Nordic Skiing is GREAT in Fairbanks

With a little more than two weeks left to register for the Sonot Kkaazoot at regular entry fee rates, what are you waiting for? The skiing has been great and some skiers were even pacing the dogs today on the Tanana River (photo by Jerome Jackson).

Poles catching dog team

Yesterday at Birch Hill, some of us were avoiding a coronary bypass

Coronary bypass

while others were skiing without a hat to avoid a system meltdown:

Hatless skiing in Fairbanks

This warm El Nino winter has been great for skate skiing in Fairbanks. So make the commitment now to ski the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot. Check out the 154 skiers who have already registered on the Entries page ( and then go to the Register page ( and join them.

Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Marathon is on!

Homer has plenty of snow to host the 2016 Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Marathon on Saturday, March 12th. With scarce snow throughout southcentral Alaska, skiers preparing for the Sonot Kkaazoot may be interested in Kachemak Bay Nordic Ski Club’s race/tour. They will have 20K (race and tour) and 40K (race) options. Participants who register online by March 10th save $10. Register online here:

Early registration ends 5 p.m. Friday, 26 February 2016

Early registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, 26 February 2016. After Friday, registration fees will go up $10 per entry. If your name is on the Entries page, you are all set.

If your name is not on the entries list and you have not registered since the page was last updated, you will need to register online. We did not distribute paper registration forms for the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot.

Please follow instructions on the Register page.

You have until 5 p.m. on Friday, 18  March 2016 to register at regular registration fee level. Late registration and day of race fees are substantially higher. You may change events at no extra cost up until bib pick-up.

Training for the Sonot at the Birkie

If you’ve been sweating what to use for kick wax on the 30 km Distance Race #3 to be held Sunday at Birch Hill Recreation Area, you could be in Wisconsin with 10,000 other skiers worrying about wax for the various Birkie events there tomorrow.

Bad Bob Baker, originator and longtime organizer of the Sonot Kkaazoot, is searching the world (literally) for races that will give him a special edge in the Sonot Kkaazoot. Baker and Dave Edic, former Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skier, are currently wax testing for tomorrow’s 55 km Classical American Birkebeiner Marathon. Here’s his update on wax testing near the course (that is currently closed to save the snow).

“Today Dave and I tested waxes for tomorrow’s BIRKIE. It was raining fairly hard and 38 degrees. We found that most of the universal Klisters were all working OK, but not great.  Zero’s were worse and slower. We also tested red Klisters, with and without silver and other great sticky stuff. Bottom line is nothing came close to a great kick wax. However, we did manage to get totally soaked while testing and we ran into David Norris, Lex Treinen, Tyler Kornfield and other APU racers, who all got wet testing too. They are all skating tomorrow and gave us a smile as to say, we’re glad we aren’t classic skiing. The BIRKIE course has not been groomed all week, so our testing was in an area sort of near the BIRKIE course. They will groom the race course sometime after midnight, so the actual conditions on race day morning will remain a mystery until we arrive at the start in the AM. Dave and I have now decided to just wax our skis up with a base klister and a universal klister, head to the start with lots of other waxes and a torch and iron and pray that things go well. I will carry some kind of crazy wax with me in case I lose my grip and bonk, just to get me to the finish. Present attitude is …”CAN’T WAIT TILL THIS IS OVER”..  ENJOY your FAIRBANKS ski conditions!  It could be worse.”

Let’s just hope that Bad Bob and Dave Edic manage to stay ahead of this 85 year old skier from Anchorage:

Visualize Skiing the Sonot Kkaazoot


To help the first time participant in the Sonot Kkaazoot, here are a few videos of the 40 and 50 km events taken by Dermot Cole in 2015. The first clip is the mass start for the 40 and 50 km freestyle events:

Here is the climb up the Fort Wainwright alpine ski hill to the base of the Sonot Connector:

and 28 km later coming down the same hill:

Remember, if you smile, it’s no big deal.

Here’s Robert Hannon, Sonot military contact AND coordinator for FWW road crossings finishing:

Sign up now for the lowest entry fees. Early registration ends in less than two weeks on 26 February 2016.

Masters World Cup 30 km FS

The Masters World Cup Competition in Finland finished up with the long distance freestyle races. For the older age categories (M7 and older) , the long race is 30 km (just like the Distance Race #3 next week at Birch Hill). In it, Chris Puchner, who heads up the Sonot Kkaazoot start /finish area and feed stations, was the first Fairbanks skier and was 89th of 114 finishers (7 dropped out) with a time of 1:54.20. Bruce Jamieson, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks president, was the 95th finisher with a time of 1:58.20.

Congratulations! You did it! We won’t be seeing you for long at the Sonot Kkaazoot start based on the three races you’ve done at Masters World.

Bad Bob + rain + snow = 45 km CL FUN

Ever wonder about the skier who came up with the idea of the Sonot Kkaazoot almost 3 decades ago, and then made it happen? Bad Bob Baker approaches ski races with the same passion that he embraces grooming the Sonot trail on the Chena River amidst jumbled ice and flowing water.

Today in typical Bad Bob fashion, he had 2 hours and 52 minutes of fun (in mixed rain and snow at 33 deg F) skiing the 45 km mass start classical event at Masters World Cup in Finland. Bad Bob finished 18 of 30 starters in the M6 race (only 26 finished) and was second American behind his former training partner, Dave Edic.

Keep having fun, Bob!

Bad Bob in action sm

Bad Bob Baker at 15 km of 45 km CL Masters World Cup Race (photo by Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks president, Bruce Jamieson)

Relay day at Masters World Cup in Finland

Today was the 4 x 5 km relay day at the Masters World Cup in Finland. Bad Bob Baker scrambled for the USA M4 team (the kids needed the M6 experience) that was the second place USA team (and 5th among nations in the M4 category) at 59:05, 10:14 behind the M1 team from Russia that won the gold. Chris Puchner and Bruce Jamieson skied the first two legs of the USA M7 team that finished 5th among the USA teams (8th among M7 teams).

Keep skiing fast!