Winter solstice skiing

Dermotized SCUM faces on Friday at -8 degrees F–photo by Mike Mathers

The skies have finally cleared after 15.2 inches of snow at the airport this December (and considerably more at Birch Hill). With a 20 deg temperature inversion between the hills and valleys, the SCUM are prepared for a full range of temperature conditions as shown here on Friday when it was actually cold enough for our fleece SCUM hats. However, with two Pistenbullys grooming the trails, the skate platform and the tracks were relatively fast.

Saturday morning, the SCUM headed out to ski in Bad Bob Baker’s Moose Mountain tour. Here’s a glimpse of the skyline as Bad Bob finished grooming:

View from Bad Bob’s house–photo by Bob Baker

Starting from the home of Bad Bob and Sharon Baker at 10:10 a.m. (the SCUM van got lost and were late arriving), the goal was to ski to the top of Moose Mountain ridge to watch the sunrise over the mountains (Mt Hayes, we think). All of us managed to do that.

Here are the speedy SCUM:

Speedy SCUM await sunrise–photo by Joanna Fox

and the entire gang:

The SCUM plus Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot and Moose Mountain tour organizer–photo by Joanna Fox

and the main attraction:

Why we climbed 330 m before dawn–photo by Joanna Fox

Today it was -26 deg F in the valley, but a balmy -5 deg at Birch Hill as the SCUM finished their winter solstice weekend of training.

Here we are at the top of the Tower loop:

SCUM and Christmas tree on Tower Loop–photo by Joanna Fox

and at the Denali viewpoint on the Sunnyside:

SCUM with moon and comet in the skies over Denali

Happy Winter Solstice!

Update from the actual shortest day in Fairbanks:

SCUM on Wednesday, 21 December at biathlon range where it was -18 deg F–photos by Joanna Fox
Proof that it was-38 deg F at airport
Scary faces

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