Most clubs in Alaska have online calendars to keep members updated on upcoming rides and meetings. That includes groups like the Fairbanks Snowtravelers (snowtravelers.org), which is planning several rides around the Fairbanks area this winter. In addition to club rides, the group holds monthly board and general membership meetings. On Jan. 18 the club will hold its elections during a general membership meeting at 7 p.m. at Compeau’s in Fairbanks.
Valdez Snowmachine Club president Spook Metzger said the Prince William Sound community got a couple feet of snow in some places during the early December snowstorm. But like many places, even normally balmy Valdez was hit by a cold snap after the snow.
“We were doing really well, got about two to three feet last week but then the wind came in and it’s eight degrees out,” he said.
Still, the snow was appreciated.
“It’s getting there.”
The club’s biggest events of the winter – the Mayor’s Cup in March and the Hill Climb in April – aren’t until later in the season. But the club participates in search and rescue seminars, including bringing in experts from the Alaska Avalanche Information Center.
“They put on a great class,” Metzger said.
Metzger said the club is also hopes to put on a Wounded Warrior event this winter, but hasn’t yet finalized the details.
Updates on conditions in the Valdez area can be found on the club’s Facebook page.
The biggest event of the winter for the Lake Louise Snowmachine Club is the group’s annual “Wolfpack Weekend,” which club president Harry Holt said likely will include a family oriented ride from Lake Louise out to the Mendeltna Lodge for a pizza party. After pizza, the club will hold its annual fundraising basket auction, a highlight of the spring.
“We have a lot of fun doing that,” Holt said.
Like many clubs across the state, the Wolfpack spends most of the money it raises to pay for trail grooming and maintenance. Despite a dearth of early season snow, the group held a trail work party in mid-December and Holt said the plan was to have the groomers out – snow permitting – around the first week of January.
Many clubs have also bulked up their online presence in recent years. The Lake Louise club is no different, with club members posting updates about trail and weather conditions on the club’s website and Facebook page on a regular basis.
“We try to update everything about once a week … if something comes up sooner we’ll have it on there,” he said.