After a week of shoveling out from the two recent storms that dowsed the area with snow and rain, the SCUM were delighted to ski in firm PistenBully tracks today. However, the only photos taken were when they ventured off into the ungroomed snow.
Here the SCUM set “old school” tracks on the Old Tower:
And here’s what the White Bear trail beyond Sonot Junction looks like:
Joanna and Norma were feeling adventuresome so took off and skied Moilanen Meadows following these set tracks:
In addition to finding two downed trees on the trail, they found a Winter Trails sign:
Norma led them out of the Meadows and back to the Birch Hill stadium but the chilled SCUM had already headed home.
They’d return for their first ski of 2022 as part of the Ski Your Age in Kilometers event on Saturday.
The amazing Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers had packed and tracked all the major trails at Birch Hill recreation area on Saturday so we had infinite choices today. However, first Santa had to decorate a tree with edible ornaments:
As we were skiing in a winter storm warning, Santa came prepared. Brightly colored lights adorned his hat so that he didn’t need Rudolph or any reindeer for that matter. After skiing the Blue loop (where Dan momentarily lost his “Ho Ho” baseball cap), we skied Outhouse to midway and headed down the Sunnyside trail. At Powerline cutoff, we encountered a mother moose and calf above us:
We chased Eric and Dan down the Sunnyside and Cliffside to the Fort Wainwright alpine hut. Then we headed up the Sonot Connector, where we found amazing glide even on the uphill sections.
We took a break in our climb when the seven SCUM found LOL ornament #7:
However, this feat wasn’t encountered without mishap. Afterall, seven SCUM were involved. See video of how the incident played out:
When we got to the top of the Sonot Connector, we headed back toward the stadium with five of us doing Moilanen Meadows chasing Santa. When we got back to the Santa tree, we encountered the A SCUM.
All of us wish you a wonderful holiday season with family and friends. Plan to celebrate 2022 by skiing the 35th annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot:
New snow and temperatures over 30 deg warmer than they’ve been brought out the merry SCUM on Friday led by a dapper Santa:
Here was the gang on the Tower loop:
After Medevac, Dermot was planning on leading us down the Black Baron. However, upon seeing newly set tracks, Santa decided that we’d do the Relay and Tower loops again. The tracks were so fast that one of the younger SCUM was chomping on the tails of Mom, who fell and ended up making a snow angel that destroyed a section of tracks:
Everyone agreed that all the new snow made the trails seem magical. It looks like even more snow is headed our way. Hooray for the grooming team. Make sure you’ve made your trail donation.
If you dress properly, even -31 deg F, you can enjoy beautiful trails and scenic lakes without leaving Fairbanks. Being part of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks grooming crew, Bill Husby enjoys skiing on trails maintained by others. So, on Monday, Bill headed out on the Rat Ponds tour that had been groomed and marked by Stan Justice. These photos show what he found:
And here is Bill’s documentation of the tour:
Fortunately, for us wimpy skiers, a strong temperature inversion has now set up, so we can avoid the cold temperatures Bill endured by skiing high. However, this post shows, with some advanced planning, enjoyable skiing is possible regardless of the temperature.
After “racing”1 the 15 km Frank Soos Distance Race #1 in slow, newly fallen snow on Saturday, some SCUM skiers were actually willing to follow directions.
Here’s what SCUM looked like on the Outhouse loop after skiing the Sunnyside trail to section line on Sunday:
And here we are enjoying the view from the Sunnyside trail at Powerline cutoff:
Although most of us only managed to ski 5 km in an hour on Sunday morning, I was able to “claim” one of the LOL’s 12 ornaments of Christmas, specifically, #4:
The recent snows have definitely improved the trails (a huge shout out to the NSCF groomers, you guys rock) and this cold weather will allow the tracks to set up firmly. If you properly dermotize, you can claim more the LOL 12 ornaments of Christmas. I just need 11 more.