Improved Chena River Course Conditions 2-27-19

From Sonot Kkaazoot Race Director, Bad Bob Baker:

I groomed the entire 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot course this morning. Temperature was -5 degrees F with NO OVERFLOW or OPEN WATER. It’s roughed in, and even quite smooth in places. The Chena River is now SKIABLE.

I will be back down on the River early FRIDAY, and meeting up with Bill Husby (Poles), and will escort him up and down the Chena River. The forecast is for clear days with daytime temperatures in the 20’s and overnight lows around zero through next week. Now that the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot is packed and groomed…it should freeze thicker over the next week.

BUT…as we all know…March is just around the corner…and if we get a lot of new snow or extreme high temperatures, it will become a day-to-day call as we approach race day.  But, for now, things are looking quite good….amazing how just a week’s time can change conditions so much. If you do choose to ski on the RIVER, please use common sense, and stay away from anything that looks questionable. The Chena River is continuously changing, and what’s good today, may not be tomorrow. Right now it’s been groomed 12′  to 30′ wide…a little rough in spots, but should be much smoother after Friday’s  grooming.

27 March 2019_Sonot Chena River TrailChena River Trail 2-27-19Chena River Trail 2-27-19b

Sunny ski training for the Sonot

Now that the 2018-2019 race season for the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks has finished up  with the exception of the Sonot Kkaazoot, it is time to enjoy those long spring skis. The sunshine was out in abundance this morning as the SCUM (Sonot Kkaazoot organizers) were out enjoying the black loops.

Red jackets on blacks smSCUM on blacks sm

Sunny skies, piston bully groomed corduroy, and deep classical tracks–what more could a skier want?

Don’t forget to donate to the grooming fund. http://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate

Also, it is time to make your commitment to skiing the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot. The longer you wait, the more you’ll pay in entry fees. Just follow the “register” tab at the top of this page. The event on March 23, 2019 is less than a month away.

One month out, 125 skiers signed up for 32nd Sonot Kkaazoot

At the end of early registration, 125 skiers have registered for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot. Of these entries, 65 are for the 20 km event, 14 for the 40 km, and 46 for the signature 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot. In addition, we are currently processing entries for the Dimond High School and Galena School ski teams.

Please check the “Entries” page at the top of this website to make sure that we have all your correct information. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/entries/

We’ve tried to correct age classes to agree with your date of birth and age on race day. If you haven’t received a receipt email from the Wild Apricot online system, we don’t have your entry.

If you see any problems, please let us know at: contact@sonotkkaazoot.org

 

“So Not” Chena River Update 2-20-19

From Sonot Kkaazoot Race Director, Bad Bob Baker:

11 am Wednesday Feb 20.  I  just got off the Chena River, temp on the River at 8:30 am was just below zero.  This morning I was bound and determined to start at the Cushman bridge and travel the entire 20 km route.  Success!  My Ski Doo Scandic SWT and I made it from start to finish without ending up below the Chena River ice. That said, the Chena River is still far from being a safe place to ski, walk, snowmachine or check out. 

As seen in these photos on the Chena River at the downtown starting area, I churned up slush and water for the entire first 800 meters.

Sonot start landscape 2-20-19

Photos of Sonot Kkaazoot start area on Chena River taken by Bad Bob Baker on 2-20-19

Sonot start area 2-20-19

Sonot start area 2 on 2-20-19

Had I stopped in a few spots, I felt that I would have broken through, or at the very least, been hopelessly stuck.  Countless other spots along the entire river portion of the Sonot produced similar results.  Needless to say. I did not attempt to pull my drag/groomer.

This year the Chena River is playing a game that I have yet to experience in my 32 years of grooming for the Sonot Kkaazoot.  I’m not calling it quits yet for a traditional downtown river start.  We’re still over 4 weeks from race day.  Late March is always a great time to ski in Fairbanks. No matter where you’re skiing, it’s always an awesome experience.

I head over to Norway on March 3rd.  I will give at least one more Chena River update before I leave, and will also will announce the race courses if the Sonot ends up all at Birch Hill.  We should have a final decision by the early bib pick-up at the Doyon building on Thursday March 21.  Until then, get yourself signed up for this year’s Sonot!  Whatever the course, it will be a great day to be out on your skis!!

Bad Bob

Chena River–Sonot Update

Thursday, February 14.  This recent snowstorm has caused more havoc on the RIVER.  The weight of the snow forced up more overflow, making many parts of the Sonot trail on the Chena, under overflow.  The Yukon Quest actually shut down the finish line at the Morris Thompson Center downtown because of all this overflow, and Quest Mushers are now finishing 12 miles or so, up River.

Skiing or traveling on the Chena River anywhere on the SONOT race course is NOT ADVISED.   We have colder temperatures moving back in tonight, and hopefully that will improve things.  I plan to get back on the CHENA on Sunday or Monday, with the next update…   Meanwhile…enjoy the great skiing at all the NON RIVER areas.

Bad Bob

30 km test this Sunday

With the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot less than 5 weeks away, the Buetow Dental-Pangaea Health Distance Race #3 will be great test of your preparation. The freestyle race is a three lap course so you have 10 or 30 km options. The race starts at 11 a.m. and finishes in the Birch Hill Recreation Area stadium this Sunday.

Register online here:

https://register.chronotrack.com/r/42672

With the recent snows and winds, this will be a great opportunity to get a long workout in on spectacularly groomed trails.

Here’s the course as described by NSCF race director, John Estle:

Start goes up the Ramp, out Relay Alley, descend Outhouse, then turn left on
Upper House cutoff.

Turn onto Sunnyside, then turn back at Section Line cutoff and return to
Outhouse on Sunnyside

Back on Outhouse, finish the loop, then turn right and finish Relay Loop.

Returning to stadium, go down Roller Coaster Bypass, then White Cub, through Biathlon Range. Take White Bear to Hilltop cutoff.

Turn left and return to the stadium, then take a LEFT and proceed up East Ramp.

Finish:  On the last lap, skiers will go up the E Ramp and down the W Ramp, then into the finish from the South.

Proceeds from the race support the Lathrop XC ski team.

DIST3-map-course-sat-photo

 

February 7 update on the Chena River

Sonot Kkaazoot Race Director, Bad Bob Baker took his drag from Graehl Landing to the 20 km turnaround and back. In that section, the Chena River has lots of thin spots and even a little open water. He did not go further downriver because he thought it was TOO RISKY.

Until further notice, STAY OFF THE CHENA RIVER.