World Cup quality tracks, temperatures in the high teens (above zero), and a new race course incorporating the “mellowed” black loops awaited participants in Saturday’s Buetow Dental Distance Race #2, the January Jaunt presented by Raven Cross Country. Smiles, grimaces, and deep concentration were captured by photographer Bob Wilkinson on the new downhill section of the blacks and elsewhere. Skiers ranged in age from 12 to 70, many of whom are training for the Sonot Kkaazoot to be held on 29 March 2014.
It isn’t just the selective memory of skiers and dog mushers, this is an unusually warm October. More importantly, the cumulative snowfall is well below the long-term averages for Fairbanks International Airport.
From Chris Swingley’s fantastic weather site (http://swingleydev.com/weather/local_weather.php), here’s a graphic showing how different this “winter” has been to date:
Temperatures are supposed to drop this week, however, we’ll still be on the “warm” side of normal (graphic from National Weather Service):
At least, the lows should be dropping back below freezing so the probability of retaining any snow we might get increases. We certainly hope to be skiing by the Ski Fest to be held at Birch Hill on Saturday, November 2. We’ll be there to sign-up skiers for the Sonot Kkaazoot at the lowest possible entry fees from 1 to 4 p.m. at Birch Hill Recreation Area.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
The 26th Annual Sonot Kkaazoot is now history. 279 Racers braved the cold new snow and wind to finish one of the 4 Sonot Kkaazoot events. A HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR AWESOME GROOMERS who made the cold new snow a little more bearable. Tom Helmers was out on the Birch Hill trails at 1 a.m. race day. Russ Lizotte, Ken Coe, and Andy Blossy started at 6 a.m. setting new tracks on the river. Our race day volunteers put in very long hours in the cold, and we are sincerely grateful for their essential assistance. OUR VOLUNTEERS INSURED A SAFE AND WELL-RUN EVENT AND WE CANNOT THANK THEM ENOUGH.
Bad Bob Baker is amazing and his contribution to this year’s event was remarkable.
Check back for Daniel Baker’s amazing event photos for sale, soon.
50 km Sonot Kkaazoot winners: Viktor Brannmark (UAA) and Raphaela Sieber (UAF). You made the harsh conditions look easy!
20 km Sonot Kkaazoot winners: Tristan Sayre and Jade Hajdukovich. These outstanding junior skiers have an amazing future ahead.
40 km Sonot Kkaazoot winners: Jonathan Koenig and Kristan Kelly
50 km Classical Technique Sonot Kkaazoot winners: Tyson Flaharty and Corrine Leistikow. Although there were only 11 racers in this division, there were three medical doctors in this event.
Thank you to all participants. Please come back next year. Saturday, 23 March 2013 wasn’t normal spring equinox weather conditions. If you have any comments, you’d like to share or suggestions for improving this event, please leave a comment for us and I’ll contact you offline for details.
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner stories on the event by Bob Eley:
Dermot Cole’s column on this year’s Sonot Kkaazoot:
Athabaskan: Sonot (pronounced “SAW NOT”, “springtime”) Kkaazoot (“kah-ZOOT”, “to slide your feet across the snow”)
Saturday, 25 March 2023
Save the date. Details will be available here in the fall.
A huge thank you for all our 2022 Sonot Kkaazoot volunteers and for the skiers enjoying the sunshine and well-groomed trails.
Congratulations to the top three skiers in each of the new 35th Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot distances:
Men’s 50 km: Galen Johnston with a time of 2:35:05.8; Wells Wappett, 2:36:30.2; and Alex Morris, 2:39:12.4.
Women’s 50 km: Rosie Fordham with a time of 2:43:15.8; Kendall Kramer, 2:48:08.3; and Alison Arians, 2:49:55.5.
Women’s 30 km: Meredith Schwartz, 1:53:00.5; Mallory Presler, 1:58:11.4, and Inga Peterson, 2:52:35.9.
Men’s 30 km: Kieran Kaufman, 1:37:05.8, Owen Wooller, 1:40:10.1, and Thomas St. Clair, 1:42:06.6.
Men’s 10 km: Elias Engman, 32:38.0, Peter Delamere, 33:59.0, and Reid Merrill, 35:41.2.
Women’s 10 km: Hannah Delamere, 41:55.1, Lilli Bond, 41:55.5, and Ellie Abrahamson, 43:02.2.
Sonot Kkaazoot Race Courses: All three races will have the same route for the first 2 km, which starts in the stadium, up the main ramp, out Relay Start Loop, onto the South Tower to the top and back down to the end of Tower, then onto Roller Coaster Bypass to stadium.
10 km course: After the above start route, the 10 km will head down the White Bear access and out onto the White Bear. Will follow the White Bear to the Beacon Cutoff, then return via the White Bear, skipping Moilanen Meadows, back to the White Bear Access, finishing the White Bear Access to the stadium, then a hard right following the east side of the stadium and then ski the whole Warm-Up Loop and into the FINISH.
30 km course: After the start route as the racers come into the stadium from the Roller Coaster Bypass, they will ski directly across the stadium and down onto the Competition, then out onto the entire North Forty back to the Competition, then down onto the entire Back Hole back to the Competition then finishing the remaining Competition and back into the stadium. Skiers then proceed up the west side of the main ramp and down and around the Blue Loop, then down onto the Outhouse Loop to the Sunnyside. Ski the entire Sunnyside trail (not Cliffside), and back to the Outhouse Loop. Finish the Outhouse Loop then turn left onto the Relay Return to the top of the ramp. Turn right onto the Tower Loop, ski entire Tower Loop followed by Medevac and finishing the Roller Coaster. Ski right down onto the White Bear Access then right onto the White Bear, all of the White Bear including Moilanen Meadows, and the White Bear Access back to the stadium. Turn right and ski along the east side of the stadium, and the entire Warm-Up Loop, and into the FINISH.
50 km course: Ski the 30 km course but after skiing under the bridge, the 2nd lap for the 50 km course will lap around the finish and take a right down on the Competition, then onto the North Forty for a little over a kilometer, then skiers will take the cut-off back onto the Cmpetition, by-passing the Black hole, continuing up the Competition keeping straight and left back to the stadium, then right up the west side of the main ramp, and down the Blue loop, then the Outhouse loop, then down the Sunnyside and Cliffside, across the base of the Ft. Wainwright Ski Hill just in front of the Ft. Wainwright Ski Lodge, and then turn left up the Sonot Connector all the way back to the White Bear. Turn right onto the outbound White Bear, then ski the rest of the White Bear and Moilanen Meadows and the White Bear Access to the stadium. Turn right and ski along the east side of the stadium. Ski the entire Warm-Up loop then under the bridge and into the FINISH!!!
PDF versions of the course maps can be downloaded at the Courses tab above.
Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming
Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.