The Mat-Su Ski Club is a group of dedicated volunteers promoting the sport of cross country skiing in the southern area of the Mat-Su Valley, Alaska. The Club was born out of efforts to develop the Crevasse Moraine trails in the 1980's and the Colony High School trails in the 1990's. We sponsored a small Junior Nordic ski program from 1987 to 2000. In 2007, as a result of our expanding role in developing the GPRA trail system, we organized as the Mat-Su Ski Club, receiving Federal non-profit 501(c)(3) status in September 2008. The Club has a strong history of partnering with the MatSu Borough, and with other non-profit organizations, schools, and the community to achieve big goals. We are always working towards opportunities for developing our community's trail systems and facilities and for encouraging people to take advantage of them.
The Club has over 400 adult members now.
We are largely supported by our sponsors. The Club generates income from its Junior Nordic and Adult Ski Lessons programs; and from Membership dues and the sale of Trail Pins and sundry items. We are reimbursed, by the Mat-Su Borough, for fuel and basic maintenance expenses for our grooming equipment. All of our major equipment purchases and trail expansion efforts have been aided by large one-time donations from individuals, business's, foundations, and government agencies.
The Club has very little overhead expenses - a tiny phone and electric bill ($200/yr), this website ($1900/yr), and one part-time employee. Our self-generated income covers more than those expenses. Donated money goes to the trails and facilities that belong to the broader community.
LUCAS PARKER, President, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Lucas Parker, a born and raised Alaskan. He enjoys all of the outdoor recreational activities Alaska has to offer. He grew up on cross country skis, and is excited to be able to help promote the sport for our next generations. An active community member and father of 5, he also makes time for his other hobbies-Junior Nordics coach and Project Manager with a local construction firm.
DAVE MUSGRAVE, Vice President, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Dave retired in 2007 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I was a professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in physical oceanography. He moved to the Valley in 2008 about two miles from the then unknown Government Peak Recreation Area. He became involved with the Club in 2009 by establishing the Mat-Su Junior Nordics. He became a board member in 2011 and focused on growing the Junior Nordics program from about 20 kids in 2009 to 350 kids last year. Dave was the President of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks in the early 90s and served on the VMBAH board for several years, where he established the SprocKidz mountain bike program for kids. He enjoys skiing, biking (all kinds), backcountry adventures, and mountain hiking, often with his wife (Sheri), son (Dylan), Bernese Mountain Dog (Brodie), and Golden Retriever (Lukie). He is grateful for the hard work that the Board and Ski Club members provide to the make skiing a great experience in the Valley. He is grateful for the many friends he has made through the Club.
JERRY HUPP, Treasurer, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Jerry is a soon to-be-retired wildlife biologist and a 30-year resident of Alaska. Jerry and his wife Gail moved to Palmer from Anchorage last year. He was a Junior Nordic coach for three years in Anchorage. Previously, he was a member of the Alaska Chapter of the Wildlife Society Board for six years. He has greatly enjoyed Nordic skiing over the years, and would like to give back to a sport that's given a lot to him. He's happy to assist the Club where possible and looks forward to learning more about its programs.
LORENE LYNN, Secretary, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
(Photo and bio coming soon)
LORI BERRIGAN, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
I am a long-time Alaskan and ski enthusiast. I was one of the first coaches for Junior Nordics and SprocKidz. I am currently the chair of the Palmer Moose Nordic Ski Team Booster Club. I also was a main founder of Birchtree Charter School. My goal as a board member is to create opportunity for all Mat-Su residents.
LORI STRAUB, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Lori is an avid Nordic skier. Last year she managed to ski 212 days. You could say she loves skiing but that would be an understatement. She is also a coach for Jr. Nordic. She has 4 children all of whom cross country ski, some more than others. She also enjoys running and hiking mountains in the off season.
TERRI SLAVEN, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Terry retired after 20 years with the Mat-Su School District. I've been a skier since I was about 11 years old-from learning to downhill ski in Utah, Colorado and California, to cross country skiing classes in college, to telemarketing and skate skiing in Alaska-skiing has always been a big part of my winter fun. Last winter I was able to fill in as a Junior Nordic coach and hope to continue with that this winter. Summers find me doing triathlons, hiking trails in Alaska , Colorado and Wyoming and mountain biking with friends. I'd like to give back to this community that has done so much for the sport in our valley by helping out on the Mat-Su Ski Club Board.
JEFF KASE, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Jeff lives in a 360 square foot cabin at the base of Hatcher Pass. He has enough fire wood to last the next few years and recently acquired an adequate supply of traction sand to put on the driveway this winter. Jeff works seasonally in the mineral resource exploration and extraction industry which allows him to concentrate on skiing during the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Jeff splits his time between Backcountry and Nordic skiing. Some specific Nordic ski goals for Jeff this season include producing good performances at the Icicle Double, Sven, and Oosik. When Jeff is not training for races or riding sunny powder mountains with cliffs, he coaches at a variety of levels including Jr Nordic, High School, and ANR. He also is a volunteer groomer and race director for the MSSC. Jeff is proud to be a member of such a great ski club and intends on becoming a more active leader in the ski community.
ED STRABEL, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Ed is a retired Army officer, teacher and ski coach. Currently, he is the co-owner of Mountain Streams B&B and a trail groomer.
MARK STRABEL, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Mark and his wife (Stacy) have 2 daughters, Siri the oldest, 5 yrs old, is in Junior Nordics, and the youngest, Lena, is 2 and desperately wants to be in Junior Nordics. They own a home at the west end of the GPRA trails, next door to Mountain Streams Trails. He is a XC Skier at heart. He grew up here in the Mat-Su Valley, started skiing on the hills of Crevasse, went to high school at Colony High School, and raced on the ski team there. After high school, he raced for UAA on the ski team. Mark has raced for Team Alaska at several Junior National Championships and at Arctic Winter Games. He was an exchange student to Norway during high school. Currently he is a Physical Education Teacher at Colony High School, and one of the Coaches for the XC Ski team. He is the owner/ operator of Strabel Racing Services, a race timing company, timing various races around the State of Alaska. Mark serves on the board of Cross Country Alaska (statewide xc ski organization), along with the Cross Country Alaska Competition Committee, representing the Mat-Su Ski Club. He is on ASAA (Alaska Schools Activities Association) XC Ski Board, representing Region 3. He has served on National Skiing Committees over the years. Mark is one of the groomers for the Mat-Su Ski Club, and has been grooming xc ski trails around the Mat-Su Valley since he was in high school (about 23 years). Starting with dragging around a piece of chain link fence with an underpowered snowmachine, to now with the Ski Club’s new Centaur groomer. He also has knowledge of new grooming equipment and machines. Mark has experience with heavy equipment, and this past summer have been the lead operator of constructing the new Phase II ski trails.
CHRIS TOMSEN, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Hi, I'm Chris, board member and life member of US Biathlon. I learned to ski at Arctic Valley at age 14 and also skied for Dimond HS (broke five wooden skis my first year!). In college I skied XC and ski-jumped for West Point. Most memorable skiing was a long March (22 days) spent outside Lillehammer, Norway. I've helped 3rd grade thru adult ski coaching. As a snowshoer, I've punched down many trails followed by ski-stomping (old school classic tracksetting). Climbing hills and cutting alder off trails in September ready me for winter fun.
I believe some 'ski Orienteering' would be fun. My family and I enjoy ski tours, fishing, hunting, and camping. I hope biathlon develops as a Nordic sport in the MatSu. Keep moving, carry mittens, and ski more!
CHRIS GIERYMSKI, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
Chris moved to Alaska 36 years ago and has lived in the MatSu Valley since 1997. He is a mineral explorationist who has been lucky enough to work and live across a broad swath of Alaska. Chris is an avid skier, skinny or fat, trail or not.
GENE BACKUS, Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board
HANS HILL, ex Vice-President, Mat-Su Ski Club Board (Leaving the Board after 10 years. Too much accomplished to list here. Thanks Hans!)
Hans Hill has been a Mat-Su Ski Club board member for the last 9 years. He has resided in the Valley for most of his life. He enjoys all versions of skiing; nordic, downhill, backcountry and water. He usually can be found on the trails with his wife and his 2 year son.
MARITT YOUNGLBOOD, ex Treasurer, Mat-Su Ski Club Board (Leaving the Board after 4 years, and a huge effort professionally organizing our finances. Thanks Maritt!)
My first name is generally how people know me, it’s pronounced: |‘merit |. (I tell people, “like a badge in scouts”). It’s the easiest way to explain the pronunciation when people see or hear my name for the first time. I found out my name comes from the main character in a Finnish Fairytale when I lived in Sweden. Grew up in Oregon and California, moved to Alaska in 2006. Professionally, I am a bookkeeper for small businesses and a Special Education Teacher for the Mat-Su School District. I love to cook not just daily meals but trying new recipes and tweaking old ones to make them better. Other than cross-country skiing I love to sail, hike, bike, camp, fish, canoe, swim, and garden. Essentially anything that gets my family and I outside is something we will try or participate in.
CAITLIN BUXBAUM, ex Secretary, Mat-Su Ski Club Board (Leaving
the Board after 1 years, she will be missed, but as a beginning teacher
with multiple new jobs, and still in graduate school herself, there
just wasn't time. Thanks Caitlin!)
DAVE FREER, ex Member, Mat-Su Ski Club Board (Leaving
the Board after 2 years, he will be missed on the Board, but you know
he'll still be seen working on the trails more than most. Thanks Dave!)
Living in Palmer for over 35 years, Dave is an active member of numerous volunteer groups. He enjoys many outdoor sports and believe the Mat-Su Ski Club promotes long term community value with its activities by promoting a healthy family lifestyle and involvement.