Junior Nordic is a youth cross-country ski program provided by the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage (NSAA). It provides a unique opportunity for kids aged six to fourteen to revel in the Alaskan winter and meet new friends, all while learning to cross country ski.
Children of all ability levels are welcome, and our program requires no prior cross-country experience. And although we do help interested young skiers transition to racing, Junior Nordic itself is non-competitive, with a core focus on building a lifelong love of skiing on Alaska’s amazing cross-country trails. Our program emphasizes fun, healthy activity, and building strong technique.
Junior Nordic runs from December through February each season and meets three times per week during this period. Take a look at our Practice Times & Locations page for more details.
A standard practice starts with a short technique lesson, is followed by a group ski on the trails, and usually ends with some fun games. Cross country skiing includes two primary types of skiing: “classic” and “skate”. Our program teaches both. If you’re new to cross country skiing, here’s a link to a video that demonstrates both techniques: https://youtu.be/PBQa65kSlA4
In addition to ski technique, Junior Nordic participants learn all the following:
- Proper care of skis, boots, and poles
- How to apply kick-wax
- Trail etiquette
- Good sportsmanship
We organize skiers by ability level into one of the four following groups:
- Polar Cubs: Younger beginners learning to feel comfortable on skis, basic classic technique, safety, and etiquette.
- Otters: More advanced beginner skiers, learning skate skiing and mastering classical technique.
- Wolverines: Intermediate skiers learning to put together the techniques of classic and skate skiing to move fast and effortlessly along the trail.
- Hawks: The most accomplished skiers, learning advanced classic and skate techniques, as well as racing techniques and strategy.
If you’re an interested family, please have a look at our Family Resources page to learn more.
And we’re always looking for good coaches. During a standard season, NSAA typically employees almost a hundred Junior Nordic coaches. Our coaching staff is diverse and includes high school skiers, college students, parents, and even some current and former world-class athletes. See our Coach Resources page to learn more.