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Local Nordic skiing group seeks donations

Posted: November 23, 2012 - 1:02am
The Ski-doo Skandic snow mobile is the machine of choice for the JNSC. Scott Fischer said these machines have a wide track and are also used by other local organizations for grooming.   ABBY LOWELL / JUNEAU EMPIRE
ABBY LOWELL / JUNEAU EMPIRE
The Ski-doo Skandic snow mobile is the machine of choice for the JNSC. Scott Fischer said these machines have a wide track and are also used by other local organizations for grooming.

The Juneau Nordic Ski Club has just kicked off a fundraising effort this week to collect funds for the purchase of new grooming equipment to keep up with the high demand for additional ski trails in the Juneau area.

Juneau Nordic Ski Club Volunteer Del Carnes said the nonprofit is looking to raise $16,000 to purchase a new snow machine and new grooming attachments.

“We are finding it hard to get equipment out to new trails, such as the Under Thunder and Powerline trail,” Carnes said. “If we have some additional equipment, we have more flexibility.”

Many know of the work that the group puts in daily to make the Mendenhall Lake Campground skiable in the winter. But few know that the JNSC operates solely on donations, club membership fees and that volunteers do the grooming using ski club time, gasoline and equipment that needs regular maintenance and upkeep.

“But we can’t solicit for funds, because it’s government property,” Carnes said. “And we can’t put a sign out there to ask for a donations; I think many people are under the impression that the Forest Service is doing all the grooming.”

So the club relies on word-of-mouth, he said.

The JNSC grooms trails for both skate and classic technique at the Mendenhall Lake Campground during the winter months. The group also does pre- and postseason grooming on the Nordic trails at Eaglecrest Ski Area.

He said people may support the club by purchasing a $25 membership through the website at jnski.org. General contributions are accepted online or can be mailed to P.O. Box 21262, Juneau AK 99802.

The club is also looking for volunteers willing to help with the grooming, Carnes said.

“We can always use people. You know, there’s vacations that come and go and so we’re always looking for the help.”

To volunteer, call Carnes at 321-0867.

• Contact Outdoors Editor Abby Lowell at abby.lowell@juneauempire.com.

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