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Outdoors/Adventure

Mat-Su closes deteriorating trails; others in Anchorage still skiable

  • Author: Mike Campbell
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published April 14, 2017

As winter morphs into spring, Southcentral trails vary from mucky to fine for Alaska skiers. But a few are off limits.

On Friday, the Matanuska-Susitna Borough closed several deteriorating trails — Crevasse Moraine, Lazy Mountain/Lazy Moose, Austin Helmers/Pioneer Ridge and Matanuska Peak.

All are "very soft and fragile" and can be damaged if used before they firm up, according to borough public relations officer Patty Sullivan.

Officials asked hikers, bikers and runners to stay off until further notice and said to "expect additional closures next week as warm temperatures continue to cause melting snow and run off," Sullivan wrote in a press release.

Call the borough's Parks and Recreation Division at 907-861-8578 for more information.

In Anchorage, however, the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage (NSAA) groomed ski trails at Kincaid Park on Thursday and Friday. Kincaid officials said bikers should plan on staying off park trails through at least April 28.

Most ski trails there still have tracks, but the Mize Lighted Loop is fading fast with "dirt spots and water holes" and the "second half of Mize too nasty to groom again," according to online trail reports. Water is in Kincaid's tunnels, too

On Wednesday, NSAA warned skiers that winter was "nearing the end. We're losing a lot of snow as daytime temperatures rise, but as long as the nighttime temperature stays below freezing, groomers will make every effort to groom what they can. They have to wait until later in the morning when conditions are good and hard before they can get started but have been having decent results.

"There are still a few die-hards out there."

Chester Creek Trail was plowed Tuesday afternoon and is melting down quickly, a boon for runners seeking dry trails.

But at higher elevations, skiing continues. A Friday report on the Cross Country Alaska website said Williwaw Lakes are in great shape for crust skiing out of the Glen Alps trailhead.

Another report called the groomers at Hillside amazing. "They've been out every morning this week, making the trails beautiful. For this late in the season, the trails are still in awesome shape — only a couple of bare patches. Best to hit it early before it turns super soft."

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