It’s time to switch to road bikes, running shoes, rollerskis, and lap swimming until next fall.
Photos 1, 6, & 7 by Bill Husby; photos 2, 4, & 8 by Dan Johnson
We wish our hard working friends could have joined us.
We send “happy birthday” greetings to Robert Hannon, and know he would have been with us if he were in town.
End of the season ski and swim scheduled from Wednesday, 22 April 2015 beginning at 11:00 a.m. ADT on Smith Lake. Come join the fun. Bring skis. shades, and sunscreen. For the gullible, a snorkel might be handy.
Traditionally some of the best skiing of the year happens after the Sonot Kkaazoot. However, with the overall winter being warm and low snowfall with a record loading of birch seed and spruce cones, the ski season at Birch Hill for 2014 to 2015 is drawing to a close. In addition to the Ski for Women participants, we enjoyed the wonderfully groomed ski trails today and some unexpected sunshine.
We close out the ski season at Birch Hill with this rare shirtless photo shoot.
Skiing at West Ridge is still feasible for at least another week so we may post some photos from our annual Smith Lake biathlon (ski, swim) event that will likely be no earlier than late April.
Birch Hill trails are wonderful thanks to trail donations and the piston bully work of Tom Helmers. The Sonot Kkaazoot organizers were able to take a relaxing ski on Easter Sunday in preparation for the 2016 event, when our technique and fitness will be much improved.
Here’s Eric Troyer, the head of Sonot Kkaazoot publicity showing the uphill technique he’s learned from Pete Leonard’s FXC Masters class.
Bill Husby (aka Poles) was skating today after a season of grooming at Birch Hill and heading up Sonot Kkaazoot trail snow enhancement and brushing parties.Dermot Cole was the SCUM reporter on the course and videotaped the 50 km start as well as the last wave of skiers up the Fort Wainwright alpine hill. Dermot (on right in photo below) was a key snow enhancement worker on the river and on the Sonot Connector in the week leading up to the Sonot Kkaazoot:and all the skiers were enjoying the easy ski out of the black loops today:Enjoy the wonderful trails while they last. Spring really is right around the corner.
Some of the SCUM who played a major role in the Sonot Kkazoot weren’t skiing on Easter Sunday, so here is a partial group photo taken by Kent Karns on race day.From left to right: Steve Clautice (#508) helped set up and serve at the Awards Ceremony; to his right is Robert Hannon who headed up contact with the military and organized the Fort Wainwright road crossing teams; to his right with the ball cap is Mike Schmoker, who with Bernardo Hernandez constructs and distributes Sonot woodels and other awards; #551 is Mom, head Sonot janitor and crisis coach; #96 is Mike Ruckhaus, snow mover and trail enhancer; #550 is Frank Soos, guru in charge of bib distribution, late registration,and swag; Dermot Cole with all the extra clothes was a key snow enhancer on the river and Sonot Connector; and to his right is Chris Puchner, who organized all the feed stations and headed up the set-up and take-down of the finish area on the river.
Photo of Chena River start by Denise Jerome, photos in the Birch Hill stadium by Corrine Leistikow; photos from Fort Wainwright by Chris Broda, and photo of the return trail under the Graehl St. bridge by Dermot Cole.
Reports from Sonot Kkaazoot participants (both local and from Anchorage) were that the trail conditions were fantastic in spite of the record heat during the week prior to the 28th annual Sonot Kkaazoot. Here are some photos of the heroes behind those trails at work and the final results of their efforts:
Although most skiers were too tired when they got to the crest of the bunny hill to look up at the slope that had melted away as a river of water on Friday, Sonot Kkaazoot skiers really owe their great day to Jeff Skeels who bulldozed this alternate route for them.
All photos by Chris Broda, Fort Wainwright alpine hill crossing volunteer and leader of Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks “Ladies of Leisure”