Glorious moments from 31st Sonot captured by Mark Lindberg

Relive some of the glorious moments of the 31st annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot captured by Mark Lindberg from the Chena River and from the warm-up loop at Birch Hill. I selected 32 that highlight the Sonot Kkaazoot course and some of the skiers who enjoyed the spectacular Birch Hill trails on Saturday. Many skiers tackling the 40 and 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot really look young to me. After 31 years, Bad Bob and I see a new generation of Sonot Kkaazoot 50 km skiers.

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Mark took over 500 photographs during Saturday’s event. Many awesome photographs focus in on the faces of skiers. The original photographs are extremely high resolution.

His instagram site is: https://www.instagram.com/marklindbergphotography/?hl=en

If you want access to Mark’s photos, email him at mslindberg1@gmail.com and he can provide a google drive link.  These photos are slightly lower resolution than the originals and they are free to everyone.  He just asks that folks acknowledge his site if they use these photos.  If anyone wants to work with Mark on post processing and printing any original photos they should contact him about pricing.

Mark was extremely generous in providing me with the images that I have posted here in a form that this website could accommodate. It was hard to select a manageable collection from all the fantastic photos he took.

Alaska Dispatch News on Galena ski team

Here’s the URL to Dermot Cole’s column in the Alaska Dispatch News, “In Galena, Alaska, it takes a village (and a mayor) to train a ski team”

http://www.adn.com/article/20160329/galena-it-takes-village-and-mayor-train-ski-team

The 20 km race wasn’t enough for the Galena ski team, so they went up to Birch Hill in the afternoon.

Drilling team says Sonot start is safe

This morning, Doyon, Ltd, had a drilling team out on the Chena River in the vicinity of the Sonot Kkaazoot start determining ice thickness. The thinnest ice found was 8″ in one spot. Most was a 12″ – 18″ thick. They checked for several hundred meters from bridge and into the curve.

Groomers found that yesterday’s melting left a crusty surface this morning. They were able to chew it up into skiable icy snow. Again, the plan is to groom Birch Hill, the Sonot Connector, and the Fort Wainwright trails late tonight with the piston bully. Saturday morning, they will drag and set tracks on the Chena River.

Check this website before you leave for the start tomorrow morning. At 4:30 p.m. Friday,  conditions look great for the traditional start on the Chena River. However, if we have to move the start, we will post a notice on this website, and will start all events 30 minutes later than currently scheduled at Birch Hill Recreation Area.

Mother Nature holds all the cards, and Sonot Kkaazoot organizers obey.

 

Updates on trail grooming Thursday

While some of the Sonot organizers were buried with late registration and bib pick-up, the groomers were busy working on the trails. Here’s the Thursday update from Bill Husby:

“Today Tom took the ginzu down to the river and leveled the bumps between the RR bridge and FWW bridge. He also got above the RR bridge. We also added some snow by  electrical box along the road. As of now that 200 meter section is beautiful corduroy with no vehicle ruts. There are piles of snow by the crossing areas ready to be shoved onto the road with the piston bully (PB) on Saturday morning making for little or no shoveling for the crossing staff.

Ken and I will be grooming the river tomorrow morning. Expect an update with pristine photos😎. Tom will start grooming all the BH trails with the PB tomorrow evening. He will also PB the Sonot Connector, road and down to the river. Around 0700 he and Ken will drag and set tracks on the river and wherever else they are needed. This should prove the best 50K course in the state of Alaska this year.”

So that’s the most recent report. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks are working hard to make the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot special for all skiers.

One final note: Sonot Kkaazoot volunteers will be drilling the ice on the Chena River to make sure that the ice will safely support skiers and run all our equipment on Saturday.

A HUGE THANK YOU to all our wonderful volunteers who have come together to pull off the 29th annual Sonot Kkaazoot, and our awesome groomers who have allowed us Fairbanks skiers to continue skiing through our winter drought.