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Our mission is to promote all forms of Nordic skiing as a healthy activity for all ages and abilities. Among our core activities are maintaining and grooming over 140 kilometers of ski trails for recreation and touring, as well as performance skiing and racing.
Serving Anchorage's Nordic ski community requires the year-round commitment of a small but dedicated staff, hundreds of hard-working volunteers, and a fleet of specialized heavy equipment. More importantly, the generous support of our members and donors is what
makes all of this possible.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2016 Summertime Trail Talk

Summertime Trail Talk 2016
 
 
 KINCAID PARK: 

Since the beginning of June, Craig and Bill have been at the park tending to some maintenance issues in order to return parts of the Margaux's Lighted back to a Type I level ski trail.*

This work involves a 6 step process:
1. Remove and chip encroaching brush.
2. Recondition existing trail cover into a material that can be reshaped using a roto-     tiller. 
3. Reshape trail surface and back-slopes with a grader or small dozer.
4. Compact the trail surface and pack the back-slopes.
5. Incorporate drainage areas and install culverts if necessary.
6. Seed trail surface and back-slope to combat erosion.
 
Through this process, we can take a trail from this...
 
to this.
 (These pictures do not represent the same trail and are just being used as an example).
 
Most trails that have eroded and deteriorated simply need their cross-section restored. Some trails may need minor changes to their alignment for both safety and economy of maintenance. To maintain user-friendly trails, NSAA must seek to control the erosion of the trail surfaces and back slopes and reintroduce vegetation to add stability to the soils and enhance the natural environment.  A well-maintained trail is vital to its continued use and enjoyment.  NSAA works diligently to maintain and improve trails so that they will be safe and enjoyable for all types of trail users on a year-round basis.
NSAA has in place a Maintenance Plan for Soft Surface Trails which calls for restoring these soft surface trails on an ongoing basis and cycles each trail on a 10-15 year plan, as needed.  

 
* Type 1: Level One Ski Trail – This is a high volume trail which accommodates   most ranges of user abilities. Alignment should provide good sight distance and gentle turns to accommodate novice users. Profile of trail should not include grades steeper than 10% and avoid abrupt transitions.  The typical width is 20’.  The surface should be smooth, have a flat cross-section and incorporate natural soil stabilizers so as to be durable against heavy non-winter use. (Example: Mize Loop at Kincaid) 
  • Winter Use – This is a very popular ski trail that accommodates most ranges of skier abilities. This is typically a lighted trail but not necessarily.  It is groomed for both classic and skate techniques and should be groomable with minimal snow cover.  Novice skiers should be comfortable on most grades and turns. Trail width will accommodate safe passing. Trails are usually designated one-way in winter for safety purposes.
  •  Summer Use – This trail can accommodate a high volume of summer users. The width can support side-by-side users in most sections and provide enough sight distance for seeing on-coming traffic.  Sight distance and width also provides a level of comfort for detecting other two and four-legged trail users and predators. Smooth flat trail surface is attractive to beginning trail bikers.
 
 
You should see some significant improvements to these trails so head on out to Kincaid Park and check on their progress.  Pretty soon, Craig and Bill will be ready to move to the Dark Trails, working on Easy St. and the S Turns from World Cup to the bridge.  We hope that this information helps you understand why we do what we do in the summertime. Enjoy the trails!!