Over twenty SCUM skied the White Bear trail today under remarkably good snow conditions thanks to our Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers headed up by Tom Helmers. Bill and Travis are groomers who are also SCUM. Owen and Chris are missing from this photo as they headed back to the stadium to get warmer kick wax.
Training for the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot has officially started. We have 4 months of training time before race day on March 23, 2019.
Today was the first time out for some SCUM while one overachiever probably has 200 kms on his skis already. SCUM ski the Sonot Kkaazoot but also help organize the event that Bad Bob Baker originated and has resumed heading up again.
Online registration will be available soon. Entry fees are unchanged from last year.
Remember, donations to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund and trail sponsors pay for expenses incurred in trail maintenance and grooming. Please make sure you contribute to this ongoing effort:
Enjoy the trails!
Snow has finally arrived in the greater Fairbanks area, and the groomers are busy packing the trails at Birch Hill.
On Sunday, Bill, one of the groomers led a group of three other Sonot organizers on our first on-snow ski adventure. Bill had already skied 100 km this month, so he enjoyed watching the rest of us fall and take rest breaks.
Photo by Robert Hannon, ace KUAC journalist and director of Northern Soundings.
First Town Race is this Saturday. Get out and enjoy the snow. The Sonot Kkaazoot is just 4 months away!
Although we are firmly in new record territory for the late arrival of Fairbanks’ first snowfall at the airport, we have had brown Octobers previously. In his blog post from October 2013, Richard James from the National Weather Service notes that the ground was bare and the temperature in Fairbanks had reached 51 deg F on 28 October 2013:
Yet, the 2014 Sonot Kkaazoot had excellent spring skiing conditions as noted by Dermot Cole’s Alaska Dispatch column:
I agree that it is very frustrating to not be skiing in October, but the snow will come. The Birch Hill trails that have been mowed and summer trail work will make grooming easier. Groomers have been busy working on the new terrain garden so the late arrival of snow has avoided their early season burnout.
Bad Bob has developed the schedule for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot, which is a mere 5 months away.
Check the main Sonot Kkaazoot page for all the details. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/
Registration fees will be the same as last year. All registration will be online except at bib pick-up on Thursday, 21 March 2019, and from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on race day. In person registration will be at late- and day-of-race entry fee levels.
The main change for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot is that there will no longer be a separate 50 km classical event. Classical tracks will be set for the entire 50 km course, but classical skiers will start and compete with the 50 km freestyle skiers for overall and age-class awards.
The online registration page will be live soon.
Skiing is still preferable to road biking in Fairbanks as this May Day video from Birch Hill shows. Both Bill Husby and Jerome Jackson skied the 50 km classical Sonot Kkaazoot in March 2018, and are training for 2019.
With temperatures dipping to the mid teens early this morning, the Birch Hill groomers were able to groom and track 9 km of trails to complement the 10 km groomed on Saturday. Although we were unable to see Denali from the Sunnyside Trail, there was plenty of sun and blue skies:
SCUM gather on top of picnic table to approach Frank Soos (far right) in height for last group shot of season.
Coach John Estle slows down to join the gathering crowd
Above, Norma Haubenstock, Volunteer Coordinator for Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks competition events, negotiates the damage done to the corduroy by SCUM.
Enjoy the Spring Skiing! Thank you Birch Hill groomers! Today’s ski was a treat! Even 320 m of climb went by quickly.