Trails & Grooming News
April skiing is great! March brought tons of snow and the MSSC volunteer groomers were busy. Our new uber-tool, the PB100, moved in mid-March from GPRA up to Independence to re-open the trails there after massive snowfalls. At GPRA, Archangel, Independence, and the Moose Range, 256 volunteer hours in March maintained the ski and multiuse trails.
Your volunteer groomers were busy in February:
53 hours at Independence Mine, 17 hours at Archangel Road, 32 hours in the Moose Range, and 91 hours of grooming at GPRA. They groomed trails on 24 days last month.
Please stay off the Government Peak ski trails, they are almost ready. Although there is a lot of water and slush right under the new snow, and if we ski on it (or groom it), it will create ice. Hopefully by Monday (night?) we can groom it. It is so close to being great skiing it hurts not be able to ski on those great trails, but the wait will be WELL WORTH IT.
GPRA looks good, but it is sloppy wet smush. All Users: Please stay off of the Comp and Mat-Su Loops, so that they will be skiable when it cools down. The Comp Loops and Mat-Su Loops are closed to all Walkers and Bikers for the season. Pioneer Loop is open for all uses.
The Mat-Su Ski Club’s newly-acquired 2006 PistenBully 100 has arrived. We are using it to groom at Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass. As the snowline moves down from the alpine, so will the PB. It will spend most of the winter at GPRA. Besides helping prevent our (volunteer) groomers from going insane circling the trails 40 times on our old equipment after huge snowfalls, the PB should bring a marked improvement to grooming quality at GPRA.
Years of paid Club memberships, Junior Nordic participation fees, and your generous donations made this possible.
The 2019-2020 ski season is now happening at Independence Mine. Grooming started on October 16th two years ago, October 29th last year, and October 6 this year!
Help us buff up the trails for the coming winter. There will be erosion- control teams with 6 to 8 people. They will shovel some dirt, and toss some rocks. Another team will walk the trails to clean up loose roots and rocks. Sign up here.
Contact us if you have 3 or 4 late or very late evening hours, once a week, and want to help groom the trails.
Volunteers did a fair amount of trail maintenance and improvement at GPRA between ski seasons. A few days of heavy equipment work accomplished a lot: building a clever new cut-through that includes part of the Matanuska Loop into the homologated race loops, along with widening key spots and improving corners on the Matanuska; a few key drainage issues were addressed; some very large rocks were removed. Volunteers built a new section of winter-only trail, with one bridge, connecting the Mountain Streams loops to the Flattop Trail.
In the summer the nordic trail system is basically 30 spaghetti acres of lawn, some of it on pretty steep hills. A lot of people helped maintain the trails and repair damage. Lots of small scale dirt work and rock reinforcing and vegetation rehab. The whole system got mowed the usual five or six times. A significant timbering effort thinned the beetle killed spruce back from the trails.
Thanks to the volunteers who helped maintain GPRA last summer and to the sponsors that supported that work.
The 2018-19 grooming season lasted 197 days. (Compared to 226 days last season)
Our grooming season started on Oct 29th at both Independence Mine and GPRA; and ended on May 14th, back at Independence Mine. We would have continued grooming for another week or two, but the State came up and plowed the snow away.
At Independence Mine we groomed on 11 fall days and 3 spring days; 112 hours of grooming (not including 27 hours of trail prep and equipment shuttling). (Compared to 21 fall and 9 spring grooming events last season)
At Archangel Road we groomed on 50 days, during a 151-day period; 237 hours of grooming. (Compared to 40 grooming events over 183 days last season)
At GPRA and Mountain Streams we groomed on 47 days, during a 138-day period; 380 hours of grooming. (Compared to 58 grooming events over 153 days last season)
At the Matanuska Moose Range we groomed on 40 days, over a 101-day period; 75 hours of grooming. (Compared to 35 grooming events over 102 days last season)
About 800 Mat-Su Ski Club volunteer hours went into grooming and machine maintenance during the 2018-2019 Nordic ski season. (Compared to about 900 hours last ski season)
THANK YOU GROOMERS!