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Annual Meeting and Other Updates

posted Oct 17, 2012, 10:48 AM by Hans Hill   [ updated Oct 17, 2012, 10:48 AM by Dave Musgrave ]

Mat-Su Ski Club’s Biggest Annual Meeting Yet

Our annual general membership meeting occurred on October 12, with over 100 members in attendance. While many showed for the free pizza and a chance for a door prize (who doesn't like free stuff), many more showed to find out the latest news on the Government Peak trails, Junior Nordics and other club activities. 

Three Board members were reelected, Ed Strabel, Mark Strabel and Hans Hill.  Their chains were promptly reattached in anticipation of the three years of indentured servitude.

Another highlight from the meeting included a demonstration of the trail lighting prototypes, designed and constructed by students from UAA.  The lights utilize LEDs for low current draw and a proximity detection system, which almost has to be seen to appreciate.  Each Light pole has a sensor and initiates the LED light fixture to activate, but that also signals the light pole ahead of you to turn on.  Once you have arrived at the next light pole, the pole in front of that one will turn on while the fixture behind you will turn off.  Initial estimates indicate an operations savings of over 80% over conventional trail lighting systems.  The MSSC is actively seeking funding alternatives for trail lighting, with optimisms of updates to come in the coming year.

Thank you to all that helped make the Meeting a success, including door prize donations from Backcountry Bicycles, Skinny Ravens, Alaska Mountaineering and Hiking, REI, Valley Performing Arts and any others I may have errantly omitted.


Mat-Su Ski Club to Host Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Government Peak Nordic Trails

In celebration of the newly constructed trails, the Mat-Su Ski Club (MSSC) and Mat-Su Borough (MSB) will host a formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at the Government Peak Nordic Trails on Saturday, November 24th at 10 AM.  The club hopes to show the MSB how excited Valley skiers (and others) are about theses phenomenal trails and to show support for the upcoming chalet and potential trail lighting.  Events include:

  • Sprint relay race for high school skiers and the general public at 11 AM.  Hosted by MSSC.
  • Junior Nordic “Social Saturday” Tour at Noon
  • Skate skiing clinic.
  • Moonlight Ski Tour at 6:30 PM.

Come join us and show your support for trails in the Valley.


Trail Pins

The Mat-Su Ski Club encourages all local skiers to buy and wear the new Trail Pin to support ski trail grooming at Independence Mine, Archangel Road, the Government Peak Nordic Trails, the Moose Range Trails, Colony and Palmer High School Trails.

To expand on Nordic Ski Club of Anchorage slogan that “Tracks don’t fall from heaven”, the Mat-Su Ski Club Board of Directors have discovered, after exhaustive research and double blind studies, that snow does in fact fall from heaven when the atmospheric conditions are “just right” (scientific term). Our team of researchers has also determined that our grooming team has to beat the individual snowflakes into submission to create the ideal surface for classic and skate skiing.  This takes a lot of work with the proper equipment.

By purchasing and wearing trail pins you are helping the MSSC pay for fuel, repairs and replacement of grooming equipment as well as showing your support of the grooming team’s efforts .  Pins are available at Backcountry Bicycles and the UPS Store, both in Palmer.


Junior Nordics 2012-2013

Dave Musgrave and his coaches are gearing up for the upcoming Junior Nordic season.  Children ages 4 to 14 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. Mat-Su Junior Nordic skiers receive instruction in both classical and skate techniques from enthusiastic and dedicated 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 appropriate length group ski on the trails, ending with a fun activity.

  • We will be charging $35 for each pair of skis rented for the season beyond the $40 deposit. This is to replace skis as they wear out.
  • Two locations this year with weekday sessions on Monday and Wednesdays: Mat River Park at 4:30 pm and Government Peak Recreation Area Nordic Trails at 4:45 pm.
  • Regular Junior Nordic gatherings begin January 3rd and will continue through March 2nd.
  • Social Saturdays will be once a month beginning November 24, as part of the Skiapalooza at the new Government Peak Recreation Area Nordic Trails.
  • Fire up the computer and head over to http://www.facebook.com/MatSuJuniorNordics for more Junior Nordic information and updates, because that is where the cool kids hang out.


Backcountry Winter Travel-Basic Skills

At the Annual Meeting Ralph Baldwin threw out the invitation for a backcountry basics get together. This is an opportunity to learn more about basic backcountry winter travel: what gear to bring, how to stay warm, how to stay safe and have fun. Also needed those who have experience and are interested in sharing their knowledge. They will meet in the coming months, one evening in Palmer or Wasilla to discuss proper gear and determine priorities of the group, then make a number of trips to Hatcher Pass via backcountry skis, snowshoes or on foot. These trips will be low-angle terrain outings to keep with the “basic” theme. If you are interested in getting into the backcountry and looking to discover the fundamentals this winter contact Ralph Baldwin at ralph.baldwin@gmail.com (Unofficial non-affiliated activity.).