Raven Romp prepares skiers for the Sonot Kkaazoot

Plenty of natural snow on the White Bear and Sunnyside trails await skiers participating in this Sunday’s Raven Romp, the third Buetow Dental-Pangaea Distance Race. This 30 km classical event (with a 10 km option) starts at 11:00 a.m. Sunday at the Biathlon Range.

Details are available here:


With this week’s snowfall, trails will well-covered with newly fallen snow. As of Friday, all the trails that will be used in Sunday’s event had been packed and tracked at least once this week. The new snow brought down a number of trees that the groomers have been busy removing. If you haven’t done so already, please contribute to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks grooming fund that allows us to ski on our fantastic trails. Here’s the secure online form:


With any luck, you’ll see that the Sunnyside Trails are well-named. Here’s the section line turnaround where the Raven Romp course heads back toward the Outhouse Loop.  We needed shades today.

Section Line turnaround sm

Heading back on Sunnyside toward OH sm

Sign up and ski the Raven Romp on Sunday.

Then sign for the Sonot Kkaazoot before Friday, 23 February when early registration ends. Just click the “Register” tab at the top of this website.

Test your Sonot Kkaazoot fitness in Distance Race #3 on Sunday

The recent extended cold spell (in relative terms) has limited most skiers to shorter classical workouts. However, the 10 and 30 km Distance Race is scheduled for this Sunday, 18 February starting at 11 a.m. and will be a classical technique race. The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks race coordinator says the course will be the same as in 2017. That course is shown below:


According to my notes, the course started at the biathlon and went out White Bear to the Hilltop turnaround, back on White Bear, East Ramp, Relay Loop to Outhouse, first cutoff to Sunnyside, turnaround at Section Line Cutoff (as we did on Distance Race #2), rest of Outhouse, Relay, Roller Coaster Bypass, and White Cub to biathlon for each 10 km loop.

Sign up here: https://register.chronotrack.com/r/35560

While you have your credit card handy, why not sign up your valentine for the 31st annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot? What better gift than good health and fitness. Remember early registration ends on 23 February so it’ll never be a better bargain than now. https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/

This is the likely the last year for staggered starts and the non-marquee events like the 50 km CL and 40 km designed to encourage the more recreational skiers. So if you have been training toward participating in the 50 km classical or 40 km events, it’s time to register because we haven’t gotten the number of participants in these events to justify the time and expense to continue them.

Training for the Sonot at the Birkie

If you’ve been sweating what to use for kick wax on the 30 km Distance Race #3 to be held Sunday at Birch Hill Recreation Area, you could be in Wisconsin with 10,000 other skiers worrying about wax for the various Birkie events there tomorrow.

Bad Bob Baker, originator and longtime organizer of the Sonot Kkaazoot, is searching the world (literally) for races that will give him a special edge in the Sonot Kkaazoot. Baker and Dave Edic, former Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks skier, are currently wax testing for tomorrow’s 55 km Classical American Birkebeiner Marathon. Here’s his update on wax testing near the course (that is currently closed to save the snow).

“Today Dave and I tested waxes for tomorrow’s BIRKIE. It was raining fairly hard and 38 degrees. We found that most of the universal Klisters were all working OK, but not great.  Zero’s were worse and slower. We also tested red Klisters, with and without silver and other great sticky stuff. Bottom line is nothing came close to a great kick wax. However, we did manage to get totally soaked while testing and we ran into David Norris, Lex Treinen, Tyler Kornfield and other APU racers, who all got wet testing too. They are all skating tomorrow and gave us a smile as to say, we’re glad we aren’t classic skiing. The BIRKIE course has not been groomed all week, so our testing was in an area sort of near the BIRKIE course. They will groom the race course sometime after midnight, so the actual conditions on race day morning will remain a mystery until we arrive at the start in the AM. Dave and I have now decided to just wax our skis up with a base klister and a universal klister, head to the start with lots of other waxes and a torch and iron and pray that things go well. I will carry some kind of crazy wax with me in case I lose my grip and bonk, just to get me to the finish. Present attitude is …”CAN’T WAIT TILL THIS IS OVER”..  ENJOY your FAIRBANKS ski conditions!  It could be worse.”

Let’s just hope that Bad Bob and Dave Edic manage to stay ahead of this 85 year old skier from Anchorage: