Troyer displaces me as Sonot Kkaazoot caboose

Eric Troyer displaced me as Sonot Kkaazoot caboose this year, and now I think he’d be a perfect replacement for me as the Sonot Kkaazoot blogger. He’s a far superior storyteller and makes me seriously question why I am working on an MFA in creative writing.

Here’s the URL to Eric’s 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot, alternative 50 km:

Owen Hanley named to U.S. Masters Team

Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skier, ski instructor, supporter, and volunteer, Owen Hanley has been named to the U.S. Masters team based on his performances at the 2022 Masters World Cup Races in Canmore.

See our previous post on his efforts in Canmore:

Congratulations, Owen!

Award winning skiers on new Sonot Kkaazoot courses

Congratulations to the top three skiers in each of the new Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot distances:

Men’s 50 km: Galen Johnston with a time of 2:35:05.8; Wells Wappett, 2:36:30.2; and Alex Morris, 2:39:12.4.

Women’s 50 km: Rosie Fordham with a time of 2:43:15.8; Kendall Kramer, 2:48:08.3; and Alison Arians, 2:49:55.5.

Women’s 30 km: Meredith Schwartz, 1:53:00.5; Mallory Presler, 1:58:11.4, and Inga Peterson, 2:52:35.9.

Men’s 30 km: Kieran Kaufman, 1:37:05.8, Owen Wooller, 1:40:10.1, and Thomas St. Clair, 1:42:06.6.

Men’s 10 km: Elias Engman, 32:38.0, Peter Delamere, 33:59.0, and Reid Merrill, 35:41.2.

Women’s 10 km: Hannah Delamere, 41:55.1, Lilli Bond, 41:55.5, and Ellie Abrahamson, 43:02.2.

Donate to the Trails Fund for great spring skiing

The National Weather Service Fairbanks posted this graphic on their Facebook page today. It indicates that we have the snowpack for great spring skiing, provided you contribute to the trails fund so that the groomers can continue to buy diesel for the Pistenbully.

View from the National Weather Service Fairbanks Office at UAF–photo by NWS Fairbanks

Please donate to the NSCF Trails Fund:

End of an era for the SCUM

When the SCUM group started 25 years ago as an uncoachable group of men, mostly over 40 years old, the final exam was to ski the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot. This year, 25 years older, slower, and perhaps, wiser, none of the SCUM finished the 50 km course yesterday.

The new 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot course had an additional 20 km of hilly Birch Hill trails instead of the flat Chena River. After a La Nina winter of unusually cold weather, abundant snowfall and record rainfall, those of us who remained in Fairbanks all winter, had spent more time shoveling and scooping snow than skate skiing.

Yet, the 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot was held under glorious spring weather so all of us, 10- and 30-km Sonot Kkaazoot skiers and volunteers were sore and exhausted today before our post-Sonot workout.

Still dealing with Sonot Kkaazoot organization duties, I was late for today’s workout and hoped that the group would have left without me. Alas, they were still in the stadium discussing whether predator-prey ratios in the ocean are mathematically determined. Some SCUM don’t understand the meaning of retirement.

I headed off down the White Cub and White Bear toward the Sonot Connector that none of us skied on race day.

SCUM rest on the White Bear on the morning after the Sonot Kkaazoot–photo by Joanna Fox
Joanna falls on White Bear trying to demonstrate how a high school skier tried to slow her down during the Sonot —photo by Bill Husby

The Sonot Connector descent was exhilarating and the views from the FWW alpine hill were stunning.

Dermot, Bill, and Susan look out to the Alaska Range–photo by Joanna Fox

However, the real SCUM antics surfaced when they discovered a new avalanche patch on the Cliffside trail and in their delusional states from yesterday’s Sonot, thought they saw a body near the bottom of the avalanche requiring investigation.

All that remains of some poor SCUM in an avalanche on Cliffside trail–photo by Joanna Fox

First Joanna skied toward the avalanche and fell, so Carl attempted to rescue her. but decided against it.

Carl attempts to rescue Joanna–video by Bill Husby

Then Dermot tried to approach the avalanche on foot.

Dermot attempts to approach avalanche on foot–photo by Joanna Fox

and discovers the SCUM hat belonging to Susan that he propped up on his ski pole:

Susan’s SCUM hat--photo by Bill Husby

before discovering how tiring walking in deep snow can be:

Dermot rescues Susan’s hat–video by Joanna Fox

Sufficiently recovered, the SCUM skied up until they found a snowy patch that they thought might be suitable for snow angels. Robert demonstrates a face down snow angel:

Robert attempts snow angel in early morning crust–video by Joanna Fox

Amazingly, we eventually finished our military transit from White Bear to Sunnyside and back to the stadium in under 2 hours on the morning after the Sonot when trails were icy and fast. All bets are off on whether I would have been found with my hat in the Cliffside avalanche today if I had attempted section 3 of the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered for or participated in the 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot. The trails were awesome and the spirit of everyone on them was fantastic. Enjoy spring skiing.

More out-of-towners ski new Sonot Kkaazoot courses

The 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot introduced skiers to three new courses, all at Birch Hill. These courses led to interesting demographics with respect to skiers’ hometowns. In the 10 km event, we had seven skiers from California (Los Angeles or Palmdale) and one from Connecticut. The 30 km course was dominated by local skiers with only one skier from Anchorage and one from Port Angeles, Washington. In the marque 50 km event, we had 10 finishers from Anchorage and the Mat-Su area, two skiers from Estonia, and one from New Hampshire.

We hope that out-of-town skiers return for the 36th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot and bring your families and friends. Hopefully, we can safely return to having the celebratory awards ceremony with our handmade age-class woodels.

Early registration ends Monday night

Sonot Kkaazoot organizer, Bad Bob Baker has recruited help for staffed feed stations, so sign up now for the 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot.

Early registration ends at 11:59.59 p.m. ADT on Monday, 21 March 2022, and ALL REGISTRATION CLOSES at 8 p.m. on Thursday, 24 March 2022.

If you are not skiing, please consider volunteering for the Sonot Kkaazoot. We still need timers, and Gina Baker Chythlook will provide you with homemade goodies while you work. Bad Bob Baker would also appreciate some help with Sonot Kkaazoot course set-up and take-down as his normally boundless energy has been compromised by post-COVID fatigue.

Please let me know if you can volunteer your assistance:

Sonot Timers Needed: Will be kept well fed and caffeinated

Bad Bob Baker has been recruiting volunteers for the 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot and is using his daughter Gina, as a secret weapon. Gina Chythlook will serve as Sonot Timing Building “Hostess” (Bad Bob’s term), providing coffee, soup, and homemade goodies in the basement of the timing building. I can personally attest to the high quality of Gina’s goodies, as pre-pandemic she provided soups for the Sonot Kkaazoot awards banquet, and goodies for Bad Bob’s Moose Mountain tour at her parents’ house.

The greatest volunteer need is currently for Sonot Kkaazoot timers to work with Anna Sorensen, who will train her volunteers well. If you are planning to ski the Sonot Kkaazoot, you may want to volunteer to help Bob with stadium set-up or take down so that you can take advantage of Gina’s treats and hospitality.

Bakers and DiFolco skiing at Canmore World Masters

Bad Bob and Sharon Baker, and Donna DiFolco skied in World Masters in Canmore last week. What a glorious setting! Notice Bad Bob wore his 30th anniversary Sonot Kkaazoot hat while skiing the 30 km FS race: World Masters are a great event for sharpening your training for the Sonot Kkaazoot.

Bad Bob Baker racing his 30 km CL race at World Masters–photo by Sharon Baker
Sharon Baker skiing at World Masters–photo by Bob Baker
Donna DiFolco tucking for her fast downhills at World Masters–photo by Bob Baker
Happy DeVoe Sisters–photo by Bob Baker
Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot organizer–photo by Sharon Baker
Bad Bob in action–photo by Sharon Baker

Now that Bad Bob is back in Fairbanks, he’d like you to know that we still need volunteers to help assure a smoothly run 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot.