Snow after snowpack loss

for Sara Eliza Johnson

Before personal computers
and iphones,
White-out concealed
literary debris like this
wallowing in Spring mud.

After the shortest snow season
in 84 years,
today’s wasted white
betrays unkept promises.

Sliding on roadways,
Blizzaks and studs swapped
for summer tires,
we cling to old memories
splashing through break-up.

 

Select prior season:

2013:

Today’s snow teases
Trails steeped with yesterday’s warmth
No glide anywhere.

2014: 

Smith Lake still frozen
Holds ski possibilities
Atop uncertain ice.

2019 was the warmest March on record

As reported by the National Weather Service, March 2019 was the warmest on record in Fairbanks::

Capture

Temperatures reached 52 deg F at the airport on the day the Sonot Kkaazoot was held. This graph from the Alaska Climate Research Center show just how warm March was:

Fairbanks_2019March_thumb

So there were extreme weather conditions leading to this year’s shortened course.

Photo gallery from 32nd Sonot Kkaazoot

Photographer Jana Herzogova has generously shared over 250 photographs that she took of the 32nd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot.

Below is a random collection of her photos from warmest and shortest Sonot Kkaazoot in 32 years.

All photos from https://www.janaherzogphoto.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jana.herzogova.5 ; Instagram: @janaherzogphoto

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Capture

Jana emailed Bob Baker (and all Sonot participants):

Pictures are located under 2019 events, free code is Sonotfree. It is good for 2 free pictures, watermark will automatically disappear after they clear it through the cart.
I hope I was able to create some good memories for you all. It was a lovely day.
Thanks again,
Jana
.
The Sonot Kkaazoot thanks Jana for use of her fantastic photographs. Please make sure to credit her.

Congratulations to Sonot Kkaazoot skiers

For the first time in recent history, all skiers participating in the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot finished their 9.5 or 30 km courses in under 4 hours. Also, winning times are the fastest in the event’s history in part because the courses were shorter than other years when the Sonot Kkaazoot has been held all at Birch Hill.

Congratulations to our 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot winners, all of whom reside outside of the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

30 km 

Eric Packer, 28, Anchorage,   1:12:12.9

Marine Dusser, 30, Anchorage, 1:22:53.7

9.5 km

Andrew Stringfellow, 16, Nenana,  24:36.5

Georgianna Fischer, 16, Bozeman, MT, 28:27.8

One hundred twenty five skiers finished the 9.5 km event and 125 skiers finished the 30 km one. Although the number of skiers completing the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot was slightly down from the previous 6 years, this is the largest combined field for an all-Birch Hill Sonot Kkaazoot.

Thank you to all the volunteers and skiers who helped us celebrate spring on skis in Interior Alaska.

Jackson Jury reaches verdict

Although Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot race director, told stories in the Birch Hill stadium for almost 4 continuous hours Saturday, he missed one intriguing story involving Jerome Jackson, SCUM overachiever.

Jerome, a former Junior Nordic coach and volunteer coach for the West Valley XC team for decades, had skied the long Sonot Kkaazoot 12 times before this year. Jerome was well-tapered before the 32nd Annual Sonot Kkaazoot. During early bib pick-up at the Doyon, Ltd. building, he rested on a couch, while Sarah Jackson waited in the line to retrieve her dad’s race bib.

On race day, Jerome situated himself near the back of the 30 km field, and got through the tangle of bodies and ski equipment at the bottom of the first sweeping turn of the North 40 trail unscathed. The trails were wicked fast so Jerome didn’t have to over extend himself. After completing all the Black Loops, Jerome claims that he was distracted by seeing Tom Helmers on a snowmachine so instead of turning right and heading down the Blue Loop, he skied over orange lines painted on the snow and through orange cones and/or V-board to ski out the relay to the Outhouse Loop. Somewhere along the Outhouse or Sunnyside Trails, Jerome realized his error, and confessed his crime when his SCUM mother saw him leaving the Outhouse Loop en route to skiing the missed Blue Loop.

The Jackson Jury reenacted the crime on Sunday to determine what Jerome’s time might had been had he followed Bad Bob’s course markings.

Dermot Cole, whose Sonot finish time was the closest to Jerome’s was selected to ski the extra distance that Jerome would have traveled by skiing Outhouse before the Blue Loop. We had skied the Black loops Sunday so the time and distance on his legs were similar to those Jerome would have had on Saturday.

image1 (1)

Jackson reenactment by Dermot Cole on 3-24-19 (photo by Bill Husby)

Image-1

The official race clock

Then the jury deliberated after studying the new evidence acquired:

IMG_3172.jpg

Photo of Jackson Jury deliberating –notice that jury included Dr. Eric Buetow, an official timer from Saturday, (Photo by Margaret Brophy)

The jury verdict: Jerome Jackson was guilty of assaulting the official Sonot Kkaazoot race course (or alternatively, was guilty of being the highest achieving SCUM in the 32nd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot), and thus, deserving of “big wood” recognition from Bad Bob.