Sunday, April 21, 2013

More NanaNordic-ness

Final Exams are next week, so I won't have time for a NanaNordic write-up until after than. In the meantime, here's another video that sums it up pretty well. Keep in mind this was the coldest day we were there.

If you have 3D glasses, click the 3D button at the bottom to view in 3D, otherwise 1080 HD is best

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kobuk 440 Mass Start

Internet connectivity was spotty during my time with NanaNordic, and I'm still working on a full write-up. In the meantime, check out this video I took during one of our ski classes  Change the resolution to HD for best picture.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Yet Another Life Experience During School....

You might be wondering "Wow, why is Sam in Alaska right now? I thought he was going to school in Montana or something."

Well let me tell ya..

Don't worry, I'm still going to school and skiing at Montana State. Classes get out in May, but I found the time and generosity of my professors for one last adventure before summer break.

During my 24 hour layover in Anchorage, I got to go out and ski on this. Kincaid at it's finest.... In April

What I'm doing is called NanaNordic, which is a ski and biathlon coaching program promoting skiing as a lifestyle across Arctic Alaska. Over the course of a month, distinguished Alaskan and elite American ski and biathlon athletes will travel from village to village with 220 pairs of skis, boots, an poles and teach roughly 2000 villagers how to ski. There are 11 villages in all (Kotzebue, Kiana, Selawik, Shugnak, Ambler, Buckland, Noorvik, Deering, Noatak, Kivalina, and Kobuk), with myself and a few other coaches posted in Kotzebue, 996 miles Northwest of Anchorage. During this time, we will sleep in the local schools, eat with the kids in the school cafeteria, and enjoy being a temporary member of the community. It's a great cultural experience for both the visiting coaches and the local villagers, and after we're done, the program will donate the skis used throughout the month to the local schools for physical education classes.

Another pic from my Anchorage layover. I leave Alaska, and come back to a brand new biathlon building with an epic walk-in safe and new rifles. I can't wait to work here this summer
I've never been to the bush before, let alone above the Arctic Circle, so excited is an understatement. Not many Alaskans I know have been to the Arctic, and I'm excited to see the Bering Sea for the first time. For those that have been there, they claim it is the REAL Alaska, and it's finally my time to experience it.

I write this as I'm flying to Anchorage, and I must be really tired and hungry because the mountains of Montana from the air look like steak and the puffy clouds of Washington look like white chicken tenders.

So good to be back in my element. Liekish Loop April 7.
Stupid moose...

I don't know what my connectivity or availability for posting will be once I'm up there. No matter what, my adventure will make it onto this site in its entirety eventually, and with plenty of pictures.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mammoth in Pictures Final Day

After helping out with the first three races of the day, it was finally our turn. As much as we all joked around as to the importance of this race, once you toe up to the line, there's only one thing on your mind: Win. We gave the spectators a good race, keeping it close until the end.
And thus began the hurt. This course was tough, but super fun.
Just like the good old days. Raleigh Goessling and I chasing down Casey Smith. We all shot well, I missing 1-1-1-3, and dropping from second to fourth on a dreadful last stage of shooting. I don't mind though. It was a beautiful day with fans all around. Life is good.
At first when people asked if I saw a bear on the trail, I thought they were making fun of my size. But then I saw this.
The elite crew at the end of an awesome biathlon weekend

Post-race cooldown. Couldn't get California Love out of my head. This is a good thing.

At least my skis made an appearance on the podium. Fourth place is no shame when it's behind these three. I've looked up to all these guys since my first year in national competition. I still don't know why Casey insisted on singing Katy Perry to the crowd from atop the podium....
After the race, it was time for the volunteer workforce to take down the range until next year. It's amazing what 30 people and a snowcat can accomplish. This puppy was gone and in storage in less than two hours. 
No caption needed
Loading up the range into the snowcat.
I can't even begin to thank everyone who made the Mammoth Winter Biathlon possible for all of us visiting biathletes. I had the most fun of my entire season in Mammoth. Not only did I get to share the sport with others, but I was able to gain perspective on what I really enjoy about biathlon and fall in love with it all over again. I woke every morning excited to be a part of this massive operation, and went to bed every night exhausted and happy from a day full of beautiful mountains, great people, and mutual love of athleticicm and friendly competition. Thank you to Mike Karch, without whom this beacon of biathlon potential would have never existed. It's my hope that other biathlon clubs in America will look at this event and the can-do attitude behind it and be inspired to reach a potential they never thought possible. Take it from me, what Mike Karch and Mammoth has done with a simple idea, elbow grease, and what seems like impossible obstacles is unparalleled at every level in this country. They have literally climbed a mountain and made their dream a reality on top of it.

I can't wait for next year.