About Denali Nordic Ski Club
The mission of the Denali Nordic Ski Club is…
“To encourage nordic skiing through education and instruction; and to construct and maintain trails”
The club’s origins stem back to teachers at the little Talkeetna schoolhouse (now the Talkeetna Historical Society museum). Teachers Joe and Ann Heck attached cut-down army surplus skis on kids’ feet and sent them down the closest hill, which is how ski hill got its name.
In 1982, volunteers built a ten-kilometer ski trail (now multi-use) along the Talkeetna River. You can still see the iconic one-armed skier of Talkeetna signs along the trail, accessed at the end of Comsat Road.
1986 brought the construction of the three-kilometer trail behind Susitna Valley High School. New trails helped several Su Valley skiers become some of the best skiers in the state, even the nation. Park at the track gate and pick up the trails at the opposite end of the track.
The Denali Nordic Ski Club officially formed in 1994 and cleared the very fun, 2.5km roller coaster, the Ski Hill Nordic Ski Trail in 1995. This trail is accessed at the viewpoint pullout as you approach Talkeetna.
Current trail building is focused on the non-motorized Talkeetna Lakes Park Trail system. Multi-use offerings (dogs, fat-tire bikes, feet) include an ungroomed, hilly, single-track, three mile trail and several kilometers of groomed lake trail. Two of several phases of ski-only trails have been constructed. The nine kilometers of constructed ski-only trails consist of mild terrain, although planned phases contain competition level hills and the views that come along with hills.
Racing goes back to the early 1980’s when skiers from around the state gathered for fun, informal races. That tradition is strong with the Oosik Classic Ski Race that moved to Talkeetna in 2004. From the 200 skiers of that first race, this celebration of the end of the ski season has grown to over 700 skiers, roughly matching the population of Talkeetna. Fun is a high priority to Talkeetna ski races.
DNSC’s Junior Nordic Program helps younger members evolve from walkers to skiers. Cocoa, cookies and the dedication of parents and volunteers fuel the fun of kids on skis.
The education and instruction components of the club’s mission extend to members of all ages. More opportunities to develop ski and wax technique for members are on the horizon.
Wax those skis and see you on the trails!
President: Ed O’Connor
Vice President: Zoya Johnson
Secretary: Arthur Mannix
Treasurer: Laura Caillet
Member: Aubrey Smith
Member: Chad Smith
Member: Diane Ziegner
“Thanks to the Mat-Su Health Foundation, the DNSC has new trail grooming equipment, and can now keep up with the grooming for both our Jr Nordic Program, and the trails at Talkeetna Elementary School.”