Real SPRING skiing NOW!

Although the Sonot Kkaazoot has traditionally been our spring celebration of nordic skiing, the calendar of the weather gods was different than Bad Bob’s this year. April 2023 has been our March. With record snowfall on some of our April days, the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers have been busy. If the Sonot Kkaazoot had be held today, I might have been able to finish the 50 km course.

Yesterday, the groomers had done their magic on the FWW trails, specifically the trails necessary to do the SCUM “military transit” that includes the Sunnyside, Cliffside, and Sonot Connector. The White Bear was also being groomed as we skied. With the sun out, I was eager to climb the Sonot Connector (as penitence for not skiing it in the Sonot Kkaazoot). Thus, I kept skiing as the others paused for a photo in the sun.

SCUM soaking in the vitamin D at the Cliffside gate–all photos by Joanna Fox

All of the SCUM are faster than me, so it was only a matter of time until they caught me on approach to the Sonot Connector. Again, they wanted a group photo (SCUM excuse for a rest break), but I wanted to continue slowly uphill. However, Mike’s ski on top of mine was a persuasive argument against that option.

Mike holding me back from skiing on the beautiful corduroy

To extend the break, they pointed out Byron’s facial injury from a head plant on the Cliffside downhill. If appears that a crazed squirrel grabbed his ski as he tried to get out of the tracks and the impact broke his sunglasses:

Byron’s facial badge of courage

Seriously, the skiing was great. Here’s the entire gang enjoying the sun and vistas:

At the top of the Sonot Connector, half of the group decided to ski back to the stadium on the White Bear. Jerome battled the ungroomed snow to ski the trail in the designed direction while the other two, skied backwards on the corduroy that had been set within the hour or so. Three of us decided to ski back down the Sonot Connector and up the Cliffside and Sunnyside trails that were firm, sunny, and provided fantastic views of the Alaska Range and Tanana Valley.

Enjoy the spring skiing. Now is the time to work on technique so that you start next season with good muscle memory of what is needed for the Sonot Kkaazoot in March.

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