June 2022

Summer Trail Work

All you amazing volunteers out there... your help is needed to clean up the Flat Top Loop this week at GPRA . Are you handy with a weed whacker? We are looking for 4 teams of 2 individuals (8 people) to use Mat Su Borough (MSB) commercial weed whackers to brush different sections of the Flat Top Loop (2-4 hrs of work) this week, Tuesday, June 28th through Friday, July 1st. We have two weed whackers on hand. The 2 person teams can work independently or together, and at any time that works best for you. As a reminder and reward, folks that donate 8 hours of your time to trail maintenance will receive a Mat Su Borough Parking Pass for 2023!
Call Ed Strabel for details and where to meet at 907-354-7524.

Not available this week? Stay tuned for more trail work days ahead. We will share upcoming plans on the www.matsuski.org and through email.
Here you can see the Flat Top trail is in desperate need of some weed whacking!

Memories of Snow Tracks

Are you missing the snow yet? Are these heat waves making you hot? Here's something to cool you down... a look back at the spring skiing in Hatcher Pass...
A view from the bowl at Independence Mine where the early morning crust in April and early May was sheer perfection!
A beautiful day of skiing was found on Archangel Road on the last day of April.
Crust was among us on the last day of April!

Seven Months of Grooming!

Did you know we groomed ski trails from early October of 2021 through early May of 2022! We packed snow and laid tracks at Independence Mine, Archangel Road, the Moose Range and GPRA. That is a lot of skiing, folks!

Grooming began on October 9th, with some beautiful, sunny days and perfect ski tracks at Independence Mine. On October 24th we started grooming Archangel Road. On November 13th our groomers packed almost 2 feet of new snow into corduroy at GPRA. The trails looked amazing when winter showed us who's in charge in Alaska! The January wind storm could have been a real disaster. Volunteer rakers really saved our season at GPRA and the chainsaw crew at the Moose Range enabled our groomers to reopen the trails in record time. The cycle of rain, freeze and thaw tried to dampen our spirits but those groomers just kept working at it and other than a possible sighting of an abdominal snowman, the grooming sessions were relatively uneventful.

As we reflect on the 2021-2022 ski season, we recorded about 900 hours of volunteer grooming. This is down from the 1300 hours of the past several seasons. This is primarily because of the avalanche closure of Hatcher Pass road for almost two months, as well as having a lighter race schedule at GPRA this season. The purchase of a second, wider, 108 inch ginzu groomer improved our efficiency when grooming with a pair of tracked ATV's at GPRA.

Fun fact: In the 2017-18 season the Mat-Su Ski Club provided groomed Nordic trails from Oct 16th to May 30th.

Volunteer Spotlight

One of the unsung heroes of trail maintenance is Dave Werner. He works tirelessly to clear the trails and surrounding areas of dead spruce beetle trees and other debris. He is one of the many volunteers that donate their time and energy to making the ski trails look beautiful and effortless each year. Thank you Dave!
Dave hard at work with his chainsaw. Felling another tree and showing these dead trees who's in charge!
Ed Strabel works year round to keep the trails at GPRA in top shape! Throughout the summer, he spends sixteen hours a month or more mowing the ski trails. It takes about three passes on each trail to get the job done. Pictured above, Ed makes his first pass on the Pioneer Loop which sure does make for a nice walk on a sunny day! If you happen to see Ed while you are out on the trails this summer, be sure to wave and say hi! Most folks know that Ed is one of the pillars of the MSSC and Nordic Ski community. He volunteers in so many ways to include Coaching, Grooming, Trail Maintenance, at Ski Races and serves on the MSSC Board of Directors to name just a few. Thank you Ed!

Thanks For Your Support!

We would like to give a big shout out to the hundreds of individuals who donated time and funds in support of the Club this season! Thank you to each donor and member from every level. It is with your support that we are able to provide all the wonderful programs and trail grooming that we do!
We just have to thank all the volunteers that support the club with their time. These folks do everything from helping at races and events, grooming ski trails, teach Junior Nordics and Adult Ski Lessons, and the folks that do the trail maintenance. After the big winter storm, many folks took to the trails to clear downed trees and rake debris so grooming could continue. We also have summer volunteers that tirelessly remove dead trees, toss rocks and trim overgrowth.

The Mat-Su Ski Club only exists because of you!
Donors big and small, we appreciate you all!-2

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Membership for the 2022-23 season opens September 1st!
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!

Remember Your Parking Passes

Just a friendly reminder to be sure you have your parking pass for GPRA and other Borough park sites. The parking fees go into a Borough fund for recreational facilities and does not pay for trail grooming. Click here to buy a day use or yearly MSB parking pass online. Save $10 when you buy two.

Alaska State annual parking passes may only be purchased online. This parking pass is used for Archangel Road and Independence Mine when accessible, among many other AK State Parks. Click here to visit the 2022 Annual Parking Pass ordering page.

Daily parking passes may be purchased at any MSB or AK State trailhead for $5.

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.