The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks will be offering a Cleary Summit-area ski tour this Saturday, March 14. The tour requires advanced skiing skills.

What: Cleary-to-Chatanika Lodge via Fairbanks-Circle Trail and “Zeus” tour. Advanced level skiing required. Car put-in at Old FE Lodge at Chatanika, then back to start at Fairbanks/Fish Creek Roads intersection.

The tour consists of rolling terrain out at Cleary-Summit following the unplowed (but snowmobiled) Fairbanks Creek Road leading to the old Fairbanks-Circle Trail.  We shall continue northeast on this trail out past Monkey Rock then turn north off the trail to Champagne Rock for several long, sometimes fast descents through the 2004 and 2005 burn areas. Great views of the Alaska Range, the White Mountains and Chena Dome. We stop for a snack enroute.

The final descent to the Davidson Ditch is fast and curvy, spitting one out like a thunderbolt (hence its name “Zeus”).  This section can be walked.  Finish with a pleasant forest ski past Leonard Seppala’s cabin at Chatanika.  If the group is so inclined, we can adjourn to the nearby Chatanika Lodge for sustenance.

When: Saturday, March 14

Start time and place: Meet at Skiland Road DOTPF (highway dept.) pullout just off the Steese Highway at 11 a.m.

Estimated tour time: about 3-4 hours

Canines welcome.

Leader: Phil Marshall (457-3859; or Jan Lokken Marshall (at Cleary: 389-2449)