Anna Rix skis 80 km virtual Sonot Kkaazoot

Anna long ski

Anna writes:

I finally got around to doing my longer ski, the wind last Sunday and blisters yesterday stopped me from doing it sooner. I cut it shorter than intended when they closed the Warming Hut, so only got 80 k instead of my intend 100 k to complete the “Virtual White Mountains 100”. I managed only about 118 k at Birch Hill during the virtual Sonot (skied on 3/21, 3/27, 3/28, total time about 12:20). I did ski 86 k at UAF during the virtual Sonot, but I not going to calculate that total time.
Anyways, for today, I was going to break the ski into the first 50 k, which was all classic. My 50 k route was a tour of all the groomed trails. I started out with the black loops, then West Ramp, Blue, Outhouse, Sunnyside to Clifftop, rest of Outhouse, rest of Relay, Tower (including Classic Tower), Medevac, East Ramp, Rollercoaster, White Bear with Moilanen’s Meadow, and Warm-up. After one lap, I stopped to wax a different pair of classic skis, shed some layers, and refill my drink belt. I said hi to Donovan. For the second tour lap, I started off trying to get a few of the bits that I was missing: Main Ramp into the part of Relay I was missing by doing Blue, up the sprint wall to the second half of Green Dot, Rollercoaster bypass, somehow ended up taking the sprint elbow downhill, then I started another Tour lap. Tower, Rollercoaster, White Bear with Moilanen’s Meadow (more enjoyable when the kick wax is still kicking), got Sidewinder and the Roundabout on the way out of White Bear Access, at some point I did Loki and the other one in the stadium (could have been before with Rollercoaster bypass), Warmup, and onto the Black Loops. I hit 50 km just before finishing off North Forty’s Corkscrew. 50 k classic total: 5:18 total time, 5:05:45 ski time.
For the next 30 k it was a mixture of skate and classic. I finished by Tour lap finishing with the trails with more debris, so the rest of Black Loops, Blue Loop, Outhouse (which was pretty clean and not many people ventured onto the full version), Sunnyside, and Relay. I went back to the Warming Hut to change socks, coats, gloves, headband, and boots. Onto skate skiing! I started out by taking White Cub and all of White Bear (Shalane zoomed by me) to the Groomers Ramp, Warmup, White Bear access out to the biathlon range (since I hadn’t ski that trail), took Zoomer’s Cutoff back and went to change to my other skate skis when I heard that the Warming Hut was closed, I grabbed my stuff out and skied part of North Forty, then Green Dot, Rollercoaster Bypass, and a lap in the stadium to bring my total distance for the day up to an even 80 k. That way my stuff didn’t freeze and I didn’t feel like changing into my other classic boots in the cold (my original plan was to change to my classic skin skis for the last 10-15 k). So, for the 40 k add the 13.2 k I did on Friday on my skin skis, the black loops, blue, outhouse, sunnyside (stopped and tried to readjust my boot), and relay before quitting to stop my blister for getting bigger (I put moleskin around it today). 40 k mixed techniques and day’s total: 5:04 total time, 4:44 ski time.
Might be too tired to explain what I was thinking, to remember my course, or edit my write up but I attached proof of my ski.
Anna, I’m tired just reading what you skied. Congratulations!

Bill Husby skis 40 km to complete his virtual Sonot Kkaazoot grand slam

After skiing the 20 km traditional Sonot Kkaazoot on 19 March,

Bill Husby skied a creative route 50 km Sonot on 21 March:

Today, in glorious sunshine, Bill skied a virtual 40 km, thus, completing his grand slam of all three Sonot Kkaazoot distances:

Poles 40 km


In between his three virtual Sonot Kkaazoot distance skis, Bill has groomed trails and skied casually with us mortals. Congratulations, Poles!

Virtual Sonot: UAF to Birch Hill

Peter Delamere writes:

Peter Delamere skied with Hannah Delamere and Hjelle Personius from UAF to Birch Hill.  Hannah and Hjelle skied 27 km (just to BH).

PastedGraphic-1 sm

Peter skied 40 km with a few additional km at BH.

PastedGraphic-2 sm

It would be great if we could link UAF and BH via Creamers (especially if the river is not suitable).  Crossing Farmers Loop near Ballaine was trivial. The Steese and Farmers Loop intersection is not so easy.  If only we had an overpass….  Not sure about times. Started at 11:30 ended at 3:30.

Great day!
Great report, Peter! Your creative route warrants further consideration as Fairbanks’ winters warm.

Joanna Fox finishes 40 km virtual Sonot

Joanna selfie

Joanna writes:

I finished my 40k virtual Sonot this morning with a 5.01 mile (or 8.05k) ski that included some of my favorite highland trails. I started with a trip around the Relay Start Loop to get warmed up, and then hopped onto Tower, which was impeccably well groomed. I knew I had to include Tower in my finale, as after all it’s my favorite trail at Birch Hill. It did not let me down! I honestly can’t remember enjoying that trail more. I had intended to ski Outhouse when I came out of Tower, but right there, beckoning me, was Roller Coaster. Who can resist a trip down Roller Coaster when it’s been freshly groomed?! Well, not I! It was well worth the side trip, as the tracks were deep and fast and I had it all to myself.
I then proceeded to Outhouse, where I had fun wondering if I’d encounter the moose who seemingly had cut straight down from the entrance and crossed every switchback. I didn’t, but I knew it must be lurking around there somewhere. After completing Outhouse I could have taken the Relay Return, as I knew I had exceeded the 6.25 k I needed to get to 40 k, but the trail gods urged me to go to take the complete loop so I could enjoy one more downhill before reaching the stadium hill and finishing my ski.
It was downright GLORIOUS out there! I ran into Poles right as I was starting, and he seemed to be in the middle of his 5th or 6th 50 k of the week, so I knew better than to try to follow him. After all, I wanted to save a little in the tank for tomorrow’s ski.

Here’s a short video clip for Joanna’s ski today:


And here are the routes, times and temperatures for her 4 installments:

Image 3-21-20 at 1.07 PM_1

Image 3-22-20 at 5.07 PM_2


Image 3-27-20 at 4.55 PM_3Image 3-28-20 at 3.16 PM_4

.Looks like Joanna will be ready to take on the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot in 2021.

Forest Wagner’s virtual Sonot 20 to 25 km

Forest Wagner, UAS faculty member, who is working remotely from his father’s house in Fairbanks writes:

Although I didn’t document myself through GPS or photos, I did participate in the virtual Sonot today.  Starting at 10 a.m. (4 deg. F) I skate skied the black loops (cold), then everything near and including the outhouse (cold, windy, but sunny), including the sunnyside loop, not recommended but sunny!, then the tower and coasters down through the White Bear, including Moilanen Meadows, and concluding with the Warm Up.  Finished my ski at 1:02 p.m. (11 deg. F) right as the glide was getting good!

I imagined I would ski the White Bear a couple more times, but decided to call it complete as described.  I skied everything that was groomed, or groomed recently, and had a great outing.  Although I signed up for the 50, I suppose what I skied is probably more 20-25ish.  Thanks for all of the effort getting and keeping the trails in shape and for the good vibes in this challenging time.

Best, and hats off to all of you,

Thanks, Forest. 

Forest is also working on an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Arctic & Northern Studies focusing on endurance sports.  He writes:

I am running a survey about what motivates winter marathoners and ultra participants. I am particularly interested in the perceived psychological effects of climate change on winter people, like how we feel in winter when it is lacking in cold or snow– not a problem this year, thankfully.  The project is non-commercial research approved by the UAF Institutional Review Board.

Forest is one of my fellow classmates in our grad Images of the North class and his father was a former SCUM, so I attest to the legitimacy of his survey.

A informational flier with a link to the 5-minute survey is below. Download the PDF version to get a direct URL to the survey.

Trail Time Flier2.20.20 red

Trail Time Flier2.20.20

Grooming hours tallied during the Virtual Sonot

As the virtual Sonot Kkaazoot draws to a close, let’s review the time spent by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers in keeping up the the record snowfall and gusty winds. During the 10 day virtual Sonot Kkaazoot, our NSCF groomers put in 44.5 hours. Between just Thursday and today, they put 123 km on their equipment. Hey, that’s more km than even Bad Bob and Sharon Baker or Bill Husby skied.

Please remember that the Iron Ranger (on a post as you enter the Birch Hill stadium) is always hungry for cash or check donations. No amount is too small.

Enjoy the sunshine and beautiful ski trails that you share with moose and other critters. Yield right of way to the moose, they’re struggling these days, too.


Hemming classical skis another virtual 20 km


Thumpers thumbs up

Carl Hemming, who had already skied a virtual 40 km Sonot, has moved up to the 60 km Sonot (or to the 50 km Sonot with 10 km toward his next 20 km? ) with this latest installment:

Carl writes:

This was my first attempt to transfer electronic workout information from my android phone. It was yesterday, on classic skis I went 20 km in 2 hrs 40 min. The course was the same as on Thursday but out to 6 km on the White Bear and up the ramp and down through the RC bypass to make 20 km. (hmm, . . we seem to be missing the Thursday ski report and route).

Unfortunately Thumper sent the email to himself but did send this route to me:

Thumpers route

so I was able to query him for the rest of the information.

Carl’s virtual Sonot Kkaazoot is very much like his first Sonot Kkaazoot as primordial SCUM (25 years ago) when he skied the Chena River with skate skis and the hilly terrain with classical skis.  Thumper has always been a practical SCUM.


Robert Toth’s radioactive-free, virtual 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot

Robert writes:

Registered with cash bib 9999. I will drop another $80 or $100 in the Iron Ranger box to cover it. Hope the other $50s I have been putting in the box made it to the club.

The route for the my Virtual Radioactive Free Of All Style Whatsoever 20 k (I hope) Sonot Kkaazoot done with skate gear

Completed March 27, 2020  at 9:30pm ADT in a blistering 3 hours and 39 minutes give or take a few seconds (timed on my phone)

Start: at Warm Up Cabin. Hard right at end of stadium to short downhill portion of Competition Loop. North Forty. Missed turn to the very bottom of the North Forty. Skied across to the corner where the cutoff to the Black Hole is located.

Encounter moose. Turned around on same part of trail. Crashed head first into snow bank when I turned to check on moose and caught a rut. Found entrance to lowest part of North Forty. Completed North forty after passing moose who had moved to the ungroomed cutoff to the Black Hole.

Black Hole.  Competition Loop up to top and back to Stadium. Main ramp up to Blue Loop. Outhouse loop all the way to bottom. Sunnyside to Section Line crossover (marked 900 meters to Outhouse). Completed Outhouse. Relay Start Loop to corner marked Tower Direct 2.3 K. Tower. Medivac Rollercoaster. White Bear Access. White Bear to Hilltop Cutoff (formerly 4.2 K Cutoff). White Bear Access. Stadium to around behind main building at the top of Warm Up (did not do Warm Up Loop). Under Skyway. Finish: at Warm Up Cabin.

Thanks to all for all your hard work.

Thank you, Robert, for all your trail and Sonot contributions. Your low tech route description is the most detailed one we’ve received. The Birch Hill moose seem to be the only critters out there moving slower than those of us who are normally at the back of the Sonot Kkaazoot pack.