Max Kaufman sent along a URL to an album of awesome photos he took of FXC Devos, who raced the virtual 10 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on Sunday. He wrote that 9 skiers opted to do the race and Coach Tjarn Bross timed them. We haven’t received the names or times of these skiers, but, we wanted to share the photos.
Hopefully, donations for the Birch Hill Trails Fund during the virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot helped build a grooming cushion because temperature and snow forecasts make the outlook for spring skiing look excellent. Here’s the URL for trail fund donations if you would like to help us out:
First of all, temperatures haven’t broken the 40 deg F temperature barrier since October 11 and we’re likely to break the record for consecutive days below 40 deg F on Monday, 5 April 2021 if current National Weather Service forecasts hold.
The second factor necessary for Spring skiing is adequate snowpack. Monday’s snowfall was a record 3.8″ and brings our seasonal snowfall total to 73.3″, which is over a foot above normal.
Thus, both unseasonably cool temperatures and adequate snowpack are good indicators of a great spring skiing season.
I went up to Birch Hill this morning (Monday) and traveled around all the Sonot Kkaazoot courses and removed all the kilometer markers, banner, and any other course markings, officially putting a close to this year’s courses. While I cruised the courses on my Skandic SWT with my 6′ groomer, leaving behind nothing but corduroy, I ran into Tom Helmers with the PistenBully, freshly regrooming the entire Birch Hill trail system. I also got to follow a young bull moose for quite a spell down near the biathlon range. My other task today, was to GPS next year’s courses, which will hopefully include Sunnyside in both the 30 and 50 k, and on the 2nd lap of the 50 will take in half the Sunnyside again, along with Cliffside to the bottom, then back up Sonot Connector to White Bear. My measurements came out within a small fraction of a kilometer of being spot on!
Let’s all hope that we’re back to a mass start, socially mingling, feed stations, award banquet kind of SONOT… Thanks to all that got out there and enjoyed the skiing over the past 2 weeks. DON’T forget to send in your stories and times or whatever, to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Wednesday, March 31.
Also, there are still 2021 SONOT POSTERS available for a $50.00 trail donation. Contact Bad Bob to arrange for one of these cool posters before they’re gone…..(907) 455-6689. If I don’t answer, just leave a message…
Bob Toth finished his virtual 50 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on 6:59:42. Bob commented that he was “skiing with skate gear doing my unique and possibly inimitable Free (of anything approaching) Style ‘technique.”
“First off thanks to all who put the whole Birch Hill ski season together. My time should cinch 50k red lantern but believe it or not, I am absolutely tickled with it.
Wednesday, when I hit the trail at 5:49 pm I wasn’t sure if I would do the 10, 30 or 50k.. After the Start Loop, I bypassed the White Bear Access and hit the Warmup, first decision made. As I ‘cruised’ the Blacks, big flakes made it deeper but kept things slippery, that is when I started thinking I could do a 2 or 3 stage 50k. It was getting pretty dim by the time I finished the Medivac so I decided to bypass the White Bear segments and closed the evening by taking the Warmup Loop to the timer’s building.
After only one day’s rest (I usually take two) I completed the White Bear sections of the 30k, then skied across the stadium and up the ramp to begin the final 20 of the 50, finishing stage two with the Medivac at about dark. Sunday evening it was top of White Bear Access to the finish, crossing the line at 8:31pm.
Total elapsed time start to finish:
4 days 2 hours and 42 minutes
trail time for the 50k. Whew kept it under 7 hours,-)”
Race organizer, Bad Bob Baker and Sharon Baker completed their virtual 50 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on Sunday. Bad Bob’s time was 3:41:27 and Sharon’s time was 3:39:10. By successfully skate skiing the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot, the Bakers became the first skiers to skate ski the 90 km Sonot Kkaazoot hat trick. The other mere mortals had to classical ski some of their virtual Sonot Kkaazoot courses.
Here’s documentation of Bad Bob’s 50 km time:
Bad Bob writes:
“Sharon and Bad Bob Baker both completed all three Sonot Kkaazoot courses….We finally completed the 50 k Sonot course on Sunday. We hoped to do it all Saturday, but instead slept in a little too long and were only able to get 36 kilometers in on Saturday before having to head over to a Grand Daughter’s birthday sledding party. We returned on Sunday and finished it up along with many others taking advantage of the final SONOT KKAAZOOT ski day. Sharon’s time 3:39:10, while Bad BOB wandered in with a time of 3:41:27. Wonderful skiing on the final day, and it was so nice to see so many out skiing.”
“Many came into the warm up hut to pick up there SONOT POSTERS! We are asking for a $50.00 trail donation for this limited numbered and signed Sonot Kkaazoot print of a GOSHAWK making off with someone’s SONOT hat…The poster was designed and drawn by artist and local bird guy, Mark Ross.
The idea was thought up after Susan Sugai experienced a goshawk swooping down over her head while skiing Moilanen’s Meadow, just a week ago. Susan thought the bird of prey was intrigued by her Sonot Hat’s tassel.”
Owen W. Hanley and Steve Taylor skate skied the virtual 50 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on Sunday. Owen’s time was 3:11.60 and Steve’s was 3:14:40 as shown below:
Owen writes: “The trails held up nicely since the Friday grooming although the snow felt slow and the thin layer of powder over the tracks did seem to slow things down as well. We also had an encounter with the bull moose. Great to have the sun out and see so many other people on the trails!”