United States Cross Country Ski History

United States Cross-Country Ski History

A website dedicated to documenting the History of Cross-Country Skiing in the United States.


crosscountryskihistory.us is a website dedicated to gathering in one place as much of the history of US cross country skiing as possible before that history is lost.  Over the past several years too many “founders” of the sport have passed away before handing down their knowledge, history, biography and stories to the rest of us.  Our objective is to prevent such a loss of history in the future.  The best time to start on this project would have been 25 years ago, but better late than never.

We will depend upon you, the people of our sport, to provide content.  There is far too much history for the small number of us who are starting up this project to make a meaningful dent in that history.  This website will only become a valuable resource to the cross country skiing community if all of us make it work.  

Soon this page will include a place where you can log in and submit a contribution.  After a contribution is submitted, it will be reviewed, possibly edited a bit (for clarity or brevity), maybe fact-checked, and then added to the website, which will add to the accumulated, documented history of our sport.

So, if you want to write a biography of someone who has a long history in the sport, submit a recollection of a major event at which you competed, coached or officiated, have an interview with a prominent ski person that might be interesting, etc., please contact us through the website, and we will start building content.

Thank you,

John Estle, Peter Graves, Gary Larson, Peter Ashley, Lin Hinderman

Who We Are – The people who are hoping to make this website happen:

John Estle

John Estle lives in Fairbanks, Alaska where he has coached and organized events since his arrival in 1982 – with a short break to coach US Ski Team (1990-1993) and run the cross country ski program at the US Olympic Education Center at NMU in Marquette, MI (1993-94).  John raced at the national level from 1976 through 1980, then coached for two years at University of Vermont before taking the job at University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1982.

Since returning to Fairbanks in 1994, he has been in charge of the Competition Events program of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, organized a few hundred races, been Chief of Competition for numerous Junior National Championships and SuperTour Finals, worked at the 2002 Olympics as Chief of Stadium, and been Technical Delegate for several Junior and Senior US Championships and SuperTour Finals.

John’s BA is in History!

Gary Larson

Gary currently resides in Duluth, Minnesota. His cross country skiing experiences include racing in national level USSA competition and citizen races as well as coaching at the University of Minnesota-Duluth and later with the USST both domestically and internationally.

He was part of the development and event organization of the Nordic program at Giants Ridge, Biwabik, MN. He was chief of course for cross country at the 2002 Olympic and Paralympics. 

His officiating background includes work as a FIS technical delegate and FIS homologation inspector as well as chief of competition for numerous international and national events. Most recently Gary has been involved in design and construction supervision of a Nordic center in Duluth with snowmaking and lighting.

Peter Ashley

Peter is retired and lives in Bozeman, Montana.  He was born and raised in Jackson, Wyoming where he competed in alpine and cross-country skiing. He went on to compete in cross country for the University of Colorado. (Go Buffs!)  After his graduation from CU he began his coaching career with the Jackson Hole Ski Club, then moved to the US Sk Team in 1978.  While with the USST (1978-1987)  he was the National Junior Coach, Women’s Coach and Coaches Education Director.  After leaving the USST, Peter worked in retail sales and then was the National Sales and Product  manager for Fischer Skis. (1994-2015)

Peter Graves

Peter Graves has had a life long interest and passion in nordic skiing. A Vermont native, he raced in high school at Mt Anthony in Bennington, Vermont, and then traveled west to ski four years on the varsity team at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, under the legendary Olympic coach Dolph Kuss. Following graduation Graves worked at NorTur, Inc in Minneapolis importing cross country skis from Norway, at the Telemark Lodge under Tony Wise, and in both radio and television.

He is well known as an announcer/broadcaster. He worked the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Games for ABC Sports and was a long time voice on ESPN, OLN and Universal Sports (NBC) . Graves, who lives in Vermont has now covered 11 Olympic Games as an announcer. He also served for years as a writer for SKITRAX magazine and SKI RACING.  He has two grown children Kate and Willy.

Lin Hinderman