Sunshine and newly groomed trails await skiers

Over a foot of new snow has fallen on Birch Hill trails this week, but skiers arriving at Birch Hill today will find all the trails (with the exception of White Bear where the Army is currently conducting their Arctic Winter Games) were groomed and tracked this morning. 

The newly fallen and windblown snow has made for difficult grooming conditions on less used trails with tight uphill corners like those on the new Sunnyside trail. Undaunted, after grooming this morning, Bill Husby went out on skis to further refine the trails.

With an overabundance of snow this winter coupled with wind events that make trail maintenance more time intensive, please make an additional contribution to trail fund so we’ll have fabulous trails to enjoy on sunny spring days like today:

If you plan to ski in any of the Sonot Kkaazoot events on March 24, it’s time to put in those training kilometers. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers are making it easy for us.

World Masters 30/40 km Classical Races

Results from today’s 15/30/45 km classical races at the Masters World Cup were delayed as officials revised courses to work around a train that parked on the tracks blocking the intended race course. Only two Interior Alaska skiers participated, Bob Baker was 12th in the revised 40 km CL event for the M6 age category with a time of 2:30:09, and Owen Hanley, was 18th in the 30 km CL event for M9 skiers with a time of 1:50:06. Congratulations to both of you.

Here’s the story of the train snafu complete with photo and quote from Bob Baker:

From Sharon Baker, “Here is Bob at the high point of the course for the 3rd time.  Looking strong.”


All photos by Sharon Baker

“Descending from the high point,”


nearing the bottom to complete his 3rd lap. One more to go.


Had great kick the whole way.”

-25 deg F ski on the North Classical trails

With the 31st Sonot Kkaazoot only 2 months away, skiers not on the World Masters travel team, needed to ski today. Although the North Classical trails had been groomed and set on Monday, steady flurries of 80 grit snow (falling at temperatures from the mid negative teens to the -25 deg F) made for a lovely specific strength workout.

Skiing through -25 deg F new snow sm

Lots of low hanging limbs and branches after the freezing rain followed by  a foot of snow this week

Finally sunshine reaching the black spruce sm

Finally sunshine reaching through the black spruce. —Photo by Bill Husby

Poles at end of north classics ski sm

Bill Husby, expert groomer and classical skier shows how to get it done.

Dermot at end of north classics ski sm

Dermot emerging from the end of the Classical Bear Trail near the end of our ski.

We had a lovely ski (and Dermot took some videos that we hope to post later). We saw only 3 civilian skiers during our hour and 45 minute outing. A group of Army skiers on their white rockets were gathered near the stadium, but most of the tracks observed were animal made.

For skiers contemplating doing the 50 km classical Sonot Kkaazoot, be forewarned, this year will likely be the last time a separate classical Sonot event is offered. You can always classical ski, but starting in 2019, you’ll start and be timed together with all the other skiers. So if you’re a classical skier, sign up for the 50 km classical  Sonot Kkaazoot soon.

Bruce Jamieson conquers World Masters 7.5 km FS in blizzard

As mentioned earlier, conditions at World Masters yesterday were beyond challenging. They got 10″ of snow within 12 hours–much of it during the 7.5 km FS race.

Here are some photos of Bruce Jamieson, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks (NSCF) board member and Sonot Kkaazoot volunteer, taken by former NSCF skier, Dave Edic,

Bruce Jamieson in blizzard sm

Photos by Dave Edic

7.5 km FS race 1-22-18 sm

Older Masters skiers suffered longer in the blizzard than the younger, faster skiers. We salute the great ski performances of all the Fairbanks skiers yesterday. Enjoy your rest day.

Chythlook and Flaharty win gold and silver in blizzard at World Masters 7.5 km FS

Bad Bob Baker, Sonot Kkaazoot originator, course chief, and major organizer, has a new role today, as proud dad of World Masters Gold Medalist, Gina Chythlook, F2, in the 7.5 km freestyle race with a time of 24:32.5 and Silver Medalist, Davya Flaharty, F1, in a time of 24.50.7. It was both snowing and blowing as this photo shows:


Davya Flaharty (bib 106) leads older sister, Gina Chythlook (bib 202) in blizzard during 7.5 km FS at World Masters--photo by Sharon Baker

Bob’s son-in-law, Tyson Flaharty, M1, was 5th in a time of 19:38.4.

Bruce Jamieson, former Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks President and current Board Member,  was 36th in the M8 event, with a time of 35:01.3.

Congratulations to all our Fairbanks World Masters skiers who prevailed in blizzard conditions in Minneapolis today.


World Masters 7.5 km CL Results

At World Masters today in the 7.5 km CL events, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skiers were challenged by windy conditions in early stages of a snow storm that added leaf matter to their sticky kick wax

Bob Baker, 19th in M6 event with time of 25.11.6.

Chris Puchner, 21st in M7 event at 29:48.8

Owen Hanley, 18th in M9 event at 30:35.3.

All three of these skiers are key members of the Sonot Kkaazoot organizing group.

Sharon Baker, long time Sonot Kkaazoot volunteer, was 6th in her F6 event with a time of 28.38.4. Sharon described the bottoms of her skis after the event as looking like “a long, wet, twisted blob of tissue!!”

Hang tough! And major kudos for your great skis.