Skiing on Sonot Kkaazoot course is great

Although October was exceptionally wet, temperatures were also unusually warm so snow was late in coming to the Fairbanks area. However, after one false start, the snowpack on the Jim Whisenhant cross country ski trails at Birch Hill Recreation Area and on Fort Wainwright trails is great for both classical and free technique skiing. Thanks to a lot of volunteer brushing work done this fall on the White Bear trail, skate and classical skiing are great. Unfortunately, our fitness isn’t quite in the same shape yet. Here’s what coronary bypass looked like a week ago:

Coronary bypass sm

Yesterday we skied from the Sunnyside Trail to Fort Wainwright, where we found that the Army was busily enhancing snow cover on the alpine ski hill making for unusual skiing conditions up the ski slope to the base of the Sonot Connector. However, the classical tracks on the Sonot Connector and White Bear were awesome.

FWW ski hill at base of Sonot Connector sm

Take a break from snow shoveling and scooping to enjoy the ski trails!

The 31st annual Sonot Kkaazoot just 4 months away.

Thanks for a fabulous 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot

Under sunny skies, the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot was successfully completed by 236 skiers. Participants who ranged in age from 8 to 73 participated in four events ranging in distance from 20 km to 50 km. While most of the skiers were from the Fairbanks North Star Borough, this year the Sonot Kkaazoot welcomed 54 skiers who reside elsewhere in the state or outside Alaska.

The organizers would like to thank our title sponsor, Denali State Bank, who has supported the Sonot Kkaazoot since Bad Bob Baker originated the race in 1988.

We also acknowledge the major contribution of Doyon, Limited, Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation, Fort Wainwright, U.S. Army Alaska, Foundation Health Partners, and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks in making possible this Nordic ski event that begins in downtown Fairbanks, traverses the Chena River to Fort Wainwright, and then follows Fort Wainwright trails to Birch Hill Recreational Area before returning to the start downtown.

Enthusiastic volunteers provided timing assistance and course work, staffed feed stations, road crossings, bib pick-up and registration, and the post-race awards ceremony (see Volunteers page above). The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks groomers worked tirelessly to ensure awesome trail conditions.

Thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers, and skiers. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!

Cake

Photo by Margo Klass

Sonot Kkaazoot volunteers at 20 km turnaround

The photos below show some of the road crossing volunteers on race day: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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And the photos below show some key Sonot Kkaazoot organizers participating in the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot.

Frank Soos, guru of bibs and 50% of the team (with his wife, Margo Klass) that designed the fantastic Sonot Kkaazoot hats:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chris Puchner, organizer of feed stations and the Sonot Kkaazoot start and finish area, skis his longest Sonot Kkaazoot (thanks to pneumonia, work, and out-of-state family issues):OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bill Husby, one of the key NSCF groomers, before he broke his ski pole and skied 12 km with just one:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mike Schmoker, master of the woodel construction and award presentations:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bruce Jamieson, NSCF president and World Masters skier:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robert Hannon, Fort Wainwright contact and media mogul:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All photos by Eric Troyer

Final 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot results are posted

Thanks to Anna Sorensen, who barely caught her breath between serving as head timer for the Sonot Kkaazoot and chief of timing for the Super Tour Finals/USSA Distance National Championships, the final 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot times are posted. Results by class and by sex are available for download as PDF files on the Results page.

Although the elite skiers were absent from the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot, Mother Nature made sure that the remaining skiers were sufficiently challenged. Last night at the Super Tour Skiathlon, temperatures were almost 30 deg warmer than at the start of the Sonot Kkaazoot on Saturday. So serving as a Super Tour volunteer wasn’t close to being as heroic as our Sonot Kkaazoot volunteers had to be.

Wednesday night Chena River trail report

Late Wednesday afternoon, Bad Bob Baker did grooming on the Sonot Kkaazoot trail on the Chena River. Here is a photo he took of the Steese Highway Bridge after the shoveling done by Byron, Dermot, Donovan, and Frank followed by Bob running his comb over the area a dozen times.

Steese Hwy bridge after

Bob also built a wide ramp from the parking lot down to the Sonot Kkaazoot start area under the Cushman Street bridge. This will make getting to and from the start/finish area MUCH easier than normal.

Trail from parking lot to start sm

Course conditions for the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot are looking great!

Plans for additional Chena River grooming

Bad Bob Baker is back in Alaska and reports that the Chena River will be groomed better by Monday night. By then, he’ll also have done ice drilling necessary to determine where the precise start and finish will be for the 30th annual Sonot Kkaazoot.

So if you plan to ski on the Chena River before Monday evening, proceed with caution.