Touring News

5th Annual Moose Mountain Sunrise Ski Tour Set for December 18

Put this on your calendar! Bad Bob and Sharon Baker are again offering their Moose Mountain Sunrise Ski Tour in December.

Fortunately, the course has had plenty for snow for some time. Unfortunately, the pandemic is still with us, so COVID-19 safety protocols will still be followed. Details below.

The Moose Mountain Sunrise tour 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).

Details are below and can also be found on the NSCF Facebook Events.

Fifth Annual Moose Mountain Sunrise Tour
When: Saturday, December 18

Start time and place: Tour begins at 10 a.m. SHARP! Meet at the intersection of Moose Mountain and Monteverde roads (about 2.5 miles up Moose from Spinach Creek Road). 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, 2-10 miles

Description: The tour is an out-and-back affair, beginning from the parking area. The goal is to arrive at the ridgeline by SUNRISE @ 11 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, though there are no classic tracks. 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.

A map of the trail(s) can be found here.
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/moose-mountain-omdr-connector/
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/baker-sunrise-point-trail/

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 @ 907/455-6689

Skiathon Draws More than 70 to Support UAF Trails

The Skiathon was a great success despite the pandemic!

Even though it was a self-service race/tour, 76 people participated. Of those, 49 were male and 27 were female. We even had a participant in the nostalgic “Wood Ski” division!

The Skiathon celebrates and supports the University of Alaska Fairbanks trail system. This year’s race/tour was held over the weekend of March 6-7. The course was marked, and participants could choose whenever to do it over the weekend.

See the link below for results. For questions or corrections contact Stan Justice: stanjustice (at) acsalaska.net; 479-5017 home; 712-4035 cell.

2021 Skiathon results

Skarland Ski Trail Tour Draws Few Participants, Lots of Fun

Report from Tour Leader Joel Young:

The number of attendees were low this year but the company was fun! We had one other participant plus myself and Stan Justice. I’m sure the fresh powder had people either staying home or heading to the ski slopes rather than attempting a long cross country ski tour (outside of those competing in the Chena River to Ridge!)

Anyway, the fresh snow made for excellent classic ski conditions. Stan groomed and tracked the length of the trail the night before so we were only breaking through about an inch of powder at any given time with plenty of bite to control all of our descents. Temps were just right and the wax held throughout.

Stan provided great historical and relevant details along the way and I continued to learn something new about the history of the trail.  I encourage anyone who wants to get out there but couldn’t this past weekend to study the map and give it a whirl. It is a beautiful trail and I am happy to answer questions for anyone attempting to go solo. Ski on!

Touring Coordinator note: If you want to try the Skarland 12-Mile Ski Trail, but are uncertain where it goes, you can use the Trail Forks app on your phone. Just remember to keep your phone warm! Here’s a direct link to the Skarland route:
https://www.trailforks.com/route/skarland-12mile-loop/

Ski Tour of Skarland 12-Mile Set for February 27

A COVID-aware tour of the Skarland 12-Mile Ski Trail is coming up! Details below.

What: Skarland 12-Mile Loop Tour

When: Saturday, February 27 (rescheduled from original date of Feb 21)

Start time and place: 10AM at the UAF Ski Hut

Estimated tour time: 4 hours

Short description: Complete Skarland loop 12-mile classic ski tour. A fun moderate ski tour requiring intermediate to advanced classic ski ability.

Starting at the UAF Ski Hut we’ll head past Ballaine Lake to connect to the Pearl Creek trail system. From there we’ll climb up and around the hills above Ballaine Road, following the Equinox trail system back to UAF via the Musk Ox Farm. (The general route can be viewed in the Trail Forks app here, though the direction may not be the same as shown.)

Expect moderate climbs and descents, hopefully on groomed tracked trails. There will be several road crossings. Be prepared for variable waxing temperatures and bring sufficient water and snacks.

Temperature cut off will be -20 at the Fairbanks International Airport (NWS website https://www.weather.gov/afg/)

No dogs please. We’ll be skiing on groomed trails, through residential areas, and crossing roads.

Also…. Utilizing COVID precautions social distancing and face coverings required….We will meet outside the ski hut and be departing by 10:15 at the latest to avoid too much time standing in the cold.

Leader: Joel Young, 460-4367

Moose Mountain Tour Participants See the Sun!

Bad Bob greets the sun!

Warmer temps, freshly groomed snow, a glorious sunrise! Where can you get all that? At the Moose Mountain Sunrise Ski Tour, of course! Below is a report of the tour from tour leader Bad Bob Baker, as well as some photos.

The 4th Annual Moose Mountain Sunrise Ski Tour took place on Saturday, December 19th, 2020. At 10:00am 13 lucky skiers headed up the Moose Mountain multipurpose trail and were treated not only to a FRESHLY groomed trail, but also warmer temperatures from what Fairbanks has had earlier in the week.  Six below zero greeted the group along with clearing skies giving way to an awesome SUNRISE!

As we started UP the trail, it was still quite dark, but within the first 30 minutes, dawn turned into a wonderful array of brightening light.  Everyone skied at their own pace and socially spaced themself in complying with the COVID rules. Just after 11:00am, all participants were well onto the ridgetop portion of the tour and were rewarded with natures gift, SUNRISE!

This tour is simply an out and back affair, so everyone could turn around and head back whenever they choose to.  Some went for the shorter ridgetop distance of 4-5 miles, while other went for the whole groomed route of 10 1/2 miles.  A few even did a few extra laps at the far end of the trail!! (Sharon)

Not only was the SUNRISE spectacular, but the after sunrise reflective light on colors against the clouds, may have even been more impressive.  This is a fun SKI TOUR, and we can only hope that the 5th annual will be more of a social affair.  SO, mark your calendars now for the 2021 Moose Mountain Sunrise Ski Tour, taking place on Saturday, December 18th, 2021.

Photos from Bad Bob, Corrine Leistikow, and Eric Troyer.

Moose Mountain, Two Rivers Tours Offer Skiing Fun for the Weekend

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 (touring@nscfairbanks.org)

 

 

Reports: DIY Rat Ponds Tour

Below are reports and photos from people who’ve done Stan Justice’s DIY Rat Ponds Tour, a COVID-19-adapted ski tour. Stan groomed the course and put out directional and interpretive signs. If you have reports/photos, you can post them on the NSCF Facebook page or send them to Eric Troyer (fbxskierparent@gmail.com).

Here’s a report from the SCUM.


 

From Bobbie Redinius:
Cathy Egan, Bobbie Redinius, and Gail Davidson enjoyed the Rat Pond Ski Tour today. We appreciate Stan’s grooming and signage efforts. Thanks so much for the wonderful tour! (Photos from Bobbie Redinius and Gail Davidson.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From Joel Young:
Five of us had a cool, brisk, socially distanced ski this morning. Trails were in great shape and well marked. Definitely recommend others getting out there while the tracks are still in. A great early season treat! Thanks to Stan for grooming and trail signs to keep us on track and informed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


From Amanda Byrd:
Such an amazing trail!!! We did it today!!!

 

 

 


From Corrine Leistikow and Eric Troyer:
Great day on the trails! Thanks, Stan!

On the golf course. 

Heading toward Ester Dome. 

On Caribou Lake. 

Caribou Lake

Reindeer Lake

 

First NSCF Tour of Season is the DIY Rat Ponds

Stan Justice has groomed the Rat Ponds Ski Tour loop for people to do their own “virtual” tour. This tour goes by and over several muskrat ponds in the wetlands between College and Farmer’s Loop roads. Stan has put together a document for people to use on their DIY tour. You can find it on the Skarland & Pearl Creek Park Trail Users Facebook page or here (www.nscfairbanks.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Rat-Ponds-Ski-Tour.docx). The tour was also marked Saturday morning. Thank you, Stan!

Note: Stan’s document has the tour starting at the golf course parking lot. Unfortunately, the golf course parking lot is closed right now, so another place to access the route is off the end of Henrik Court: https://goo.gl/maps/s6YXDm6XmicvMePMA

If anyone takes any pictures, please share them on the NSCF Facebook page or email them to Tour Coordinator Eric Troyer (fbxskierparent@gmail.com) and he’ll post them on the NSCF Touring page.

Have fun and enjoy this nice warm weather we’re having!

Rat Ponds Tour Lite!

Stan added a shorter version of the Rat Ponds Tour:

It you are not up for the full Rat Ponds tour try Rat Ponds Lite. There is a small official parking lot in the SW corner of Farmers Loop and Midnight Sun Street at 6 Mile Farmers Loop Road. Walk down the steep start of the trail and you come out on the well groomed 19.8 Mile ADMA trail. Go E and where 19.8 turns keep going straight on “the extension.” Once on the first lake there are set tracks that wind through the lakes including loops around the larger lakes. From Caribou Lake go S and take the section line back to 19.8 Trail and go N back to start. It is perhaps 2 miles of skiing. Here’s a map.

The long straight part of 19.8 Trail had small power poles on it long long ago. Someone made a tripod with 3 of the old poles. Picture show the triangular wood blocks that were nailed to the poles and the end is threaded for screwing on an insulator. Anyone know where it went to and from?

Note about parking

Please do not park in the golf course parking lot! They have restarted construction so the gate may be open but their insurance is suspended so no public parking is allowed.
Alternative Access to golf course skiing:
  • Henrik Road cul-de-sac – take the ADMA trail around to golf course E gate.
  • 7 day Adventist Church – not Sat. mornings during service. Don’t block water/oil deliveries.
  • Christ Lutheran Church – not Sun. mornings if their services resumes, ski along Farmers Loop sno go trail to gate at 7 Day Adventist.
  • Hole in the fence at Ballaine/Farmers Loop intersection.
Thanks!

Cleary Summit “Zeus” tour includes walking “Zeus”

Two people, Peg and Cort, and Skye Dog joined Phil on his Cleary Summit “Zeus” tour (on March 14 back when we could gather for tours – remember that?). Phil admired Cort for his strength as a skier, breaking trail for the group. The rest in Phil’s own words: “Snowing some of the time; couldn’t see much. Cort & I tried Mongolian ski pole brakes but they weren’t slow enough on the snowmobiled trail, so we all walked part way down Zeus.”

NSCF Events, Classes Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Dear NSCF Members and Event Participants,

With the confirmation of COVID-19 in Alaska, prevention of further spread is paramount. In an effort to do everything we can to help keep our community safe and help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the NSCF board and staff have decided to cancel the Spring session of Junior Nordics, the Interior Youth Festival, the 2020 Ski for Women, the Sonot Kkaazoot, and all other club-related activities and practices through March 31.

We thank you for your continued patience as we navigate the uncharted territory of the COVID-19 outbreak. We had hoped that the spread of the virus might abate, but clearly it has not. The World Health Organization has officially characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. Gov. Dunleavy has declared a public health emergency and the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District and University of Alaska have cancelled classes next week.

Please know we did not make this decision lightly. NSCF Staff, volunteers and community sponsors, worked diligently to put together these programs. We know that many of you were looking forward to these events. But, in the end, the health of our members, patrons, staff, and volunteers, as well as our obligation to public health more generally, has to take precedence.

What you need to know:

  1. The Junior Nordics Spring Session, Interior Youth Festival and Ski for Women are cancelled and will not be rescheduled for the 2019-2020 season. The cancellation of these events comes with financial repercussions for our organization. To help us mitigate the costs, we ask those of you who are financially able to donate your registration fee to the NSCF trail fund, which, unless we hear from you, will happen automatically. If that’s not possible, we will of course refund the fee. To request a refund, please email Rebecca Heaton (membership@nscfairbanks.org) before March 25.  Given the small staff at NSCF, we ask for your patience as we address refunds and notifications. We will work as quickly as we can to address any issues that arise.
  2. The Sonot Kkaazoot is cancelled; entry fees will not be refunded, but will be used to defray the sunk costs of the race (grooming to date, bibs, awards, honoraria for the schools responsible for the aid stations, etc.). Race Director Bob Baker is working on a virtual Sonot; if Ft. Wainwright consents and the river remains safe so that Bob can continue to groom, the virtual Sonot will include the original courses. You can anticipate updates from Bob as he works out the plan.
  3. While FXC practices will not be held, coaches will provide tailored training plans for the FXC athletes for the remainder of the season and work with them remotely on the execution and modification of the plans as needed.

We greatly appreciate your understanding while we work to make these cancellations as smooth as possible for NSCF members and participants.

While we feel it necessary to cancel our events, we encourage you to get outside anyway. There is no reason why you can’t enjoy the best skiing of the year on some of the best trails in the country. So, wash your hands, then get outside and share a selfie on social media to encourage other healthy individuals to get outside and ski!

Thank you again for your support and patience.

Sincerely,

The Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks Board and Staff