before driving to Houghton in snowy conditions, which took almost another eight hours.   The first race of the week was on Sunday (the 4th)- a 15k skate. The conditions here have been fairly cold, windy, humid and snowy. I’m used to the cold part, but certainly not the other three conditions. During the 15km I dressed super warm and was comfortable racing- except that my cheeks got really cold and have been feeling tender ever since. Logan and Reese Hannamen’s parents were cheering on course and on the first lap yelled at me ‘to cover…

Home for the holidays

While I was in Bozeman for the 3rd and 4th Super Tour races I found myself constantly looking off into the mountains. I would think about Elk habitats, the fields full of geese to hunt, and wanted to take the team on afternoon runs along streams and rivers to check for good fishing spots. Ironically, the opposite tends to happen during the summer, when I often think about winter activities and ski racing. Don’t get me wrong- ski racing is one of my favorite things to do.   My focus on racing returned when I arrived home in Alaska… until I saw a grouse on the racecourse Saturday. Now I am arranging to grouse hunt when I am home in Fairbanks on an off day from training with my long time friend Nick Hajdukovich. He is a pro birder, hunting guide, and enthusiast of anything woodsy enough to demand a…

Big Sky Country

  It was nice returning to Montana last week; I haven’t been here since graduation last May. I nearly brought down my fishing gear as my Montana license from last spring is still good until January, but decided against it because I had been fighting a cold before leaving Alaska for the Super Tour races in West Yellowstone. Upon arriving in West Yellowstone last week, the ski trails were in good conditions and the temperatures were ideal for racing. Alaska Pacific University stayed out of town in some nice houses, which was a huge upgrade from my college days of sharing a hotel room with two or three other guys and eating continental breakfast and sandwiches everyday for lunch. This was the house I shared with a few teammates.   My sprint day started off pretty well with a 11th place qualifier on a really fast course. The times were…

Winter to Fall

The weather in Anchorage threw a bit of a twist into my training over the past two weeks- a warm front brought rain, wind, and wiped out all the snow. Since the Park City camp that ended on October 19th, I had been skiing on snow. I spent one week at home in Fairbanks followed by two weeks of awesome skiing in Anchorage and Girdwood. The skiing in Girdwood was particularly impressive; the ski club has done an incredible job building a serious 5km course.   My training during the two weeks with snow included a morning workout on snow followed by a PM run. I’m glad I kept up my running because of the shift in weather that occurred. With no snow to ski on and icy roads on many of the roller skiing routes, many of my sessions have become runs.   Oddly, while the snow has been melting,…