Sonot Kkaazoot course on the Chena River is in!

Today Bad Bob Baker, Chena River groomer, packed and dragged the Sonot Kkaazoot course from the start line to the first Fort Wainwright road crossing.

BAD BOB writes, “The Chena for the most part is VERY   SMOOTH  this year…no jumble-ice at all…There are a few icy spots and even some wet overflow in a few spots…but after dragging…they should harden back up well…”

Check it out and then sign up for the 2017 Sonot Kkaazoot:

Thank you to Sonot Kkaazoot sponsors and volunteers

On 26 March 2016, the 29th annual Sonot Kkaazoot was successfully completed in spite of the unanticipated break-up of a section of the trail along the Chena River. The organizers thank our title sponsor, Denali State Bank, who has provided continuous support to the Sonot Kkaazoot since 1988. In addition, Doyon, Limited, Fairbanks North Star Borough Parks and Recreation, Fort Wainwright, U.S. Army Alaska, and the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks are critically important collaborators in this unique ski event that begins in downtown Fairbanks, traverses the Chena River to Fort Wainwright, and follows Fort Wainwright trails to Birch Hill Recreational Area before returning to the start downtown.  This year, new sponsor, TRaX Outdoor Center, provided ski waxing and music at the Sonot start, and contributed to our trail grooming costs.

Special recognition goes to Tanana Middle School ski coach, David Frey, who with a feed station parent, provided detour guidance around the washed out section of the Sonot Kkaazoot trail until race volunteers could mark the detour and provide additional staffing.

This year’s El Nino brought record warm winter temperatures to Alaska, and contributed to the unprecedented number of skiers from outside the Fairbanks North Star Borough. We hope that these skiers from Anchorage, Galena, Manley Hot Springs, Minto, Nenana, Soldotna, and the lower 48 and Canada will return next year.

Enthusiastic volunteers provided timing and course work; in addition, they staffed feed stations, road crossings, bib pick-up and registration, and the post-race awards ceremony. Volunteers are absolutely essential to the Sonot Kkaazoot, and we could not do this event without you.

https://sonotkkaazoot.org/volunteers/

We thank all the skiers who participated in the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot and look forward to seeing you at the 30th annual event.

With sincere thanks,

Sonot Kkaazoot organizers

Chena River groomed again yesterday!

Work on your spring time tan by skiing on the Chena River. Sonot Kkaazoot 20 km course has been groomed by Bad Bob Baker to perfection. Here’s his first hand report submitted yesterday afternoon:

What a nice day to ski the Chena River, as I just finished grooming it at 3:00 pm today.  I groomed the start/finish area right up to the centennial bridge and it turned out much better than I thought it would, very flat and plenty wide for a SONOT START.   I also roughed in the 20 km turnaround,   The whole CHENA RIVER is groomed at least 16 FOOT WIDE, and wider in some places.  It’s very safe for skiing right now, as long as one skis atop the grooming.  There is bad gravel and ice under the STEESE HIGHWAY BRIDGE and the FT. WAINWRIGHT BRIDGE.  Taking you skis off for both of these are a must.  SO, Please, everyone get out on the CHENA RIVER and test out the SONOT KKAAZOOT course!

Nordic Skiing is GREAT in Fairbanks

With a little more than two weeks left to register for the Sonot Kkaazoot at regular entry fee rates, what are you waiting for? The skiing has been great and some skiers were even pacing the dogs today on the Tanana River (photo by Jerome Jackson).

Poles catching dog team

Yesterday at Birch Hill, some of us were avoiding a coronary bypass

Coronary bypass

while others were skiing without a hat to avoid a system meltdown:

Hatless skiing in Fairbanks

This warm El Nino winter has been great for skate skiing in Fairbanks. So make the commitment now to ski the 2016 Sonot Kkaazoot. Check out the 154 skiers who have already registered on the Entries page (https://sonotkkaazoot.org/entries-2/) and then go to the Register page (https://sonotkkaazoot.org/register/) and join them.

Visualize Skiing the Sonot Kkaazoot

Video

To help the first time participant in the Sonot Kkaazoot, here are a few videos of the 40 and 50 km events taken by Dermot Cole in 2015. The first clip is the mass start for the 40 and 50 km freestyle events:

Here is the climb up the Fort Wainwright alpine ski hill to the base of the Sonot Connector:

and 28 km later coming down the same hill:

Remember, if you smile, it’s no big deal.

Here’s Robert Hannon, Sonot military contact AND coordinator for FWW road crossings finishing:

Sign up now for the lowest entry fees. Early registration ends in less than two weeks on 26 February 2016.