29th Annual Sonot Kkaazoot


Athabaskan: Sonot (pronounced “SAW NOT”, “springtime”) Kkaazoot (“to slide your feet across the snow”)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Again this year: four events with three staggered starts:

50 km (classical technique), Mass start at 9:30 a.m.

50 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m.

40 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:00 a.m. (omits comp, black hole, N40, blue, & outhouse loops at Birch Hill)

20 km freestyle, Mass start at 10:30 a.m. (Chena River only)

All events start and finish downtown on the Chena River at the Centennial Bridge

Feed stations hosted by local ski teams and groups: Every 5-6 km beginning at 10 a.m.

River Breakup: If the Chena River is deemed unsafe, we will start all events at Birch Hill at 10:30 a.m.

Awards Ceremony: 6:00 p.m. at Birch Hill Ski Center. Soups, breads, and drinks will be provided. Please bring a salad or dessert to feed 10 hungry people.

Secure online registration for the Sonot Kkaazoot on the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks website is now available on the Register tab at the top of this site.

Entry fees (no refunds–the Sonot Kkaazoot has never been cancelled)

Early registration (must be received by 5 p.m. A.S.T. on 26 February 2016):

20 km event: $15 for skiers 16 or younger on race day; $30 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $40

Second deadline (must be received by 5 p.m. A.D.T. on 18 March 2016):

20 km events: $25 for skiers 16 or younger; $40 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $50

Late Registration and bib pick-up (must be received by 7 p.m. on 24 March 2015):

5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, 24 March 2016 at the Doyon, Limited, Headquarters, 1 Doyon Place, downtown Fairbanks

20 km events: $35 for skiers 16 or younger; $50 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $60

IMPORTANT: Bib pick-up is the last opportunity to change event and/or distance you are entering without paying race day fee.

Day of Race bib pick-up and registration: 8 to 9 a.m. on 26 March 2016:

20 km events: $55 for skiers 16 or younger; $70 for those 17 or older

40 km and 50 km events: $80

Sonot 2015 start_sm

Photo of the 2015 start by Chris Hemming

Banner photo courtesy of Retrospection Image.

Happy Earth Day!

Poles crossing Smith Lk sm Skiing on Smith Lake on Earth Day in the sunshine,Being prepared sm requires a little preparation, like putting one’s iphone in a ziplok bag

Earth Day trio smand having friends to share the day. Happy Earth Day!

We wish our hard working friends could have joined us.


We send “happy birthday” greetings to Robert Hannon, and know he would have been with us if he were in town.

danWet photos by Bill Husby’s iphone

Doing transitions Robert’s way–a comedy in three acts

???????????????????????????????One down on Smith Lake (with witnesses),???????????????????????????????another on the T-field notch for no obvious reason.Poles showing the way smPoles tests the waters at the base of the T-field and shows how he stays on the top of this game, while


???????????????????????????????Robert finds his own way to wash the mud off his warm-ups from when he took the muddy path down from the top of the T-field instead of the icy one.

End of the season ski and swim scheduled from Wednesday, 22 April 2015 beginning at 11:00 a.m. ADT on Smith Lake. Come join the fun. Bring skis. shades, and sunscreen. For the gullible, a snorkel might be handy.

Spring Gala coming this Saturday

The Spring Gala, put on by NSCF-FXC, will be held this Saturday, April 18 from 8 to 11 p.m. Music will be provided by Steve Brown and the Bailers, an acoustic trio, and the floor will be open for dancing. Refreshments will be provided by HooDoo Brewery. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or from an FXC skier.
A silent auction will be held throughout the evening, and a dessert auction will also be held. The silent auction has many items. Some are ski-related, but many are not. All proceeds of the event go to FXC, the junior race-training program of the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks.

Last weekend ski at Birch Hill likely today

Traditionally some of the best skiing of the year happens after the Sonot Kkaazoot. However, with the overall winter being warm and low snowfall with a record loading of birch seed and spruce cones, the ski season at Birch Hill for 2014 to 2015 is drawing to a close. In addition to the Ski for Women participants, we enjoyed the wonderfully groomed ski trails today and some unexpected sunshine.

Dermot not dermotized_smShirtless Ray_sm3 shirtless skiers_smWe close out the ski season at Birch Hill with this rare shirtless photo shoot.

Skiing at West Ridge is still feasible for at least another week so we may post some photos from our annual Smith Lake biathlon (ski, swim) event that will likely be no earlier than late April.

Sonot Kkaazoot organizers relax

Birch Hill trails are wonderful thanks to trail donations and the piston bully work of Tom Helmers. The Sonot Kkaazoot organizers were able to take a relaxing ski on Easter Sunday in preparation for the 2016 event, when our technique and fitness will be much improved.

Here’s Eric Troyer, the head of Sonot Kkaazoot publicity showing the uphill technique he’s learned from Pete Leonard’s FXC Masters class.

???????????????????????????????And following him are Frank Soos, head of Sonot bib pick-up and late registration followed by Eric Buetow, one of our Fort Wainwright road crossing team leaders.

???????????????????????????????Bill Husby (aka Poles) was skating today after a season of grooming at Birch Hill and heading up Sonot Kkaazoot trail snow enhancement and brushing parties.???????????????????????????????Dermot Cole was the SCUM reporter on the course and videotaped the 50 km start as well as the last wave of skiers up the Fort Wainwright alpine hill. Dermot (on right in photo below) was a key snow enhancement worker on the river and on the Sonot Connector in the week leading up to the Sonot Kkaazoot:???????????????????????????????and all the skiers were enjoying the easy ski out of the black loops today:???????????????????????????????Enjoy the wonderful trails while they last. Spring really is right around the corner.

Some of the SCUM who played a major role in the Sonot Kkazoot weren’t skiing on Easter Sunday, so here is a partial group photo taken by Kent Karns on race day.Some SCUMFrom left to right: Steve Clautice (#508) helped set up and serve at the Awards Ceremony; to his right is Robert Hannon who headed up contact with the military and organized the Fort Wainwright road crossing teams; to his right with the ball cap is Mike Schmoker, who with Bernardo Hernandez constructs and distributes Sonot woodels and other awards; #551 is Mom, head Sonot janitor and crisis coach; #96 is Mike Ruckhaus, snow mover and trail enhancer; #550 is Frank Soos, guru in charge of bib distribution, late registration,and swag; Dermot Cole with all the extra clothes was a key snow enhancer on the river and Sonot Connector; and to his right is Chris Puchner, who organized all the feed stations and headed up the set-up and take-down of the finish area on the river.

40 and 50 km Sonot Kkaazoot skiers

Photo of Chena River start by Denise Jerome, photos in the Birch Hill stadium by Corrine Leistikow; photos from Fort Wainwright by Chris Broda, and photo of the return trail under the Graehl St. bridge by Dermot Cole.