Eric Troyer displaced me as Sonot Kkaazoot caboose this year, and now I think he’d be a perfect replacement for me as the Sonot Kkaazoot blogger. He’s a far superior storyteller and makes me seriously question why I am working on an MFA in creative writing.
Here’s the URL to Eric’s 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot, alternative 50 km:
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.
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.
(Scroll down to results that we uploaded on 3/11/22)
A large group of SCUM and friends headed out on their Virtual Skiathon today at 10 a.m.
All photos (except where noted otherwise) were taken by Eric Troyer, who warmed up for the Virtual Skiathon by skiing the 26 mile Chena River to Ridge Endurance Race on Saturday. Corrine Leistikow also skied the 26 mile Chena River to Ridge Race.
Although “the graveyard” (aka Miller Hill) section of the Skarland Trail hadn’t been groomed, most of the SCUM and others managed to negotiate the ungroomed sections, but none as skillfully as Sam Bishop.
Because this blogger was the course sweep, I am unable to provide captions for the Skiathon photographs so I’ve invented something to cover the Olympus digital camera advertisement that accompanied Eric’s photos.
During the Frank Soos Distance Race #3, The Unpleasantry, I was passed by Thomas St. Clair holding a broken pole in one hand and skiing outside the tracks with just one pole. I mentioned to our group of skiers that Bill was perhaps part of a growing trend.
Then today, Bill headed out to Smith Lake to keep him at the top of our Creme de la SCUM team in miles earned for our 2000-mile relay on the Race Across Alaska Winter Challenge. I hope that this didn’t jar any of his fractured ribs and that he will soon join our workouts again.
Are you getting tired of skiing the same trails here in the Fairbanks area? Scott Brucker would like folks to come try out his ski trails in Minto in hopes that we’ll help promote his trails for future ski events.
I’d like to invite you and some folks for a personalized ski session of my trails. It was about 3 weeks ago I had a ‘jib’ ski and skate skied 14 miles of my trails, it was absolutely glorious. I’m trying to obtain/build better drags and figure out a way to put corduroy in the trail. I exploded my snow drag the other day, which really pissed me off when the hitch failed and caught a tree. I figure if I show people it is a good trail, they will pass that on by word of mouth and might be able to help host a race or get school ski programs to come out this way.
Here’s updated google earth Imagery of my trail system.
Roughly 400+ cords of wood now cut and stacked in the past 7 years. So exciting to see the scars I’ve let on the planet. I added about 1.5 miles to the trail from last year. Here is an image of a 9.5 mi route.
They can be combined with other trails for 24 miles of skiing if I really wanted to, but I’ve found maintaining that much trail is exhausting, time consuming, and costly. Right now I’m maintaining 14.5 mi trail as my longest, and a total of 17 miles of trail.
A trip to Minto might make a perfect spring break trip.
Contact Scott if you’re interested: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The groomers have been busy and the weather has cooperated. The biggest uncertainty regarding tomorrow’s 10 or 20 km freestyle event is whether the moose will be foraging along the classical tracks on the Sunnyside after the groomers set the racecourse. This might be a good reason to skate ski.
However, our easy ski today on the Black loops revealed something else on the ski trails that we haven’t seen in a while: amazing glide. Three of us crashed because our skis got away from us. Byron went down on the Corkscrew, I crashed on the Black Baron, and Joanna took a headfirst tumble on the Black Abyss. Byron was wearing teflon pants so he didn’t carry any evidence of his fall like Joanna and I did:
Join us tomorrow, starting at 11:00 a.m. (unless you are Bad Bob Baker) for the Frank Soos Distance Race #2. Homemade gingersnap cookies (Frank’s favorite) at the finish.
After a week of shoveling out from the two recent storms that dowsed the area with snow and rain, the SCUM were delighted to ski in firm PistenBully tracks today. However, the only photos taken were when they ventured off into the ungroomed snow.
Here the SCUM set “old school” tracks on the Old Tower:
And here’s what the White Bear trail beyond Sonot Junction looks like:
Joanna and Norma were feeling adventuresome so took off and skied Moilanen Meadows following these set tracks:
In addition to finding two downed trees on the trail, they found a Winter Trails sign:
Norma led them out of the Meadows and back to the Birch Hill stadium but the chilled SCUM had already headed home.
They’d return for their first ski of 2022 as part of the Ski Your Age in Kilometers event on Saturday.