The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is offering two great cross-country ski tours this weekend – one on Moose Mountain on Saturday, and one in Two Rivers on Sunday.
Both tours will be in-person tours with COVID-19 safety protocols. Fortunately, the nature of cross-country skiing makes following those protocols – masking and distancing – fairly easy. For distancing, use a ski pole in your outstretched arm as a measuring stick. (But be careful about the tip!) If proper distance can’t be maintained, you can mask using a heavier buff or two layers of a thin buff.
The Moose Mountain Sunrise tour on Saturday offers cross-country skiers a hilly course on which to greet the winter sun. This tour follows an out-and-back course that goes to the top of Moose Mountain and beyond (but only if you want to go that far). The Two Rivers tour will give people an introduction to the great ski trails next to the Two Rivers Elementary School.
Details on each tour are below.
Fourth Annual Moose Mountain Sunrise Tour
When: Saturday, December 19
Start time and place: Tour begins at 10 a.m. SHARP! Meet at the intersection of Moose Mountain and Monteverde roads. Parking will be along Monteverde Road. There will be a NSCF sign at the parking area. A quick talk and description will be given at 10 a.m. at the parking area. (Google Maps pin at meeting area: https://goo.gl/maps/LdagoT9hNEDZJaPv5).
Estimated tour time: 2-4 hours, 8-20 kilometers
Description: The tour is an out-and-back affair, beginning from the parking area. The goal is to arrive at the ridgeline by SUNRISE @ 10:57 a.m. and to ski along the top, enjoying the view of the sunrise and the Alaska Range with the vast Tanana Valley in the foreground. Then return back to the parking area.
The course will be freshly groomed and combed that morning. The trail is wide enough to skate if you choose, but classic is much less effort. The first two kilometers of the tour is all uphill, then it’s large rolling up and downs with plenty of room for snowplowing.
This tour is not for beginners, skiers should be confident in their downhill skiing abilities. The tour course will be groomed as far as 10 kilometers, so that would be a 20-kilometer ski. However, it’s an out-and-back tour, so participants can turn around and head back whenever they wish.
There is no cut-off temperature, and often the temperatures up on Moose Mountain can be 30 degrees warmer than in Fairbanks. Bring a shell in case of windy conditions. Please R.S.V.P. with Bob and Sharon Baker as the tour is limited to 15 participants this year.
COVID-19: COVID 19 is still with us, so face coverings are required along with social distancing. (Ski poles from outstretched arms are a good measuring stick.) Please do not carpool unless with members from the same household.
Leaders: Bob and Sharon Baker @ 907/322-4762
Two Rivers Ski Trails Tour
When: Sunday, December 20
Start time and place: Meet at 3 p.m. in the Two Rivers Elementary School parking lot (follow the signs to the school from Mile 18 Chena Hot Springs Road). Go through the parking lot and around the loop. There is a small parking lot on the right, near the entrance to the trails. (Google Maps pin: https://goo.gl/maps/AMoVK5cJaA5XqLRJ7).
Estimated tour time: 45 minutes, 5 kilometers
Description: These trails are rolled and excellent for skating or classic skiing, but we usually don’t have classic tracks set. The trails are easy to find and follow, basically winding slowly up the hill and then winding more quickly back down. Participants will need at least advanced beginner skills. The hills aren’t steep but there are a lot of them.
Temperature cutoff is -20. (www.wunderground.com/weather/us/ak/two-rivers/99716)
For more information, including ski trail maps and directions to the trails, see: https://tinyurl.com/y64c8xdd
COVID-19: Face coverings are required along with social distancing. (Ski poles from outstretched arms are a good measuring stick.) Please do not carpool unless with members from the same household.
Leader: Charlotte Porter — 907/888-6121
Questions about NSCF tours? Contact Eric Troyer, Touring Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org)