Today Bad Bob Baker, Chena River groomer, packed and dragged the Sonot Kkaazoot course from the start line to the first Fort Wainwright road crossing.
BAD BOB writes, “The Chena for the most part is VERY SMOOTH this year…no jumble-ice at all…There are a few icy spots and even some wet overflow in a few spots…but after dragging…they should harden back up well…”
Check it out and then sign up for the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot:
Although the inversion today was rather shallow so temperatures hovered between -23 and -25 deg F, the sun was out on the Blackhawk and Chinook trails and the tracks were fresh and firm. With our ample snow pack, trail conditions were the best we’ve seen this early in the season for years.
Glide was good, kick was adequate on all the uphills, and the switchback corners were slow enough that even SCUM could stay upright on their skis.
The 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot is just 2 months away. The cold temperatures have made for solid river ice and our snow pack is setting up nicely. Make the commitment now to the ski the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot while entry fees are the lowest. See the “Register” page at the top of this site.
If you need a little assistance in preparing for the 40 or 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is once again offering a 10 week long Sonot Kkaazoot Training Class beginning this Tuesday.
The class involves at least one long ski of the Chena River and Sonot Connector to the Birch Hill Recreation Area and also includes video analysis of your skate technique.
To register or for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, or
As mentioned in the last post, getting 2.5 months worth of snow in one week made grooming extremely challenging for the three groomers. To demonstrate the efforts required, here is Ken Coe smoothing the Outhouse Loop near the entrance to the Sunnyside Trail (photo by Bill Husby).
Support the grooming fund:
Or attend the Groomers’ Ball at 8 p.m. on Saturday, 14 January at the Birch Hill Recreation Area.
It was a chilly day, but the Buetow Dental Distance Race #2 course was fabulous. Much of the N40 had double tracks making for some cold downhills on the early section of the race. The sun was rising on the Outhouse and Tower loops treating us to beautiful orange tinted skies.
For skiers at the back of the pack, you can justify your slow times knowing that although you only skied 40% of the distance of the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot, you did 67% of the climb. According to my GPS, we climbed 480 m yesterday versus 720 m in the Sonot Kkaazoot.
Major kudos to the groomers who transformed the deep new snow, drifts, and debris into a challenging course with firm tracks and in all but a few areas, solid pole plants.Thanks to our late December-early January snow, we now have exceeded than normal snowfall for this time of year. Skiers should be aware that groomer Ken Coe has dragged the roller by hand when his snowmachine has gotten bogged down in deep snow on sections of the trail with steep turns. The groomers do everything to assure us the best trails possible.
Please support their efforts by donating to the trails fund.
If you missed the race yesterday, go out and ski the course today. The map was posted in an earlier blog.
With well over a foot of new snow in the past week, some of steeper sections of the Jim Whisenhant Ski Trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area have a mashed potato feel to them. However, the groomers will work their magic before Saturday’s Buetow Distance Race #2. Skiers will traverse the upper Black loops twice as part of this 10 and 20 km classical technique event, which will be fantastic training for the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot on March 25, 2017.
The 18th Annual Buetow Dental Distance Race #2 starts at 11 a.m. on Saturday, 7 January 2017. Here’s an article on the race from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
One of the trail groomers has indicated that the course will be the same as last year’s Distance Race #2. That course is shown below:
The Birch Hill groomers have been working overtime during the last few days of December and on New Year’s Day. Over a foot of new snow fell within 24 hours followed by intense winds that toppled trees and brought down lots of debris. Two of the groomers have been sick but still spent long hours clearing and grooming trails that we enjoyed on New Year’s Day. (Thank you, Bill and Ken!)
However, these groomers (using snowmachines and drags) created SCUM traps when they sneezed and created snow pits in the trails as seen below:
Some SCUM are pretty effective snow mashers. After the skiers shown below finished skiing the White Bear, the Piston Bully corduroy was fairly torn up with deep ruts (cut especially deep with someone’s left ski).
More snow is predicted this week, so our New Year’s Day scars will be soon buried and smoothed.
Make sure you make your trails fund donation.
Happy New Year!