29th Annual Sonot Kkaazoot


Athabaskan: Sonot (pronounced “SAW NOT”, “springtime”) Kkaazoot (“to slide your feet across the snow”)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Again this year: four events with three staggered starts:

50 km (classical technique), Mass start at 9:30 a.m.

50 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m.

40 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m. (omits comp, black hole, N40, blue, & outhouse loops at Birch Hill)

20 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:30 a.m. (Chena River only)

All events start and finish downtown on the Chena River at the Centennial Bridge

Feed stations hosted by local ski teams and groups: Every 5-6 km beginning at 10 a.m.

River Breakup: If the Chena River is deemed unsafe, we will start all events at Birch Hill at 10:30 a.m.

Awards Ceremony: 6:00 p.m. at Birch Hill Ski Center. Soups, breads, and drinks will be provided. Please bring a salad or dessert to feed 10 hungry people.

Secure online registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot on the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks website is now available on the Register tab at the top of this site.

Entry fees (no refunds–the Sonot Kkaazoot has never been cancelled)

Early registration (must be received by 5 p.m. A.S.T. on 26 February 2016):

20 km event: $15 for skiers 16 or younger on race day; $30 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $40

Second deadline (must be received by 5 p.m. A.D.T. on 18 March 2016):

20 km events: $25 for skiers 16 or younger; $40 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $50

Late Registration and bib pick-up (must be received by 7 p.m. on 24 March 2015):

5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, 24 March 2016 at the Doyon, Limited, Headquarters, 1 Doyon Place, downtown Fairbanks

20 km events: $35 for skiers 16 or younger; $50 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $60

IMPORTANT: Bib pick-up is the last opportunity to change event and/or distance you are entering without paying race day fee.

Day of Race bib pick-up and registration: 8 to 9 a.m. on 26 March 2016:

20 km events: $55 for skiers 16 or younger; $70 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $80

QUESTIONS:  contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

Masters World Cup 30 km FS

The Masters World Cup Competition in Finland finished up with the long distance freestyle races. For the older age categories (M7 and older) , the long race is 30 km (just like the Distance Race #3 next week at Birch Hill). In it, Chris Puchner, who heads up the Sonot Kkaazoot start /finish area and feed stations, was the first Fairbanks skier and was 89th of 114 finishers (7 dropped out) with a time of 1:54.20. Bruce Jamieson, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks president, was the 95th finisher with a time of 1:58.20.

Congratulations! You did it! We won’t be seeing you for long at the Sonot Kkaazoot start based on the three races you’ve done at Masters World.

Bad Bob + rain + snow = 45 km CL FUN

Ever wonder about the skier who came up with the idea of the Sonot Kkaazoot almost 3 decades ago, and then made it happen? Bad Bob Baker approaches ski races with the same passion that he embraces grooming the Sonot trail on the Chena River amidst jumbled ice and flowing water.

Today in typical Bad Bob fashion, he had 2 hours and 52 minutes of fun (in mixed rain and snow at 33 deg F) skiing the 45 km mass start classical event at Masters World Cup in Finland. Bad Bob finished 18 of 30 starters in the M6 race (only 26 finished) and was second American behind his former training partner, Dave Edic.

Keep having fun, Bob!

Bad Bob in action sm

Bad Bob Baker at 15 km of 45 km CL Masters World Cup Race (photo by Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks president, Bruce Jamieson)

Relay day at Masters World Cup in Finland

Today was the 4 x 5 km relay day at the Masters World Cup in Finland. Bad Bob Baker scrambled for the USA M4 team (the kids needed the M6 experience) that was the second place USA team (and 5th among nations in the M4 category) at 59:05, 10:14 behind the M1 team from Russia that won the gold. Chris Puchner and Bruce Jamieson skied the first two legs of the USA M7 team that finished 5th among the USA teams (8th among M7 teams).

Keep skiing fast!


Preparing for the Sonot Kkaazoot in Finland

Several Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skiers are currently in Finland participating in the Masters World Cup 2016. Bad Bob Baker reports that conditions 2 hours before race time were 35 deg F and raining.

In the 10 km classical event, Bad Bob’s time was 36:07 (32 of 41 among the M6 men). Chris Puchner was 41:35. In the 10 km freestyle event, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Board President, Bruce Jamieson was 42:16. Congratulations, guys!

Have fun and we’ll see you when you return.

Despite snow drought, trails are fantastic!

Although it’s been almost a month since Fairbanks has received any significant snowfall, thanks to the fantastic work of Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF) groomers, all the trails at Birch Hill, and the section of the Chena River used for the Sonot Kkaazoot have been groomed, so skiing conditions are awesome. Nothing can be finer than sunshine and fresh corduroy for a nordic skier. That’s exactly what we encountered today.

Blue skies and frest corduroy.jpg

Even without the sun, the temperatures have been moderate (but below freezing) so last Sunday, the SCUM (Sonot organizers) skied the Grand Tour (all the trails at Birch Hill with frequent rest stops.

SCUM resting

If you aren’t enjoying Hawaiian beaches or competing in crosscountry races in Europe, skiing in Fairbanks is pretty close to perfect right now for either classical or skate skiing.

Remember to donate to the NSCF Trails fund since the NSCF (not the borough) does all the grooming at Birch Hill (and on the Chena River for the Sonot).


Ski the Chena River portion of the Sonot

Bad Bob Baker is the Man when it comes to grooming the Chena River for the Sonot Kkaazoot. You can now ski the entire 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot trail. Here is Bad Bob’s report for today:

I dragged the Chena River again today…  I also found a path thru the bad ice near the START/FINISH area.  You can now ski the whole SONOT route on the River…  Looks real nice, just  as always…….stay on the groomed trail!   It’s looking good on the CHENA. It’s was 19 degrees on the river this afternoon.  Bare ice under the Steese Hwy bridge, and a little bumpy in just a few spots, but it’s definitely worth skiing/skating….no classic track, most the river is groomed 16′ wide.