2014 AWG Cross Country Ski Competition

DSC_0989Beginning on Monday 3/17 Biathlon skiing competition began at the Birch Hill Recreation Area located just outside downtown Fairbanks.  Competition included; 7.5 Km & 10 Km mass start; 5Km interval start; 600 & 750 sprint; and 3 x 3 Km relay events in the Juvenile, Junior and Midget divisions. Athletes from Alaska, Alberta North, Greenland, Northwest Territories,Nunavik-Quebec, Sapmi, Yamal and Yukon tested their abilities over four days of competition.

To view images from these and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Cross Country Ski images click here.

 

 

 

 

2014 AWG Arctic Air Snowboard Competition

DSC_1780On Thursday March 20, the 2014 Arctic Winter Games snowboarding competition was concluded at the Hulbert Nanook Terrain Park located on the campus of the University of Alaska – Fairbanks (UAF).  Under an early spring, crystal clear blue, sky athletes from Alberta North, Northwest Territories, Yukon and Greenland demonstrated their athletic and gymnastic abilities and wowed the crowd with their aerial skills.

To view images from this and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Arctic Air Snowboard images click here.

2014 AWG Short Track Speed Skating Competition

DSC_0713Beginning on Monday March 17 and continuing through Friday March 21 both male and female athletes from Alaska, Alberta North, Northwest Territories,Nunavut, and the Yukon participated in the short track speed skating competition held at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.  Over one hundred thirty 2000m and 3000m races in the juvenile and junior divisions were run over the span or four days racing.

To view images from these and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Short Track Speed Skating images click here.

2014 AWG Biathlon Ski Competition

DSC_2436Biathlon skiing competition was held at the Birch Hill Recreation Area located just outside downtown Fairbanks.  Competition was spirited.  Athletes from Alaska, Alberta North, Northwest Territories,Yamal and Yukon tested themselves and their teams in 3 x 3.0 Km and 3 x 4.5 Km relays in the Juvenile and Junior classes.

To view images from these and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Biathlon Ski images click here.

2014 AWG Native Game Competition

DSC_0467Native games (Arctic Sport and Dene Games) are an integral part, and unique feature of the Arctic Winter Games.  These events are representative of centuries-old traditions and activities of the Inuit and Interior Native (Dene) cultures that are located throughout the north.  Dene Games consist of five contests including events such as: the finger pull, pole push, stick pull, snow snake and hand games.  Each represent either a test of strength or strategy.  Arctic Sports, officially introduced to the Games in 1974 consist of eleven events including; the one-foot, two-foot, and Alaska high kicks; the arm pull, kneel jump, one-hand reach, airplane, head pull, knuckle hop, sledge jump and triple jump.  Each of these sports have their roots in skills required for success in  hunting and/or fishing activities and each involve some combination of strength, technique, and conditioning.

To view images from these and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Native Games images click here

2014 AWG Slalom Kicks off Snowboard Competition

DSC_0095The first full day of competition at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games included slalom snowboard held at the Birch Hill – Ft. Wainright Alpine ski facility.  Male and Female athletes from several contingents competed on a glorious, sun-filled day.  Athletes from Alberta North, Northwest Territories, and Yukon in both the male and female divisions took home medals!  To view images from this and other 2014 AWG competitions, click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to slalom snowboard images click here

 

2014 AWG Opening Ceremonies Held

DSC_9938The 2014 Arctic Winter Games were opened in a grand manner on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  The Opening Ceremony welcomed over 2000 athletes from; Alaska, Alberta North, Greenland, Northwest Territories, Nunavik-Quebec, Nunavut, Sapmi, and Yamal.  Athletes, officials. spectators, and honored guests were treated to an evening of high spirit, music and dance.  To view images from this and other 2014 AWG events, either click on “Events” in the menu above or, to go directly to Opening Ceremony images click here

2014 World Ice Art Championships

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One of many unique ice sculptures to be enjoyed at the World Ice Art Championships

While waiting for the 2014 Arctic Winter Games to start, the “Opening Ceremony” took place earlier this evening (3/16), I had an opportunity to take in some amazing ice sculptures at the 25th annual World Ice Art Championships here in Fairbanks, AK. (Visit www.icealaska.com for more information!) Hundreds of single and multi-block ice sculptures that cannot be believed!  Everything from life sized polar bears, whales, seals and assorted mythological creatures to complete winter scenes, intricate “ice bridges” an “ice peacock” and a walk-in “ice chapel” all carved from blocks of ice harvested from a nearby abandoned rock quarry that fills w/ water during the summer months and freezes solid in winter.  Temperatures in Fairbanks are well below freezing for months on end hitting -40 degrees F on several occasions throughout the winter months.  Locals tell me not to worry though because they say -40 F isn’t really so bad because “it’s a dry cold!” Fortunately, thus far temperatures have been nowhere near -40 F, and the weather has been magnificent with clear sky’s and lots of sunshine! During daylight hours, the sculptures are crystal clear and look more like glass than ice.  At night the sculptures are lit with a series of multicolored lights and they take on a completely different look and feel.  Truly amazing!

 

Aurora Magic

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Aurora, Murphy Dome, Fairbanks, AK

In Fairbanks, AK on a not too cold evening atop Murphy Dome with Ronn Murray Photography Tours to learn a bit about Aurora Photography.  We departed from the hotel around 9:30pm and together with 5 other “Aspiring Aurora Photographers” I was treated to a detailed lesson in; aurora photography, the science of auroras and a great light show (complements of mother nature.)  Ronn and Marketa were awesome!  Full of information on camera settings, equipment recommendations and logistics associated with cold weather photography and how best to shoot the “northern lights.” Their expertise, experience (they’ve been photographing the aurora for seven years!) and their welcoming personalities made for an informative and thoroughly enjoyable experience!  Returned to the hotel at approximately 3:00am totally wired and “stoked” about shooting the northern lights.  The Aurora bug has definitely bitten!

To view more of my Aurora photography either click on “Galleries” in the menu above or, to go directly to Aurora Borealis images click here

Baranof Island, AK

Soft rain gently ripples a pool of water at Baranof Warm SpringsBaranof Island, AK sometimes also referred to as Baranov Island is a small remote landmass located in the northern Alexander Archipelago of the Alaskan Panhandle. The Island was named in 1805 by Imperial Russian Navy Captain U. F. Lisianski to honor Alexander Andreyevich Baranov, the first governor of Russian Alaska.

This image, captured on a cold and rainy day visit to the town of Baranof Warm Springs, illustrates that Alaska, known for sweeping vistas and majestic mountain ranges, also holds much subtle beauty on a more intimate scale!

Baranof Warm Springs is largely a seasonally occupied community (there is a single year round resident) featuring a total of nine hot springs with temperatures ranging from luke warm to 120 degrees F. The community at Baranof Warm Springs has built a boardwalk and public bathhouse, featuring three separate tubs, at the waterfront to provide an option for seasonal visitors not wanting to make the 1/4 mile hike up the trail to bathe in one of the communal natural warm spring pools.