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:
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.
Take a break from snow shoveling and scooping to enjoy the ski trails!
The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot just 4 months away.
Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot founder and chief of course–photo by Eric Troyer
Eric Troyer, SCUM volunteer during the Sonot Kkaazoot (who is currently running the White Mountain 100) has shared a google album of his photographs:
You are free to download any photographs, but if you download, he asks that you contribute to the Birch Hill trails fund:
(If you need a larger version of a specific photo, Eric can email you one: fbxskierparent [at]
Items left at the Sonot Kkaazoot start and finish area on the Chena River and at the Doyon Ltd. Building on race day that weren’t claimed at the Awards Ceremony have been left in the lost and found area on the second floor of the main Birch Hill Recreation Area Building. A pair of ski poles and a pair of ski boots (in a canvas bag) are among the items left behind.
Thanks to the amazing efforts of Tom Helmers, Bill Husby, Ken Coe, and Bad Bob Baker, the trails for the Sonot Kkaazoot were in fantastic shape in spite of the cold snow. As noted earlier, today’s temperature at the Fort Wainwright alpine hill was 62 deg cooler than last year so all finishers today deserve a huge pat on the back.
Preliminary results are posted on the “Results” page above. Send us an email to: email@example.com if you see any problems.
See you at the Awards Ceremony.
from Bad Bob Baker on the course at 6:45 a.m.
-12 deg F on river
Denali State Bank reads -6 deg F.
Thanks to Byron Broda, Dermot Cole, Donovan Granger, and Frank Soos, snow has been collected and moved under the Steese Hwy bridge. Your ski bottoms are protected thanks to the yeomen service of these 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot skiers.
With the cold weather behind us and the Birch Hill groomers working to make our ample snow pack into amazing trails, why not register your special valentine in the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot? There are 4 different events to choose from: 50 km classical technique (with early start), and 20, 40 and 50 km freestyle (with classical tracks set on the entire course).
Because we are celebrating our 30th anniversary, the first 250 skiers to register will get a specially designed Sonot Kkaazoot hat (designed by Margo Klass and Frank Soos) and 30th anniversary zipper pull (designed by Bernardo Hernandez and Mike Schmoker).
You have only 10 days to early register. On February 24, all registration fees increase by $10. So make the commitment now for you and your significant others.
See you on the trails.