Mat-Su Ski Club Membership

A reminder to renew or buy your membership for the upcoming 2023-24 season! Membership enrollment is now open, and we can't wait to have you back for another incredible winter. Your support allows us to keep our trails and equipment in top condition all year long and put on fantastic programs and events.

New this year, you can make your life simpler by choosing to have your membership automatically renew every year. (You can always opt out of this later by logging in to your account and clicking on "Subscriptions.")
We are lucky to have so many wonderful members supporting us each season! If you're feeling lucky, why not buy a membership before our annual meeting in October? You might just win one of these three seriously cool prizes. And if you don't win, well, at least you'll have the satisfaction of supporting something you love. Win-win, right? Don't miss out on your chance to be entered into the drawing. Thank you for being part of our amazing community!

Truckloads of Changes at GPRA

Have you been to GPRA lately? Things have changed up there! Weeks of construction trucks and beeping sounds accompanied the completion of a new parking lot, and re-contouring of the sledding hill. This was a Borough project that the MSSC took the opportunity to piggyback on for some long-desired changes in the Nordic stadium. The Borough and their contractor, MassX Excavation, graciously agreed to move an enormous amount of dirt excavated from the parking lot over to the stadium, to engineer and install required additions to the stadium drainage system, and to hydroseed after final grading.

In preparation for this the Club removed the last few trees in the middle of the stadium and carried all their stuff out of the way. The Club also moved four of the six light poles which were within the stadium out to the edges of the new expanse. After MassX finished, Club volunteers did the final machine grading of the stadium surface and then hand-cleared off hundreds of rocks and boulders (Thanks to the rock-chuckers!). Wiring to the new light pole locations will be run before winter.

Although we didn't get enough fill to completely flatten the stadium, the end result is a big raise in the ground level and a much-needed increase in size. The stadium is in much less of a hole now and will be better for Junior Nordics, race events, and total beginners who want a big flat area. And, bonus, easier for our groomers to navigate! We owe a big thanks to the Mat-Su Borough, MassX Excavation, and RESPEC Engineering for making it all possible with their support and hard work. We can't thank them enough!

We would also like to say thank you to the local community through the Fishhook Community Council, for granting the Club $10,000 to help with these stadium improvements.
Stadium progress June 1st as we prepare for incoming fill
Truckloads of dirt arrive as a result of the new MSB parking lot
Some of the subsurface drainage system
Stadium after final grading, derocking, and hydroseeding.
New parking lot in progress.
Construction of the Mat-Su Snowboard Club half-pipe and giant jump at GPRA!
Just kidding - this is actually construction of the new 200-yard long pedestrian trail connecting the new parking lot to the existing lot.
Google Earth image acquired early in the project in June, before any work in the stadium. The grass on the trails got a late start this summer. (Elsewhere on this image one can see the big cottonwoods snapped off and strewn around by the avalanches two winters ago.)

Blueberry Knoll Trail Reroute

We just want to let you know that the starting point for the Blueberry Knoll trail has moved. You can now find it conveniently located at the first bridge on the Pioneer Loop trail. It's a great spot to start your adventure, with a nearby creek to keep your furry friends hydrated. The trailhead relocation was done to make the trail more accessible and to avoid the muddy areas with standing water. Please spread the word about the new location so everyone can easily find it. Enjoy your next hike!
Are you reading this newsletter second-hand and wondering why you don't receive it, even though you signed up? There is a confirmation email sent after subscribing that contains a confirmation link to click. That email may have ended in your spam or other folder.

Trail Care

The jungle never rests. We can't take our mower on the Flattop trail, so all 2.3 km needs to be weed-whacked annually near the end of every summer. Why not join us for a trailwork party or send us an email if you would like to help out before winter? By contributing 8 hours or more of your time, you will receive a Mat Su Borough parking pass. Let's work together to make a difference!

Mark your Calendar!

2023-24 Club Membership
September 1, 2023
A new membership year begins.
Volunteer Trails Day
Sunday October 8, 2023 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Come on out and join your MSSC friends for this annual Trail Work Day at GPRA, where we ready the trails for winter and snowfall. This volunteer event is for everyone and all are welcome. Let us know you will join us by signing up. Just click here!
Junior Nordics Registration for Returning Skiers
October 9, 2023
Junior Nordics registration opens for returning skiers at 9am.
Junior Nordics Registration for New participants.
October 16, 2023
Junior Nordics registration opens for new participants at 9am.
Annual Meeting and Social
Mid-October - Venue TBD.
All are welcome for this annual and free event. Join us for a night of socializing with your MSSC board members and other ski club friends. Possible elections for 5 board seats! More information to come!
Race To The Outhouse #1 (RTTO#1)
November 11, 2023 10AM.
3.5k Classic or Freestyle. Venue TBD.

Termination Dust?

In the last six winters, we started grooming at Independence Mine as early as October 5th and as late as October 29th. Whenever the snow comes this year, our trusty 1996 PistenBulley100 will be there and ready for it.

Spring 2023 Member Survey Results

We just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in our survey and shared their thoughts with us. Your input means a lot to us, and we really appreciate the time you took to complete the survey.
We also wanted to give a shout-out to our friend Steve Kruze, who won the gift card prize draw just by taking part in the survey. Well done, Steve!

Foraging Around

What in the world are you gonna do with all those Blues that you just picked at Hatcher Pass? Try these mouth-watering Blueberry Zucchini Muffins from Alaska From This recipe pairs berries with zucchini for a yummy way to enjoy some summer goodness.
Add some joy to your day by taking a listen to this acoustic version of a classic Crosby, Stills, and Nash song that was shared by one of the MSSC board members.

Meet the Artist

Hanna Jakab, a talented local artist from Wasilla, created this beautiful rendition of first tracks, pictured below, at Independence Mine that all our members and donors received last season in the mail. If you enjoyed this, you will love what she has created this year. The breathtaking beauty of a winter sunrise as seen atop the Denali loop at GPRA. She has also created some other exciting things that you might notice this season. Hanna was part of the reboot of Junior Nordics at Shaw Elementary in 2010. Today, she continues to create extraordinary art across various mediums as a graphic design student at MSU. Follow her on Instagram or check out her website to witness the wonder of her creations.

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Promoting Nordic Skiing Opportunities