Montana Creek SOS

August 27, 2020 – Montana Cr. Update

JNSC Members,

First we apologize for yet another email. This has been a bit challenging to keep on top of this situation and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee decision making process.

Important – if off road vehicles get the green light for winter operation on Montana Cr. Road –
We will lose our ski trail.

The decision on whether to keep motorized users off the Montana Cr. Ski trail in the winter has been put off yet another month. CBJ Parks and Rec. has decided to issue a request for comments. Information from CBJ can be found here.

https://beta.juneau.org/parks-recreation/project-list/entry/67218

The new deadline is September 30. So please if you have not sent in comments please do so and tell your skier friends that may not be members. Below is the address to the new comment form for you to use.

https://beta.juneau.org/parks-recreation/project-comments

Please also send us a copy of your comments to jnski.org

Points to assist you in your comments are listed below:

– If you just want to be short and sweet – just say you want the road to be closed to motorized users from Nov 1 to May 1.

– JNSC spends hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars grooming (156 days and over 835 hours last season) the road beyond the gate for non motorized users.

– A single motorized user can destroy the groomed trail by creating deep ruts which are not only hazardous but take many hours for volunteer groomers to remove.

– JNSC has provided volunteer grooming on Montana Cr. road for the past 15 years providing thousands of skier days to the public in the only reliably snow covered area at sea level.

– Motorized users are incompatible with skiers, snow-shoers, and hikers on the narrow roadway with numerous blind curves.

– Youth skiers spend many days and evenings skiing and training on this ski trail from beginning skiers to older ski team racers.

– JNSC volunteers helped to coordinate and provide labor to repair the bridge across Montana Cr. in addition to annually keeping the road clear of brush, fallen trees, and landslides.

– ORVs create an exclusive use zone around them just by their operation thereby excluding non-motorized users.

If you want to add anything further go for it. We look forward to reading your comments.

Thanks for your help,
JNSC Board
jnski.org

JNSC Membership call to Action – URGENT

JNSC would like to see this pedestrian ‘kissing gate’ in place November 1 to May 1 and not opened to motorized vehicles.
July 23, 2020

JNSC Membership,

As you have been previously informed, Montana Creek road is under threat and may be lost to motorized users during our ski season. We have a chance to have our 600+ membership’s voice be heard and we need yours now.

On August 4, 2020 the Parks and Recreation Committee (PRAC) is reviewing a proposal to have the road beyond the rifle range gate permanently closed to motorized users. The PRAC needs to hear from you on how important it is to have the area we groom be closed to snow machines and ATVs during our winter ski / grooming season. Below is listed relevant information that can be included in your letter and testimony. Note: it is best to use your own words.

– JNSC spends hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars grooming (156 days and over 835 hours last season) the road beyond the gate for non motorized users. A single motorized user can destroy the groomed trail by creating deep ruts which are not only hazardous but take many hours for volunteer groomers to remove.

– JNSC has provided volunteer grooming on Montana Cr. road for the past 15 years. This provides thousands of skier days to the public in the only reliably snow covered area at sea level.

– Motorized users are incompatible with skiers, snow shoers, and hikers on the narrow roadway with numerous blind curves.

– Youth skiers spend many days and evenings skiing and training on this ski trail from beginning skiers to older ski team racers.

– JNSC volunteers helped to coordinate and provide labor to repair the bridge across Montana Cr. in addition to annually keeping the road clear of brush, fallen trees, and landslides.

– Motorized users have thousands of acres of terrain available on Douglas I. and Spaulding Meadows for winter riding. The narrow 2 mile road section (about 2.4 acres) that JNSC grooms has been closed to winter motorized users and should be specifically designated non motorized during the winter ski / grooming season – November 1 – May 1.

If you want continued use of a groomed winter trail up Montana Cr. road please write a letter to the PRAC and submit it by Tuesday July 28 and if possible attend and testify at the Zoom meeting on August 4 at 5:30 p.m. Having an overwhelming presence will make a difference.

Send written comments via email to parks.rec@juneau.org, Lauren.Verrelli@juneau.org and a copy to the JNSC at info@jnski.org.

Attend the meeting on August 4, 5:30 p.m. by using the following.
Zoom meeting link: https://juneau.zoom.us/j/94808107925, or Call: +1 346-248-7799. Webinar ID: 948 0810 7925. Or directly from the CBJ PRAC website: https://beta.juneau.org/parks-recreation/prac.

Thanks for your help,
JNSC Board
jnski.org

Eaglecrest Nordic Advisory Committee Meeting Wednesday July 15th, 5:30PM

Eaglecrest Trails/Nordic Advisory Meeting

 

Eaglecrest Trails Advisory Committee
Eaglecrest Nordic Advisory Committee
Joint Meeting
Wednesday, July 15, 2020 – 5:30 PM
Zoom: https://juneau.zoom.us/j/93344124598
or call: 1-346-248-7799
Webinar ID: 926 5114 7325
A. Introductions
B. Update on Current and Planned Summer Work
C. Discussion and Input on this Summer’s Trail Work
D. Review of 2012 Permit for Lower Loop Hardening
a. Recap of conversation with Randy Vigil, Army Corp of Engineers
E. Next Steps on Nordic Trail Improvements/Hardening
F. Nordic Trail Signage
G. Longer-Term Trail Plans
a. Feasibility Report – Update
b. Evolution of Summer Development Plan
c. Nordic Trails around Cropley Lake from mid-station of proposed
summit lift
d. Creation of “Legacy Park” on Douglas Island through creation of
Island wide trail system and alpine hut system with connection to CBJ
and Goldbelt development lands on West Douglas
e. Sky bridge concept to spur ridgeline trail interconnection and
maintenance access to ridge top cabins
H. Next Meeting Date

 

Thank you for the great year, JNSC news

Thank you for your membership for the 2019-2020 Nordic ski season!

June 2020

Thank you for your membership this Nordic ski season! This message is sent with hopes that you are well, hunkering down and enjoying the new ‘normal’, as much as possible, with outdoors activities. This message also contains very important information regarding Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen trail, our ‘go to’ snow hole. Please read to the finish.

First the fun data that we collect: The JNSC experienced another leap in membership,topping out at around 659 members! Your membership dollars, combined with tremendous volunteers, maximize grooming. The data on how much was groomed is impressive: 156 days at Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen, 135 at the Campground, 22 days at the North Douglas Pioneer Road, 15 at Eaglecrest. Over 1020 hours of volunteer time, 8,136 km groomed. Our ‘snow hole’ at Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen was last groomed on May 7! Give a loud howling thank you to our volunteer groomers who consistently groomed, leading to hours of skiing and community building, outdoors, in the winter. And there is another cadre of the groomers who make sure the JNSC equipment is maintained, fueled, transported, and eventually stored for the summer and ready in fall for grooming. We are very grateful to them all. The JNSC continues to groom under agreements with the CBJ at the Pioneer Road, Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen, and Eaglecrest, the USFS for the Mendenhall Lake and Campground and as a Generally Allowed Use on ADNR lands as well.

Before leaving the topic of grooming the JNSC Board wants members to know there is potential of losing Montana Creek Kaxdigoowu Héen as our ‘go to’ ski trail. This season, the trail was tracked by ATV’ers, multiple days, which destroys the grooming, and adds more hours of volunteer time to smooth and regroom. ATV and snowmachine users are professing it is their chosen location to build a road access to Spaulding Meadows for year round use which, if allowed in winter season, would destroy the JNSC grooming. The JNSC has been and continues work to untie the ‘Gordian Knot’ of land managers who can affect this through active conversations with ADNR, ADFG, CBJ and USFS. Here’s where you can help, we need your voices to chime in. If you are concerned about losing this seasonal ski zone please speak to your elected officials, agency permitters or favorite ATV’ers to insist that the trail be non-motorized during the winter season for JNSC grooming.

Notable this season was the expansion of ‘events’ that included the Community Race Series, a 3-evening series of ‘Women Ski’, a Drag Race, Southeast Snickerdoodle Skiathlon and Ski Tour, Border2Border and what turned out to be very popular, the ‘Ski S’more for Strudel and Soup’ at Skaters Cabin. We have to thank two special volunteers that made that day a success: Malou Peabody turned out tasty apple strudel for the masses (before Covid) and Franz Mueter provided hot carrot-curry soup.

Youth Nordic skiing continues on a growth path in Juneau, encompassing grades 1-12. The JNSC continues to support and develop the partnership with JNST and Sunday Recreational programs, and to plan for future growth. The program served 68 youth skiers this season.

Many JNSC members ask about ways to volunteer other than grooming. The JNSC Board is working on a fun project trying to find support and funding for a multi-sport and multi-season biathlon (skiing and shooting) range near Hank Harmon Rifle Range at Montana Creek on CBJ lands. We are in the early stages of seeking support. The JNSC has a subcommittee working on this and if your interest has been piqued please reach out to see how you can assist it moving forward. Keep an eye on the JNSKI.org website and the Facebook pages year-round for upcoming opportunities and contacts. In the fall, we’ll need volunteer trail brushers. We’ll call it the Lopper Loppet!

We are replacing a 13 year old snow machine! The groomers feel a tracked Can-Am, like the one we own, is the best choice as it’s flexible for varied trail conditions and has good maneuverability. Thank you to those members who already contributed when we put out the plea in April for an additional contribution to the equipment renewal fund which is always open. Please contribute if you can and make a note when you contribute online or in the memo section of your check.

The JNSC continues to look at the sustainability of Nordic skiing in Juneau and the future of increasing kilometers: what trails can be extended or where can we add new kilometers? One way you can help ensure the future is sustainable beyond annual membership dollars is by donating to the JNSC Agency Stewardship Fund under the umbrella and guidance of the Juneau Community Foundation (JCF). This is a three-year effort to raise $100,000. The future earned interest would help smooth dips in membership dollars. This Fund could use your financial support. Please go to the JNSC website or contact JCF directly at 523-5450.The JCF can provide explicit information regarding stock transfer, required minimum distributions, etc.

Thank You for another great ski season, JNSC Board of Directors:
Frankie Pillifant, Mike Hekkers, Tim Blust, Erik Boraas, Bart Watson, Mo Michels, Wayne Carnes, Ray Imel, Nancy Jones, Odin Brudie, Fred Hiltner.

Help needed! And keep skiing (6′-30′ apart).

April 8, 2020

Thanks to your membership this season the JNSC has been able to groom over 135 days so far. Collectively memberships fund equipment operations and maintenance, repairs and trail grooming. With the dedicated Volunteer Grooming Corps trails are groomed almost daily and in phenomenal skiing condition in all sorts of weather. 

A few weeks ago, after 13 winters of use, one of the workhorse snow machines went down for good. Logically, when the cost of equipment repairs is close to the cost of new, its time to seriously consider replacement. The JNSC Trail Bosses put their heads together and advised the Board it would be best to replace with a Can Am, a tracked vehicle used for grooming. The cost will be around $20,000 once the 4-wheeled version is converted to tracks. 

The JNSC is actively looking and applying for grant funding and appealing to members for matching dollar donations. You can make a donation on the JNSKI.ORG website or send a donation through the mail to P.O. Box 21262, Juneau, AK 99802. Your help will bring JNSC much closer to the amount needed to make a purchase and be ready to groom all the usual trails by next season. 

In this time of COVID-19, the ability to provide safe outdoor spaces where people can physically and easily distance is a benefit to Juneau residents. As we move towards, yet away from each other on the groomed trails, we can still ‘socialize’ by waving, stopping to converse at a physical distance, and keep our spirits lifted. Keep up the good work with social distancing! And see you on the trails in the near future.

Thank you for your skiing enthusiasm, your support, and membership.

JNSC Board

PC: Betsy Fischer

Allow 15-30 feet distance while following other skiers

If skiing behind another skier, keep 15-30 feet back depending on speed so you’re not in their breath slipstream. With an abundance of caution we’re basing this recommendation on one model for active sports. While stopped, 6 feet is a good minimum distance. No large groups of skiers, enjoy the spring skiing, and stay healthy! We’re lucky that we have the space to social distance on our trails and in the woods. We’ll keep grooming (Eaglecrest starting 3/21, Montana Creek, Mendenhall Campground) as long as conditions permit and as long as we can keep our groomers safe since they are all sharing grooming equipment. Please refer to CBJ’s Covid-19 website here for updates and recommendations.

Border to Border- This Sunday Ski all the trails in Juneau in 1 day

UPDATE10:45AM Sat : In order to be more hygienic, we will have some prepackaged snacks, candy, tangerines, and some beverages. Unfortunately we won’t have bulk pickles which is a Finnish snack. Bring your own lunch. We will supply hot dogs for grilling at the BBQ but discourage a potluck because of the sharing of many dishes/utensils. Stay healthy and active!

Our 5th annual Border 2 Border Ski Event, inspired by a 500KM classic ski event across Finland, will be held ONCE AGAIN this Sunday March 15th, concluding at Mendenhall Campground/Skaters Cabin. This is NOT a race but a chance to enjoy all of our groomed ski trails on the same day!

We start (with the Finnish Flag, and a bib to log your kilometers) at the North Douglas Pioneer Road, move to Eaglecrest Lower Loop parking lot and swim along to the Salmon Creek. Yes Salmon Creek is a new ski destination. Hike your skis up the hill and ski back this gorgeous valley (bring classic gear just case we can’t get a skate lane rolled). Next up is Montana Creek followed by Mendenhall Campground. There will be Finnish-themed signs and flags.

Here’s the B2B schedule:
North Douglas Pioneer Road: 8:00-9:30 11 km (bring your rock skis)
Eaglecrest Lower and Upper Loops: 9:30-12:00 (Bring your Eaglecrest Nordic Pass and park in the lower loop lot) 12 km
Salmon Creek 12:30-1:30 (use the turnoff heading north before the hospital intersection) 7 km
Montana Creek: 2:00-4:00 6 km
Campground:4:00-6:00 3 km
Skaters Cabin 5:00-6:00 Party, fire and BBQ. PRIZES to follow after 5PM.

Ski at all of the trails if you are able, 39 km!
Ski as much as you want at each trail or just your favorites, but do come to Skaters Cabin for the celebration of a great Nordic ski season!! See the website for more info and any updates. jnski.org