The 50th Anniversary of the Hillside ski trails in Anchorage

The Anchorage Hillside Ski Trail System is 50 years old this year. The first five-kilometer ski loop was cut by Service High School families and coaches in 1971. Over time, the trail system has gradually expanded to its current 24 kilometers, many of them lighted for night skiing. The ski trails at Hillside are used by hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people each day, for exercise, recreation and sometimes racing, and the trail system’s impact on the local community is difficult to overstate.

This week on Outdoor Explorer, we’ll go out skiing with Tom Corbin around some of the original Hillside Ski Trails, and find out how they came to be where they are, and who was responsible for their creation. Corbin was straight out of college and had just been hired as a ski coach at Service High School in 1971 when the original five-kilometer loop was cut through the forest. He’s been directly involved with the trail system ever since.

Listen here:

HOST: Adam Verrier


  • Tom Corbin, one of the people who built the original Hillside ski trails in 1971.


BROADCAST: Thursday, January 20th, 2022. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST:  Thursday, January 20th 2022. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

SUBSCRIBE: Receive Outdoor Explorer automatically every week via:

Eric Bork, or you can just call him “Bork” because everybody else does, is the FM Operations Manager for KSKA-FM. He oversees the day-to-day operations of the FM broadcast. He produces and edits episodes of Outdoor Explorer, the Alaska-focused outdoors program. He also maintains the web posts for that show. You may have heard him filling in for Morning Edition or hosting All Things Considered and can still find him operating the soundboard for any of the live broadcast programs.

After escaping the Detroit area when he was 18, Bork made it up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where he earned a degree in Communications/Radio Broadcasting from Northern Michigan University. He spent time managing the college radio station, working for the local NPR affiliate, and then in top 40 radio in Michigan before coming to Alaska to work his first few summers. After then moving to Chicago, it only took five years to convince him to move back to Alaska in 2010. When not involved in great radio programming he’s probably riding a bicycle, thinking about riding bicycles, dreaming about bikes, reading a book, or planning the next place he’ll travel to. Only two continents left to conquer!

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