Junior Nordics Information
Junior Nordics for this winter is completely enrolled. We would like to be able to accommodate more kids, but are limited by the amount of volunteers we have and by the size of our Nordic stadium.
Junior Nordic Youth Ski Program
Mat-Su Junior Nordics (MSJN) provides an opportunity for children to enjoy the Alaskan winter while learning the sport of cross country skiing. Children of all abilities are welcome to join and learn a sport they can pursue for a lifetime. The emphasis is on fun, fitness, and learning proper technique. MSJN skiers receive instruction in both classical and skate techniques from enthusiastic and dedicated volunteer coaches. Skiers learn proper care and handling of equipment, trail etiquette, good sportsmanship, and how to act responsibly in the outdoors. A typical practice session will include a warm-up period, a lesson in a technique, and an appropriate length group ski on the trails, ending with a fun activity.
Who Can Participate: Youth ages 5 to 16. Parents must participate with 5-year-olds. Skiers must be five years of age by September 1, 2023, to participate.
Groups. Skiers are divided into groups based on age and ability:
- Grizzlies – Advanced (subgroups by color)
- Wolves – Intermediate (subgroups by color)
- Foxes – Intermediate (subgroups by color)
- Otters – Beginners (subgroups by color)
- Yetis – Beginners (middle school and high school age)
- Polar Cubs – Youngest (age 5), requires parent to attend sessions with child.
2024 Registration Dates: Registration for returning participants is on October 9th, 2023. For new participants, the date is October 16th, 2023
Dates & Times. We offer three separate programs – Monday & Wednesday evenings 5:30-6:30 pm; and Tuesday & Thursday evenings 5:30-6:30 pm; and an afternoon program on Monday & Wednesday 1:00-2:00 pm. The evening sessions are limited to 190 participants, and the afternoon session is limited to 100 participants. Ski sessions will begin January 10th, 2024 for M/W and January 11th, 2024 for T/Th. Sessions end on March 6th, 2024 for M/W and March 7th, 2024 for T/Th.
Ski Orientation: Orientation is held at GPRA during the first session of the season. Attendance of parent and child is required as we will be going over important safety, procedures, and expectations for parents and children.
Government Peak Recreation Area (GPRA): Regular sessions and most events will be held at the Government Peak Recreation Area, at 10690 N. Mountain Trails Drive, Palmer, AK, just off of Edgerton Parks Road. The GPRA trails are groomed specifically for cross-country skiing. Skiers of all levels can enjoy a variety of terrain. You must display a valid Mat Su Borough parking pass on your car windshield or buy a daily pass in the parking lot. Click here for parking pass information.
Finisher Race Series: Included with registration: These are fun, informal race events for your skier and family to attend. A way for kids to explore their ski skills and learn some new ones. Four Sunday afternoons at 1 pm The dates for the 2024 Finisher Series are Sunday, January 28th, Sunday, February 18th, and Sunday, March 3rd.
Equipment Rental: Ski and ski pole rental for Junior Nordic participants is available from the Mat-Su Ski Club for $100 per set, and ski boot rentals are available from Backcountry Bike and Ski in Palmer for $40 per pair. Rented skis and poles will be available for pickup at GPRA in October and may be kept until the ski return in April. You will receive an email with a link to sign up for a time slot to pick up your skis after registration has closed. Deposit fees for ski rental ($150 per set) are due at the time of gear pick up. You will only be charged if the skis are not returned at the end of the season or if they are broken when you return them. To ensure the return of equipment, we require a deposit of either a check or a credit card number when the equipment is picked up. Deposit check or credit card info will be shredded once the equipment has been returned. A note on ski and pole rental as well as boot rental fees – Our ski rental fees have increased this season. This adjustment is necessary due to the rising costs associated with maintaining and repairing our equipment. Our goal is to provide safe and well-maintained gear to support your child’s ski experience. Your understanding and support are greatly appreciated.
Please bring your child when you pick up your equipment to ensure proper sizing. Mat-Su Ski Club equipment includes skis, bindings, and poles – but not boots. Backcountry Bike & Ski will also be available during ski pickup at a station in the GPRA parking lot for boot fittings and rentals. Backcountry Bike & Ski will not have cash on hand, so please bring exact change if you plan to use cash for boot rentals.
Equipment availability is not guaranteed to all Junior Nordics registrants. Equipment will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Junior Nordics Fees & Ski Rental. Registration for Junior Nordics requires a current Family Membership in the Mat-Su Ski Club. The Junior Nordics fee is per participating child, a single fee does not cover multiple children in a family.
Full or partial Junior Nordics Scholarships are available for families with limited financial circumstances. Contact email@example.com prior to registration for details.
Expected fees and costs (click on blue text for link):
Junior Nordics Fee (per child): $100
Ski and Pole rental from MSSC (per child) $100
Ski and Pole refundable deposit (per child) $150
Opting out of Parent volunteering $100
*Boot rental from Backcountry Bike & Ski (per child) $40
*Wax Kit from Backcountry Bike & Ski $45
*Boot rental and Wax Kit package from Backcountry Bike & Ski $75
(*Note: When using cash, you must have exact change for payment to Backcountry Bike and Ski)