As care coordinator for volunteers of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks race events, Norma Haubenstock plays a huge role in making sure things run smoothly. So for her birthday on Sunday, the SCUM feted her during our tour of the Nordale Flats.
The 20 km course had been carefully marked by Pat Lovely and John Estle, who had started at 0800 on two snowmachines to ready the course for the 1000 start by the slower skiers led by Don Pendergrast. The 1100 wave of skiers were led by John and finished right behind the last the 1000 skiers.
Here’s a map of our popsicle course, where the major climb parallels Heart Rate Hill at Birch Hill Recreation Area:
Leaving from John and Norma’s driveway, we walked down Wilderness Drive to the start of the trail:
When we left it was roughly 6 deg F at Birch Hill and -5 deg in the valley, so we started skiing to warm chilly fingers:
By the time we reached a small pond (where you can see the North Star classical trail at Birch Hill), we stopped to sing happy birthday to Norma:
With any group, certain individuals play key roles. For us, there was Don Pendergrast, our fearless leader, who made sure none of us got left behind:
The cabooses, Susan and Bernardo, who switched off being the red lantern.
And of course, Bill Husby, the chief instigator of falls and crashes:
As you’ll note, Bill had a face mask handy as he was not always social distancing when he was luring SCUM into potential crash sites with his phone rolling in video mode.
By the time we had finished the loop and needed to ascend Heart Rate Hill again, additional kick wax was needed:
The temperature and trail conditions were perfect for a several hour tour of woods very close to Birch Hill Recreation Area. Huge thanks go to Pat Lovely and John Estle for course marking (and take down) and John and Norma for hosting the group of very happy skiers.