31st Annual Sonot Kkaazoot


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

 Saturday, March 24, 2018

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. Local skiers are asked to bring either salads or desserts to serve 10 hungry skiers. 

Secure online registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot on the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Wild Apricot secure 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 after bib pick-up on 22 March 2018.

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

Early registration (must be received by 5 p.m. A.S.T. on 23 February 2018):

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)

Second deadline (must be received by 5 p.m. A.D.T. on 16 March 2018):

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 and bib pick-up (must be received by 7 p.m. on 22 March 2018:

5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, 22 March 2018 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 (NSCF members); $60 for those 17 or older (non-members)

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

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 24 March 2018:

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: sonotkkaazoot@nscfairbanks.org

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

Fairbanks skiers medal at 15/30 km freestyle races at World Masters

Sunday’s races at Masters World Cup in Minneapolis were 15/30 km freestyle events. Results for some Fairbanks skiers include:

Tyson Flaharty, 3rd overall and 2nd American in the M1 event for the 30 km freestyle race with a time of 1:10.45.

Bruce Jamieson, a M8 skier in the 15 km freestyle event, finished 33rd with a time of 49:59.3.

Davya Flaharty, was second overall in the F1 event for the 15 km freestyle with a time of 39:30.3.

Gina Chythlook, a F2 skier, was 2nd overall in a time of 41:03.6 for 15 km.

Sharon Baker (mother to Davya and Gina), a F6 skier, was 4th overall and 3rd American with a time of 46:10.0 for 15 km.

Great job! Hopefully, we can update with race photos later.




Fairbanks World Masters skiers ski 15 and 30 km classical race today

Cold weather and abundant new snow likely contributed to today’s small field in the Buetow Dental-Pangaea Health Distance Race #2, but the absence of Fairbanks skiers participating in Masters World Cup in Minneapolis was evident, too.

Masters World Cup Nordic Ski Races at Theodore Wirth Park on 20 January 2018

Bad Bob Baker--Photo from World Masters Site


Bad Bob Baker (wearing his Sonot Kkaazoot hat) at 25.5 km mark–Photo by Sharon Baker

Bob Baker, today placed 20th in the 30 km classical race for the M6 age category with a time of 1:46.35.8.

Chris Puchner (wearing SCUM hat) in 15 km CL race– Photo by Sharon Baker

Chris Puchner was 33rd with a time of 56:07.8 in the M7 age category that skied a 15 km classical race.


Owen Hanley in 15 km classical race–Photo by Sharon Baker

Owen Hanley was 20th in the M9 class with a time of 58.49.9 for his 15 km classical event. Temperatures were almost 40 deg warmer than Birch Hill today.

Congratulations to all of you!

Chasing the Sun on Moose Mountain

Have you ever wondered how Sonot Kkaazoot creator and long-time organizer, Bad Bob Baker was able to set up the Sonot Kkaazoot course and then ski the race? Grooming and  skiing are part of his life on Moose Mountain. On Saturday, 23 December 2017, Bob shared his “home trail” with us when he organized a Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Tour that began and ended at his house.

First, he headed off and groomed the 10 mile long, out-and-back trail to eight foot width, returning home as just a hint of predawn light was visible from his deck:

Still dark when Bob finished grooming

He put away his grooming equipment and then began directing vehicles around his parking area so that none of the 16 vehicles would be blocked by another. His years at H&S Warehouse were evident as Bob packed the cars with care, precision, and only inches of clearance between them.

Around 10 a.m., we headed out the trail and soon began the long climb:

And the uphill begins

where smiles were seen on skiers like Sharon Baker and Norma Haubenstock, who opted to stride up the trail:

Sharon & Norma striding up MM

while your blogger, who opted to skate, was struggling to make forward progress. A little snowball of a dog couldn’t figure out why I needed the entire width of the trail as she ran between me and her skier behind me.

Bad Bob, photographer for this post, passed us and skated up to the ridge before sunrise. Here is one of his photos of charred black spruce from the May 2011 forest fire in the foreground and the Alaska Range in the distance.

Sunrise on MM with Blk Spruce skeletal remains

Eventually,  the sun illuminated the windy summits and the valley below:

View of wind on Alaska Range

All photographs in this post were taken by Bad Bob Baker

It was a fantastic day with temperatures in the 20 deg F range while the Fairbanks airport stayed below zero. Descending from the ridge, the low-angled solstice sun glared in our faces, resulting in a few falls on the groomer-created moguls. However, the landings were soft, and soon we were back at the Baker’s house to refuel with Karla Taylor Welch’s chili, Gina Chythlook’s pie, and numerous other baked treats.

Happy Holidays from all the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks volunteers who organize the Sonot Kkaazoot. Give yourself the gift of good health in 2018. Register for the Sonot Kkaazoot during early registration. Just click on the “Register” tab at the top of this post. Bad Bob and Sharon Baker are signed up. Why aren’t you?

Early registration for 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot is open

Early online registration for the 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot events: 50 km classical technique, 50 km freestyle (FS), 40 km FS, and 20 km FS is OPEN. Just click on the “Register” page at the top of the Sonot Kkaazoot website, and you’ll be taken to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks secure Wild Apricot site to sign up.

Consider a Sonot Kkaazoot entry as a holiday gift for yourself or your favorite nordic skier. It will be a great motivation to jump start training with the “Ski your age in kilometers” event on December 26, 2017.

Alan Delamere, 82 years young, has already signed up for the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot. Why haven’t you? Check the “Entries” page for other frugal 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot participants.


Really Awesome Sonot Connector on Sunday

Thanks to the amazing Jeff Skeels, Fort Wainwright groomer, the Sonot Connector had been newly piston bully groomed on Sunday, 3 December 2017. It was so delightful that several of us decided to descend and climb the Sonot Connector twice.

Sonot Connector sm.JPG

Above, Bernardo Hernandez, one of the Sonot Kkaazoot’s woodel makers, leads Dermot Cole up the Sonot Connector. Thanks, Jeff, for the fantastic ski yesterday.

Don’t forget the first of the Buetow Dental and Pangaea Health Distance Races (7.5 and 15 km CL) is scheduled for Saturday, 9 December 2017.  It’s time to start working on getting into condition for the 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot. Sign up here:


Great Tracks and Sunshine on a Subzero Day

The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot is only 4 months away. The Jim Whisenhant Cross Country Ski Trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area have been groomed to perfection after our ample November snowfalls. Although temperatures were in the -5 deg F range this morning, the sunshine and piston bully groomed Sunnyside Trail made for an enjoyable training workout.Sunny day on the Sunnyside trail

Don’t forget that these trails are maintained year round by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks with costs of labor, fuel, and equipment repair supported through contributions to the Trail fund. Please donate to make sure that this wonderful grooming continues. Here is the URL for the secure site:


The secure site for Sonot Kkaazoot registration will be set up soon. The work associated with the new Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks website has delayed some of the back end functions (like secure purchases) temporarily. However, we’ll let you know when the Sonot Kkaazoot registration is available.


Skiing on Sonot Kkaazoot course is great

Although October was exceptionally wet, temperatures were also unusually warm so snow was late in coming to the Fairbanks area. However, after one false start, the snowpack on the Jim Whisenhant cross country ski trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area and on Fort Wainwright trails is great for both classical and free technique skiing. Thanks to a lot of volunteer brushing work done this fall on the White Bear trail, skate and classical skiing are great. Unfortunately, our fitness isn’t quite in the same shape yet. Here’s what coronary bypass looked like a week ago:

Coronary bypass sm

Yesterday we skied from the Sunnyside Trail to Fort Wainwright, where we found that the Army was busily enhancing snow cover on the alpine ski hill making for unusual skiing conditions up the ski slope to the base of the Sonot Connector. However, the classical tracks on the Sonot Connector and White Bear were awesome.

FWW ski hill at base of Sonot Connector sm

Take a break from snow shoveling and scooping to enjoy the ski trails!

The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot just 4 months away.