33rd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot

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

 Saturday, March 28, 2020

50 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m.  (Chena River, Fort Wainwright, Sonot Connector, all the trails at Birch Hill except Sunnyside and Cliffside)

40 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m. (includes all of 50 km course except for Competition, Black Hole, North 40, Blue & Outhouse trails)

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

NOTE:  There is no longer a separate 50 km classical event. Classical tracks will be set, but classical skiers will start with the 40 and 50 km freestyle skiers at 10:00 a.m.

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

(2020 Sonot Kkaazoot informational pamphlet will be posted here when available)

Feed stations : every 5 to 6 km beginning at 10:00 a.m.

River Breakup: If the Chena River is deemed unsafe, we will start all events at Birch Hill at 11:00 a.m. FINAL DECISION on race start location will be made by Thursday, 26 March 2020.

Awards Ceremony: 6:00 p.m. at Birch Hill Ski Center. Soups, breads, other tasty items, and drinks.

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

Important note for foreign skiers: Because the 40 or 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot course traverses Fort Wainwright land, we need your passport numbers and issuing country to submit to Fort Wainwright before we can issue you a race bib. Thus, no foreign nationals will be allowed to enter the 40 or 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot on day of race.

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

Early registration (must be received by 21 February 2020):

20 km event: $15 for skiers 16 or younger on race day; $30 for those 17 or older (NSCF members); $40 for those 17 or older (non-members)

40 km and 50 km events: $40 (NSCF members); $50 (non-members)

Standard registration from 22 February through 13 March 2020:

20 km events: $25 for skiers 16 or younger; $40 for those 17 or older (NSCF members); $50 for those 17 or older (non-members);

40 km and 50 km events: $50 (NSCF members); $60 (non-members)

Late Registration from 14 March to 26 March:

20 km events: $35 for skiers 16 or younger; $50 for those 17 or older (NSCF members); $60 for those 17 or older (non-members)

40 km and 50 km events: $60 (NSCF members); $70 (non-members)

Early bib pick-up:

5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, 26 March 2020 at the Doyon, Limited, Headquarters, 1 Doyon Place, downtown Fairbanks. Please plan to pick-up your bib early and avoid the race day crowd.

Really Late Registration from 27 March until 9 a.m. on 28 March 2020:

20 km events: $55 for skiers 16 or younger; $80 for those 17 or older (NSCF members); $90 for those 17 or older (non-members

40 km and 50 km events: $90 (NSCF members); $100 (non-members)

QUESTIONS:  contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

Fantastic skiing conditions at Birch Hill

Fairbanks skiers are thankful for our awesome Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers, who have been busy all November as frequent snow storms have blanketed the trails. Please make sure that you contribute to the NSCF trail fund so that they can continue to do their masterful work.

Here’s the URL to the NSCF secure site for making your trails donation:

http://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate

Today the SCUM (Sonot Kkaazoot organizers) were attempting to ski the Grand Tour (the Birch Hill trails utilized for the Sonot Kkaazoot), and we actually rallied most of them at the top of the Tower loop:SCUM on tower sm.JPG

A few SCUM didn’t make today’s workout, so we’ll have to use photos from earlier skis when they failed to stay on the groomed platform:

Dermot down smRobert down sm

Unlike these guys, the women out skiing today were not picking themselves out of the snow:

Joanna and Norma small

Now that the trails all have a deep firm base, it time for you to make a commitment to ski the 33rd annual Sonot Kkaazoot.

Online registration is available at:  https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/

This year are using the registration software that John Estle has been using for Running Club North races and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Town and Distance Races. Rather than raising the fees this year, there will be a modest registration fee added when you sign up to cover the cost of the software.

Enjoy the ski trails as you train for the 2020 Sonot Kkaazoot!

Brush cutting on far end of White Bear

Today on a beautiful autumn day at Birch Hill Recreation Area, we cut brush and overhanging branches back on both sides of the trail beyond Coronary Bypass (7 km cutoff), and cleaned up afterwards. The brush cutting party was organized by groomer Bill Husby (shown below in photo by Dan Johnson):

boss-man-sm.jpg

assisted by Dan Johnson, Dave Prusak, Dermot Cole (shown in another photo by Dan Johnson, working hard or hardly working):

working hard or hardly working.jpg

Bernardo Hernandez, Owen Hanley, Pat Reinhard, Carl Hemming, and Susan Sugai. Once the White Bear trail is mowed, this 3 km section will ready for snow.

Surprisingly, one of the brushcutters who worked for the entire 4+ hours, is a younger SCUM, who had to return to his regular work today after his Birch Hill mini-vacation. Not to be outdone by the pup, two of the brush cutters/tossers will be in the M9 and M10 age classes in the 33rd annual Sonot Kkaazoot.

There are areas that still need brushing on White Bear from about the 4.5 km cutoff to the 7.0 km cutoff where were started today. Bill Husby also mentioned that the bottom of the Black Hole is another trail needing brushing before winter.

Birch Hill Trail Reconnaissance

Much volunteer work takes place in the summer months to ensure that Birch Hill trail conditions will be great when the snow falls. Braving the mud and mosquitoes, we followed our fearless groomer today.

Two Sonot Kkaazoot organizers led by Bill Husby, trail groomer, surveyed the trails for areas needing summer brushing. To get us warmed up, Bill directed us out the White Bear backwards from the stadium, and we soon found ourselves in a mosquito-infested bog. We almost lost Robert in Moilanen Meadows.

Moilanen Meadows on 6-26-19 sm.JPG

Robert at the entrance to Moilanen Meadows

After fleeing the aerial hoards, we cut over to the White Bear just beyond the biathlon range heading toward the Fort Wainwright ski area.

Trail groomer leading us out of the White Bear bog.JPG

Bill Husby, groomer leads Robert Hannon in his fancy safety pants up the trail near the biathlon range.

In the sunshine at the base of the Fort Wainwright alpine hill, the mosquitoes dispersed, so Robert modeled his matching safety outfit purchased at Value Village.

Fancy Pants Hannon w matching safety gear sm

Robert Hannon and his matching safety outfit.

After climbing Cliffside and Sunnyside to the Outhouse Trail, we finished up on the Roller Coasters that were still wide and inviting in late June.

Roller coasters sm

Robert and Bill on the Roller Coasters on 6-26-19

Preparing for the 2019-2020 ski season at Birch Hill Recreation Area is well underway. Training for 33rd Annual Sonot Kkaazoot ramps up as the daylight hours shorten. Hill intervals start next week.

Snow after snowpack loss

for Sara Eliza Johnson

Before personal computers
and iphones,
White-out concealed
literary debris like this
wallowing in Spring mud.

After the shortest snow season
in 84 years,
today’s wasted white
betrays unkept promises.

Sliding on roadways,
Blizzaks and studs swapped
for summer tires,
we cling to old memories
splashing through break-up.

 

Select prior season:

2013:

Today’s snow teases
Trails steeped with yesterday’s warmth
No glide anywhere.

2014: 

Smith Lake still frozen
Holds ski possibilities
Atop uncertain ice.

2019 was the warmest March on record

As reported by the National Weather Service, March 2019 was the warmest on record in Fairbanks::

Capture

Temperatures reached 52 deg F at the airport on the day the Sonot Kkaazoot was held. This graph from the Alaska Climate Research Center show just how warm March was:

Fairbanks_2019March_thumb

So there were extreme weather conditions leading to this year’s shortened course.

Photo gallery from 32nd Sonot Kkaazoot

Photographer Jana Herzogova has generously shared over 250 photographs that she took of the 32nd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot.

Below is a random collection of her photos from warmest and shortest Sonot Kkaazoot in 32 years.

All photos from https://www.janaherzogphoto.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jana.herzogova.5 ; Instagram: @janaherzogphoto

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Capture

Jana emailed Bob Baker (and all Sonot participants):

Pictures are located under 2019 events, free code is Sonotfree. It is good for 2 free pictures, watermark will automatically disappear after they clear it through the cart.
I hope I was able to create some good memories for you all. It was a lovely day.
Thanks again,
Jana
.
The Sonot Kkaazoot thanks Jana for use of her fantastic photographs. Please make sure to credit her.