Plan for Sonot Kkaazoot if Chena River is unsafe

The 32nd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot will take place on 23 March 2019 but the start and finish will not be determined until Thursday, 21 March 2019.

If the Chena River is deemed unsafe, the Sonot Kkaazoot would be moved to Birch Hill Recreation Area with all starts at 11:00 a.m. All course distances will be shortened to compensate for the loss of the flat terrain that the river provides. 

From Bad Bob, here are the courses IF the Sonot Kkaazoot is moved to Birch Hill (if you have comments/suggestions on the alternate courses contact him at:

The  50  and 40 km races will become one race competed over a 33.4  km distance. Starting at 11:00 am in the Birch Hill Stadium, skiers go up the West Ramp, then taking a sharp right hand downhill turn onto the end of the Competition loop, and then a sharp downhill left hand turn staying on the Competition loop and heading down onto the North 40.. From this point, the long race will follow the normal Sonot course until it reaches the Sunnyside loop, off the the Outhouse loop.  It will follow the Sunnyside down to the top of Cliffside, and then head left, back up the Sunnyside, and back around, returning to the Outhouse loop.  Racers will take a right back onto Outhouse loop and finish that, then take a hard right onto the Relay Start loop, and continue on it back to the RAMP. Next, racers will head down the Ramp to the bottom and turn right up onto the East Ramp, following it up right into the Tower Loop, around the whole Tower Loop, then onto the Roller Coasters, back to the Stadium, then hard right down onto the White Bear Access, and onto the White Bear.

Skiers will follow the White Bear all the way out to the SONOT CONNECTOR, then a sharp right down onto the SONOT CONNECTOR. Skiers descend most of the Sonot Connector but will do a 180 degree turn above the tubing hill. Skiers will not ski on the actual downhill ski area at all. Skiers will head right back up the SONOT CONNECTOR. The Sonot Connector will be two-way traffic, skiers always keeping to their RIGHT.  There will be a classic track only on the way back up the Sonot Connector. The Sonot Connector comes at the 19 km point, so skiers will be quite spread out. Once you get back to the top of Sonot Connector, you’ll take a hard right, back onto the White Bear, and follow the entire White Bear, then turn right onto Moilanen Meadows, then finally, turn right, back onto the White Bear and finish up with the White Bear Access into the Stadium, and lastly doing the whole Warm-Up Loop and into the FINISH!!   It’s a very tough, hilly 33.4 km course, and with the addition of the SUNNYSIDE LOOP, I think racers will enjoy the  course! 

The 20 km race, if it’s all at Birch Hill, will be way different from the flat Chena River route. The 20 km race will become a distance of 9.5 km.  The distance is much shorter, due to the non-flatness of the course.  Racers will also start at 11:00 am in the middle of the Stadium at Birch Hill, right along side the 50 & 40 km racers.   The  9.5  kilometer course will start straight up the main RAMP and out and around the Relay Start Loop, then a slight right hand turn onto the Roller Coaster By-Pass, and back to the Stadium.  Next, you’ll take a hard right hand turn, down onto the White Bear Access, and onto the White Bear Loop.   You’ll follow the White Bear all the way out to the CORONARY  BY-PASS  Turnaround, which will be just beyond the 5- kilometer point,  then head all the way back to the Stadium at Birch Hill, via  the White Bear and White Bear Access loops.  Once you get to the Stadium, racers will turn hard to the right in the Stadium and ski back behind and around the Main Chalet Building, skiing under the overpass/bridge of the Chalet Building and straight into the FINISH. You will not ski Moilanen Meadows or the Warm-up Loops. 

BUT…. of course, we are planning on the traditional start downtown on the Chena River.   Stay tuned…and get out there and enjoy spring skiing.