Ski Train 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018
About Ski Train
Enjoy Alaska’s beauty on the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage’s Ski Train! This is a bucket list experience that is sure to make you smile! Ride the rails with a train full of fellow skiers for a full day of awesome fun with friends old and new. Go where no car can take you, to Alaska’s remote backcountry. Enjoy spectacular beauty with terrain for all ages and levels of skiers, snowshoers and outdoor enthusiasts. The four hour ride is a great time to relax and enjoy the scenery, share games and picnic with friends and family or pass the time dancing in the Polka Car with the Alaska Blaskapelle Band. We encourage our participants that this is a family friendly event, and to be responsible.
An annual tradition, the Ski Train has been the winter’s focal point for Alaskan friends and family for over 40 years. Tickets sell out fast so mark your calendar for the experience of a life time. Please remember this is a family friendly event and safety is our number 1 priority!
Tickets for NSAA Members are available to purchase online starting October 1st each year.
NSAA membership is required to purchase Ski Train tickets. All passengers, including the ticket purchaser, must be NSAA members. Your membership supports trails and ensures that NSAA can continue to put on great events like Ski Train! Look for Membership when purchasing your tickets online.
8 Tickets maximum per purchase; Tickets will be mailed in December
Types of seating/atmosphere:
Booth Seating: Party, Mixture, Social, and Small Groups
Recliner Seating: Party and Mixture
Before you purchase, check out the train layout and seating chart below. You may request a car atmosphere (Party Cars, Booth Seating, Recliner Cars). Please consider what car/seat based on what you want your train experience to be: Quiet and family friendly? Or festive, party environment? Participants are encouraged to stay near their seat for most of the train for safety reasons. Blocking the aisle creates serious problems for the Alaska Railroad staff.
Remember tickets are non-refundable (for any reason). You can transfer or sell your ticket. If the train is sold out we will have a waiting list of folks wanting tickets. Just email us and we will send you back the list of willing buyers. Please consider what car/seat you prefer and when buying a ticket from someone selling, be aware of what car you will be in. Tickets are specific to seats and cars and cannot be changed.
What to expect:
What to expect boarding the train (6:00 am – 7:00 am):
- Drop passengers and baggage at the Alaska Railroad Depot in Anchorage
- Load your equipment on the baggage car (in ski bags or securely bundled and labeled)
- Park in lot on Ship Creek Ave, across from the Comfort Inn
- Sign-in with ticket and photo-ID at your assigned car
- Enjoy the ride
Due to safety concerns, Anchorage will be the only boarding location for the Ski Train.
What to expect on the train:
- Assigned seats in friendly table cars, lively “boom-box” cars or relaxing recliner cars
- Storage for your personal gear and food. All skis, poles, snowshoes in baggage car please!
- Tasty treats for purchase for breakfast and lunch in the Food Car. Proceeds help underwrite the cost of the train.
- Commemorative Ski Train T-shirts for sale in the Polka Car
- Dance your way home with live music by the Alaska Blaskapelle Band.
- A hundred helpful volunteers to feed you, entertain you, help you, and answer questions.
- A friendly atmosphere to celebrate with friends and meet new ones
- Please help out and clean up around your area before you leave the train
What to expect in Curry:
- Curry Weather
- Yes, you can leave your items on train when you ski
- This late in the season, we usually have mild temperatures [link to weather]
- Beautiful backcountry conditions – no groomed trails, but with hundreds of skiers there will be trails to follow
- Please follow directions of the Safety Teams
- Stay away from out of bounds area
- No skiing on the river (winter is not a good time to swim in Alaska)
- Snow conditions vary tremendously from year to year, from powder to hard packed to corn snow. Snow is generally too deep and soft to walk, bring snowshoes if you do not ski.
- Want a mellow ski? – flat area around the tracks, old town site & north along the tracks
- Want a more hard-core ski? – head east from the train and up the quary road, switchbacking up 1000’. Views of Denali and sweet turns coming down.
What to Bring:
- Skis or snow shoes in ski bag with your name clearly marked. Please save our volunteer’s back – NO HEAVY SKI BAGS PLEASE, 25 pounds max!
- Child-carriers or chariots welcome in baggage car
- Dress warmly in layers. Temperatures vary, expect warm, cool or cold weather. Be prepared to sun, snow or (gasp) rain.
- Change of clothes for ride home – shoes at all times
- Food and refreshments (no glass please). Adult beverages are allowed but please keep them concealed. It is recommended that hard liquor be left at home or beverages be premixed. Displaying alcohol is strongly discouraged. When there are visible containers or kegs, groups tend to congregate blocking the aisle and causing safety concerns. Please be mindful that the Ski Train is a family friendly event and safety is our number one concern. Adult beverages are allowed but drink responsibly please. Help us keep the BYOB option available in the future.
- Crock pots & blenders? There are limited electrical outlets in some cars, check with the NSAA office for availability in your car.
What not to bring:
- Your dog. Only search and rescue dogs from ASAR allowed
- No heavy ski bags, max 25 pounds – our volunteers have to load and unload them
- No large hard-sided coolers – small or soft-sided coolers fit in the limited storage space.
- No fuel allowed (AKRR roles). Please leave your cook stoves at home.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Tickets on sale for NSAA members. NSAA membership is required to purchase Ski Train tickets. All passengers, including the ticket purchaser, must be NSAA members. Your membership supports trails and ensures that NSAA can continue to put on great events like Ski Train!
Saturday, March 24, 2018
6-7 am – Boarding in Anchorage
7 am – Doors close – 7:30 train leaves station
11 am – Arrival in Curry
11-4 pm – Skiing in Curry (train stays on site for warmup)
4 pm – Train departs Curry. Let the polka dancing begin!
8 pm – Arrival in Anchorage
Where to Board:
- Where to park and unload – Ski Train Layout– pdf
- Bring tickets & photo ID
- Who organizes the Ski Trains? In addition to the time spent by the NSAA office staff, organizing the ski trains requires an enormous volunteer effort spearheaded by a volunteer ski train chairman. The chairman is supported by a dedicated team of volunteers who coordinate such things as parking and loading, food sales, T-shirt sales, safety and, of course, the polka band.
- How long has the Ski Train been operating?
The first ski train was March 19, 1972. The ticket price was $5, and the train charter cost was $3,000.
- What does the Ski Train ticket cover?
NSAA’s biggest cost for the ski train is the charter fee paid to the Alaska Railroad Corp. Most of the ticket revenues go towards the charter fee. Additionally, NSAA must purchase a separate insurance policy exclusively for the ski train. Another 2-3% of the revenues go toward credit card processing and website fees. Additionally, there are additional costs related to staff time and supplies coordinating with the ARRC, marketing, processing payments, assigning seats, printing and mailing tickets, answering phone calls related to the ski train, etc. After all costs are accounted for, proceeds from the Ski Train go towards NSAA’s efforts in maintaining Anchorage’s trail system all year long. How cool is that? Ski Train supports our local trail systems!
- If something comes up and I can’t make the train, can I transfer my ticket to someone else?
If you find that you will be unable to go on the ski train, you may resell your ticket. Just make sure that you notify NSAA of the change in passenger name.
- Is there food available for purchase on the Ski Train?
Yes, food and non-alcoholic beverages are available for purchase on the train. You may also bring your own food and beverages. NSAA strongly encourages participants to limit the amount of alcohol on the train, especially hard liquor. Problems in the past have led to restricting some individuals on participating in future ski trains. Fining participants for damages has also been considered to control the problems. We ask that you clean up after yourself and place all trash in the trash bins. Please keep adult beverages concealed for the entire ride. Also, if you plan to imbibe in adult beverages, please drink responsibly.
- Topo Map of Curry
- Curry Quarry Layout – LARGE PDF
- Curry base Layout – LARGE PDF
- CurryTopo Map – LARGE PDF
- Another Curry Topo Map – LARGE PDF
- Plan and Off Limits Area– PDF
Thank you to our generous Ski Train sponsors!
The ski train continues to be a success mainly because of all of our wonderful volunteers. If you can volunteer in any capacity, please contact the NSAA office at 907-276-7609.
Our Ski Train Team:
Chair: Travis Taylor
Parking: Steve Koller
Food Car: Aurora Hablett and SJ Klein
Polka Band: Neal Haglund & the Alaska Blaskapelle Band
Loading: Tammie Jo Sanches and Cami Timothy
Baggage: Travis Taylor
T-shirt & Merchandise: Krista Stearns
Safety Coordinators: Mike Olive and Eric Dale
Anchorage Nordic Ski Patrol
Alaska Search Dogs
Alaska Mountain Rescue
Alaska Railroad Liaison: Sarah Streiffert
Have questions concerning the ski train or are looking to get on the waitlist?
Please contact the NSAA Office by phone or email: 907-276-7609 or firstname.lastname@example.org.