Hans's Hype‎ > ‎

October's Update

posted Nov 16, 2011, 11:10 PM by Hans Hill   [ updated Nov 16, 2011, 11:10 PM by Dave Musgrave ]

An Open Letter to Those Opposed to Snow


I recently took a drive into our fantastic backyard, Hatcher Pass (Note the lack of the possessive “ ‘s “ in “Hatcher,” for you out-of-towners).  The sky had cleared up after a recent rain storm resulted in several inches of snow in the pass.  As I drove up Palmer-Fishook Road, I could help but imagine what a great locale the proposed Hatcher Pass Nordic area is.  The drive there is empowering knowing that one will be skiing at the base of these beautiful mountains.  But the convenience of its location is something all the local schools will love.


My drive continued into the pass winding along the Little-Susitna River, ice accumulating on the giant boulders trapped within the flow.  I reached the top of the famous “16 Mile” run, known all over the Valley amongst the snowboarding teens and the like.  I brought the dogs along to stretch their legs and play in the snow.  To be honest, I probably would have done the drive even if the dogs were not in the need.  I really wanted to get up there and check out the snow! 


As I have described in years past, I continually run into family, coworkers, etc., who complain about the first snowfall.  “I’m not ready for winter,” is the common response.  Let me go on record and say the next “poor soul” who utters this phrase is going to get a snowball to the face.  No exceptions. 


I love snow, all types.  Even windblown hard pack has its place and usage.  For someone who is borderline obsessive about this white stuff, there is no better place to be in southcentral Alaska than being neighbors with Hatcher Pass.  This day reminded me of this, because I know in possibly the next few days I will get to make my first strides on skis for this season.  So bugger-off winter haters.  We “The Supporters of Snow” are­ready for winter and Hatcher Pass is our early season haven.



Annual Membership Meeting

One of the pre-season events I have come to love is our Annual Membership Meeting.  The club’s meeting always proves the popularity of our peculiar sport and to see our club continue to grow in numbers never gets old.  With over 75 in attendance, it goes to show we have a committed membership base, don’t cha know.


MSSC has inducted (or is it abducted) two new board members; Dave Musgrave and Michael Norton.  Dave is a familiar face, having been heading the Junior Nordics program and collaborating on the website.


A special thanks to Bill Spencer for driving out to the Valley and giving the MSSC an insight in the Hatcher Pass Nordic trail design.  Additionally, thanks to all the contributing businesses that make our Meetings such a success; Backcountry Bike and Ski, REI, Alaska Mountain and Hiking, Skinny Ravens, Subway.



Chariot Grant

The Ski Club has just received a generous grant from the Mat-Su Health Foundation for four new Chariots for Club Members and ultimately the Public to sign out on a daily basis to make it easier and safer to tote the kids with you out speeding down the trails! Watch the website www.matsuski.org for news on how and when the Chariots will become available this season.


Sea Hawkers Scholarship 

Another first for the Ski Club is the Mat-Su Sea Hawkers ( a Sea Hawk Booster Club here in the Valley) has awarded the Ski Club a $500 donation which the club has started a High School skier scholarship to help defray some of the equipment costs. The Wasilla, Colony, and Palmer High School coaches got together and determined the criteria for the Scholarship, which will rotate between the three schools. This year a Wasilla High School skier will be the first to receive the scholarship followed by Colony next year and Palmer the third year. In the next month or so we should know the name of the deserving student.


The Club has an active season with many events, clinics and of course Junior Nordic program.  The best place to check out the latest information and ski conditions is www.matsuski.org