In 2022, to avoid using the unpredictably frozen Chena River, Sonot Kkaazoot organizer, Bad Bob Baker initiated three new Sonot Kkaazoot courses. The “all-Birch Hill” 50-km course has 1,689 m of total climb. For comparison: the Birkie Skate Trail has a total climb of 1,398 m.
The last 20 kilometers of the Sonot Kkaazoot are particularly challenging as a skier faces the Sonot Connector (a 116 m long A climb) with 37 km of skiing already on one’s legs. That climb is followed closely by the Hilltop (33 m A climb) and Heartrate Hill (65 m A climb) as the skier skis White Bear for the second time.
Don’t worry, there’s a feed station at Sonot Junction so you’ll be able to rehydrate at the top of the Sonot Connector and again after you descend from the top of Heartrate Hill.
However, the SCUM might be in the market for e-skis by that point. Last year, after 2 years of virtual Sonot Kkaazoot efforts, none of the SCUM were able to complete the new 50 km Sonot course. Fighting accelerating carcass and engine deterioration, the SCUM won’t be racing the clock but rather the calendar. Can skiers over 70 years old with both mental and physical impairments still finish the 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot? Stay tuned. Several have registered to try again. They’ll be out at Birch Hill next week volunteering at the Junior National Championships.