Although the temperature was pretty chilly for late February, the spectacular sun dog gave way to clear blue skies. Bill Husby, Birch Hill deputy groomer, headed out to check the Sonot Kkaazoot trail on Fort Wainwright this morning. Although there are no set classical tracks, the trail along the ditch has been groomed. Make sure that you have your government identification if you venture onto Fort Wainwright.
The Sonot Connector was groomed (and tracked by our NSCF groomers) so we had a pleasant circuit of the Relay, Blue, Outhouse, Sunnyside, and Cliffside trails, up the Sonot Connector and the rest of the White Bear trail. The sun was so bright that I had to dig out my shades.
The entire Sonot Kkaazoot trail is looking close to race ready. What is holding you back from signing up for the 33rd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot?
Sonot Kkaazoot trail on Fort Wainwright, photo by Bill Husby
Bad Bob groomed the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot trail again today after a week of cold weather. He commented that the trail was “nice.”
If you plan to ski the Chena River, be alert for any changes in the ice, stick to the area groomed, ski with a buddy, and make sure you carry your government identification if you ski onto Fort Wainwright.
Enjoy the sunshine and longer days.
Photo by Bad Bob Baker of Sonot Kkaazoot trail on Chena River near Hamilton Acres
From: National Weather Service Fairbanks Facebook page:
Ice thickness on the Chenr River downtown is 21″.
We have 2 feet of snow pack at the airport, which provides considerable insulation. The overflow that Bob Baker encountered on Sunday was only 4 to 6 inches deep. This cold spell will solidify that now that he had packed down the snow overlying it. Don’t panic. The Sonot Kkaazoot is still six weeks away and Mother Nature hasn’t revealed all her secrets yet.
However, this is for sure. Early registration ends a week from Friday so sign up now and save money on your entry fee. Just click on the register tab at the top of this page.
Bruce Jamieson observes as Bad Bob Baker points to the spot where he got stuck in the overflow and chose to stop dragging. Photo by Bill Husby
As of 10 a.m. Sunday, 9 February 2020, from Bad Bob Baker:
The Chena River is NOT skiable. Countless overflow areas. Only the first 2 to 3 km from the Cushman Street Bridge are skiable.
REPEAT: Sonot Kkaazoot trail on Chena River is not skiable as of Sunday morning, 9 February 2020.
FYI: Bad Bob plans to groom the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot again on Sunday starting at 9 p.m.
Remember, if you plan to ski that course onto Fort Wainwright, be sure to carry your government identification.
Bad Bob Baker groomed the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot course again on Tuesday. He said “it’s very smooth and quite fast and at least 16′ wide at the narrowest. The sugar snow has firmed up and the skating is quite nice.”
REMEMBER, before you head out to enjoy Bob’s grooming, if you are skiing onto Fort Wainwright, you must be carrying government identification with you. If you leave the Chena River and venture onto the base where the trail is accessible by road, you can be stopped by military personnel responsible for security protection on Fort Wainwright. Make sure you have your valid government identification with you.
From Sonot Kkaazoot director, Bad Bob Baker:
“The grooming of the 20 km course on the CHENA RIVER was a success! This year’s Chena River is very smooth, with plenty of snow and very little icy sections. Today I just roughed in a 12′ to 16′ wide trail. I will got back on the river again in a few days and re-groom and widen it a bit more. After the re-groom it should be very good skiiing… even now with this first rough-in…it’s not bad.. As of today, the SONOT can be held on the river.. we’ll see what MOTHER NATURE has in store for us..”
Photos by Bad Bob Baker after 2/3/20 grooming on Chena River portion of Sonot Kkaazoot course