Today is Ground Hog Day. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow so he has predicted an early spring.
Undaunted, the SCUM, having just finished 6 weeks of classical skiing on brutally cold snow, decided to check with their own local ground hog. Unnamed but photographed this summer on the first switchback on the Cliffside Trail as you descend, we assume his burrow is nearby. Although it was -10 deg F in the stadium when we started out, it was still -25 deg F at Fort Wainwright so probably -20 deg F at the burrow elevation.
To warm up are aging carcasses, we first skied up the Tower Loop, where our SCUM ground hog unsuccessfully searched for his shadow:
The Sunnyside Trail is appropriately named so we hoped that if we descended it to the upper reaches of the Cliffside, we might find our ground hog and his shadow. Unfortunately, the little guy wasn’t feeling social today.
On the snowfield just uphill from his burrow, the SCUM tried other approaches to determining whether our ground hog might have seen his shadow so that the Chena River would remain thoroughly frozen through the Sonot Kkaazoot:
Those SCUM lacking the hand skills of Sam Bishop,
got down into their closest approximation to a ground hog stance, and checked out for their shadows:
If you look carefully, you can indeed see our shadows on the snow slope. Thus, the Birch Hill ground hogs have determined that we will have at least another 6 weeks of wintry weather before those wonderful spring days arrive in time for the Sonot Kkaazoot.
So register now before entry fees increase later this month. Just click on the “Register” tab at the top of this website.
All photos and videos taken by Bill Husby, Birch Hill groomer for 14 years and SCUM for 20 years.