Mat-Su Ski Club News
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)
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.
Ski Return Sign Up (Click “read more” for link) Junior Nordics ski returns will be held on Friday, May 15th from 6-8pm and Saturday, May 16th from 9-11am. The signup is intended to allow 10 families every 15 minutes. Please signup and stick to your scheduled time!
We will have cones set up to help guide you while also maintaining social distancing. Please help us by keeping kids in your vehicles and only having 1 family member at a time returning skis, poles and boots.
Please clean your skis and remove all tape/name tags from the skis and poles. If you rented boots from Backcountry Bike & Ski, please bring them with you. We will not have a ski cleaning station this year. If skis are not cleaned, you will be charged $10/per set of skis if we have to clean them. Thanks for your help!!
Summer Storage Wax For Your Skis
Clean Kick: Use wax remover and fiber wipe or clean cloth to clean the kick zone. You will leave your kick zone free of any wax – naked. You are using sandpaper on this part of the base, so oxidization is not a concern. It just needs to be cleaned, and left alone.
If you suspect your skis have any base damage (i.e. base sealing) consider having the skis stone ground to reveal a fresh base in the spring before summer storage. A fresh base is the most important feature in a skis ability to hold wax and to glide.
Cleaning Glide: Use base cleaner (not wax remover) and fiber wipe to clean the glide zones. Or: Hot scrape your glide zones to get any dirt and junk out. To do this you just have to scrape a warm wax (think SWIX CH 10/yellow wax) before it has cooled/hardened. Choosing a warm wax works best, because it stays molten longer. If there is dirt in there you may even be able to see it coming off with the wax..
Let the ski cool from this hot scrape, and then brush it with your finest steel or medium bronze brush. If you don’t have a medium bronze, just hammer away with your nylon brush until you feel you have all of the glide wax out of your base.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 as necessary until no more dirt is seen coming from base.
Once you have a clean and refreshed base it is time to saturate the base with a summer storage wax. In the glide zones melt in a thick layer of a non-flour soft wax and let it cool. If all the wax has been absorbed into the base at any point add another layer on to it. Let cool leave it on the ski all summer.
Better to do something than nothing. So at the very, very least crayon your softest glide onto your glide zones before putting your skis up for the summer.
Junior Nordic ski return postponed from April 18.
Final ski return will be Fri, May 15 and Sat, May 16, hrs by appt. We will be sending out more info at the beginning of May, including a sign up for specific return times, in order to limit the number of families there at the same time.
Thanks for your cooperation.
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.
Registration is now open for the 2020 Mat-Su Ski for Women. Registration is free but there is a suggested donation of $25. All proceeds will benefit Alaska Family Services.
The Mat-Su Ski for Women will be held on February 9th at GPRA. Registration starts at 1pm. The 4K Fun Ski begins at 2pm. Potluck and raffle after the ski. Please bring a dish to share. Costumes are encouraged. Best costume takes home the Golden Ski Pole. Everyone is welcome to attend!!
We also have some new items available in our store this year. We have headbands, stickers and hoodies.