FXC Devo skiers skated to sizzling times on the virtual 10 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on Sunday. As we previously posted, Max Kaufman has an album of action photos of the FXC Devos skiing on the virtual 10 km course.
Scott Brucker, a teacher in Minto and frequent Sonot Kkaazoot skier, recently emailed me inviting skiers to explore new ski trails in Minto. Those of you who ski jor or mush would also be welcome.
Scott writes: “If anyone is interested in skiing in Minto I have a stupid number of miles of groomed trails. I spent the past 5 years cutting trails for skiing and dog mushing. I’ve been running 15 of my sprint dogs all year on it. We were intending to run Rondy and ONAC, and it didn’t quite happen. Anyways I have about 17+ miles of trails that we could offer for future races in skiing if there was enough interest. I’ve been stupid meticulous about grooming because that’s what sprint dogs need. The course wraps all over two different hills and includes a lot of up and down skiing. This summer I will attempt to cut another 3 miles and I think I’ll finally call it quits. It already takes me two hours to groom the current trail system.”
Below are elevation profiles of the routes and distances. If interested in traveling to Minto to ski, please email email@example.com and I’ll send Scott’s email and the high resolution attachments to you.
Scott continues: “If the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks was interested next winter, we can host a race. I know after a few years I started getting burned out on doing the same UAF and Birch Hill trails all the time. There might be an interest in doing something different. We welded three different drags this past year to make it be as nice as it is. Next thing is to weld some new drags/packers to take the air out of the snow.”
In a post-pandemic world, skiing on different trails in the Interior sounds like a fun adventure. Anyone for a post-Sonot Kkaazoot road trip next year?
Michael Angaiak celebrated finishing Kristen Rozell’s Sonot Kkaazoot Training Class by skating the 30 km virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot in 2:36:02. He was a little late in sending in his results, but his report was so upbeat and complete, it’s wasn’t much work to post.
Time: 2:36:02 (I’m confident I skied the full correct course but the “Map My Fitness” app I used on my phone only lists 16.99 miles. Hmm…)
Description: My first Sonot Kkaazoot experience! I had taken Kristen Rozell’s Tuesday night “Train for the Sonot Kkaazzoot” class last spring only to have everything canceled, so I was excited to take her class again this spring. I didn’t V2 nearly as much as we practiced, without the river portion this year, but my technique sure has improved! A number of us from class started the race together on Sunday morning so I appreciated the extra motivation. I felt better over the last 20 k then the first 10 k as it warmed up a bit. Perhaps the adrenaline rush from the moose that crossed in front of me at the end of Relay was what helped me pick up the pace! Big thanks to Kristen and all of the teachers from NSCF for the wonderful variety of excellent class offerings for all levels. I’m looking forward to building up to the 50 k next year!”
Congratulations, Michael! We definitely hope that you will be skating the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot next year.
Max Kaufman sent along a URL to an album of awesome photos he took of FXC Devos, who raced the virtual 10 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on Sunday. He wrote that 9 skiers opted to do the race and Coach Tjarn Bross timed them. We haven’t received the names or times of these skiers, but, we wanted to share the photos.
Hopefully, donations for the Birch Hill Trails Fund during the virtual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot helped build a grooming cushion because temperature and snow forecasts make the outlook for spring skiing look excellent. Here’s the URL for trail fund donations if you would like to help us out:
First of all, temperatures haven’t broken the 40 deg F temperature barrier since October 11 and we’re likely to break the record for consecutive days below 40 deg F on Monday, 5 April 2021 if current National Weather Service forecasts hold.
The second factor necessary for Spring skiing is adequate snowpack. Monday’s snowfall was a record 3.8″ and brings our seasonal snowfall total to 73.3″, which is over a foot above normal.
Thus, both unseasonably cool temperatures and adequate snowpack are good indicators of a great spring skiing season.
I went up to Birch Hill this morning (Monday) and traveled around all the Sonot Kkaazoot courses and removed all the kilometer markers, banner, and any other course markings, officially putting a close to this year’s courses. While I cruised the courses on my Skandic SWT with my 6′ groomer, leaving behind nothing but corduroy, I ran into Tom Helmers with the PistenBully, freshly regrooming the entire Birch Hill trail system. I also got to follow a young bull moose for quite a spell down near the biathlon range. My other task today, was to GPS next year’s courses, which will hopefully include Sunnyside in both the 30 and 50 k, and on the 2nd lap of the 50 will take in half the Sunnyside again, along with Cliffside to the bottom, then back up Sonot Connector to White Bear. My measurements came out within a small fraction of a kilometer of being spot on!
Let’s all hope that we’re back to a mass start, socially mingling, feed stations, award banquet kind of SONOT… Thanks to all that got out there and enjoyed the skiing over the past 2 weeks. DON’T forget to send in your stories and times or whatever, to firstname.lastname@example.org by this Wednesday, March 31.
Also, there are still 2021 SONOT POSTERS available for a $50.00 trail donation. Contact Bad Bob to arrange for one of these cool posters before they’re gone…..(907) 455-6689. If I don’t answer, just leave a message…
Bob Toth finished his virtual 50 km Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot on 6:59:42. Bob commented that he was “skiing with skate gear doing my unique and possibly inimitable Free (of anything approaching) Style ‘technique.”
“First off thanks to all who put the whole Birch Hill ski season together. My time should cinch 50k red lantern but believe it or not, I am absolutely tickled with it.
Wednesday, when I hit the trail at 5:49 pm I wasn’t sure if I would do the 10, 30 or 50k.. After the Start Loop, I bypassed the White Bear Access and hit the Warmup, first decision made. As I ‘cruised’ the Blacks, big flakes made it deeper but kept things slippery, that is when I started thinking I could do a 2 or 3 stage 50k. It was getting pretty dim by the time I finished the Medivac so I decided to bypass the White Bear segments and closed the evening by taking the Warmup Loop to the timer’s building.
After only one day’s rest (I usually take two) I completed the White Bear sections of the 30k, then skied across the stadium and up the ramp to begin the final 20 of the 50, finishing stage two with the Medivac at about dark. Sunday evening it was top of White Bear Access to the finish, crossing the line at 8:31pm.
Total elapsed time start to finish:
4 days 2 hours and 42 minutes
trail time for the 50k. Whew kept it under 7 hours,-)”