Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sporadic Trail Report, Sporadically Posted

January 09, 09


I thought I’d let you know about a trail Karl Swanson and I skied ( at different times) on Thursday that was really fun. It’s an extension of the trail that goes to Whiskey Slough on the Talkeetna River that was used as an alternative route up the river by Trapper George and others when the river wasn’t frozen solid, or so I’ve been told. A portion of this trail was built in 1981 or 1982 as part of the River/Ridge Trail system . The trail is entirely on public land and is a multi-use trail. It appears that someone is grooming the trail, probably for access to a cabin somewhere up the Talkeetna River.

Start at the parking area at the end of Comsat Rd. and head north on the main trail. After the first half mile or so the trail towards Larsen Creek branches off to the right. Don’t take that, but continue straight on the trail less traveled which dips, climbs, and turns before descending to the bluff overlooking the Talkeetna River, about ¾ mile. Just before you reach the bluff the trail branches and you want to take the right hand branch. In a few yards you’ll be on top of the bluff looking up the Talkeetna River just above the mouth of Whiskey Slough. The trail continues along the top of the bluff above the slough for a while before abruptly descending into and then across the slough. This is a wild and wooly little hill that most people would rather walk down. The trail continues to wind its way through the woods in a generally north to northeasterly direction. Eventually you’ll see an open muskeg down and to your left. The descent to the muskeg is on a narrow, winding, and steep trail that barely makes it between the closely spaced birches . Take off your skis and walk this section, or find a line through the woods! Once down there , the fun continues as the trail goes up and down several small hills that separate two more small ponds. I turned around somewhere after the second pond, but Karl tells me that the Talkeetna River isn’t too far beyond that point. Look for what appears to be a wide section line clearing and you’ll come out to the river shortly thereafter. At this point you’re about ¾ mile upstream of the mouth of Clear Creek. I turned around and skied back to Comsat Rd. Those looking for a more ambitious tour could continue up or down river and figure out a way back to the trailhead.

This is the skiing through-the-woods on narrow trails that we all know and love up here! I used my classic skis and was glad I did! It’s too narrow for skate skiing. The trail was brushy, at times, but tolerable. The views were stunning, and despite the wind howling overhead it’s pretty well protected in the trees. I was out just under two hours and saw no one else, but watch for snow machines and dog mushers (and moose) ! Enjoy!

Chris Mannix


Sorry, folks, but Jr. Nordic has been cancelled due to the rain. Bummer.

Chris Mannix

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Trails January 7, 2009

Talkeetna Area Nordic Trail Report

Date: Jan. 7, 2009

Time: 2:45 pm

Location: Talkeetna

Weather: Clear, calm, -25F

Snow Pack: 30”

Last Snowfall: Dec. 27, 2008; 3”

Fish Lake Multi-use Trail; 4K; Mile 9 Talkeetna Spur Rd.- Last groomed on 1/6/09. Skate and classical loops.

Ski Hill Nordic Trail; 2.5K; Mile 12 Talkeetna Spur Rd. (located west of the Spur Rd. 100 yds south of the overlook)- Groomed on 12/28/08 for skate skiing only.

Talkeetna Lakes Park; Comsat Rd. , Talkeetna: Severe overflow conditions have prevented grooming on the lakes. Watch for future reports as local volunteers snowshoe, then groom classical trails.

Comments: Severe cold and high winds have hampered grooming efforts over the past week and a half. We look forward to warmer and longer days, and a bit more snow.

Submitted By: C. Mannix, Denali Nordic Ski Club, Inc.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


This upcoming Wednesday, January 7th we’ll be having the first meeting of the Denali Junior Nordic Ski Program. We won’t actually be getting into our skis for this first session, but rather we’ll be doing a “gear check” to make sure that all of the kids – as well as volunteer parents - have the proper clothing and equipment to partake in the program. Registration forms will also be available as well as schedules of this winter’s sessions.

So parents, make sure that this Wednesday your kids bring their skis, poles, daypacks and clothing that you’ve set-aside for Ski Days to the Sheldon Community Arts Hangar between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. It would also be convenient if some parents brought their vehicles to the Elementary School to shuttle kids over to the Hangar from the school.

It is important that all parents who have their kids in the program be at the Hangar at 3:30 PM to pick up there kids. The parents who are involved in this program ARE volunteers, after all, so it is helpful when everyone is prompt in picking up their children after each session.

We’ll also be showing the inspirational video “The Joy of Skiing” about the training and antics of the Norwegian National Ski Team.

If you have any questions call either

Troy Smiley and Stacey Argetsinger at 733- 8278

or Arthur Mannix at 733- 2615

It’s shaped up to be an awesome winter snow-wise, so it’s a really great time to get out with the kids and enjoy it. We’ll see you on Wednesday!


Hey kid skiers and parents! Are you ready for some kuleloypor (moguls)? How about a few seriehopp (jumps) or tele-turning around a few gates? Well… come mid-January, DENALI JUNIOR NORDIC will be ready for some serious skileik (ski play)! Simply through the act of playing, kids learn to ski before they “comprehend” what they are doing, and the terrain itself teaches better than most people do. We wait until the days get a little longer and the snow deeper to begin our program which runs until mid-to-late March.

Since 1992, the DNSC has sponsored the Junior Nordic Program as a means of connecting local kids with the out-of-doors through the wonderful past time of skiing. Over 500 “kid-winters” have been spent over the years traversing the local trails and frozen sloughs experiencing our nordic environs through the eyes (and antics) of our kids. The Junior Nordic Program is not affiliated with the public schools or any for-profit businesses. As such, it is entirely dependent on the volunteer efforts of parents and members of the community who simply want to ski with kids. Over the years, a significant number of home-schooled kids have participated, as have adults who don’t even have kids in the program. (A parent must attend, if your child is very young – kindergarten – or seems likely to require your help.) We play ski games (sharks and minnows!), have relays, treasure hunts, cookouts and go skixploring.

There is a $25/child fee (in addition to the DNSC individual or family membership fee) should you opt for your kid to join this program. Comparable programs in Anchorage are significantly more expensive.

As in the past, we’re scheduling WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS at 1:45 PM and we’ll be alternating locations between the Ski Hill trails and other local trails where the gliding happens to be good!

IMPORTANT NOTE: All parents need to have their own kid’s transportation arranged. Car-pooling amongst parents from the same neighborhoods has generally worked quite well. It’s really important to be on time when picking up your kid, as volunteer’s time also has value.



DAY 1: Jan. 7th (ski video,gear check) DAY 5: February 4th DAY 9: March 4th

DAY 2: Jan. 14th DAY 6: Feb. 11th DAY 10: March 11th

DAY 3: Jan. 21st DAY 7: Feb. 18th DAY 11: March 18th

DAY 4: Jan. 28th DAY 8: Feb. 25th DAY 12: March 25th

LISTEN TO KTNA RADIO (88.9 FM) on Mondays and Tuesdays about changes in pickup times and locations of ski tours or cancellation due to cold temperatures.


What to Bring to Ski:

Skiers MUST be properly dressed for the weather. This includes a hat, gloves or mittens, outer shell, insulating layer (pile) and warm polypro or wool socks. They should be well hydrated and fed. All kids should bring their OWN water bottle and snack CARRIED IN THEIR OWN DAY PACK.

CLOTHING: The key to a happy skier is being warm enough for the activity, but able to peel off or add clothing as they warm up or cool down.



Ventilation: Polypro long underwear closest tot the skin to allow perspiration

to move away from the body.

Insulation: To trap the warmth generated by your body. (Pile or wool jacket)

Protection: Outer layer that protects you from the wind. (Nylon shell jacket & pants)

EQUIPMENT: Every year we get a certain percentage of kids who get frustrated because they have improperly fit equipment which hinders their ability to keep up with the kids who have appropriately-sized gear. Many parents choose to purchase over-sized skis that their kids will “grow into” and that’s the wrong way to go. Unlike older kids and adults, AT THE JUNIOR LEVEL, SKIS SHOULD BE RELATIVELY SHORT, SELDOM MORE THAN HEAD HEIGHT. For initial on-snow play, the shorter the ski the better. These kids really get zipping around! IT’S MUCH BETTER FOR KIDS TO OUTGROW SKIS, THAN BE EXPECTED TO GROW INTO THEM! It’s only later, as they stride better and ski faster, that they need extra length.


Even a pair of unwaxed, waxable skis are faster than no-wax skis!

As we get kids signed up for the program, ski swapping opportunities will present themselves. Generally, there has been quite a bit of used kid’s-size gear around.

KID HEIGHT (inches) SKI LENGTH (approx. in centimeters)

3’6” 106 cm

3’8” 112 cm Ski lengths in cm are always

3’10” 117 cm stamped on the skis.

4’ 122 cm

4’2” 127 cm Fischer Sprints or equivalent

4’4” 132 cm are great skis

4’6” 137 cm

4’8” 142 cm



5’4” 162 cm (while they are wearing their boots)

5’6” 167 cm


The most reliable and easy bindings have a visible lever that you can lift up to open and down to close. Brand names are NNN and Salomon. They are a bit spendy, but can be remounted on larger skis and boots next year. For kids who weigh less than 100 lbs. DINO makes the best bindings (about $35). I’d recommend them.