Duane with Charmer
Duane has been a member of the Seward Nordic Ski Club for about the last 7 years. In that time he has been a trail groomer, board member, and for the last three years, president of SNSC. In that capacity he has helped guide the club through the process of improving the grooming equipment, renewing our 501(c)3 status, and working out a mitigation plan for improvement and possible expansion of the Divide Ski Area. His whole family enjoys skiing, including his wife, Karen, and his two sons, Mark and Brett, who have both skied for the Seward High School team.
How long have you been skiing?
I got started classic skiing in my mid 40s, and skate skiing about 5 years ago.
What got you started?
My wife – I was in the middle of courtship and it wasn’t something she wanted to do. So it worked… I started skate skiing by taking lessons from Dennis Perry, through the club.
How long have you been a member of the ski club?
About 7 years or so.
What are your favorite trails?
Skate – Bear Lake; classic – Stoney Creek up toward Tie Hacker
Do you prefer skate or classic skiing?
I think skate, but I may return to classic soon.
What other outdoor winter pursuits do you like to do?
Really, it is mostly about the skiing, but I also like snowshoeing. And grooming trails – I groom, therefore I live.
Why do you like to ski?
For the joy of it really. It’s great conditioning. I’ve taken a hiatus in the past – running was my original passion, but it has worn down my knees and ankles so I do more biking, hiking, and walking now. Skiing is nice because it is seasonal – I really like winter.
What is your favorite after-ski food and/or beverage?
Bar-B-que with steak fries and a diet coke (or beer depending on whether or not my wife is around)
What’s your favorite race or other competition?
So far it is probably the Tour of Anchorage (he didn’t mention it, but he won the 25k for his age group two years ago), but I may take a break from that for a while, although I would like to do the 40k.
Do you have particular music you like to ski to or listen to while getting ready to ski?
I don’t ski to music. I like the sounds of nature. Really I like the solitude.
What is your favorite ski club event or activity?
I like the kickoff event, when we get together fully as a club. And I actually really like the board meetings and the camaraderie – with the three beer agenda, even though we usually only make it through two beers.
What would you like to see in the future of the ski club?
I’d like to see us stay involved in the school programs, and possible get more back-country skiing involvement, like a hut to hut program. I’d also like to see more social focus, with more events like a progressive skis or social opportunities.
Do you have any inspirational thoughts or parting words of wisdom?
I think this is one of the finest groups of people you could encounter in Seward for a certain lifestyle: if you like food, drink, camaraderie, and a generally healthy lifestyle.
One of Seward’s local wood and stone artisan that designed and crafted our beautiful new signs for the Divide Ski Area. Alan grew up in Minnesota and moved to Alaska in 1998, working as a sea kayaking guide over four seasons. His hobbies include skiing, white water rafting and kayaking, fishing, sailing, mountain biking, and kite skiing. Alan grew up doing carpentry with his dad and brother. He is particularly fond of artistic carpentry and has a wide reputation for his custom signs, stone tile showers, and bathrooms. Alan owns Kayak Carpentry, a general contracting business that focuses on bringing natural designs from the outdoors into your home. If you are interested in seeing some of his work or having him make a sign for you, contact him at 907-362-2628. Alan and his wife, Alison, also own the Alaska Paddle Inn which is a beautiful B&B on Lowell Point. Alison offers massage therapy on site. The AK Paddle Inn shows off some of Alan's custom carpentry skills, displayed on the web site: http://www.alaskapaddleinn.com The Inn is open year round, except when Alan and Alison are rafting down the Grand Canyon or are out on another adventure.
Jenn Haugh and julie Robinson apaint and admire the trail signs Alan created
Alan kite skiing on Bear lake
He and his wife, Laura, have lived in the Seward area for 10 years now, with their first winter spent as volunteer Kenai Fjords winter rangers living at the Exit Glacier Alder Cabin. They were hooked. They now live adjacent to the Trail River Campground, where Jason enjoys both skate and classic skiing, skijoring, grooming, canoeing, snow and skateboarding, cutting firewood, and playing the bucket in America’s most dangerous jug band. Thanks for all your hard work, Jason!
Favorite trail: Resurrection Pass. He especially enjoys skiing off that main trail down the Bean Creek winter trail. He also loves Johnson North Trail from the trailhead out to the steel bridge on the nonmotorized trail, Carter lake out to the Crescent saddle cabin and back, Grant Lake via the middle portage south and east of Moose Pass, and Little Paradise Valley east of Exit Glacier.
Favorite trail snack: Wheat Thins
Favorite Post ski beverage: Red Rose tea and beer (we assume not mixed together)!