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Park City athletes enjoy solstice summer skiing in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska. — The Park City Ski and Snowboard (PCSS) Nordic Ski Jumping Team was well-represented in Alaska yesterday for an all-night jumpathon in the land of the midnight sun. With their parents watching from tents in the outrun of the jumps, Tyler Phillips and June and Roscoe Maxwell jumped the night away. Why? Mostly because they could. During the Summer Solstice, Alaska gets over 17 hours of sunlight and it really never gets to be 100% dark. 

Culminating a fun-filled week of getting to know country-wide counterparts, exploring the relatively nearby city of Anchorage, group hikes to glaciers, bush plane excursions, and more bear sightings than anyone bargained for, the unique skiing experience was one not to be forgotten.

Brother and sister nordic Combined athletes from Park City, Roscoe and June Maxwell training in Alaska.
Brother and sister Nordic Combined athletes from Park City, Roscoe and June Maxwell training in Alaska. Photo: Devin Maxwell

Local television news broadcasted live from the annual event to showcase the courage and creativity that the USA Nordic camp has on offer as young athletes are able to start skiing down the inrun at midnight, fly through the air, and land on what is technically the next day, all while it’s as light as day out. The Alaska Jr. Flyers Camp garners broad attention.

Adam Loomis is a retired World Cup/World Championships Nordic Combined athlete and current PCSS Ski Jumping/Nordic Combined Head Coach. He is also the former coach of the Alaska Team.

Loomis said, “I feel extremely fortunate to have kicked off my coaching career in the welcoming community of Anchorage. Alaska is a unique place, and in addition to my coaching time there, I was able to travel from Juneau in the Southeast to Kaktovik to teach skiing at the far reaches of the state. The Soltice camp stands out as a highlight, including the all-night Jump-a-Thon. In addition to coaching hundreds of jumps that evening, I was able to take a few flights for myself at midnight as the sun still sat above the horizon line. Alaska will always hold a special place in my heart.” 
Tyler Phillips flying over coach Trevor Edlund in Alaska while warming up to jump the biggest hills on which he's more accustomed.
Tyler Phillips flying over coach Trevor Edlund in Alaska while warming up to jump the biggest hills on which he’s more accustomed. Photo: Devin Maxwell
 
There are other local connections to Alaska as well as three-time Olympian, Olympic Coach, Ski Jumping Program Director PCSS Alan Alborn grew up a couple of miles from the venue. 
 
U.S. Cup champion Trevor Edlund, a third-generation ski jumper, flew to Anchorage to coach the PCSS team. They were joined by athletes ages six to sixteen and their families from all over the lower 48.
 
Athlete Phillips said, “It is awesome to jump with people from all over the country. It’s a great way to make friends and get to know each other.”
 
Previous years have brought up to six families from Park City for the week-long event. In a celebrated culture whereby it’s not uncommon for dedicated parents of Park City athletes to take vacation time off work to accompany their athlete-children to all corners of the country in the name of sport, this particular week is looked back on as more of a family vacation than a sports camp or tournament can sometimes feel.
 
Below are the overall USA Nordic numbers.
 
USA Nordic stats
Team Park City in scenic Alaska. L to R: June Maxwell, Tyler Phillips, Trevor Edlund and Roscoe Maxwell.
Team Park City in scenic Alaska. L to R: June Maxwell, Tyler Phillips, Trevor Edlund and Roscoe Maxwell. Photo: Devin Maxwell

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