Fun in the black loops on Friday the 13th

Although our fearless leader (and grooming hero), Bill Husby was injured and unable to join the remedial SCUM for our Friday workout, we prevailed in his absence. Bill had warned us that the downhills were fast, faster than anytime this season. So we decided to head for the black loops, where the lower volume of skier traffic would make the downhills safer.

Without Bill or Dan Johnson today (and with Dermot, starting well behind us), it wasn’t a popular decision to head down the black loops, but being SCUM, they begrudgedly followed. We found lots of tracks, fox tracks in the new snow, including around this den.

Fox hole on the N40 trail (All photos in this post from Joanna Fox)

As we were finishing up the N40, we had to make the decision whether to take the Black Baron cutoff or head for the luge run on the Black Hole. Being a cautious skier after multiple injuries, Mom headed down the Black Baron where a snow snake grabbed her ski. Uninjured, she got up without removing her skis or dignity:

Motherly encouragement by demonstrating how much fun the Black Baron downhill was

As we were finally extracting ourselves from the Black Hole, we turned around and saw Dermot Cole behind us. Unlike the rest of us, Dermot was skating so didn’t have the excuse of kick wax shearing in the tracks as an excuse for a fall. So to make the rest of us feel better, Dermot deliberately fell while standing in place:

Dermot down on Competition Loop near the intersection with the Tommy Knocker extention

In going down, Dermot jointed the rest of us who looked like we’d rolled in powder sugar:

Staying sociallly distanced as we individually roll in the newly fallen snow.

All of us agreed after skiing the black loops on Friday the 13th, that the trails were lovely and that conditions were perfect for our early season fitness. Here’s the smiling crew as we finished our recovery ski of 6.7 km with 185 m of climb.

If you haven’t already done so, please donate to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund so we can keep having fun on the trails this winter while doing our part to flatten the COVID-19 curve.

You can also drop contributions (cash or checks) in the Iron Ranger as you enter the Recreation Area from the main parking lot.

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