Really Awesome Sonot Connector on Sunday

Thanks to the amazing Jeff Skeels, Fort Wainwright groomer, the Sonot Connector had been newly piston bully groomed on Sunday, 3 December 2017. It was so delightful that several of us decided to descend and climb the Sonot Connector twice.

Sonot Connector sm.JPG

Above, Bernardo Hernandez, one of the Sonot Kkaazoot’s woodel makers, leads Dermot Cole up the Sonot Connector. Thanks, Jeff, for the fantastic ski yesterday.

Don’t forget the first of the Buetow Dental and Pangaea Health Distance Races (7.5 and 15 km CL) is scheduled for Saturday, 9 December 2017.  It’s time to start working on getting into condition for the 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot. Sign up here:

Great Tracks and Sunshine on a Subzero Day

The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot is only 4 months away. The Jim Whisenhant Cross Country Ski Trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area have been groomed to perfection after our ample November snowfalls. Although temperatures were in the -5 deg F range this morning, the sunshine and piston bully groomed Sunnyside Trail made for an enjoyable training workout.Sunny day on the Sunnyside trail

Don’t forget that these trails are maintained year round by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks with costs of labor, fuel, and equipment repair supported through contributions to the Trail fund. Please donate to make sure that this wonderful grooming continues. Here is the URL for the secure site:

The secure site for Sonot Kkaazoot registration will be set up soon. The work associated with the new Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks website has delayed some of the back end functions (like secure purchases) temporarily. However, we’ll let you know when the Sonot Kkaazoot registration is available.


Skiing on Sonot Kkaazoot course is great

Although October was exceptionally wet, temperatures were also unusually warm so snow was late in coming to the Fairbanks area. However, after one false start, the snowpack on the Jim Whisenhant cross country ski trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area and on Fort Wainwright trails is great for both classical and free technique skiing. Thanks to a lot of volunteer brushing work done this fall on the White Bear trail, skate and classical skiing are great. Unfortunately, our fitness isn’t quite in the same shape yet. Here’s what coronary bypass looked like a week ago:

Coronary bypass sm

Yesterday we skied from the Sunnyside Trail to Fort Wainwright, where we found that the Army was busily enhancing snow cover on the alpine ski hill making for unusual skiing conditions up the ski slope to the base of the Sonot Connector. However, the classical tracks on the Sonot Connector and White Bear were awesome.

FWW ski hill at base of Sonot Connector sm

Take a break from snow shoveling and scooping to enjoy the ski trails!

The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot just 4 months away.

Saturday morning trail report

Tom Helmers, head groomer for the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks, reported at 2:30 a.m. that the temperature at the Fort Wainwright alpine lodge is 62 deg cooler than last year. Thus, there will be no water over the trail anywhere today.

Also, a truck is still stuck in the trail as it comes off the river. Here’s hoping that the owner doesn’t choose today to retrieve it.

See you at the start on the Chena River at the Cushman Street Bridge.


266 skiers signed up for 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot

As of this morning, 266 skiers are currently registered for the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot. The 50 km event has 58 skiers after several skiers moved down to the 40 km or 20 km before bib pick-up. Fifteen skiers will take advantage of the early start to participate in the 50 km classical event, and 21 will compete in the 40 km event. The vast majority of skiers (currently 172) are signed up to take off on their Saturday ski at 10:30 ADT as part of the 20 km wave.

The Sonot trail on the Chena River has been deemed “race ready” by yet another of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers. Bill Husby will be testing those trails himself as he starts with the 50 CL skiers at 9:30 a.m.

Wednesday night Chena River trail report

Late Wednesday afternoon, Bad Bob Baker did grooming on the Sonot Kkaazoot trail on the Chena River. Here is a photo he took of the Steese Highway Bridge after the shoveling done by Byron, Dermot, Donovan, and Frank followed by Bob running his comb over the area a dozen times.

Steese Hwy bridge after

Bob also built a wide ramp from the parking lot down to the Sonot Kkaazoot start area under the Cushman Street bridge. This will make getting to and from the start/finish area MUCH easier than normal.

Trail from parking lot to start sm

Course conditions for the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot are looking great!