The Denali State Bank “Virtual” Sonot Kkaazoot wrapped up on Saturday with several people taking advantage of beautiful, sunny skies and freshly groomed trails to contribute their entries or add new ones.

The coronavirus pandemic naturally threw another wrench in the works, but the ski community persevered! The wrench this time was a new, stricter “social distancing” order from Gov. Mike Dunleavy, which resulted in the Warming Hut at Birch Hill Recreation Area being closed at the last minute. (The borough thoughtfully placed a port-a-potty in the parking lot.)

Despite that, many skiers were out on the trails at Birch Hill. (And hopefully were all following the social distancing rules.)


The current “race” standings show a total of nearly 90 entries: nine for the 50k, 12 for the 40k, 41 for the 20k, and 24 in the category of “Creative route, creative distance, creative team,” which were all over the place (literally!). We have not yet tallied the number of skiers participating, as the entries include people who participated more than once and we expect to get a few more submissions. And while this might be cliché, it’s worth repeating that anyone who participated is a winner! Check out all the standings here.


You can read the stories of “virtual” Sonot entries on the Sonot website (scroll down). You can also access them through links in the standings. Some are “just the facts” entries, while others are quite creative. Many have photos and/or screen shots from GPS units or software. Some people also put entries in our Facebook Event, though those should all be recorded on the Sonot website also. A lot of people overcame significant difficulties in their efforts, so special kudos to them. All the stories and efforts truly make this a Sonot like no other!


The 2020 Sonot Kkaazoot posters, made by Mark Ross, were originally available inside the Warming Hut at Birch Hill, but after that was closed the posters were placed on the outside bench of the hut. If you would like one (and if there are still some available), Mark asks that you make a donation of any size to the Birch Hill Trail Fund. You can put checks or cash in the Iron Ranger at the bottom of the stairs to the Stadium. Or you can donate online here. Please note “2020 Sonot Poster” if possible.



Lots and lots of thank yous are needed to thank everyone who helped make this “virtual” event happen. Sonot website manager and blogger Susan Sugai (thanks Susan) had one post thanking the many people involved. Read it here. Race Director Bad Bob Baker (thanks Bob) wrote up his own thank you note, too. Here it is:

As the Sonot Kkaazoot race director, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the VIRTUAL SONOT KKAAZOOT. Even though it was a cancelled event, I feel that it ended up not really being cancelled at all. It’s been really fun and exciting seeing all the unique and fun stories that arose from this crazy race, as well as the diverse group of people who chimed in. I have no doubt that there where many out there that participated, but did not make it public, and that’s just fine. 

This year’s circumstances leading up to this so-called cancellation, tell me that even the coronavirus could not keep the SONOT KKAAZOOT from happening! Thanks to ALL of you out there. Way to ski! 

I would like to send out a very special THANK YOU to Susan Sugai and Eric Troyer, for putting in all the time and efforts in getting these wonderful stories onto the website. They both did a lot more than just the stories and results, like getting all the announcements and updates to all of you and keeping track of all the goings on before, during and after the event. There is so much info in the SONOT KKAAZOOT website that is informative, interesting, and just fun exciting reading. I don’t know of any other race website that even comes close to doing what our SONOT site does.  SO, great job, and THANK YOU again Susan and Eric, along with all the others that put in the time and efforts this year…WAY TO GO!

There is still time to get your results/stories/photos in!


Bad BOB…Sonot Kkaazoot race director….