nhNovember2021newsletter header

Right Around the Corner!

Race to the Outhouse on SATURDAY, Nov 13th!
Moonlight ski on Archangel Road - all welcome - on Saturday, Nov 20th!
PLUS - a new event sure to brighten your spirits!
More info below.

Great Start of a New Ski Season

With your help - we were ready for the early start to winter.
On the 2nd of October, ski club volunteers Jerry Hupp, Justin Trice, and Ed Strabel, aided by Erik Flora, his son, and eight APU elite skiers worked to get the Independence Mine trails ready for the snow - which arrived in abundance for a first groom on October 9th. The next day, October 10th, the only problem was finding a parking space as the trails were filled with happy Nordic skiers of all ages and abilities: Olympians and preschoolers all enjoying the snow and sunny conditions! The team of Mark Strabel, Ben Raevsky, and Justin Trice will groom at Independence this winter. We'd like to extend a special thanks to Jeff Kase who is busy otherwise coaching this winter, for his many hours of grooming at Independence and GPRA for the last several years.
On October 21st Archangel Road received its first groom of the season. Expect the "Dynamic Duo" of Ashley Wise and Zack Steer to keep it in shape for the season.
APU skiers help to prep the trail along Sochi Hill
APU volunteer skiers help to trim the trail along Sochi Hill.

Race to the Outhouse

Are your legs and lungs ready for this? The first Nordic race of the 2021-22 season is almost upon us. Get your skis ready, mark your calendar, and head up to Independence Mine for the 13th Annual Race to the Outhouse on Saturday, November 13th at 10 AM. There are Classic and Freestyle divisions. Interval starts and Covid procedures like last year. The distance is only 3.5km, but it feels like a 5K. Please sign in at the upper end of the Mine Parking lot by 9:30 am. There is no charge to participate! More info.

Annual Meeting Recap

We'd like to thank all of you that joined us in person for our annual meeting on October 16th. We created an Annual Report this year, in case you missed the meeting. We'd like to thank Backcountry Bike & Ski for their donation of a $500 gift card that we raffled off (Congrats Colin and Colleen!).
A group of about 50 people joined us outdoors at GPRA for delicious homemade food, camaraderie, and a quick recap on the year from our Board President, Lucas Parker and Board Treasurer Jerry Hupp.
media - annual meeting
media - Mark S
Mark Stigar, for those of you that don't know, has been an instrumental part of our Junior Nordics program for years. He retired from that volunteer position this year. We thanked him by presenting him with a 2 night stay at Sheep Mountain Lodge for him and Stacie. It's the least we could do to say thank you! If you see him out on the trails, be sure to say thanks!

Changes on the Board of Directors

Every October the membership of the Board changes a little. Members are elected for a three-year term, with the terms staggered so that several seats come open for election every year.
We would like to introduce your new Mat-Su Ski Club Board Member, Drewcilla (Drew) Holifield. She is an Alaskan transplant who can’t imagine living anywhere else. She grew up in south Mississippi, but this is her tenth winter and she loves all things snow! Although Drew is by no means an advanced skier, she does enjoy spending winter weekends skiing, biking, or Nordic ice skating. She is passionate about getting people outdoors, regardless if they are new to Alaska or have been here their whole lives!
Drew works for an Edward Jones office in downtown Palmer. She is also active in the Mat-Su Concert Band, serving as their Vice-President and principal clarinetist.
Newly elected members means we may lose existing board members. Farewell to outgoing board members Lori Berrigan, Lori Straub, and Chris Tomsen. We sincerely appreciate your service to the Ski Club and the Nordic ski community. We'll see you on the trails! Lori Berrigan hasn't completely stepped away just yet; she is staying on as our Race Committee Chairperson.

Archangel Moonlight Ski Tour

Please join us for a Moonlight Ski Tour on Archangel Road on Saturday, November 20th at 6:30 pm. Ski under the full moon and enjoy the lunar glow on the snow covered hills. This event is free and all levels of skiers are welcome. Expect to ski for about an hour to 90 minutes. Gather at the parking lot at the Archangel trailhead. Map here.


Support your ski club by renewing your membership!
Membership fees support our programs, events, grooming, trail building, and equipment purchases. Ski trails don't fall from heaven!
Holiday Tree Tour A

Something New and Exciting!

This Holiday season, with your help, we will light up the Pioneer loop for your enjoyment. If you or your business or group is looking to participate click here to get a form. This will be a great exposure for your business or organization, and sure to be a fun ski!

Call for Guides for Visually Impaired Skiers

Challenge Alaska has reached out to us to help get some visually impaired Mat-Su Valley friends outside on our Cross Country ski trails. You don't need any experience with coaching or guiding, just a willingness to help someone feel the tracks under their feet as they learn classic skiing on flat terrain by using communication and constant dialogue as a guide. Training will be provided by Challenge Alaska. Click here to learn about the adaptive training they offer and their mission. Please email jeff@challengealaska.org with your questions about this program. If you would like to help we want to hear from you at info@matsuski.org.

Turkey Trax

Time to burn off the bird! The Come on over to GPRA on Friday, November 26th to join your community in a friendly run or ski event - footwear depends on the weather!
Turkey Trax Flyer - final

Ski 101

We hope to again hold SKI 101 clinics in January for total beginners (who may have not even been on skis yet). Watch future emails and newsletters for info.

Adult Ski Lessons

The Mat-Su Ski Club will offer adult ski lessons from January 4 – March 6, 2022. Weekdays and weekend classes in Classic (diagonal stride) and skate skiing techniques are available for $15 per session. The classes are oriented toward novice and beginner skiers. Online registration will open on December 1 at matsuski.org. We’re limiting class size to three students for COVID safety and to ensure students get lots of individual attention from the coaches. Be sure to register early to make sure you get a spot. Part of the schedule is classes for intermediate level skate skiers that want to hone their technique. We’ve got a great group of experienced coaches ready to help you have more fun on skis! If you don't have skis but would like to take classes please contact us at info@matsuski.org. We do have a (limited) selection of skis, boots, and poles available for use by students.

Junior Nordics News and Info

The 2021-2022 season of Mat-Su Junior Nordic is on its way! After having the program fill faster than ever before, our volunteers sent out a call to the ski community for coaches to help, and the call was answered! Thank you to all our new and returning ski coaches. We’re glad to have you with us this year!

October 15th and 16th were the dates set up for ski rentals. Despite the cold weather, most families were able to get their gear, and just in time for the first skiing of the season! It’s always fun to see families using our trails even before winter fully sets in throughout the valley. If you missed the rental dates from last month, reach out (allison.fry@gmail.com) and we will have a final rental day on December 4th.

If you’re still looking for gear to buy, or if you have gear you don’t need anymore, consider selling it on our Facebook buy/sell page. It’s called Mat Su Junior Nordics Equipment Exchange.
All Junior Nordic Coaches will receive a 2022 parking pass for GPRA before the season begins!

Support throughout the Year!

You can help support the Mat-Su Ski Club through the Fred Meyer Community Awards program and through Amazon Smile. Every little bit counts.

Remember Your Parking Passes

The Mat-Su Borough is now enforcing the parking rules at GPRA and other Borough park sites. If you do not display a current Borough parking sticker or a day pass - you will get a $40 ticket. If you receive one of these tickets the fine can be used towards the purchase of a trail permit through December 31, 2021. To receive the annual trail pass, bring the ticket to the Community Development Office located at 350 East Dahlia Ave. The violator has 5 days from the date of the ticket to visit the Community Development Office, pay the $40 and receive their annual pass. The Borough is checking the parking lot several times every day. The parking fees go into a Borough fund for recreational facilities. Click here to buy a day use or yearly parking pass online. Save $10 when you buy two. 2022 parking passes will be available Dec 1st.
Parking at Independence Mine and at the Archangel Road trailheads also require an State of Alaska annual or daily parking pass. Click here to purchase or drop by the State Parks Headquarters office at 7278 E Bogard Rd, Wasilla, AK 99654
parking violation

Thanks for the Volunteer Support!

We deeply appreciate each and every volunteer! Remember, when you donate 8 hours of volunteer trail work and recorded by the Mat-Su Ski Club or Valley Mountain Bikers and Hikers it earns you one Mat-Su Borough parking pass for the following year, custom delivered to your snailmail address. All you have to do is record your name and mailing address and hours on the appropriate Club's paperwork. Watch for emails and for postings on matsuski.org about volunteer opportunities.
Ed Strabel shows a group of folks what part of the trail needs some trimming and rock tossing.

Seeking Trail Groomers

Are you interested in joining our fine group of volunteer Ski Trail Groomers? We could use your help if you have some evenings free. We will train you! Grooming is usually done late in the evening. We use the Centaur and PistenBully at Independence. Archangel Road is groomed with snowmachines, as is the Moose Range. At GPRA we groom with either tracked ATV's or the PistonBulley, depending on snow cover and time of season. Contact us for more info.
Thanks to Our Donors-2