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.
First Town Race is this Saturday. Get out and enjoy the snow. The Sonot Kkaazoot is just 4 months away!
Although we are firmly in new record territory for the late arrival of Fairbanks’ first snowfall at the airport, we have had brown Octobers previously. In his blog post from October 2013, Richard James from the National Weather Service notes that the ground was bare and the temperature in Fairbanks had reached 51 deg F on 28 October 2013:
Yet, the 2014 Sonot Kkaazoot had excellent spring skiing conditions as noted by Dermot Cole’s Alaska Dispatch column:
I agree that it is very frustrating to not be skiing in October, but the snow will come. The Birch Hill trails that have been mowed and summer trail work will make grooming easier. Groomers have been busy working on the new terrain garden so the late arrival of snow has avoided their early season burnout.
Bad Bob has developed the schedule for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot, which is a mere 5 months away.
Check the main Sonot Kkaazoot page for all the details. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/
Registration fees will be the same as last year. All registration will be online except at bib pick-up on Thursday, 21 March 2019, and from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. on race day. In person registration will be at late- and day-of-race entry fee levels.
The main change for the 32nd annual Sonot Kkaazoot is that there will no longer be a separate 50 km classical event. Classical tracks will be set for the entire 50 km course, but classical skiers will start and compete with the 50 km freestyle skiers for overall and age-class awards.
The online registration page will be live soon.
Corrections have been made in provisional results, and thus official 2018 Sonot Kkaazoot results have been posted:
At 6:20 a.m.: “River looks great. Everything is frozen hard. Minus 3 on the river, plus 3 up on the bank. Clear skies.”
Remember that 50 km classical wave starts at 9:30 a.m. on the river, 40/50 freestyle at 10:00 a.m., and 20 km freestyle at 10:30 a.m. Wear your shades and sunscreen.
In case the Birch Hill weather station gets overloaded with hits, the temperature at the Birch Hill stadium at 6:00 a.m. was +15.4 deg F and calm.