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  1. #1
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Anyone ride since the freezing rain? I was riding the trails with a 29 sans studs last week without issue. Wondering if it's suicidal now?

  2. #2
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    Answered my own question. I went out and tried it. Only made a couple of miles. Went in at the Mat Lake parking lot and headed out the long lake trail. It's been groomed but is soft. The first half mile was ok but then it got softer and stopped being fun. Ice isn't bad with the new snow bonding to it. Fat tire guys should have no issues at all.

  3. #3
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    I punched through from the college to the farm fields and then on Picnic table to Long Lake connector and back. Not too bad in most places. There was some snow machine tracks coming into the farm fields that were crap riding. The rest was pretty great riding. I was riding fat. Good times.

  4. #4
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    Yeah agree about the snow machine tracks. I went again today and it was better. I made it to the bottom of the hill before bearberry. About 4 miles today. Still a tough go on the 29er. I ate it twice and had to dismount a few times.

    I'm torn about getting studs or just saving money for a fatty. I just don't see a fat tire happening soon enough. The agressive tread and studs have got to be better than the summer XC tread I'm running now.

  5. #5
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    A lot of the trails on the CrevMo end were rolled/packed today. Should be set up nice and firm by tomorrow.

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    Thanks! Good to know

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    You might be able to improve your performance by dropping your tire pressure a bit and/or by lacindg up a set of 29'er Snowcats, Uma's or Rabbitholes...but please remember that just like with muddy trails, the furrows you trench today will be trail features the rest of us have to endure...
    If Huffy made an airplane, would you fly in it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by damnitman View Post
    You might be able to improve your performance by dropping your tire pressure a bit and/or by lacindg up a set of 29'er Snowcats, Uma's or Rabbitholes...but please remember that just like with muddy trails, the furrows you trench today will be trail features the rest of us have to endure...
    I'm aware of that, however the foot traffic is pretty heavy on the long lake loop, and leaves quite a swath. It wipes out my traces as well. In fact it's the foot traffic that even makes it a hard enough bed for me to ride. I can't ride if it's actually soft anyway so I don't think you have much to worry about. I saw no signs of my ride yesterday on today's ride of the same trail. When the hard stuff ran out I turned around.

    That said I could totally see how I could trench newly rolled or groomed surface on some of the maintained trails or any trail with new snow conditions.

  9. #9
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    Having a set of studded knobby tires will get you a lot further than xc tires for sure.

    I did regular commutes with studded tires during the winter through the GB when I was taking classes over at the college and some trails are not very bike friendly during the winter. conditions on certain trails vary a lot depending on the weather but Picnic table, the College Connector, and Mooseberry (mostly those trails that have have a lot of spruce trees covering the trail) were better rides than trails like Long lake loop.

    After a good windstorm some of the roads out on the farm fields will open up and you can get some good rides in out there too. and the lakes, lets not forget riding on the lakes after the wind blows a lot of the snow off them.

    A good set of 29 Nokian studded tires will set you back 150-ish? I would start there. 29r snowcats are gonna cut into your Fatbike money much more severely.


    Also I wouldn't worry about trenching the trail too much outside of Crev-mo where they groom for skiing. by the time the snow gets deep enough to inconvenience anyone your not gonna want to be out there pushing your way through the stuff anyway.

  10. #10
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    Basic rule of thumb for the groomed trails in CrevMo is to try and stay off them until 2 to 3 hours after the groomer goes through or if you are leaving tracks more than an inch deep. If you are out there and the groomer goes by or the snow gets soft, try to stay to the side of the groomed lanes much as possible. The trails around the stadium , Swamp Loop, and Outer Loop were groomed yesterday and should be nicely set up and the rest will be groomed today so they'll be softer for a while. I do the grooming for MSB. Enjoy the trails.

  11. #11
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    Went out on Thursday morning, starting at CrevMo and things were soft and generally not the best riding. The fresh snow we'd gotten on Wednesday contributed to that as well as some mechanical issues on the bike.

    Mooseberry Mesa had some foot traffic on it, and was overall some decent riding, though I did have to hike-a-bike on the uphill portions - again, due to the combo of unbonded snow and mechanical issues.

    I hope to get back out there later this afternoon or tomorrow morning to see if the cold blast has helped to firm things up. I'll probably go in rom the college this time and will head along the landfill trail to Mooseberry mesa.

    If anyone's interested in joining PM me or just post here and we can work something out.

  12. #12
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    Let me know what you find. I've stayed off them since the snow but like you was thinking the cold would have them hardened up. Hope it's not sub zero tomorrow. Two days no ride, getting anxious.

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    I ended up going in at the lake and it was excellent riding! Lot's of traffic had packed the trails down nicely. I rode Bearberry to the Long Lake connector and then turned around and rode it back to the parking lot for about a 7 mile ride. Really great conditions. Good times. The Long Lake connector was still puffy and unconsolidated heading southwards, but had a good track beaten down by cyclists going north, though I didn't follow that to see how far or where it went.

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    Awesome. I didn't make it out today. Hope to get out before the weather changes, but I'm on driver duty for my kids ski team this week.... I get to ski though!

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    Went out for a ride yesterday afternoon. Started at the college, cut to the farm fields and onto Picnic Table and then over to Mooseberry Mesa.

    The college to the farm fields was good riding. Well packed and fast - not too icy at the time. Picnic Table was fair riding. Skiers had packed it in a bit, though it was still punchy and loose in spots. The connector to Mooseberry was overall good riding - lots of traffic, but little evidence of bike. The first part of Mooseberry was untracked since my last jaunt there last Thursday. The downhills were fine, but there was a lot of hike a bike on the ups. About halfway through the loop other tracks showed up, foot and ski traffic, though. No bike. Still hard riding with lots of hiking. The top of the ridge was windblown and drifted in, making it impossible to ride in spots.

    As I headed to CrevMo, the rain picked up and things got dangerously slick. Ended up catching a lift home after I got up to the MUP next to the PalmerSilla - that riding wasn't too bad with the overthrow from the gravel trucks, but the wife was out and about anyway and I was soaked to the bone so I took the easy way out.

  16. #16
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    Thanks for the updates. Conditions sound typical given the weather. Enjoy the hard pack while it is still there. Once we get another snowfall it will take some time to get the trails beat back down again.

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    Yesterday mat lake and long lake loop were good but starting to get soft from thaw. Studs were absolutely required. Pretty narrow track kept me on my toes. Can't say I've ever riden in the rain on the snow before. Was a pretty nice ride. If it cools off it's going to be nice hard pack.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamatt View Post
    Yesterday mat lake and long lake loop were good but starting to get soft from thaw. Studs were absolutely required. Pretty narrow track kept me on my toes. Can't say I've ever riden in the rain on the snow before. Was a pretty nice ride. If it cools off it's going to be nice hard pack.
    C'mon, not absolutely required... I hit it up at 3 PM and was kinda able to ride. Most of it. Without killing myself.

    Actually, I was wishing for studs when I was out there. Had the Nate's down as low as I could get them and still slid a lot. Ended up cutting the ride short a bit. Picnic table was decent riding, as was the college connector.

  19. #19
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    Ok not totally required if you have a death wish! haha.

    Tried Bear Berry yesterday. Was able to ride it ok, but then the way out was hike a bike for about a mile until I hit the long lake loop again.

    Santa I really need a fat bike.

  20. #20
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    I'll be grooming Crevasse tomorrow. I'll try to texturize the ice and erase the death cookies. Wish me luck. Matanuska River Park was groomed today and turned out pretty decent.

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Great trails today! Thanks for the grooming. It's coming down now so I guess I'm road bound for a bit. Calling for 6" in the next couple of days.

  22. #22
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    You're welcome. I was worried the wind would glaze it over like everywhere else around here. We could use a little more snow, it's still pretty skinny cover out there. Next grooming will be on Monday or Tuesday, most likely.

  23. #23
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    Rode (FatBikes) the CrevMo trails Saturday. One inch of new snow over a firm base. Excellent riding. Watch out for hidden ice between the parking lot and stadium and on hill sections that faced the recent NE winds. Speaking of which, there's a couple trees across the trail. Other than that, great traction. 2" of new snow snow this morning, should still be good.

  24. #24
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    Hoping to get out there this afternoon - probably head out from the lakes and then over to the college. Love me some fresh pow...

  25. #25
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    Went in at the farm and cut over to the Lakes - was rough riding until the field right above the lake, and then was quite nice. The single track was good for the most part. Bearberry was firm, but skinny - as soon as you popped off the packed area it was punchy and soft - But fun riding in general. The Long Lake trail from Bearberry to Picnic table was generally meh. Picnic Table was okay, but coming out into the field to the west brought a nice bit of hike a bike. The powerline trail was firm and fast from the work vehicles that were out there last weekend. The college connector was good riding all around and the MUP along trunk wasn't too bad - though if you use the underpass be aware that there is some nasty glare ice under the snow - I went down doing about 10mph.

  26. #26
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    Would appreciate any info on current trail conditions - thinking about renting fat tire bikes and checking out the trails this Saturday (28th). Never winter biked them before. Also would appreciate recommendations on which trailhead to start from...unless they're all good! Thanks! (PS: also, any local winter trail etiquette we should know about?)

  27. #27
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    Crevasse Trails were groomed on 12/23. Don't have anything to report about the other trailheads other than there has been a fair amount of new snow over the weekend. Maybe someone else can chime in on those. Have fun.

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    Thanks! Is it ok to bike on the groomed trails?

  29. #29
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    Yes. Fat bikes are welcome, enjoy.

  30. #30
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    Made a quick pass over most of the CrevMo trails yesterday afternoon. The trails are hard packed and smooth, should be good for fat tired bikes. I also groomed to the southern boundary of MSB property on Long Lake Connector. Past that, the trail had only had a couple foot and ski tracks so maybe not so good off piste. I forgot to check the singletracks, I think Mooseberry has been snowshoe packed.

  31. #31
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    I went out on Saturday night taking off from the Lake trailhead and the riding was horrid. Powder over soft pack. There were few ski tracks and no bike tracks so stuff was just not packed down at all. I ended up cutting it way short after I decided to try and rip out my eyeball with a tree branch. It sounds like going in from the north is the way to go right now. I think I'll get out there either today or tomorrow to see about packing some trail down.

  32. #32
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    It took several passes and several days to pack down some of the trails at the mat-river park after this last snowfall.

    With christmas done for I should have some time this week to get out some more. I'm likely to start at the Farm and head towards Picnic table and the Bear trails first.

  33. #33
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    Put in at the MatSu Lakes trailhead yesterday afternoon. Riding was a mixed bag overall. I ended up being able to ride a good portion of the trails to the Long Lake Loop and part of the Long Lake Loop before being forced to hike a bike. I then hiked a bike for a good portion of the Long Lake Connector before riding through the CrevMo trails and out to the highway MUP and home. Ended up doing an 11 mile ride with about 4 miles of that being hike a bike. That said, I realize now why I was so negative about my ride out there last Saturday. Yeah, the conditions weren't great, but it was much more to do with my physical and mental state. A bit of a chest cold was beating me down all late last week and early this week and I just wasn't feeling it.

    I hope to get out there again today or tomorrow to pack stuff down a bit more. I'm thinking that it might be time to man up, find a tire and some snow shoes and start tire dragging.

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    I logged in just under 6 miles of snowshoeing the other day starting from the Farm. Went as far as the College connector then turned back and then broke trail from there to the LLC via Picnic Table and back.

    Mutiple Skiers and dog walker tracks to follow out in the farm fields (so lumpy and skinny tracks) Shoeing def. helped widen the tracks and smooth it somewhat. Much of the snow has a nice sugary texture to it so even though it is being compacted by users its not bonding very well to make a firm enough trail to ride on yet. Another couple of passes doing the showshoe shuffle and a little time and favorable temps should firm up the singletrack enough to ride ...until it snows again

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Man I was hoping to hear the warm temps had the sugar snow compacting up. I'm planning on going in at mat lake at daylight. I'll report what I find. Was hoping to do long lake to bearberry and around. We shall see.

    Quick question after you come out of bearberry bottom and the trail T's off I always go left up the hill to the picnic table then left again to hook up with the double track taking me back around to the long lake trail. The double track has been hike a bike for me every time. There must be a better way back to the long lake trail. Go right out of the bottom? Or right at the picnic table? I did the former once but only vaguely remember a cutoff I had to take and I think it dumped me in the farm fields.....

    Which reminds me the maps of the green belt really need updating as none of bearberry and the "rooty" trail are on there.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamatt View Post
    Man I was hoping to hear the warm temps had the sugar snow compacting up. I'm planning on going in at mat lake at daylight. I'll report what I find. Was hoping to do long lake to bearberry and around. We shall see.

    Quick question after you come out of bearberry bottom and the trail T's off I always go left up the hill to the picnic table then left again to hook up with the double track taking me back around to the long lake trail. The double track has been hike a bike for me every time. There must be a better way back to the long lake trail. Go right out of the bottom? Or right at the picnic table? I did the former once but only vaguely remember a cutoff I had to take and I think it dumped me in the farm fields.....

    Which reminds me the maps of the green belt really need updating as none of bearberry and the "rooty" trail are on there.
    alaskamatt,

    The only other options for returning to Long Lake Loop from the north end of Bearberry are a lot longer: you can take Rootbear out to Long Lake Connector, then (most likely) hike a bike north a quarter mile or so to the Picnic Table Singletrack and then loop through the farm fields back to Mat Lake. Or just turn around at the north end of Bearberry and retrace your tracks back to Long Lake Loop.

    MSB has a grant application pending for more trails that would connect Rootbear with the Picnic Table singletrack and then loop around and connect with the west end of the Picnic Table singletrack. Hopefully those will get built this coming summer.

    New maps are at the printers now and the trailhead map kiosks will be updated soon. Current maps showing the new Bear Trails are available now at matanuskagreenbelt.org. There are rumors that some unofficial trails may be on U of A land. The university lands office has requested those trails (if they indeed exist) not be publicized or maintained so that's why some don't show up on the maps or have signage installed. Their existence can neither be confirmed nor denied.

    Anyway, have fun out there.
    Last edited by Wildfire; 01-03-2014 at 09:53 AM. Reason: Forgot something
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Thanks!

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Well I got my tail kicked out there. Trails were as reported. I started at mat lake. The foot traffic was really uneven and pock marked and was just about to take all the fun out of it, then help arrived. Starting where the long lake access trail comes in someone had drug a sled (groomer?) or something as well as several skiers. The trail was like heaven up until the intersection before bearberry and the cat trail. I decided to stay left as bearberry looked pretty soft and followed the good trail. It stayed nice until it met up with the double track intersection and heads over to the farm fields. I tried to go that way and make a loop out it, but turned around at the fields. I'm just not good enough to stay on a 10" wide trail. Im sure some of you can, and it's hard enough just narrow. Anyway at the farm fields the only tracks were a single set of skier tracks. Not only could I not ride it they were really pretty nice ski tracks I would be killing so I bailed out and retraced my steps back to mat lake.

    Edit: snowing as I left today.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskamatt View Post
    Well I got my tail kicked out there. Trails were as reported. I started at mat lake. The foot traffic was really uneven and pock marked and was just about to take all the fun out of it, then help arrived. Starting where the long lake access trail comes in someone had drug a sled (groomer?) or something as well as several skiers. The trail was like heaven up until the intersection before bearberry and the cat trail. I decided to stay left as bearberry looked pretty soft and followed the good trail. It stayed nice until it met up with the double track intersection and heads over to the farm fields. I tried to go that way and make a loop out it, but turned around at the fields. I'm just not good enough to stay on a 10" wide trail. Im sure some of you can, and it's hard enough just narrow. Anyway at the farm fields the only tracks were a single set of skier tracks. Not only could I not ride it they were really pretty nice ski tracks I would be killing so I bailed out and retraced my steps back to mat lake.

    Edit: snowing as I left today.
    We rode from CrevMo today, the main trails are soft packed and mostly decent. Rode out on Mooseberry and it was very skinny but mostly ridable. However it is now snowing like the dickens.

    Sorry, no more grooming reports from me, I retired three days ago! I will chime in with a ride report every now and then though.
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Congrats on the retirement!

    Rode today. Trails are really pretty good. 3" of new snow but hard underneath. Went mat lake to end of long lake.

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    Thanks for the update Alaskamatt. I was trying to determine whether I had the mental stamina today to give it a go.

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    I just heard there will be a meetup group from Anchorage snowshoeing the Bear trails on Saturday so hopefully that will help. Maybe we can get them to drag a tire behind them while they are at it.
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Don't let the weather fool you. I rode mat lake around to to the farm fields tonight. Trail was hard and the inch of wet sticky new snow made great traction. Climbed many hills I normally have to walk up.
    Bear berry is still a no go but the rest is good.

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    I stand corrected and beaten by Mother Nature. Trails went to hades. I rode a couple miles and while I had a lot of fun it was ridiculous. Slush puddles up to 6" deep in the low spots and some nice ice spots strategically placed to make you suck your saddle through your shorts. Aside from that the trail was holding up ok at first but the bottom is on its way to dropping out. I started busting through more and slogging so decided to call it a day before it got ugly.

    On a brighter note I think we may be riding dirt by the weekend..... :-(

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    It's summer out there. I took the wrong bike. Had the fatty but really needed the reg mtb with studs. Mostly bare and dry but some nasty ice here and there. Fell 3-4 timed. No carnage luckily

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Hit it today with the studs and 29er. Way better. Really great riding.

    On a side note I pulled over and talked briefly to a couple hikers. As they departed the lady said "you are the only one to stop, and none of the other bikers we meet even say hi as they fly by".

    Courtesy and friendliness go a long way folks. We are all out there enjoying the day, how could anyone be in a bad mood or unwilling to say hi?

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    Ice bikeing is where its at this week!

    Had the studded 29er out on the mat-river yesterday "freeriding" around for a bit. Excellent riding out there with the ice and frozen sand. I made it just short of 1/2 way to Moose cr. before I turned back.


    Being friendly on the trail always makes for a better trail experience. Dont worry about the silent minority on the trail. Ive had a few of my friendly greeting while out riding not get answered either. Some people are just the quite, non-greeter type ...or they're just haters.

    In that case I hope my friendly greeting just pissed them off.

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    Thanks for the condition report. May have to put my studded tires back on.

    Bummer about the non-friendly types invading the trail system. There are a couple regulars I see out there all the time who would benefit from enforced charm school. Heck, they're not even friendly to the trail crew who built the new trails they ride all the time. However, it's been my experience that almost everyone I meet out there -hikers, runners, skiers, horse riders - are super friendly.
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    Rode the farm fields today on mostly just frozen dirt. Good riding.
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Agreed the farm fields and that whole side of the green belt are good.

    I made it all the around bear berry today. Icy and not real fun in terms of riding fast. Still challenging and I have to admit I had fun just negotiating it.

    Also the frozen dirt is so tacky I'm making climbs I can't make in summer.

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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Also saw a couple other riders out there. One guy with a real cute husky pup. That little guy has wheels. I passed them at one point and thought I'd left them behind and that little pup came screaming up on me scared the crap out of me. Haha

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    Rode down on the Mat river gravel bar today, actually was able to ride pretty far right on the frozen side channels. THe ice is just tacky enough for traction. Beautiful day, great to be able to ride again!

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    Great riding in the greenbelt today. Hit up picnic table and the bears and it was a blast. A bit of bare ground on the south facing slopes, but we weren't leaving gouges...yet. Conditions are ripe for an early morning blast of a ride on all the trails over there. Get it while you can.

  54. #54
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    Was out an the trails today about noon-ish . Lots of folks with dogs out, a few runners. Not too much in the way of bike traffic. Almost all the trails I rode have a thin crust of snow on them from our last little snowfall. Was no problem riding the trails with teh skinny tires ( non studded, Took those off yesterday)

    The downhill portions on the LLC were thrilling to say the least with the snow crust. Braking was not 100% because of the ice crystals being thrown up by the tires and onto the brake rotors causing them to get wet. Traction was rather sketchy as well going downhill with the snow crust, so watch your speed on the downhills if you go out.


    All and all great conditions.

  55. #55
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Went in at UAF trailhead around long lake with a loop of the bear trails. Awesome ride. Little mud on long lake, tried to avoid it and stick to ice and snow. Trails are hard and fast. Some ice but it's textured and not real slick. Studs not required.

  56. #56
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Anyone ride the new snow yet?

  57. #57
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    Not I, though I might give it a try this afternoon. Could use some fresh snow riding.

    I will say this, though, if you want to get out of town to do some riding, Talkeetna has some great riding. The trails that the Oosik classic were held on are nicely groomed and the Chase trail has some nice easy riding. Is it worth the drive? I don't know, but I had fun up there yesterday.

  58. #58
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Rode it a couple times this week and today. It's getting icy. Wished for studs a few times. South facing slopes are mostly snow free and even drying out. It would have been more fun on the 29 with studs but I'm afraid of leaving ruts in the thawed areas. So slow and fat was the way to go.

  59. #59
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Getting soft. Main trails ok but the bear loop is going fast. Recommend avoiding it.

  60. #60
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    Rode part of the fields and a small part of the stretch from Matanuska lake to Long lake trail head. Getting to soft once the sun comes out. Would be good early in the morning but that is going quick too.

  61. #61
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Winter update. Rode today from experimental farm parking. Trails were good. Farm fields and trails on university side primarily packed from foot traffic and very bumpy, air down it helps. Long lake and the bear trails are packed really nicely with bike traffic. Smooth and fun. I'm studded this year so ice was not a problem, although I think you would be fine without studs. Just take it easy as it's slick enough to washout in the turns.

  62. #62
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    Anyone been riding in the last day or so?
    I want to mix a firework road trip in with a Kepler ride?
    I'm deteriorating faster than I can lower my standards

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperBlinky View Post
    Anyone been riding in the last day or so?
    I want to mix a firework road trip in with a Kepler ride?
    Not sure. Just got back from packing in the lower trail at GPRA and it is some excellent riding there. Warm, nice fluffy snow coming down and a nice firm base.

  64. #64
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    Just got back from riding the greenbelt and... Excellent riding! Went in at the college and followed a well packed trail runners and hikers had been using over to the connector trail and the upper farm fields. Riding there was okay. Picnic table in from the farm fields was packed but not ridden. The main stem of picnic table was well ridden. The multi use (big hill) between picnic and the bears was okay but be careful as there isn't a packed line down the first hill. All three of the bear trails are boss. Rootbear was packed but not ridden in, so I hit that up to the junction and out to long lake connector. Not sure of anything off of the long lake loop single track, but given the amount of traffic elsewhere I assume that those trails are good as well. The upper farm field\powerline area is drifting in right now, but there is a firm base, so easy to punch through.

    Was out at GPRA this morning and walked some of the trail there and it looks bomber as well. I'll be out there at 10 or so tomorrow morning to ride it and try to hit some of the upper loop. Lopts of snowshoe traffic packing it down for us. Good times.

  65. #65
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    Thanks Blockphi!
    Headed that way this morning for explosives and fat tyre shredding!
    I'm deteriorating faster than I can lower my standards

  66. #66
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    Took a ride through the the park this afternoon. Good news is that the ice/ crispy snow has a lot of grip to it with the frost that has settled on it. I made some hill climbs that I was sure that I would spin out on but didnt. Bad news is that there's ice almost everywhere.
    I had aired up a bit (~10psi) before leaving the house because I had a few road miles to ride and didn't want to be rolling on half flat tires for that long. Even with the higher pressure the tires hooked up on the icy chit nicely. Picnic table and the new fox? trail were the best riding of all the trails I did. The farm fields/ PowerLine trail have the slickest ice.

  67. #67
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    It's better than I thought. I did long lake to bear berry. Ate it hard at the bottom of bear. Tore my pants and knee up good. Got a little over confident with the studs. Back to gpra for me.

  68. #68
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    Was out at the greenbelt yesterday. Some nice riding coming in at the farm, into Picnic Table, the Bears, out to Long Lake loop and back around to the farm. A bit icy on the uphill section of the ski path between picnic and rootbear and the bears are still a touch slick on some of the low-lying corners. Other than that - awesome times. The snow was so light as to not really cause any drag at all and the temps weren't too bad. I figure the snow will pack down into a slick mess soon - just buffed out unless we get some more sometime soon.

  69. #69
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    Matsu green belt conditions?

    Ok I was keeping it to myself but the greenbelt trails are awesome right now.

  70. #70
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    Man, I hope I can get out there soon. Last weekend was awesome fun, but I really want to get a chance to get out there under the moonlight. Maybe tonight or tomorrow night.

  71. #71
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    Greenbelt trails were mostly dirt and ice yesterday-Studs are certainly recommended. Removed all the downed timber I came across. It pays to take an unsuspecting riding partner along to help with trail work.

  72. #72
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    Greenbelt trails are still pretty muddy in places, mostly Bear Berry and the double track/xc ski trails. Lots of ruts from previous riders. Conditions were firm this morning but softening quickly when I finished riding around 10:30.

    One new tree down on victor lake loop that needs attention if anyone is board. I forgot my saw today.

  73. #73
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    Sounds about right. The trails were great for a couple of weeks but further thawing and some new snow and rain softened them up. I was out Sunday last week and was surprised how muddy they got in a couple days. Ended up walking many sections to keep the ruts at bay.

  74. #74
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    A big Thanks to whoever stacked the ramps on the little Long Lake/Bear berry connector! Totally ridable now, which is super nice!

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    I have not seen any mention of it here, but apparent the MSB is proceeding with plans to start gravel mining the borough owned land surrounding the landfill with longer term plans to obliterate most of the existing crevasse-morainne area trail system in order to turn the area into a dump.
    A recent valley newspaper article clued me into this issue bit it really minimize the extent of the destruction and makes it sound like it only impacts a few neighboring residents. Nauseatingly, they even suggest that centuries from now it should be possible to re-vegetate the abandon landfill cells and construct new recreational facilities on them that are wheelchair accessible!
    Conflict flares up over land use near Crevasse Moraine trails | News | frontiersman.com

    The MSB gravel mining application document is available at;

    Matanuska-Susitna Borough - Central Landfill – Request for Interim Materials District

    The application outlines the plan to mine gravel out from 240 acres of the current CrevMo trail system. This is all the green outline cells shown at;
    https://www.facebook.com/MatSuBoroug...type=3&theater

    Even if the landfill would take decades before there is a need to expand into the existing trails, my concern is that they will go crazy with the gravel extraction much sooner, and thus render moot any future debate for later generations as to weather the trail system is worth sacrificing for a dump.

    Has anyone identified if the mooseberry singletrack trails are within the gravel mine area? (looks like it to me..)

    I grew up in the valley in the mid 80's when the Crevasse-Morainne trail system first opened. (I won the first ever HS nordic ski race held there!). I first met my (now) wife on a walk out on the Crevasse-Morainne trails and while I no longer live in the valley I still make a point to go out there to bike on the CrevMo trails. The trail system is a true jewel for the valley, really disappointing to think that the long term plans are to obliterate the rugged wilderness character and replace it with wheelchair accessible piles of trash.

  76. #76
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    From one of my more recent emails from the MGTA :

    First, next meeting is likely to be March 22, 5:30pm, but haven't confirmed with all land managers yet (I might be running late because of another meeting). And the April meeting will also likely be a Tues (not the 12th).

    The bulk of this update is on the proposed Interim Materials District (IMD) on Landfill property, specifically cells 4-7.
    Matanuska-Susitna Borough - Central Landfill ? Request for Interim Materials District

    No official trails are on that property. There is a trail that was closed for safety reasons the same year the new parking lot was built, but some people still use it.

    I'll point you to FB for two posts, the first (today) from Butch Shapiro, the Central Landfill Manager. https://www.facebook.com/MatSuBoroug...771557/?type=3
    Butch's map has years on it.

    Second (yesterday) from MGT (me), which was clumsily pecked out on ipad while my internet (with all the addresses) was down.
    https://www.facebook.com/MatanuskaGr...06754162801652
    Our map is a little easier to read since it's interactive / zoomable, but we don't have years on it. This is the map that Butch used in his presentation to us back in December 2015. http://arcg.is/1UUkeZ4
    Butch had the MSB GIS provide us the cell sequencing and other relevant Landfill features to overlay on the trails so we could see exactly where things were. If you click on the "Content" button (upper left), click on the 4th layer down (Classified Central Landfill Parcels), that's all Landfill land, and they could use all of it. That illustrates how much they are working to avoid the trails.

    I believe the time frame for the gravel extraction is to precede the cell construction by a short enough time so that revegetation would not be needed. So the timing would be affected by when the next cell is needed. IOW, recycle, reuse.

    For those of you familiar with K-Mart Alley, the Landfill has incorporated barriers to catch trash in windstorms AND they had crews help with cleaning up the trails. The last time I was back there, I was amazed at how clean the area was. No plastic bags decorating the trees. The Landfill is aware of us, but we are using their land.

    Remember that Crevasse-Moraine Trails were built on Landfill property as a temporary use in the 1980s. The trails could be there until the Landfill needed the property for its mission. We've already lost trails and prior parking areas - probably before many of the present users used the trails. However, the recent Landfill sequencing plan (2014?) went to great pains to avoid the bulk of the trail system. They had our trail shp files to overlay with their work.

    I have not had a chance to talk with Butch recently (I've been tied up with other things), but he did offer to provide one of the presentations in our educational series. I think he was suggesting visiting the Recycling Center and the Landfill and seeing how the whole process operates. What gets reused, recycled, composted, or whatever doesn't go in the landfill and extends the time that a cell will last. Technology will also improve over time, so the trash volume will decrease.

    That said, I'd encourage you to participate in the process in a positive way armed with accurate knowledge and asking good questions. Some of it is confusing. Useful discussion usually helps clarify things for everyone. Keep in mind this application is only for those cells 4-7.


    Another reason for participating is that trail users, including me, seemed to have missed the boat on commenting on the maintenance / recreational bond. The swimmers and skaters all had prepared comments and spoke for close to 1 hr. I was the only trail user and mumbled something about being hard to find trail users since we were generally quiet - unless we were perceiving a loss of trails. We need to show the commission / assembly that trail users are alive and well. It's just harder to count us because we don't have well-defined entrances to trails where we are easily counted and can see posted announcements.

    Enjoy the trails.

    Dot Helm


    I wasnt at the presentation tonight, but from previous meetings I have attended and other snippets of information Ive gotten on the subject is that while eventually there will be a few trails lost to landfill expansion such as the Kmart ally trail and some of the old cat trails nearby that are used to access the landfills test wells the bulk of trails will be left unaffected. There has been talk of developing the France rd parcel for some time if and when the landfill should move in the direction of the existing Crev-mo trails that are located down below the sledding hill in that depression.

    Check with the web site: Matanuska Greenbelt for more info. I looks like it hasnt been updated recently, but if you sign up to the mailing list you will get a bit more up to date information.

  77. #77
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    There is a public hearing on April 4 at 6 PM about this. Come and make your voice heard. The biggest problem we face is that this plan for landfill expansion was laid out years and years ago in the strategic plan, so it is just formality now. But if enough people express the sentiment that the make up of the valley resident is changing and newcomers value human-powered recreation and green spaces along with the freedom and better cost of living that the valley offers, maybe the planning commission will be swayed into reassessing.

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