Buetow Dental Distance Race #1 course changed

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:

https://register.chronotrack.com/r/42668

See you Saturday on the trails.

El Nino, Global Change, and the Sonot Kkaazoot

An extraordinarily strong El Nino is influencing weather patterns throughout the northern hemisphere and Interior Alaska is no exception. An early snow storm in late September led to downed trees and widespread power outages. Much warmer temperatures than normal in October melted most of the early winter snowpack but allowed trail clean-up and powerline repairs.

Robert practicing his doublepole

Robert practicing his doublepoling under trail light post on White Bear in late October

A snowy November provided Birch Hill groomers with daily challenges but gave us the needed snowpack when chinooks in December and January brought winds, above freezing temperatures, and no additional precipitation.  These conditions again brought significant grooming challenges in the form of downed trees, debris, and globs of ice. However, thanks to our groomers whose tools include chain saws and rakes, we have the luxury of skiing on world class trails. However, donations to the Trail Fund are well below last season, so please consider an additional donation at:

https://nordicskicluboffairbanks.wildapricot.org/Donate/

Saturday’s 20 km Buetow Distance Race #2 featured a course including sections of the North 40, Black Hole, Blue, Outhouse, and Tower loops with deep, beautiful classical tracks (amazingly free of leaf debris) and a firm skate platform that was an absolute delight to ski. This event was a perfect training workout for the Sonot Kkaazoot and yet another reminder of the value of grooming and volunteers in the Nordic Ski community.

So, Alaska Nordic Skiers take note, we are skiing in Fairbanks and have been since early November. The Sonot Kkaazoot has never been canceled so make a commitment now to ski 20, 40 or 50 km on Saturday, 26 March 2016. The organization for the Sonot Kkaazoot is entirely volunteer so significant proceeds can go toward the grooming necessary to make the event (and training for the event) possible. Thus, we need your help. If you plan to ski the Sonot Kkaazoot, please sign up early.

https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/

Not only will the registration fees be lower, you will assist us in planning for the event.

If you do not plan to ski, please consider volunteering to help out on race day as many of the Sonot Kkaazoot participants are the volunteers staffing the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks events so this is their one event to race. We especially need people who can help with timing (an “inside” job) or staffing the various road and alpine hill crossings on Fort Wainwright. We also have other volunteer tasks that racers can do as well. See the “Volunteers” page on the Sonot Kkaazoot webpage for specifics or to sign up:

https://sonotkkaazoot.org/volunteers/

Enjoy the wonderful ski trails.

Early registration for Sonot Kkaazoot ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, 27 February 2015

Just a reminder that early registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, 27 February 2015. Register now and save some money.

Volunteers are needed for inside and outdoor jobs on race day and before. Just leave a comment on the “Volunteers” page and we’ll get back to you.

Thanks from the Sonot Kkaazoot organizers.

Also, don’t forget the last Buetow Dental Distance Race (7.5 km to 30 km freestyle) is this Sunday, 1 March 2015 starting at 11:00 a.m. at Birch Hill Recreation Area.

 

Distance Race # 2 Postponed

After a record warm winter so far in Interior Alaska, when the temperature was colder than -20 deg F this morning with wonderful hoarfrost snow still condensing from the skies, Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Race Coordinator, John Estle, postponed Distance Race #2. However, with the course already groomed (but not marked with “V” board and pin flags), race-ready skiers ventured out onto the trails to take advantage of the opportunity to do their own time trial. As it turned out, they also got an opportunity to do their own course because of late changes only the groomers had seen:

New course

Like little vegetable and flower starts that have spent the winter in a greenhouse, our training session today was like the “hardening” sessions that transplants get before moving outside to garden plots.

Thanks to Dermot Cole (cold weather photographer), here’s an action shot of two skiers on the course:

Action shot

 

and one of them at the end of the “race”, sufficiently “hardened” to thrive in the race when it is rescheduled.

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Stay tuned for the new race date.

 

Besh Cup Races 3 & 4 moved to Birch Hill

The Competition Committee of Cross Country Alaska decided last night to move Besh Cup Races 3 & 4 (scheduled for Soldotna on 17 and 18 January 2015) to Birch Hill. This change of venue was unavoidable because of lack of snow in the Kenai. Besh Cup Races 3 & 4 are both classical technique races (one sprint, one mass start) because the Besh Cup Race 1, held in Anchorage in December, needed to be changed from a classical to freestyle technique sprint format because of lack of snow.

Thus, the Distance Race #2, scheduled for 11 a.m. on 17 January 2015 at Birch Hill will be rescheduled to allow the Birch Hill Recreation Area trails to be used for the two Besh Cup Races.

We’ll post the new time and date when available. You’ll have a little more training time before the 20 km CL test that the Distance Race #2 will provide.

Sonot Kkaazoot training day after Distance Race #1

The day after the Buetow Dental Distance Race #1, a 7.5 and 15 km mass start test of Fairbanks Nordic skiers’ fitness, was 20 deg warmer so perfect for a slow recovery ski around the Birch Hill Recreation Area trails.

Recovery skis mean lots of rest breaks, and some skiers have resting down to a fine art as these skiers on the South Tower:

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Enjoy the trails. Thanks to countless hours of volunteer efforts and donations from trail users, we have wonderful groomed trails to enjoy for 6 or more months. Please do your part.