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posted Nov 5, 2013, 4:49 PM by Hans Hill   [ updated Nov 5, 2013, 4:49 PM by Dave Musgrave ]
First groomed trails are in….at Independence Mine. The season has officially started.  I would have never guessed that by the Club putting that date on the calendar it would actually come true.  The snow came in wet and heavy and if Jackie Purcell is right, more snow for the area should come this week.  
What does this mean for the valley skier: prepare for the invasion by Anchorge-ites (Or is it Anchorage-ians).  Once again the gem of the valley has shown is luster being the first skiable area in the southcentral region.  So arrive early on the weekends because the parking is going to fill up.  The good news for those 9-5ers, like myself, after work daylight still exists. So make like a tree and leave…for the hills.


I am a numbers guy, hence my occupation of being a enginerd. So for those of you who are of the same persuasion I offer these to you:
150 - The estimated number of people attending the MSSC Annual Membership Meeting.
75 – Pairs of skis checked out to Junior Nordic Kids.
240 – Number of slices of pizza consumed.
20 – Number of door prizes given away.
30 – Minute presentation by APU’s Eric Strabel about their ski program and his mountain running prowess.
3000 – The size of the new Government Peak Center in square feet (Under construction).
1 – New board member, Darryl Farrens.
The event was a great success and all should be proud who helped put it on.  It was great to see everyone and to hear of the summer time exploits.
Once again I am overwhelmed by the showing and support of our ski club.  Thank you to all who renewed your membership and continued your support of nordic skiing in the valley and to those businesses who generously sponsored door prizes for this event.  Thank you.


Time to test your aerobic capacity and engage those mitochondria with the start of the race season.  The 6th Annual “Race to the Outhouse” will be Saturday, 9th November, 11 AM. There will be classic and skating divisions.   The 4.9 KM course start is at the gate to Independence Mine and goes one lap over the entire trail system finish near the Outhouse by the Visitor Center. Cost: FREE!  Show up and set the bar for your season. 


Mat-Su Junior Nordics is coming on strong this year and with growth comes great responsibility. Although our registration deadline was earlier than usual, we had 200 participants signed up. Since this exceeded even our most generous estimates, we will be working hard to find enough skis and coaches in time for our weekday program beginning in January, but have no fear the outlook is favorable. 

We also have some new aspects to Junior Nordics this year. We will have two competition clinics for those who want to emphasize Nordic racing. The clinics will be the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 29) and the day after Christmas (Thursday, Dec. 26). The clinics will cover race techniques and training for racing. This will give the kids a leg up for the races that MSSC will be sponsoring at GPRA and other venues.  More information can be found on the website.

The Junior Nordic’s first Social Saturday session is on Nov.  2, most likely in Hatcher Pass depending on snow coverage.

A JN Steering Committee has been created comprising of parents of JN participants. It includes Aaron Kallas, Teresa Clemmer, Jennifer Noffke, Rebecca Buchanan, Nancy Black, Peggy Kristich, and Joe Moore. Our large number of kids this year is due to their efforts to get the word out. They have great plans for this season.  Thank you for volunteering.

Due to the large number of kids this year, we could use any help we can get with coaching. We particularly need coaches who can commit to all of the Mondays and Wednesdays sessions from January to mid-March. We will also will need help with special events and organization. If you can help, please email juniornordics@gmail.com or call Dave at 982-7553.


Speaking of coaches, Palmer and Wasilla High Schools are still looking for coaches for their respective cross country ski programs.  I had the pleasure of being an assistant coach at WHS a number of years back and it was one of the most fun, rewarding experiences.  Please facebook, email, tweet, call, snail mail, fax (does anyone still have one of these anymore) your friends, colleagues and family inquiring if they know of anyone who would be interested.  Hopefully through this networking effort we can have these ski programs continue on.  If you have any leads, feel free to email MSSC.


The MSSC will be offering free-loaner Chariots  (a generous donation from the Mat-Su Health Foundation) again this year to families with small children. These are an excellent training and parenting tool; find yourself short on time, knock out some bonding and training all at once. The Club has two single chariots and two double chariots (affectionately known as the “deuce”) to loan for periods up to 2 weeks. Call Ed Strabel at 745-4190 to reserve/pick up a chariot. Pick up and return location is Mountain Streams B&B near the Government Peak Recreation Area.