Lifetime Member Sally Burkholder

Teacher, coach, organizer, trail builder, official, USSA Technical Delegate, event chair, and promoter of all things Nordic are just a few of the many contributions Sally Burkholder has made to NSAA. Deeply involved for over 50 years with all aspects of the club, Sally is a “Doer” who leads quietly by example. Sally and her husband Jim have been mainstays of NSAA and have helped design, build, and maintain most of the Nordic ski trails in Anchorage.

On arrival to Anchorage in 1972, Sally immediately became involved in coaching at the junior high and high school levels. She led summer training camps for junior skiers. A new concept in year-round training, these camps took junior skiers bicycling, hiking the Resurrection Pass Trail, and canoeing the Swan Lake Canoe System on the Kenai Peninsula. As a career teacher, she had connections and was responsible for getting the Anchorage School District to contract with the Nordic Ski Club to run the junior high races, a partnership that still exists today. She was instrumental in getting lighting for the ski trails at Bartlett High School by working with the Anchorage School District, businesses, and many volunteers. A portion of the trail at Bartlett was named “Sally’s Sally” in her honor.  She has been a race official at local events and at multiple US hosted Winter Olympics.

Perhaps Sally Burkholder’s most recognized contribution came in 1996 when she co-founded the Alaska Ski for Women with Ann Rutherford Mize. Sally continued to direct this event for 10 years as it became the largest women-only ski race in North America. In 2002, Sally was awarded an “Alaska First Lady Volunteer of the Year Award” by Susan Knowles, wife of the Governor, and in 2003 APU Nordic Ski Center named her a “Pioneer of Alaska skiing.”