Six Fairbanks skiers at World Masters in Austria

Six Fairbanks-based cross country skiers are in Austria competing in the 2014 Cross Country Masters Cup. These skiers include (in alphabetical order): Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot founder and longtime director; Dave Edic; Owen Hanley; Bruce Jamieson, co-President of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (; Ken Leary, the only guy to finish all 26 of the Sonot Kkaazoot (long course), and the organizer of the Wednesday Night Race Series (; and Chris Puchner. All these skiers, in addition to being amazing local racers, have contributed countless hours toward improving the nordic ski opportunities in Fairbanks.

Here’s the link to World Masters Cup race results with first event scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday, 24 January 2014):

Have fun, and ski fast!


Glistening hoarfrost and perfect classical tracks

Although temperatures in town this morning were well below -30 deg F, the sun was out, skies were bluebird blue, and the temperature in the Birch Hill stadium was -16 to -18 deg F, depending on which thermometer you cared to believe. With days getting longer and the Sonot Kkaazoot just 11 weeks away, it definitely was a day to enjoy the enhanced sunlight of the South Side Classic Loops. However, to warm up, we skied the Relay and Tower Loops before heading down the White Cub and White Bear to SCUM corner where we assembled for a group photo before crossing Beacon Road over to Fort Wainwright.

2014 SCUM

Descending down the Sonot Connector, we skied past the Blackhawk Loop to the Chinook Loop that has bright southern exposure that warms a clear, chilly day.

White bear map_trimmed

Here Robert and Sam stop briefly to help the Sonot blogger demonstrate ski conditions.

Sam&Robert on Chinook_sm

We definitely saw more moose prints than skier face plants and had both trails entirely to ourselves. With blood and enthusiasm flowing even in distant appendages, we skied the Blackhawk and then headed back up the Sonot Connector:

Sam & Robert on Sonot Connector_sm

The overachieving SCUM went ahead and did the other White Bear Classical Trails, but the group gradually found their way back to the warming hut for coffee and conversation while cars and bodies warmed up again.

Sonot Kkaazoot training class starts 21 January 2014

Once again, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks will offer an eight-week ski class designed to help prepare adult skiers for the Sonot Kkaazoot. The course is held Tuesday nights at Birch Hill Recreation area from 6 to 7:30 p.m. More information can be found here:

with online registration available here:

This is a great way to improve your marathon technique and strategy skills from an instructor with lots of experience doing the Sonot Kkaazoot.

Images from the Distance Race #2 on 1/4/14

World Cup quality tracks, temperatures in the high teens (above zero), and a new race course incorporating the “mellowed” black loops awaited participants in Saturday’s Buetow Dental Distance Race #2, the January Jaunt presented by Raven Cross Country. Smiles, grimaces, and deep concentration were captured by photographer Bob Wilkinson on the new downhill section of the blacks and elsewhere. Skiers ranged in age from 12 to 70, many of whom are training for the Sonot Kkaazoot to be held on 29 March 2014.