Get in Touch with Us!

Mailing Address

PO Box 337
Girdwood AK, 99587

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The Girdwood Nordic Ski Club was Founded in 2008 with the vision of creating a world-class Nordic/Multi-Use trail system within the Girdwood Valley for year-round enjoyment.

Legal Description

The Girdwood Nordic Ski Club is a Nonprofit Corporation within the State of Alaska, and a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization (TIN# 30-0516522).

Board of Directors

Deb Essex

Founding member of GNSC. Girdwood Trails Committee Vice President and volunteer 2004-present. Past Manager of Alpine Air Alaska, in Girdwood, and Alyeska Helicopters in Anchorage. Likes to Groom trails. Nordic and alpine skier, biker, mountain runner (trot, really)…anything outside.

Brian Burnett

Founding member of GNSC. Ski waxing guru! Girdwood Trails Committee attendee and volunteer since 2004. Former Position: Mountain Services Manager, Alyeska Ski Resort – Duties include: Management of Hiking & Biking Trails Construction at Resort. 1986 – 2007 U.S. Ski Team Staff – Duties included: Ski Technician for Men’s World Cup Speed Team. Has attended 3 Olympic Games, 7 World Championships, and 15 seasons on the World Cup tour. A lifelong Alaskan lucky enough to grow up skiing at Alyeska (since 1965) and recreating in Glacier Valley.   His life has revolved around outdoor recreation, elite athletics, and the alpine lifestyle.

Justin Thomas

Our trusty bean-counter Justin is a CPA originally from the Seattle area.  Skied on the Seattle University Ski Team (alpine) and started Nordic skiing when he moved to Alaska. Loves the outdoors and being part of GNSC. He is married to Mary – also a CPA and also graciously volunteered to help with bookkeeping. Our beans are in good hands. They also have time to bike or ski a million miles around Girdwood while towing their two sons.

Jim Braham

Avid Nordic and telemark skier and Girdwood resident for the past 35 years. Girdwood Trails Committee attendee and volunteer. Participated in the Anchorage Cup race series & Tour of Anchorage for past 11 years. A competitor in the 2003 National Masters Cross Country Ski Championships. Charter member & Secretary of Dimond HS Cross Country Running Booster Club 2001-2002.  Charter member, and Secretary of Dimond HS Cross Country SKIING Booster Club 2001 – 2003. Associate Webmaster of the Dimond Cross Country Cross Country Ski Team 2001 – 2003. He and his wife are super creative – Kathy runs a pottery studio, and Jim creates half our trail signs and our new snow measuring sticks.

Peter Zug

30 year resident of Girdwood Alpine and Nordic skier – and all things related Ski Patrol Director at Alyeska for about 20 years, just retired after 30 years at Patroller “My wife and I are avid hikers; we’ve been walking Girdwood trails since the 80’s” He is very familiar with heavy equipment, and road building, and all things trail (yeah for us!) One of  NSAA’s, and Girdwood’s trusty groomers (and a damn good one) When hosting a race, Peter and Lin are our secret weapon for a smooth day.

Briana Sullivan

While growing up in south-central Alaska, Girdwood has always been a favored place to Briana.  Now that she can call Girdwood home, being a part of the community through volunteerism seems natural.  She gets outdoors throughout the seasons, especially enjoying the winter months.  Being on the board of the GNSC is a highlight of her time spent regarding the enrichment of the Girdwood community.  When inside, she’s cooking and working, and thinking about the next outing.


Brian Kari

A lifelong Alaskan, skier, baker, and fisherman. Owner of “World Famous” The Bake Shop, Girdwood AK. Former nordic racer, coach and wax tech for high school and national teams. Longtime commercial fisherman and baker. Outdoor enthusiast, ski, bike, climb, fish, hunt. Supported by wife Isha, and daughter Bella. Goal is to help promote, develop, and support trails in Girdwood Alaska.

Karen Loso

Karen grew up in Anchorage as a competitive swimmer but realized that spending time outside on skis was more fun then logging hours inside in the pool. She Nordic skied for Montana State University, then made her way back to Girdwood. She now works as a nurse and spends the rest of her time looking for adventures with her family- two kids Harlan and Ruby and husband Mike. Skiing is a big part of her life and she would like to have more trails available to get more people outside exploring.

Nels Barber

A fourth generation alaskan and a 20 year resident of Girdwood. Life long nordic skier who has found out what a chairlift is but still continues to enjoy the amazing workout Nordic skiing is. a commercial fisherman in the summer and an avid skier in the winter. always looking for adventure w my family, wife Rachel and daughter Ariana.

Members at Large


Ari Stiassny

Born & raised in AK. Grew up Alpine ski racing thru college. Started backcountry skiing after a ski-bum winter in Chamonix, France. Then telemark skiing to get lower to the ground with his kids, Mia & Col. Got hooked on Nordic racing after participating in the Tour of Anchorage. Started Girdwood’s Kinder Nordic Ski with FVCS for kids ages 4-6 (pre-Junior Nordic). “When you live this close to a ski resort, you have to start them young if you want them to Nordic ski”. His main winter work is running the DEVOs alpine ski program with the Glacier Valley Ski Education Foundation (Alyeska Ski Club), for kids ages 7-14. In summer, he and wife Melanee operate Chugach Adventures, a local rafting, adventure tour operator. Oh, and he’s fast on skate skis.

Christina Gerber

Artist at Large

Nordic trails are more than a means of escape, they’re a means of connection. They bring our communities and our environment together in a way that benefits both. We are so fortunate to have the trail systems in Girdwood and Anchorage and it’s an honor to give back.

Kikkan Randall

Honorary Member

Honorary member of the GNSC. She has won 17 U.S. National Titles, made 29 podiums on the World Cup, five-time Winter Olympic Games skier with the highest finish by an individual American woman at the World Championships. She was the first American female cross-country skier to take a top ten finish in World Cup competition She and Jessie Diggins won the United States’ first-ever cross-country skiing gold medal at the Winter Olympics in women’s team sprint at Pyeongchang in 2018. She is now the Executive Director of the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage. That said, her favorite title is “Mom”.