Easter Sunday for the Sonot Kkaazoot organizers felt like a resurrection after we watched winter melt away during our event Saturday that from start to finish took barely 6 hours. Seeing as none of us wanted to ski out onto the Chena River today, we decided to examine the largest south facing slope whose melting snow helped feed the river flow as yesterday unfolded. The Sonot Connector is south facing and by mid afternoon it was a combination of deep slush and bare ground. This morning, it was icy and the trail rattled beneath our skis. Don missed one of the curves and face planted a foot shy of a tree:
Don was fine and we progressed downhill to where the Sonot Connector joins the Fort Wainwright alpine hill. A slush pond had formed there and Poles (the Eddie Haskell of the SCUM) tried to splash those of us nearby and ended up cooling off in the slush pond.
Notice how no one is offering to assist him. However, demonstrating the flexibility of his bionic knees, Bill rises:
and joins us for a group photo:
and a trek up the alpine hill (the way the Sonot Kkaazoot used to go).
Happy Easter! I hope that you got a solid chocolate Easter bunny in your basket after your great efforts yesterday.
Please send us any photos of the Sonot Kkaazoot you’d like to share.
Today we skied from Birch Hill to the Chena River on the trails that will be used Saturday for the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot. The preliminary grooming has already created a wide trail on the west side of Ski Road on Fort Wainwright that will allow skate skiers to easily overtake and pass slower skiers on the skate platform. There will still be two road crossings that skiers will traverse but these places will be staffed by volunteers with snow shovels and stop signs.
Here are photos from the trail on the west side of Ski Road today:
Pat on West Ski Road trail
Eric on West Ski Road trail
And here are Pat and Eric skiing up the base of the alpine hill after looking longingly at the rope tow to the left of them:
Pat and Eric on lower end of Sonot Connector
The new snow has really brightened up the ski trails on the Chena River, Fort Wainwright, and at Birch Hill. Skiing is awesome and temperatures are predicted to be springlike. What are you waiting for? Sign up now.
and thank our great groomers again:
To help the first time participant in the Sonot Kkaazoot, here are a few videos of the 40 and 50 km events taken by Dermot Cole in 2015. The first clip is the mass start for the 40 and 50 km freestyle events:
Here is the climb up the Fort Wainwright alpine ski hill to the base of the Sonot Connector:
and 28 km later coming down the same hill:
Remember, if you smile, it’s no big deal.
Here’s Robert Hannon, Sonot military contact AND coordinator for FWW road crossings finishing:
Sign up now for the lowest entry fees. Early registration ends in less than two weeks on 26 February 2016.
Photos from various SCUM and SCUM spouses