Skiing the 20 km Sonot Course

Starting at 10 a.m. ADT this morning, several SCUM practiced both social distancing and skating the 20 km Sonot course. It was mostly sunny and 15 deg F when we started and 28 deg when we finished.

Besides social distancing, SCUM practice foot and mouth sanitizing. We were able to use resources found under the Cushman Street pedestrian bridge at the Sonot start. There are many secrets to skiing the Sonot Kkaazoot–and taking advantage of found feeds can be important in non-pandemic years.

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Dual purpose foot and mouth sanitizer

Although we are 50 km Sonot skiers, we skied the 20 km turnaround today in case we suddenly feel our age during the virtual Sonot.

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Practicing social distancing on the Sonot Kkaazoot 20 km turnaround.  Photo by Bill Husby.

We all agreed that Bad Bob had done an awesome job of grooming. We only saw one other skier (a young FXC skier who had come down to the river from Birch Hill) but the sunshine and trails were wonderful.

Here’s a view of the Chena River trail from the Cushman Street bridge with a fat biker heading upstream.

Chena River trail from Cushman St bridge sm

Enjoy the skiing before break-up starts on the Chena River. Remember that Mother Nature holds all the cards. Ski with care and with a buddy.

 

Chena River trail groomed on 3/16/20

Bad Bob Baker spent the better part of today grooming the Sonot Kkaazoot trail from the start and finish area near the Cushman Street bridge to the Fort Wainwright alpine hill. He also groomed the 20 km turnaround loop and the ditch between the Chena River and Fort Wainwright.

It is springtime so stay alert on the river and ski with a buddy who is 6 feet away from you. Conditions can and will change swiftly. Make sure you have your government identification if you are skiing these trails.

Start and finish area ramp sm

Groomed ramp to the virtual Sonot Kkaazoot start and finish area

Sonot Kkaazoot trail on Chena River groomed wide for distancing sm

Bad Bob grooming the Chena River wide enough for social distancing

Bad Bob plans to groom again on Wednesday morning when he will set a classical track. Enjoy the spring skiing. It is good for your physical and mental well-being during the coronavirus pandemic.

Fresh grooming on Chena River today

With the cold nights and sunny days, the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot is looking awesome. Bad Bob Baker groomed the Chena River today. Here’s a photo that Bad Bob took looking back at the start/finish area of the Sonot Kkaazoot:

View of the Sonot Kkaazoot start on 2-27-20

and here are some close ups of Bad Bob’s grooming equipment and the corduroy after he has groomed.

Bad Bob grooming gear 2-27-20 on ChenaChena River cordoroy 2-27-20

Again, make sure you have your government identification if you ski onto Fort Wainwright from the Chena River.

What is holding you back from signing up for the 33rd Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot? The register tab at the top of this webpage will take you to the secure site for online registration.

 

Chena River update, 2/5/2020

Bad Bob Baker groomed the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot course again on Tuesday.  He said “it’s very smooth and quite fast and at least 16′ wide at the narrowest.  The sugar snow has firmed up and the skating is quite nice.”

REMEMBER, before you head out to enjoy Bob’s grooming, if you are skiing onto Fort Wainwright, you must be carrying government identification with you. If you leave the Chena River and venture onto the base where the trail is accessible by road, you can be stopped by military personnel responsible for security protection on Fort Wainwright. Make sure you have your valid government identification with you.

Skiers warned to stay off the Chena River

The recent snowfalls and warm temperatures have combined to create overflow and possible open water on the Chena River sections used for the Sonot Kkaazoot. Skiers are strongly advised to STAY OFF the Chena River until groomers can assess the course for safety. 

Sonot Kkaazoot race director, Bad Bob Baker will be back to assess Chena River ski trail safety on Tuesday, 19 March 2019. He will resume grooming IF his drilling and observations indicate ice conditions are safe for skiing.

All skiers should stay off the Chena River until ice conditions can be determined.

Improved Chena River Course Conditions 2-27-19

From Sonot Kkaazoot Race Director, Bad Bob Baker:

I groomed the entire 20 km Sonot Kkaazoot course this morning. Temperature was -5 degrees F with NO OVERFLOW or OPEN WATER. It’s roughed in, and even quite smooth in places. The Chena River is now SKIABLE.

I will be back down on the River early FRIDAY, and meeting up with Bill Husby (Poles), and will escort him up and down the Chena River. The forecast is for clear days with daytime temperatures in the 20’s and overnight lows around zero through next week. Now that the Chena River portion of the Sonot Kkaazoot is packed and groomed…it should freeze thicker over the next week.

BUT…as we all know…March is just around the corner…and if we get a lot of new snow or extreme high temperatures, it will become a day-to-day call as we approach race day.  But, for now, things are looking quite good….amazing how just a week’s time can change conditions so much. If you do choose to ski on the RIVER, please use common sense, and stay away from anything that looks questionable. The Chena River is continuously changing, and what’s good today, may not be tomorrow. Right now it’s been groomed 12′  to 30′ wide…a little rough in spots, but should be much smoother after Friday’s  grooming.

27 March 2019_Sonot Chena River TrailChena River Trail 2-27-19Chena River Trail 2-27-19b