The Thomas Training Center is our summer glacier skiing facility located an hour drive, and a ten-minute helicopter flight away from the Alaska Pacific University campus. The facility, located 5500 feet above the city of Girdwood, sits above Eagle Glacier where we Pisten Bully groom a 5k loop twice a day and ski throughout the summer. The Thomas Training Center is operated on National Forest land under a special use permit. The facility is being re-built in 2023 and will house athletes, have a full kitchen, hot showers, a gym, and a wax room. This type of summer training exists at only a handful of locations in the world, and out of those, the Thomas Training Center provides the best ski terrain, the easiest access, and the best recovery options of them all. APU hosts camps for our University & Elite, Junior, and Master’s programs as well as international level US skiers from outside of Alaska. Ambitious Elite skiers can expect to ski 500 plus kilometers a camp.

Lowell Thomas, Jr., famed bush pilot, adventurer, and former lieutenant governor of Alaska, and his wife Tay, a fellow adventurer and respected author, have generously endowed the APU ski programs.

In gratitude, Alaska Pacific University dedicated the summer training facility on Eagle Glacier “The Thomas Training Center”.

Eagle Glacier holds a special place for the Thomas family. Along with extended family and friends, they used to make frequent trips up to the glacier long before there was a facility there. With the support of the Thomas family, this facility will be available far into the future for use by APU programs and other skiers from around the world.

Saro Boario, Chugach National Forest, U.S Forest Service in Forestry Feb 21, 2017
“From the moment they exit the helicopter, walk off the rocks and onto the glacier, skiers recognize what a special place it is. Globally, there are four or five major summer skiing snowfields or glaciers that cross country skiers practice on in the summer. Eagle is unique in that you can stay in a warm dormitory right at the glacier’s edge.”

Holly Brooks
“There’s no other place in the world like Eagle Glacier. This is the only place you can sleep right next to a glacier and train twice a day. You wake up in the morning and walk out on snow.”

Jessica Diggins
“Life on Eagle Glacier is simple – mostly a pattern of eat, sleep, train and cook food for your teammates. But it wouldn’t be possible without the dedication and hard work of the glacier staff and coaches! Big, BIG thanks to Erika Flora and Dylan Watts for keeping the trails groomed, the Thomas Training Center up and running, and organizing transport!”

Eagle Glacier/Thomas Training Center
US Forest Service Logo

Training Life on Eagle Glacier