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.
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.
The Sonot Connector descent was exhilarating and the views from the FWW alpine hill were stunning.
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.
First Joanna skied toward the avalanche and fell, so Carl attempted to rescue her. but decided against it.
Then Dermot tried to approach the avalanche on foot.
and discovers the SCUM hat belonging to Susan that he propped up on his ski pole:
before discovering how tiring walking in deep snow can be:
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:
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
2022 Sonot Kkaazoot course maps with course profiles are available for download at the “Courses (download)” tab at the top of the Sonot Kkaazoot home page.
We sincerely thank John Estle for putting together this fantastic course maps.
Bad Bob Baker has made sure that all participants in the Sonot Kkaazoot will get their money’s worth of skiing. According to John’s software, the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot course is 50.728 km and has 1,689 m of total climb. Those skiing the 30 km course, will get 30.707 km of trail with 1,035 m climb. Even the 10 km skiers will get a little bonus because the 10 km course measures out at 10.231 km with only 288 m of climb.