Yes, it’s very warm outside today and is forecast to be the same or warmer tomorrow. However, we’ve had warm March temperatures in the past, and still held the Sonot Kkaazoot as it has been for 31 years.
In 2015, March was very warm like this spring and the Sonot Kkaazoot took place on March 28 that year—five days later than this year.
Although the Chena River is not looking particularly solid for safe skiing, we have held the Sonot Kkaazoot on the traditional course starting and finishing on the Chena River for the past eight years (2011 to 2018). Before that, we had three consecutive years of alternate Sonot Kkaazoot courses, two years all at Birch Hill (2008 and 2009) and one year all on the Chena River (2010) to balance things out.
Sonot Kkaazoot skiers have to be flexible at times and ski whatever conditions and courses Mother Nature tosses our way. However, spring skiing in Fairbanks is always a special treat.
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!
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.