Junior Nordic

Dear Junior Nordic Families,

We are diligently working on a Mitigation Plan for the season and will reach out when we have more information. We are hoping to offer a revised version of Junior Nordic to keep everyone safe and skiing this winter. Thank you for your patience and continued support!

NSAA Staff


Anchorage Junior Nordic’s goal is to instill a lifelong love of cross country skiing in Anchorage’s youth. This non-competitive program for kids ages 6 to 14 is all about getting active and enjoying Anchorage’s fabulous parks. Junior Nordic is a program of the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage, a non-profit organization.


Opens October 1, 2020

Open to children ages 6 to 14. Children must be 6 years of age within two weeks of the session start date.

Registration for Junior Nordic is online only. Junior Nordic groups are filled on a first come first serve basis.  Please note that the second session (Jan – Mar) typically fills up by early December. If the desired location and days are not available, the session is full, please click the button below to be added to the waitlist. Please contact the NSAA office at 907-992-0109 or admin@anchoragenordicski.com with any questions.

Parent Information

All parents must attend an orientation meeting on the first day of practice.

Meetings will be held the first night of each practice (M/W or T/Th) at 4:30 pm or 6:30 pm at the time and venue where your child will be skiing. If there is snow, the kids will be skiing; if there is no snow, we still have practice and the kids will run or hike with the coaches and play games. We still have fun, getting in shape for skiing!

Click here for more important Junior Nordic parent information.

Important Dates

First SessionMon. December 2, 2019 – Sat. January 11, 2020
Second SessionMon. January 13, 2020 – Sat. March 7, 2020

2020 – 2021 Fees

Junior Nordic is for children ages 6- 14. Your child must be 6 within the first two weeks of the session.

First Session: $150
Second Session: $200
Both Sessions: $320 (sign up for both a get the $30 discount!)

NSAA membership is required for Junior Nordic. Please consider supporting NSAA with a family membership. Your membership DIRECTLY supports the trails that Junior Nordic use weekly, and helps NSAA continue to provide youth skiing opportunities for all ages and abilities. We need all trail users help to continue the world-class grooming and to provide ways for your fellow Alaskans to lead healthy active lifestyles! Add a family membership to your cart when registering online!

See more information about the different levels of NSAA Membership by clicking here.

$40 per session per child (optional) Click here.
-Parents must provide boots and poles for their children. If renting NSAA skis, please provide NNN binding boots

Gear must be returned to NSAA by the following dates or deposits will be charged:

  • First Session Only: Friday, January 17, 2020 by 5pm.
  • Second Session: Friday, March 13, 2020 by 5pm.
  • Second Session with Ski Extension: Friday, May 8, 2020 by 5pm.
$10 per child (to keep skiing after Jr. Nordic ends) Click here.
-Second session only; keep skis until April 30, 2020.

Gear must be returned to NSAA by the following dates or deposits will be charged:

  • First Session Only: Friday, January 17, 2020 by 5pm.
  • Second Session: Friday, March 13, 2020 by 5pm.
  • Second Session with Ski Extension: Friday, May 8, 2020 by 5pm.
We respectfully request $25 per family, per session if parents are unable to volunteer.
– Junior Nordic is a parent volunteer program and we ask that any parents who can volunteer do so. This consists of skiing along with the coaches (in a separate group from your own child), or helping out at equipment pickup, registration, or clean-up/maintenance.
First time participants receive a free hat!  Replacement hats are $30 and can be purchased at gear pick up or in the NSAA office.
To receive a refund, a written request to cancel must be postmarked or emailed by the following dates. This policy also applies to ski rental fees.
a) Two weeks prior to start of Session: 100% refund, minus $15 processing fee;
b) One week prior to start of Session: 50% refund; minus $15 processing fee;
c) Later than one week prior to start of Session: NO REFUND

Polar Cub to Olympian

“This is where it all began for me.  My introduction to cross-country skiing was with Anchorage Junior Nordic League.  I didn’t like it much at first, they made us climb up hills. But then they told me I could go down the hill, any way I wanted… and even go over the jump at the bottom, or make slalom turns – I liked that.  

I went through all the levels of Junior Nordic.  First I was a Polar Cub, then an Otter, then a Wolverine, and by that time – you’ll appreciate this – I was motivated by the pink tassel to chase down the fast kids and become a Hawk!  And of course I did, and the rest is history. But I wanted to say today that I’m glad I was in Junior Nordic, and am grateful to all the coaches that I had and who are here now providing that same opportunity I had to the kids, like mine, that are going to grow up needing opportunities to be challenged, have fun and be active.”

-Kikkan Randall, Olympic Gold Medalist, Speaking to the 2017-18 Junior Nordic Coaches

A brief history of Junior Nordic HERE thanks to Kathy Sarns, “I remember young Kikkan Randall…”

Skill Groups

POLAR CUBS:  Younger beginners learning to feel comfortable on skis, basic diagonal (classical) technique, safety and etiquette.

OTTERS: More advanced beginner skiers learning skate skiing and mastering classical technique, along with safety skills and etiquette.

WOLVERINES: Intermediate skiers learning to put together the techniques of classical and skate skiing to move fast and effortlessly along the trail. Wolverines have more independence on skis, emphasizing group cohesiveness, etiquette and physical stamina.

HAWKS: The most accomplished skiers, learning advanced diagonal and skate techniques as well as racing techniques and strategy. Hawks are the elite, and as such wear the distinctive Hawks jacket. They must demonstrate discipline, cooperation, and desire.


Hillside/Hilltop Trail System
Meet at Trailside Elementary School in the Multipurpose Room (for the 1st week only). From the 2nd week of practice till until the last day, meet outdoors behind Service High School at the Little Gym. Some Saturdays, we meet at the Hilltop Trailhead, which is at the far north end of the Hilltop Ski Area parking lot, off Abbott Road. The hotline message and/or text updates will tell you where the group is meeting.
Kincaid Park
Meet at the Kincaid Chalet in the East Room. The Kincaid Chalet is at the west end of Raspberry Road, in Kincaid Park. Sometimes we meet in the Bunker at Kincaid, a cement building across the parking lot from the chalet. Some Saturdays, we meet at the Jodphur Trailhead at Kincaid, which is on Jodphur Road (West on Raspberry Rd to Sand Lake Rd, South on Sand Lake to Kincaid Rd, West on Kincaid to Jodphur, South on Jodphur to the Trailhead). The hotline message and/or text updates will tell you where the group is meeting.
Russian Jack Park
Meet at the Lidia Selkregg Chalet at Russian Jack Springs Park.   The Chalet is South of Debarr Road between Bragaw and Boniface, in Russian Jack Springs Park. Some Saturdays, the group may meet elsewhere and directions will be given. The hotline message and/or text updates will tell you where the group is meeting.


2018-19 Junior Nordic Sponsors

Competition & Racing – Ready to Race (R2R)

Because the philosophy of Junior Nordic is to encourage children to learn and enjoy cross country skiing as a lifetime activity, competition and racing are not the focus of the program.  The Ready 2 Race is a program geared towards Junior Nordic skiers who are interested in learning more about racing!

This program is great for skiers looking to participate in middle school ski team or community races, such as the AMH Anchorage Cup races. Ready 2 Race coaches will provide race support at AMH Anchorage Cup races including course preview, help with waxing, answer questions, and lead warm-ups.  Click the link HERE to learn more about competition and racing!

2019-20 Ready 2 Race Schedule

Text Updates

The Remind App tells you where the final location of practice will be and also provides information on weather, trail conditions and other special events relating to Nordic skiing. Always check your messages before you leave for practice each evening and on Saturdays.  The final message is typically sent each day by 3pm, but it may be as late as 5pm (due to changing weather and snow conditions).

The Hotline will still be used for lengthier updates, but only as a secondary source, please call 907-258-6800 if directed to via text for further information.

For updates by text, find your location/day and text to number 81010:

Kincaid Hillside Russian Jack
Kincaid M/W
Hillside M/W
Russian Jack M/W
Kincaid T/Th
Hillside T/Th,
Russian Jack T/Th
After School Groups:
Kincaid M/W
Hillside M/W
Kincaid T/Th
Hillside T/Th

“@ready2race” – for Ready 2 Race

Please note, if your child has been registered in a different day/location from a previous season, you will need to unenroll and re-enroll in the correct text group.  To unenroll in a group text @leave to that group. Thank you!

We also communicate with families by email, please make sure the NSAA Office has your current email address on file.


Thank you to these sponsors for their generous donation to spruce up the Jr. Nordic jackets!


Skiers will need winter appropriate clothing, skis, boots, and poles.  Each Junior Nordic skier will receive a free Junior Nordic hat.  Jackets are loaned to skiers at gear pick up.  Skis are available to rent; however, we do NOT rent out boots and poles. If you are renting NSAA skis, you’ll need NNN ski boots to be compatible with bindings on rental skis.

Equipment Pick-up: Please bring a check or credit card as deposit for the jacket and/or skis. The deposit for the Junior Nordic jacket is $65 and the deposit for NSAA skis is $125.

$40 per session per child (optional) Click here

NSAA rental skis are available on a first-come basis.  Parents must provide boots and poles for their children. If renting NSAA skis, please provide boots compatible with NNN bindings.  Any salesperson can steer you toward the correct boot if you let them know they need to be NNN’s. NSAA rental skis are combination skis—they work for both diagonal and skate skiing, but if you want high performance skis for an advanced skier they may not be appropriate.

Junior Nordic provides kick wax for when the kids are skiing classic technique.  When the Otters, Wolverines and Hawks switch from classic to skate technique, the kick wax must be cleaned off the skis.  We have wax remover at all of the venues, but you can also do this at home, with wax remover and a plastic scraper and rag or paper towel.

Ski Extension: NSAA rental skis may be kept at the end of the second session through the end of April for an additional $10.00. Click here

To ensure the return of equipment, we require a deposit of either a check or a credit card number when the equipment is checked out. Deposit check or credit card info will be shredded once the equipment has been returned.

Returned skis need to be cleaned of all wax!

Skis need to be the right length. If you are purchasing skis, the salesperson can help you to pick the right length.  If you rent NSAA skis, we will help pick the right length for your skier.

If buying skis, do NOT get the NO WAX variety (fish scales on the bottom) since they will not work when your child starts to skate and they are SLOW for learning skiers.  The best bet is a combination ski which is designed for both diagonal stride and skate techniques. If you already own waxless (fish scale) skis, it will be harder for your child to learn to skate ski when he or she becomes an Otter. It is recommended you rent NSAA skis.

IMPORTANT! Put your child’s name on their skis by writing it on a piece of electric tape and affixing to the topside of both skis.  We provide tape for names when you pick up your skis at Kincaid.

NSAA does not provide boots, even if you rent NSAA skis.

Boots must match the ski bindings.

NSAA skis have the New Nordic Norm (NNN) bindings.

Boots are specialized like skis, but a combination boot, which is designed to work for both the traditional diagonal and the skate techniques, is the best value. Remember to get boots that have a little extra room to accommodate wool socks and some foot growth during the season. Feet that are squeezed into boots that are too small are often COLD feet. Please be sure BEFORE you bring your child to ski that the boots fit and stay in the bindings.

POLE length ideally varies with the technique.

Polar Cubs: poles should come just above the armpits.

Otters and Wolverines: poles that come almost to the child’s chin.

Hawks: skating poles should come up to the mouth when standing on flat feet. Diagonal (classic) poles should come up just above the bottom of the arm pits.

The key to a happy skier is being warm enough for conditions, but not so bundled up as to prevent movement. The secret is to make sure you have the following LAYERING system:

VENTILATION—closest to the skin to allow perspiration to move away from the skin.  Breathable polypropylene or other synthetic long underwear provides the ventilation layer. NO COTTON!

INSULATION—to trap the warmth generated by your body.  Fleece, wool, or other synthetic material provides the insulation layer. NO COTTON!

PROTECTION—the outer layer that protects you from wind and wet.  Junior Nordic jacket, a pullover type shell, provides the protection layer. Wind pants are often necessary during periods of wind or extreme cold. NO COTTON!

HEADS AND HANDS – Wearing a hat is a must. NO HAT, NO PRACTICE!  For hands, mittens work much better than gloves.  On cold days a neck warmer keeps both the neck and the lower face warm and is required for children with asthma.  A neck warmer can easily be carried in the pocket of the Jr Nordic jacket.

You’ll need to vary the insulation layer based on the temperature, keeping in mind that skiers warm up when they are moving but cool off when they are not. Keeping the extremities warm is the biggest challenge when it is cold. Wool socks over polypro socks will help keep the feet warm. Large wool socks with a hole cut in the toe to put over the boots or boot covers are essential during cold weather.

All skiers must be well fed and should take their medications before practice or as prescribed. A water bottle is required for Wolverines and Hawks and all children with asthma. It is also highly recommended that Otters and Polar Cubs carry water bottles.

MARK ALL OF YOUR CHILD’S CLOTHING, SKI BOOTS, POLES AND SKIS. Write your name on a piece of tape and tape it right on to the skis and poles.

First time participants receive a free Junior Nordic hat!

Replacement hats are $30 and can be purchased at Gear Pick Up or the NSAA office.

Local businesses have experts to help you buy the best fitting skis, boots and poles for your child.  If you already have skis (or are renting Junior Nordic skis), bring your skis in with you when you go to purchase boots. If you already have boots, bring those with you when you go to purchase skis.