30th Annual Sonot Kkaazoot


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

 Saturday, March 25, 2017

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. (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)

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

Feed stations hosted by local ski teams and groups: 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 10:30 a.m.

Awards Ceremony: 6:00 p.m. at Birch Hill Ski Center. Soups, breads, other tasty items, and drinks will be provided by Foundation Health Partners.

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 5 p.m. A.S.T. on 24 February 2017):

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 17 March 2017):

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 23 March 2017:

5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, 23 March 2017 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 25 March 2017:

20 km events: $55 for skiers 16 or younger; $80 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $90

QUESTIONS:  contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

More snow headed our way

With the Sonot Kkaazoot just a little over a month away, more snow is headed our way as shown in the 6 to 10 day forecast.


This snow will set up nicely as another cold front will follow it:


Fortunately, head groomer, Tom Helmers should be well rested from his Hawaiian vacation and ready to get the piston bully grooming again.

Donate to the trail grooming fund:


and sign up for the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot now:



Sunday’s Distance Race #3 will start and end at the biathlon range

The Buetow Dental Distance Race #3 is scheduled for Sunday, 19 February 2017. The temperatures will be mild and trails will be groomed to perfection. Because cold weather caused the Conoco Phillips Winter Carnival scheduled for last Sunday to be delayed until this Sunday, the Distance Race #3 course will start at the Biathlon Range at 11 a.m. Bib pickup and race day registration will take place in the biathlon building NOT in Rikke’s Roadhouse.

The course map can be viewed here:


This would make a loop of about 10 km, so the 30 km skiers would do it three times. If you’re not ready to ski 30 km, you can ski just 10 km. Come and enjoy skiing the new Sunnyside Trail.

Valentine gift of fun in the sun

With the cold weather behind us and the Birch Hill groomers working to make our ample snow pack into amazing trails, why not register your special valentine in the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot? There are 4 different events to choose from: 50 km classical technique (with early start), and 20, 40 and 50 km freestyle (with classical tracks set on the entire course).

Because we are celebrating our 30th anniversary, the first 250 skiers to register will get a specially designed Sonot Kkaazoot hat (designed by Margo Klass and Frank Soos) and 30th anniversary zipper pull (designed by Bernardo Hernandez and Mike Schmoker).

You have only 10 days to early register. On February 24, all registration fees increase by $10. So make the commitment now for you and your significant others.


See you on the trails.

Sonot Kkaazoot course on the Chena River is in!

Today Bad Bob Baker, Chena River groomer, packed and dragged the Sonot Kkaazoot course from the start line to the first Fort Wainwright road crossing.

BAD BOB writes, “The Chena for the most part is VERY   SMOOTH  this year…no jumble-ice at all…There are a few icy spots and even some wet overflow in a few spots…but after dragging…they should harden back up well…”

Check it out and then sign up for the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot:

Perfect ski conditions at -23 deg F on Southside Classic trails

Although the inversion today was rather shallow so temperatures hovered between -23 and  -25 deg F, the sun was out on the Blackhawk and Chinook trails and the tracks were fresh and firm. With our ample snow pack, trail conditions were the best we’ve seen this early in the season for years.bob-on-chinook


Glide was good, kick was adequate on all the uphills, and the switchback corners were slow enough that even SCUM could stay upright on their skis.

The 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot is just 2 months away. The cold temperatures have made for solid river ice and our snow pack is setting up nicely. Make the commitment now to the ski the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot while entry fees are the lowest. See the “Register” page at the top of this site.

NSCF offers Sonot Kkaazoot Training Class

If you need a little assistance in preparing for the 40 or 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is once again offering a 10 week long Sonot Kkaazoot Training Class beginning this Tuesday.

The class involves at least one long ski of the Chena River and Sonot Connector to the Birch Hill Recreation Area and also includes video analysis of your skate technique.

To register or for more information email nscfadultlessons@gmail.com, or
call 371-9543.

Groomers make skiing great at Birch Hill

As mentioned in the last post, getting 2.5 months worth of snow in one week made grooming extremely challenging for the three groomers. To demonstrate the efforts required, here is Ken Coe smoothing the Outhouse Loop near the entrance to the Sunnyside Trail (photo by Bill Husby).


Support the grooming fund:


Or attend the Groomers’ Ball at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 14 January at the Birch Hill Recreation Area.