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Volunteer News

GPRA Work Parties – mid-July

The Club needs help at GPRA for several days in mid-July (dates to be determined, but maybe the 12th – 16th, maybe not)

We need people who can run a #2 shovel and/or climb in and out of a hole and toss aside football-sized rocks. Also, an experienced excavator operator with skill at setting culverts would be welcomed.

Six culverts on the Denali Loop need to be removed and reset this summer. We didn’t put them deep enough when we built the Denali Loop four years ago. We did the job on one culvert last year, so we’ve got a pretty good plan. Carefully dig out the culvert with a medium-sized excavator, put chains underneath the culvert, then lift it up and set it aside. Then the excavator will properly prepare a deeper channel to set the culvert back in. The final preparation of the channel needed to be done by hand last year, to get a smooth bed in which to lay the culvert. Hence the need for laborers to shovel and toss.

A bit later in the summer there will be work parties to rake and smooth and spread seed on the Denali trail surfaces ripped up for culvert repair, and also on a half-dozen places on the Matanuska  and Susitna Loops that we will be widening this summer.

Please write us if you can help or have questions. We will update this post, send emails to our members, and announce on our Facebook page when the dates are finalized – so keep an eye out. Thanks!


The Blue Crew needs You!

The Blue Crew needs You!

Be the Blue Crew! Volunteer for the Icicle Double next weekend, Saturday December 26th – Sunday December 27th. We need you, on skis or not, experienced or not!

Please click on the link to the Sign Up Genius and come out for a great day of ski fun and competition.

Sign up here.

Final Ski Rental for Junior Nordics

November 12th is the last chance to pick up ski gear for the upcoming Junior Nordics season!  Volunteers will be at the shed at GPRA at 5:30 ready to size gear, help with the necessary rental paperwork, and accept payment for a short time only.  Please sign up here to let us know you are coming.  If you want to volunteer during this event, please contact Allison Fry at .

*Skis and poles can be rented through Mat-Su Ski Club for $50 a pair.  This includes skis with bindings and poles.  We accept cash, checks, and cards, however cash or check are preferred (the card reader isn’t Alaskan enough to work consistently in the cold!).

*A refundable ski and pole deposit of $150 per pair of skis is required at time of rental. Please bring a separate check with you for this deposit.  The check should be post-dated for April 17th, 2021.

It’s also important to note that Backcountry Bike & Ski will be set up in the parking lot of their store in downtown Palmer to rent boots and sell wax kits to Junior Nordics families on October 31st at 12:00-3:00 PM.  They will be accepting cash, card, and check, but will not have change, so please bring exact change.  The price of boot rental is $41.20 and wax kits will be sold for $46.35.


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!

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Mat-Su Ski Club Calendar

July 6, 2021
  • MSSC Board Meeting
    July 6, 2021  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

August 3, 2021
  • MSSC Board Meeting
    August 3, 2021  6:30 pm - 8:30 pm