Much volunteer work takes place in the summer months to ensure that Birch Hill trail conditions will be great when the snow falls. Braving the mud and mosquitoes, we followed our fearless groomer today.
Two Sonot Kkaazoot organizers led by Bill Husby, trail groomer, surveyed the trails for areas needing summer brushing. To get us warmed up, Bill directed us out the White Bear backwards from the stadium, and we soon found ourselves in a mosquito-infested bog. We almost lost Robert in Moilanen Meadows.
Robert at the entrance to Moilanen Meadows
After fleeing the aerial hoards, we cut over to the White Bear just beyond the biathlon range heading toward the Fort Wainwright ski area.
Bill Husby, groomer leads Robert Hannon in his fancy safety pants up the trail near the biathlon range.
In the sunshine at the base of the Fort Wainwright alpine hill, the mosquitoes dispersed, so Robert modeled his matching safety outfit purchased at Value Village.
Robert Hannon and his matching safety outfit.
After climbing Cliffside and Sunnyside to the Outhouse Trail, we finished up on the Roller Coasters that were still wide and inviting in late June.
Robert and Bill on the Roller Coasters on 6-26-19
Preparing for the 2019-2020 ski season at Birch Hill Recreation Area is well underway. Training for 33rd Annual Sonot Kkaazoot ramps up as the daylight hours shorten. Hill intervals start next week.
Thanks to all our groomers who let us ski for most of that short snowpack season.
Sonot Kkaazoot Race Director, Bad Bob Baker took his drag from Graehl Landing to the 20 km turnaround and back. In that section, the Chena River has lots of thin spots and even a little open water. He did not go further downriver because he thought it was TOO RISKY.
Until further notice, STAY OFF THE CHENA RIVER.
Because of this winter’s unseasonably warm temperatures at Birch Hill Recreation Area and our limited snow pack, the course for the Buetow Dental Distance Race #1 presented by Pangaea Health has changed. The revised course map for 4, 7, and 15 km events can be downloaded below:
The mass start will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday 8 December 2018. To register go to:
See you Saturday on the trails.
Over twenty SCUM skied the White Bear trail today under remarkably good snow conditions thanks to our Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers headed up by Tom Helmers. Bill and Travis are groomers who are also SCUM. Owen and Chris are missing from this photo as they headed back to the stadium to get warmer kick wax.
Training for the 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot has officially started. We have 4 months of training time before race day on March 23, 2019.
Today was the first time out for some SCUM while one overachiever probably has 200 kms on his skis already. SCUM ski the Sonot Kkaazoot but also help organize the event that Bad Bob Baker originated and has resumed heading up again.
Online registration will be available soon. Entry fees are unchanged from last year.
Remember, donations to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks trail fund and trail sponsors pay for expenses incurred in trail maintenance and grooming. Please make sure you contribute to this ongoing effort:
Enjoy the trails!
Snow has finally arrived in the greater Fairbanks area, and the groomers are busy packing the trails at Birch Hill.
On Sunday, Bill, one of the groomers led a group of three other Sonot organizers on our first on-snow ski adventure. Bill had already skied 100 km this month, so he enjoyed watching the rest of us fall and take rest breaks.
Photo by Robert Hannon, ace KUAC journalist and director of Northern Soundings.
First Town Race is this Saturday. Get out and enjoy the snow. The Sonot Kkaazoot is just 4 months away!