Lifetime Member Jim Burkholder

Trails, trails, trails. Planning, designing, building, maintaining, mapping, grooming, and advocating. No one in the NSC/NSAA over the past 50-plus years has spent more time on Nordic ski trails than “Burkey”—Jim Burkholder. Practically every trail project in Anchorage has benefitted from his input and sweat equity, and he has been integral in making the system world-class. Burkey has built bridges, installed lighting, welded track setters, supervised NSC’s winter trail maintenance, and worked with the city Parks and Recreation Department to plan a comprehensive multi-use trail system. His homemade artistic welded signs even grace many of the trails around Kincaid. Burkey has also been a groomer for both the Nordic Ski Club and the Municipality of Anchorage.

Jim Burkholder’s involvement with Nordic skiing goes way beyond trails. He has been a USSA technical delegate (TD) and race official from local high school championships to working as an official at the Olympics. Burkey has been a successful ski coach at all levels. He coached skiing at junior high and high schools in Anchorage and became the first ski coach at UAA (1972-’76). He went on to coach multiple Alaska Junior National teams and was a U.S. Team regional coach. In 1980, he was a coach for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team at Lake Placid. During these years he hosted training camps in the summer and led multiple trips with junior skiers to Scandinavia.

Thoughtful and articulate, yet passionate in a behind-the-scenes way, Jim Burkholder has been an integral part of the club and has often been the “go to” person whenever one needs advice or assistance with a club project.

Jim Burkholder has earned several lifetime achievement awards:

  • 1980 Awarded Lifetime Member of NSC/NSAA
  • 1999 Named to the USSA Alaska Ski Hall of Fame
  • 2003 Named Pioneer of Anchorage Skiing (APU Nordic Ski Center)