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Volunteer 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.

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.

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.

Volunteers Needed: Sunday, February 2nd for Besh Cup 5 & 6 Races

Volunteers Needed: Sunday, February 2nd for Besh Cup 5 & 6 Races

Due to cold weather in Fairbanks, Besh 5 and 6 have moved to Southcentral.  MSSC is looking for volunteers for Sunday February 2nd.  Approximate times will be 10am to 3pm (depending on job and start time).

If you have time this weekend, please sign up.

The ConocoPhillips Besh Cup Race Series is the premier cross country skiing competition series in Alaska. Each of the six races in the series draws approximately 300 entries from all parts of the state.

Results in Besh Cup races are used to select the Alaska Teams to the United States Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) Junior Olympic National Championships (JO’s), as well as the biennial, international Arctic Winter Games (AWG).

End of Year Giving, Cross Country Skiing 101, Mat-Su Icicle Double Registration

End of Year Giving, Cross Country Skiing 101, Mat-Su Icicle Double Registration

The Mat-Su Ski Club is a non-profit that promotes Nordic Skiing in the Mat-Su Valley for fun, community and health.

We groom trails at the Government Peak Recreation Area, the Moose Range, Archangel Road and Independence Mine. We host community ski races, and more competitive races, as well as the Annual Ski for Women. We offer educational clinics and adult ski lessons. Hundreds of kids are learning to ski every winter in our Junior Nordic program. We organize and lead community ski get-togethers. We work with other ski organizations, such as local high schools, when they race at the venues we maintain. We organize volunteers, raise funds, pursue grants, and work with public and private agencies and organizations to build new ski trails and to maintain the trails year-round. 

In order to continue all of these programs, we need your help. Please consider making a tax-deductible year-end contribution here!

Thanks for you help!

Upcoming Events

Backcountry Bike & Ski and the Mat-Su Ski Club are hosting a Cross Country Skiing 101 Clinic. This clinic will be held on Tuesday, December 17th at 6:30pm at Backcountry Bike & Ski in Palmer. The clinic will cover the basics: gear needed, where to get lessons and how to rent skis. For more information, please check their Facebook page.

The Mat-Su Icicle Double will be held on December 28 and 29, 2019. Three different distances to choose from. Skate on Saturday, Classic on Sunday. Affordable entry fees and online registration. Prizes for the top finishers! 

Blue Crew Race Volunteers

Blue Crew Race Volunteers

Hey Folks, Join our Blue Crew of race volunteers and get this great Blue Crew insulated jacket to wear at the races or in town around the Valley. Sign up to volunteer for at least 5 out of our 9 races and you will get the Blue Crew jacket on us! If you can’t help us with 5 races, come join us anyway and become part of the Blue Crew !

Sign Up Here!

The races are exciting and fun to watch. Sign up at the link below before December 10, so we can order the jackets!

The Club was Busy Last Summer

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.

Recap of 2018-2019 Grooming of Nordic Ski Trails

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)


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Mat-Su Ski Club Calendar

October 6, 2020
  • MSSC Board Meeting
    October 6, 2020  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

October 10, 2020
  • Trail Work Party at GPRA
    October 10, 2020  10:00 am - 2:00 pm

October 17, 2020
  • Annual Meeting
    October 17, 2020  6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    GPRA parking lot

    Elections for 5 open Board seats