Bad Bob speaks about Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot

I went up to Birch Hill this morning (Monday) and traveled around all the Sonot Kkaazoot courses and removed all the kilometer markers, banner, and any other course markings, officially putting a close to this year’s courses. While I cruised the courses on my Skandic SWT with my 6′ groomer, leaving behind nothing but corduroy, I ran into Tom Helmers with the PistenBully, freshly regrooming the entire Birch Hill trail system.  I also got to follow a young bull moose for quite a spell down near the biathlon range. My other task today, was to GPS next year’s courses, which will hopefully include Sunnyside in both the 30 and 50 k, and on the 2nd lap of the 50 will take in half the Sunnyside again, along with Cliffside to the bottom, then back up Sonot Connector to White Bear. My measurements came out within a small fraction of a kilometer of being spot on!   

Let’s all hope that we’re back to a mass start, socially mingling, feed stations, award banquet kind of SONOT… Thanks to all that got out there and enjoyed the skiing over the past 2 weeks.  DON’T forget to send in your stories and times or whatever, to by this Wednesday, March 31.  

Also, there are still 2021 SONOT  POSTERS available for a $50.00 trail donation.  Contact Bad Bob to arrange for one of these cool posters before they’re gone…..(907) 455-6689.  If I don’t answer, just leave a message…

Limited edition 2021 Sonot Kkaazoot print

A special 13″ x 19″ Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot 2021 poster designed and signed by artist, Mark Ross, will be available for purchase this Sunday, 28 March 2021 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Birch Hill Recreation Area log warming hut. Posters will be available on a first come basis and may be purchased with cash, checks written to “Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks”, or donations to the Birch Hill Trail fund (with “Sonot Poster” entered in the comments box).

Only 50 signed and numbered posters will be available for $50.00 with proceeds benefiting the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks and the Sonot Kkaazoot. In a normal year, the registration fee for the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot would have cost you the same amount.

You must wear a facemask (we hope you’ll be wearing your 2021 Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot mask) to enter the warming hut for this event. Social distancing will be enforced.

2021 Sonot Kkaazoot face masks available for pick-up

Thanks to support from Denali State Bank and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, 2021 virtual Sonot Kkaazoot facemasks designed by Daniel Baker will be available for pick-up in the log warming hut starting this afternoon around 2 p.m.

Individually bagged facemasks will be available to those skiers who have skied any of the 3 Sonot Kkaazoot courses (10, 30 or 50 km). One per skier please. Make sure you pick up yours if Bad Bob or I haven’t already given you one. If the facemasks box in the warming hut is empty, leave a comment below, and we’ll have Bad Bob restock it.

Extra credit: Are you in the Sonot Kkaazoot photo shown above from over 20 years ago?

SCUM model Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot face masks

Bill Husby and Carl Hemming (the poser, who hasn’t submitted a Sonot result) model swag for 2021 Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot skiers.

The special swag from this year’s Sonot Kkaazoot may be able to keep everyone safe from COVID-19 if you happen to be in the warm-up hut when these guys are there.

Did Carl ski a virtual Sonot Kkaazoot or is he a professional model?

Waiting for warmer temperatures may mean skiing through new snow

If you’ve been waiting for warmer temperatures to do your virtual Sonot Kkaazoot, you might find yourself plodding through more new snow. The extended weather outlooks for the remaining weeks before the 2021 Denali State Bank Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot ends are not springlike.

Here are the predictions for this weekend’s temperature and precipitation:

And here are the predictions for the following week:

So, those skiers who wait until the Sonot Kkaazoot weekend may have kilometer markers, but there’s no guarantee of springlike weather. So enjoy the great grooming now and start skiing your virtual Sonot Kkaazoot.

Virtual Sonot Swag to Keep You Safe

Thanks to Denali State Bank, title sponsor for the Sonot Kkaazoot for 34 years, and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, all virtual Sonot skiers will receive at no cost, 34th Annual Denali State Bank Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot facemasks.

These facemasks were designed by Daniel Baker, son of Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot race organizer. We’ll let you know where to pick-up your facemask after you report your time(s).

34th Annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot facemask designed by Daniel Baker

36th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot


Athabaskan: Sonot (pronounced “SAW NOT”, “springtime”) Kkaazoot (“kah-ZOOT”, “to slide your feet across the snow”)

Saturday, March 25, 2023

10 km Mass START at 10:00 a.m.; 30 and 50 km Mass START at 10:15 a.m.


Early bib pick-up and late registration on Thursday, March 23 at Birch Hill Ski Center, upstairs, 5-7 p.m. PLEASE PARTICIPATE. Late registration ends at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, March 23, 2023. There will be no race-day registration.

Race day bib pick-up @ Birch Hill in RIkka’s Roadhouse 8:00 to 9:30 a.m.


Awards Ceremony: 6 p.m. Saturday, March 25, 2023 at Birch Hill Ski Center, 101 Wilderness Drive. Soups, bread, and beverages will be served.

Sonot Kkaazoot Race Courses: All three races will have the same route for the first 2 km, which starts in the stadium, up the main ramp, out Relay Start Loop, onto the South Tower to the top and back down to the end of Tower, then onto Roller Coaster Bypass to stadium.

10 km course:   After the above start route, the 10 km will head down the White Bear access and out onto the White Bear.  Will follow the White Bear to the Beacon Cutoff, then return via the White Bear, skipping Moilanen Meadows, back to the White Bear Access, finishing the White Bear Access to the stadium, then a hard right following the east side of the stadium and then ski the whole Warm-Up Loop and into the FINISH.

10 km Sonot Kkaazoot course with profile

30 km course:  After the start route as the racers come into the stadium from the Roller Coaster Bypass, they will ski directly across the stadium and down onto the Competition, then out onto the entire North Forty back to the Competition, then down onto the entire Back Hole back to the Competition then finishing the remaining Competition and back into the stadium. Skiers then proceed up the west side of the main ramp and down and around the Blue Loop, then down onto the Outhouse Loop to the Sunnyside. Ski the entire Sunnyside trail (not Cliffside), and back to the Outhouse Loop. Finish the Outhouse Loop then turn left onto the Relay Return to the top of the ramp. Turn right onto the Tower Loop, ski entire Tower Loop followed by Medevac and finishing the Roller Coaster. Ski right down onto the White Bear Access then right onto the White Bear, all of the White Bear including Moilanen Meadows, and the White Bear Access back to the stadium. Turn right and ski along the east side of the stadium, and the entire Warm-Up Loop, and into the FINISH.

Section 1 of 30 and 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot courses with profile
Section 2 for 30 and 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot courses with profile

50 km course:   Ski the 30 km course but after skiing under the bridge, the 2nd lap for the 50 km course will lap around the finish and take a right down on the Competition, then onto the North Forty for a little over a kilometer, then skiers will take the cut-off back onto the Competition, by-passing the Black hole, continuing up the Competition keeping straight and left back to the stadium, then right up the west side of the main ramp, and down the Blue loop, then the Outhouse loop, then  down the Sunnyside and Cliffside, across the base of the Ft. Wainwright Ski Hill just in front of the Ft. Wainwright Ski Lodge, and then turn left up the Sonot Connector all the way back to the White Bear. Turn right onto the outbound White Bear, then ski the rest of the White Bear and Moilanen Meadows and the White Bear Access to the stadium. Turn right and ski along the east side of the stadium. Ski the entire Warm-Up loop then under the bridge and into the FINISH!!!

Section 3 of 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot course with profile

PDF versions of the course maps can be downloaded at the Courses tab above.


Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.