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Gear Affliction

posted Oct 1, 2013, 5:16 PM by Hans Hill   [ updated Oct 1, 2013, 5:27 PM by Dave Musgrave ]

I openly admit it, I am a gear whore and tis the season to be excited for winter sports gear.  First frost, snow line creeping down; all signs of my favorite impending season moving closer.  This has me mentally and physically reviewing my arsenal of winter attack munitions.  Some of the gear shows signs of neglect (ski bases in need of desperate p-tex repairs) while others items, I am embarrassed to say, look like I just removed the tags. 

The obsession began in high school, when fellow cross country skiing teammates showed me the advantage of having two pairs of skis per discipline; rock and race skis.  But the want for improved gear grew and my shopping list included lighter poles, better boots, to Yoko gloves, etc.  Having a limited budget from a mediocre job starved my obsession, but upon exiting college, procuring a “real” J-O-B and purchasing a storage place for my gear (which most people refer to as a home) the flood gates opened.  Our gear corner in the garage crept into the closet in the guest bedroom.  When we got married, our gift registry included a long list from REI and the result was the “guest bedroom” title changing to “gear room.”

For those who can relate to this downward spiral, you know that this disorder does not confine itself to one sport. One bike turns into three, two jackets turn into eight (two per season, of course).  Motorized vehicles turn into gear transport units and sheds turn into satellite gear rooms.  Soon emails and on screen notifications are popping up on the computer to notifying of great deal available from your favorite online retailer.

Eventually through a group intervention, I came to realize that I had reached gear saturation and most likely well surpassed it.  I developed a new rule: must sell gear to get new gear. 

Today I am proud to say I am a recovering gear-a-holic and to those of you who are suffering from this same affliction I say this; as we move into what I hope will be a snow filled season and we get the toys ready for use, remember what the point is; to be outside and to enjoy the experience.  Whether that is on 15 year old combi skis with wide basket poles or a brand new setup waxed with fluorocarbons, we are all out there for the same purpose, roughly speaking.

And if you do need to upgrade gear to eke out a few seconds of your race pace to secure that top ten position in your age group, email me and let me know what you are selling try to pass it along instead and help grow the sport.


Mat-Su Ski Club Ready for Snow

The Mat-Su Ski Club is gearing up for the 2013-2014 Ski season. The trails have been brushed, the grooming equipment is fueled and ready to go. Based on past snow fall history, skiable snow should arrive at Independence Mine in mid-October and gradually move downhill to Archangel Road, Government Peak Recreation Area and the Moose Range by mid-November. The Ski Club will post grooming reports to the CCAK and MSSC websites as the trails are groomed.

The Club hopes to have lights installed in the stadium area of the Government Peak Recreation Area (GPRA) by the first snow fall. The Mat-Su Borough is working as you read this on the warm-up building at GPRA and while it won’t be completed until next spring, the Borough is going to provide an “electric outhouse”, for your skiing/bathroom enjoyment. The Mat-Su Ski Club will have a packed schedule this ski season with classic and skate skiing classes for beginners, Master training group, Junior Nordics, tours and races.  Something for everyone.

The Ski Club will again this year offer a $500.00 ski equipment scholarship to a high school skier from Colony, Palmer and Wasilla High School Ski Team.

 Head on over to MSSC’s website, www.matsuski.org for details.


Outdoor Equipment Swap

Now is the time to take a trip through your nicely organized garage and determine which equipment has lost its place in your “regular use” arsenal.  For example, if you are still holding on to your old high school gear, but your high school weight has long since been passed on the ol’ bathroom scale, it may be time to trade up.  The Colony High School Ski Team will host an Outdoor gear swap at Colony High School on Saturday 12 October from noon to 2:00 PM. Any outdoor recreation gear can be sold at the swap, Alpine Skis to Xtra tuffs (A to Z) where 15% of profits go to CHS Ski Team. Equipment check-in is from 10 AM -1 PM and sale profits/unsold items can be picked up from 2:00 PM-3 PM. For more information on the Gear Swap contact Mark Strabel at 861-5571.



Mat-Su Ski Club Annual General Membership Meeting

Our ever growing Annual General Membership Meeting is scheduled for Friday,

11 October at 6:30 PM at the Palmer Train Depot.   Pizza and salad will be provided for your belly and door prize drawings will fill your pockets.  Parents can sign their kids up for the Junior Nordic Ski Program. Displays and members will be on hand to provide information Government Peak Recreation Area improvements, skiing areas and opportunities in the Mat-Su Valley and much more. Guest Speaker this year is Eric Strabel, APU Ski Coach and two-time winner and course record holder for Mount Marathon.  He will give a presentation on the APU Nordic Ski Program and the “Early Honors Program” a program for high school seniors looking to earn college credits while completing their high school education requirements.  For more information go to www.matsuski.org.