Monthly Archives: April 2022
Crust skiing at Birch Hill on 27 April 2022
Here are a few photographs from our “adventure” ski at Birch Hill this morning. We were treated to a red fox on the Tower Direct, but the only other skiers we saw were Nanooks.
With temperatures dropping just into the low 40s overnight, the crust is not overly firm so light poling and flat skis were essential.
Taking off our skis at the bottom of South Tower was worth the effort, because the climb had remarkable glide, making for a fast ascent.
White Bear has one major water hazard outbound from the Sonot Connector junction but skiing to Hilltop was fun as long as you didn’t bury your poles.
Snowpack & SCUM going down fast
With predicted daytime highs in the 50s, our record snowpack is going down fast. With the pistenbully down and waiting for a part to be trucked from Reno, Tom Helmers has been grooming icy trails with the Sherpa and drag. Although less effective than the pistenbully, this grooming allows skiers with marginal technique to still enjoy the sunshine and fast trail conditions.
The spring warmth also encourages skiers to seek their own trails through the crust-covered snow, researching stories to inform and educate us.
UAF will be presenting Dermot Cole a Doctor of Humane Letters degree on
Friday, 29 April 2022 in the Davis Concert Hall, beginning at 5 p.m.
Only one original SCUM left in Fairbanks
When the SCUM gathered for the start of the 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot several weeks ago, no one was out warming up for the 50 km version. Only two had signed up for the 50 course, and neither finished it.
For comparison, just 22 years earlier, a dozen SCUM finished the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot including Carl Hemming, the only remaining primordial SCUM in Fairbanks. Thumper, as Carl is better known, has been training with the SCUM for all 25 ski seasons:
Carl skied the 30 km event this year. Early in his SCUM career, Thumper finished the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot by skating the Chena River portion and classical skiing up the Fort Wainwright alpine hill and all the Birch Hill trails. Carl strategically changed ski gear at FWW, figuring that even considering the time it took to change ski boots, he would end up ahead.
Here’s a photo taken of the Y2K SCUM during a Sunday workout. How many can you recognize?
Only Poles, Thumper, and Susan are part of both photographs taken 22 years apart. However, both Poles and Mom no longer are skiing on the original equipment knees.
Some of the SCUM reappear only for Springtime skiing as yesterday Kent and Mike joined us for Sunnyside adventures:
Springtime skiing is the best for skiing and socializing. Make sure you’ve donated to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks grooming fund so that we can continue skiing on our record snowpack: