Spring Skiing outlook is EXCELLENT

Hopefully, donations for the Birch Hill Trails Fund during the virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot helped build a grooming cushion because temperature and snow forecasts make the outlook for spring skiing look excellent. Here’s the URL for trail fund donations if you would like to help us out:

https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate/

First of all, temperatures haven’t broken the 40 deg F temperature barrier since October 11 and we’re likely to break the record for consecutive days below 40 deg F on Monday, 5 April 2021 if current National Weather Service forecasts hold.

The second factor necessary for Spring skiing is adequate snowpack. Monday’s snowfall was a record 3.8″ and brings our seasonal snowfall total to 73.3″, which is over a foot above normal.

Thus, both unseasonably cool temperatures and adequate snowpack are good indicators of a great spring skiing season.

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 contact@sonotkkaazoot.org 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…

Husby skate skis 30 km virtual Sonot

Bill Husby skate skied the 30 km virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot in a time of 2:31:29.

Bill writes:

Started at the beginning of the Blue loop where I had left off yesterday with intentions of adding that portion to today’s efforts. When I got the finished I still had some gel blocks in my pocket and the trail conditions were great, so started the watch headed out to repeat yesterday’s first leg and improve on the time. 

19.37Km +9.54Km = 28.91 Km

1h 38m 46sec + 52m 43sec = 2h 31 29sec

Husby skates his virtual 10 km Sonot

Having classical skied all three Sonot Kkaazoot official distances, Bill Husby has started skating the virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot courses. Today, Bill skate skied the 10 km virtual Sonot Kkaazoot in 51:41.

Bill writes: “As Tom H and Corrine L would say, “ Skating is not real skiing”. Oh well! Here’s today’s skate time around the 10K course. See you tomorrow.”

Husby skis classical 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot over 3 days

To make sure that he was going to ski his virtual 90 km of Sonot Kkaazoot courses over the widest possible trail conditions, Bill Husby skied his virtual 50 km classical Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot in three installments for a final official time of 4:37:08 (corrected at 2322 on 3/21/21). Total distance was 49.44 km.

Photo by Joanna Fox

On Thursday, Bill skied the start of the 30 km course: Relay, South Tower, RC bypss, Warm-up, and Black Loops

On Friday, he skied the bottom of ramp, Blue, Outhouse, Relay, Tower, Medivac

Today, Sunday, Bill skied hut to Blue, Outhouse, Relay, Tower, Medivac, WB, MM, Warmup twice.

Congratulations to Bill Husby, who becomes the first skier to classical ski all three virtual Sonot Kkaazoot courses. This week he skied the 10 km course twice, the 30 km course yesterday, and today he finished the 50 km. Bill skied the Sonot loops so many times that he mistakenly added the wrong 30 km loop to his earlier calculations for his virtual 50 km. However, his official corrected time and documentation are now shown above.

Now that he has classical skied the 90 km of virtual Sonot Kkaazoot courses, he should skate ski all three courses this week.

Husby scorches Virtual 30 km Sonot Kkaazoot classically

Taking advantage of the afternoon sunshine and warmth together with the newly set tracks on White Bear, Bill Husby moves into the lead on the 30 km classical version of the Denali State Bank Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot.

The powerline poser in black

Bill writes:

“Started down the White Bear Access with plans to complete my 3rd leg of a three day 30 Sonot. The White Bear/MM were perfect (thanks to Tom). As I was completing the Warm Up I decided to continue on and ski the entire 30K course. Today’s trail conditions were definitely faster than Thursday and Friday’s cold gritty snow. So, today’s 30K no rest, no water, no feed time was 2:41:38.

Oh yes, it was a perfect day for Skins with the adjustable bindings set at 0.


 See you tomorrow.”

Yes, the remedial SCUM will see Bill on Sunday as we complete our virtual Sonot Kkaazoot on the installment plan.

Travis Kulp skates 10 km Sonot

Travis Kulp, Fairbanks firefighter, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomer, and skate skier finished his 10 km Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot this afternoon in 42:41.

Travis writes:

“You could feel the tracks get faster under the sun- 
Male/ 46y/o/ skate ski”

Thanks for the report and all your work keeping us safe and skiing on great trails.

Husby improves his 10 km time by chasing rabbits

Bill Husby couldn’t stand that Corrine Leistikow had finished the 10-km virtual Sonot Kkaazoot faster than he did. So he let all the remedial SCUM start this morning and then chased them like rabbits.

Bill writes: “It was good to have rabbits to chase this morning.” His time was 53:10.

Well, the rabbits were waging war among themselves while you dallied in the stadium. This is what Mike looked like on the South Tower after Dan stressed him out.

Bill Husby skis his virtual 10 km Sonot Kkaazoot on Tuesday

Bill Husby writes: “Classic skied the 10K Course this morning.The temperature read 9 deg F and there was a dusting of gritty dry snow in the tracks. My time was officially 54:49. The best part of day was running into Bad Bob Baker and receiving a 34th annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot mask.”

We’ll believe Bill because he is such a great trail groomer. He becomes the first skier to finish the 10 km Virtual Sonot Kkaazoot in under an hour.

Cautionary note on early season skiing

As one of the trail groomers for the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, perhaps no individual spends more time on the Birch Hill trails during the winter than our own Bill Husby. On Wednesday, he was “at the office” as seen in this photo from Byron Broda:

Brother Bill at the office on 10-21-20sm

And on Thursday, Bill sent me this trail report:

“Went skiing on the White Bear this morning. Skiing on the trails with the current conditions are not for the faint hearted. Went down the W Cub, thru Range and around WB. Rather than returning the same way up the W. Cub backwards, I chose to travel through Biathlon Way backwards. Big Mistake! Caught a rock and did an instant face plant and snapped a pole. Fortunately no major injuries, just pride and money.” 

image0

Although I’m sure that one of our local ski shops will appreciate Bill’s unplanned business, we are definitely relieved to hear that Bill did not injure himself in his mishap.

So, skiers, beware of hidden hazards.