33rd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot


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

The Sonot Kkaazoot is cancelled; entry fees will not be refunded, but will be used to defray the sunk costs of the race (grooming to date, bibs, awards, honoraria for the schools responsible for the aid stations, etc.).

If you hadn’t previously registered for the 33rd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot, but would like to contribute to the grooming expenses for the Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot, you can still register here:


This will help the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks face the financial hardship of cancelling one of our signature events.

Virtual 33rd Sonot Kkaazoot (last updated at 7:42 p.m. ADT on 3/20/20)


Race Director Bob Baker has deemed the Chena River to be ungroomable so the VIRTUAL SONOT KKAAZOOT has been moved up to Birch Hill.

So get out there and ski any trails or multiple trails on different days. It’s a virtual Sonot Kkaazoot.

Bad Bob Baker, who has 33 years experience grooming the Chena River, warns that the Sonot Kkaaoot course on the Chena River is no longer safe.

Ski trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area until you reach 20, 40, or 50 km (or any other distance). Send us a screen shot of the display from your GPS route, date, and time to us at: contact@sonotkkaazoot.org . We’ll post the virtual 33rd Sonot Kkaazoot times for all three distances. If you ski low tech, send us your time, date, and detailed course description. The main goal is to get out and ski while we can.

Grooming always depends upon Mother Nature. 

QUESTIONS:  contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

Eric Buetow skis virtual 40 km

repurposed Eric Troyer photo

Repurposed Eric Troyer photo with Eric, Mike, Pat, and Dave (L to R)

On March 18, Eric Buetow and Dave Prusak skied the virtual 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot on the traditional Chena River course that runs in front of the Buetow home.


Today, Eric writes:

Pat Reinhard, Mike Schmoker, Dave Prusak and I did a grand tour—minus Sunnyside—at a proudly SCUM-ish pace with multiple stops for conversation, reveling in the wonderful trail conditions, enjoying virtual feed stations, and waiting for the now 1 1/2-armed Prusak.

They called it a day and I cobbled together another 13-or-so km, encouraged by Jerome Jackson, who was in leisure mode with grand kids and Sarah.
All in all, a great day!

No photos because my phone died, but just wanted to get on the board. Total time for Eric: 4:10.

We’ll put the Eric on the board for 40 km and Pat, Mike, and Dave on for 27 km. 


Anna Rix skis 80 km virtual Sonot Kkaazoot

Anna long ski

Anna writes:

I finally got around to doing my longer ski, the wind last Sunday and blisters yesterday stopped me from doing it sooner. I cut it shorter than intended when they closed the Warming Hut, so only got 80 k instead of my intend 100 k to complete the “Virtual White Mountains 100”. I managed only about 118 k at Birch Hill during the virtual Sonot (skied on 3/21, 3/27, 3/28, total time about 12:20). I did ski 86 k at UAF during the virtual Sonot, but I not going to calculate that total time.
Anyways, for today, I was going to break the ski into the first 50 k, which was all classic. My 50 k route was a tour of all the groomed trails. I started out with the black loops, then West Ramp, Blue, Outhouse, Sunnyside to Clifftop, rest of Outhouse, rest of Relay, Tower (including Classic Tower), Medevac, East Ramp, Rollercoaster, White Bear with Moilanen’s Meadow, and Warm-up. After one lap, I stopped to wax a different pair of classic skis, shed some layers, and refill my drink belt. I said hi to Donovan. For the second tour lap, I started off trying to get a few of the bits that I was missing: Main Ramp into the part of Relay I was missing by doing Blue, up the sprint wall to the second half of Green Dot, Rollercoaster bypass, somehow ended up taking the sprint elbow downhill, then I started another Tour lap. Tower, Rollercoaster, White Bear with Moilanen’s Meadow (more enjoyable when the kick wax is still kicking), got Sidewinder and the Roundabout on the way out of White Bear Access, at some point I did Loki and the other one in the stadium (could have been before with Rollercoaster bypass), Warmup, and onto the Black Loops. I hit 50 km just before finishing off North Forty’s Corkscrew. 50 k classic total: 5:18 total time, 5:05:45 ski time.
For the next 30 k it was a mixture of skate and classic. I finished by Tour lap finishing with the trails with more debris, so the rest of Black Loops, Blue Loop, Outhouse (which was pretty clean and not many people ventured onto the full version), Sunnyside, and Relay. I went back to the Warming Hut to change socks, coats, gloves, headband, and boots. Onto skate skiing! I started out by taking White Cub and all of White Bear (Shalane zoomed by me) to the Groomers Ramp, Warmup, White Bear access out to the biathlon range (since I hadn’t ski that trail), took Zoomer’s Cutoff back and went to change to my other skate skis when I heard that the Warming Hut was closed, I grabbed my stuff out and skied part of North Forty, then Green Dot, Rollercoaster Bypass, and a lap in the stadium to bring my total distance for the day up to an even 80 k. That way my stuff didn’t freeze and I didn’t feel like changing into my other classic boots in the cold (my original plan was to change to my classic skin skis for the last 10-15 k). So, for the 40 k add the 13.2 k I did on Friday on my skin skis, the black loops, blue, outhouse, sunnyside (stopped and tried to readjust my boot), and relay before quitting to stop my blister for getting bigger (I put moleskin around it today). 40 k mixed techniques and day’s total: 5:04 total time, 4:44 ski time.
Might be too tired to explain what I was thinking, to remember my course, or edit my write up but I attached proof of my ski.
Anna, I’m tired just reading what you skied. Congratulations!

Bill Husby skis 40 km to complete his virtual Sonot Kkaazoot grand slam

After skiing the 20 km traditional Sonot Kkaazoot on 19 March,


Bill Husby skied a creative route 50 km Sonot on 21 March:


Today, in glorious sunshine, Bill skied a virtual 40 km, thus, completing his grand slam of all three Sonot Kkaazoot distances:

Poles 40 km


In between his three virtual Sonot Kkaazoot distance skis, Bill has groomed trails and skied casually with us mortals. Congratulations, Poles!

Virtual Sonot: UAF to Birch Hill

Peter Delamere writes:

Peter Delamere skied with Hannah Delamere and Hjelle Personius from UAF to Birch Hill.  Hannah and Hjelle skied 27 km (just to BH).

PastedGraphic-1 sm

Peter skied 40 km with a few additional km at BH.

PastedGraphic-2 sm

It would be great if we could link UAF and BH via Creamers (especially if the river is not suitable).  Crossing Farmers Loop near Ballaine was trivial. The Steese and Farmers Loop intersection is not so easy.  If only we had an overpass….  Not sure about times. Started at 11:30 ended at 3:30.

Great day!
Great report, Peter! Your creative route warrants further consideration as Fairbanks’ winters warm.

Joanna Fox finishes 40 km virtual Sonot

Joanna selfie

Joanna writes:

I finished my 40k virtual Sonot this morning with a 5.01 mile (or 8.05k) ski that included some of my favorite highland trails. I started with a trip around the Relay Start Loop to get warmed up, and then hopped onto Tower, which was impeccably well groomed. I knew I had to include Tower in my finale, as after all it’s my favorite trail at Birch Hill. It did not let me down! I honestly can’t remember enjoying that trail more. I had intended to ski Outhouse when I came out of Tower, but right there, beckoning me, was Roller Coaster. Who can resist a trip down Roller Coaster when it’s been freshly groomed?! Well, not I! It was well worth the side trip, as the tracks were deep and fast and I had it all to myself.
I then proceeded to Outhouse, where I had fun wondering if I’d encounter the moose who seemingly had cut straight down from the entrance and crossed every switchback. I didn’t, but I knew it must be lurking around there somewhere. After completing Outhouse I could have taken the Relay Return, as I knew I had exceeded the 6.25 k I needed to get to 40 k, but the trail gods urged me to go to take the complete loop so I could enjoy one more downhill before reaching the stadium hill and finishing my ski.
It was downright GLORIOUS out there! I ran into Poles right as I was starting, and he seemed to be in the middle of his 5th or 6th 50 k of the week, so I knew better than to try to follow him. After all, I wanted to save a little in the tank for tomorrow’s ski.

Here’s a short video clip for Joanna’s ski today:


And here are the routes, times and temperatures for her 4 installments:

Image 3-21-20 at 1.07 PM_1

Image 3-22-20 at 5.07 PM_2


Image 3-27-20 at 4.55 PM_3Image 3-28-20 at 3.16 PM_4

.Looks like Joanna will be ready to take on the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot in 2021.