Lifetime Member Tobben Spurkland

Tobben Spurkland arrived in Anchorage in 1968 and immediately became involved with the Nordic Ski Club.  The club embraced this lanky Norwegian who brought Scandinavian outdoor toughness and introduced Anchorage to Nordic culture with Norwegian sweaters, a thick accent, and wry humor.

He gave lessons, taught the finer arts of snow cave building, and led overnight tours. Through these early activities, he found a perfect adventure partner in his wife Tanya Uminski. Together they raised sons Lars and Jan, who have also made contributions to skiing in Anchorage and Homer as coaches and club Leaders.
Source: NSC Scrapbook

Tobben was president of Nordic Ski Club in 1972-’73 and Tour Chairman in the mid-1970s. He brought on new social activities including a fun Polka Party at the National Guard Armory and a ski fashion show.

Tobben’s contributions to the club have been multifaceted. He put his engineering background to work in helping design the original jumps at Hilltop and later the new jumps.

Hands on, Tobben helped with many of the trail building projects at Kincaid and has a corner (Tobben’s Turn) on the Andrew Lekisch Trail named in his honor. For many years Tanya and Tobben were valued members of NSAA’s volunteer race and trail workforce, the Green Grunts.

Many of the traditions club members have enjoyed, including the Wooden Ski Classic race, co-hosted by Sons of Norway, had their beginnings with Tobben—Anchorage’s Norwegian Ullr (the God of Skiing).