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Trails & Grooming News

Saturday Oct 10, 10am – 2pm GPRA work party

Its that time of year again! Volunteers needed to stroll the trails at GPRA getting them ready for winter.

On Saturday, October 10th; from 10am to 2pm we will have a work party at GPRA. Meet in the GPRA parking lot at 10am.

Mostly the Sisyphean job of tossing rocks of off the Denali trail. There will also be an opportunity to do a little shovel, rake, and bucket work where we reset a culvert. Grass seed will be spread locally.. We need to fix a few moose-vandalized U-board hangers with some dowels and glue. Finally, a posthole digger patrol will walk the Flattop, standing back up signs dragged out of their postholes by a mysterious force.

Geo-aware Maps

Geo-aware Maps

Mat-Su Ski Club maps of Gov’t Peak, and the Moose Range are available for free as geo-aware pdf’s.  This means you can load them into an app like Avenza or Gaia* on your phone and use them like the GPS in your car, to see where you are on the trail (or off the trail).

Find the geopdf maps for Gov’t Peak and the Moose Range under  Ski Info – Trail Maps on the menu.

Links to other Nordic Ski trail maps from across southern Alaska are in the same place.

*(It is easy and free to use Avenza with geoPDF’s, however, Gaia makes it tricky and not free to load geopdf’s from the wild.)

Flattop Loop completed and ready for winter!

We finished building the rest of the Flattop Loop at GPRA this summer. It is now a proper loop, instead of being two-way traffic for half the way. The Flattop, accessed off of the Susitna Loop or Eska Loop, is an old-school, unlighted, narrow, twisting trail through the woods, for the folks who like that sort of thing.

MAT-SU SKI CLUB’S GROOMING 2019/2020.

This ski trail grooming season was seven and a half months long! Matching our longest previous season: 226 days of skiing.

Volunteers spent 1322 hours grooming and training, and maintaining machines, during the 2019-20 grooming season. This is a 50% increase over recent previous seasons.

Volunteers drove the grooming fleet a total of 5400 miles this season – the equivalent of a roadtrip from Deadhorse to Seattle and back to Deadhorse!

This was our first season with the PistenBully in our grooming fleet, as well as the first season in which we groomed throughout the winter at Independence Mine.

This was a solid winter with no trail-closing winter warmup at GPRA. There were a few multi-day show-stopping snow-dumping storms that put grooming at all locations on hold, and required major efforts to recover the trails afterward.

Independence Mine: Oct 5 TO May 17 (~1000 miles of grooming machine travel on 79 grooming days during 226 calendar days)

Archangel Road: Nov 18 to May 8 (718 miles of grooming machine travel  on 50 grooming days during 172 calendar days)

GPRA: Dec 2 to April 11 (~2900 miles of grooming machine travel on 55 grooming days during 140 calendar days)

Moose Range: Dec 2 to Apr 12 (over 800 miles of grooming machine travel on 50 grooming days during 141 calendar days)

Flattop Loop expansion in progress

Flattop Loop expansion in progress

Work has started on completing the Flattop Loop, so that it will be a true loop, as originally planned. You can help. May is a great season for clearing the devilsclub, alders, and all the rest – before the new growth obscures everything. Bring a lopper to cut the remaining devils club, roses, and other little bushes. or just a pair of devils club-proof gloves and toss the already cut pieces off the trail.

You can help with your own virtual work party.  Starting from the bottom of Eska, walk out the Flattop and look for the very obvious lines of pink flagging and the survey stakes with arrows and instructions on them for the three in-progress trail segments: O oscar, B bravo, and D delta.  Here is a map of the work areas.

A pair of devilsclub-proof gloves is all you need – there are lots of already cut stalks to toss off the trail alignment.  Bring a lopper too if you want, there are always more stalks yet to be cut.

Contact us if you want to help, or just head out on your own. It is a nice walk this time of year and even if you do only a tiny bit of work, it will help.

BIG GROOMING MONTH

BIG GROOMING MONTH

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.

Thanks to Volunteer Groomers!

Thanks to Volunteer Groomers!

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.

Trails Aren’t Ready Yet

Trails Aren’t Ready Yet

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.

Trails Aren’t Ready Yet

Trail Conditions Today

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 New PistenBully

The New PistenBully

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.

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Archive of MooseTrax Newsletters

Mat-Su Ski Club Calendar

December 7, 2021
  • Board Meeting
    December 7, 2021  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    GPRA Chalet

December 10, 2021
  • High School Race Series
    December 10, 2021

December 11, 2021
  • High School Race Series
    December 11, 2021

December 17, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 18, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 19, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 20, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 21, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 22, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 23, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 24, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Holiday Tree Tour of Lighted Trees on Pioneer Loop
    December 24, 2021  4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Come and go between 4pm and 7pm and tour decorated trees on the Pioneer Loop at GPRA. Suitable for all levels of skiers and walkers. There will be warm drinks, cheer and more! Send email to info@matsuski.org to sponsor a tree.

December 25, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 26, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 27, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 28, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 29, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

December 30, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Mat-Su Icicle Double
    December 30, 2021

December 31, 2021
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Mat-Su Icicle Double
    December 31, 2021
    GPRA

January 1, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

January 2, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

January 3, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

January 4, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Adult Ski Lessons Start
    January 4, 2022
    GPRA

  • Board Meeting
    January 4, 2022  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    GPRA Chalet

January 5, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Junior Nordics first day Mon-Wed session
    January 5, 2022
    GPRA

    Parent attendance mandatory

January 6, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • Junior Nordics first day Tue-Thur session
    January 6, 2022
    GPRA

    Parent attendance mandatory

January 7, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • High School Races
    January 7, 2022
    GPRA

January 8, 2022
  • Holiday Trees on Pioneer Loop at GPRA
    December 17, 2021 - January 8, 2022  

  • High School Races
    January 8, 2022
    GPRA

  • Ski 101
    January 8, 2022

    more information to come

January 9, 2022
  • Northern Lights Race Series #1
    January 9, 2022
    GPRA

    Classic

January 15, 2022
  • Backup for Besh Cup Race
    January 15, 2022
    GPRA

  • Educational Event/Fundraiser at Hatcher Pass
    January 15, 2022
    Hatcher Pass Lodge, Mi 175 & Fishhook Willow Rd, Gold Cord Rd, Palmer, AK 99645, USA

January 16, 2022
  • Backup for Besh Cup Race
    January 16, 2022
    GPRA

January 28, 2022
  • High School Races
    January 28, 2022
    GPRA

January 29, 2022
  • High School Races
    January 29, 2022
    GPRA

January 30, 2022
  • Northern Lights Race Series #2
    January 30, 2022
    GPRA

    Freestyle

February 1, 2022
  • Backup for RIMSA races
    February 1, 2022
    GPRA

  • Board Meeting
    February 1, 2022  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    GPRA Chalet