Trails and Grooming

The main mission of our Trails Program is to provide great trail grooming during the ski season at Birch Hill Recreation Area. This includes connected trails, such as the White Bear, that are on Fort Wainwright land. But great grooming takes more than just grooming. Here are some other things our groomers do (often with the help of volunteers):

  • Keep the trails relatively smooth during summer. The smoother the trails in summer, the less snow we need to start skiing in winter.
  • Keep the trails cleared of fallen trees.
  • With the borough, maintain the trail lighting system.
  • With the help of volunteers, put up and take down race course marking materials.

We can accomplish this only with your support, so please consider making a trail donation!

Largely because of our vibrant Nordic skiing community, Fairbanks is blessed with abundant trails for all skiing techniques, with trails for novice, intermediate, expert, and elite skiers. Here are links to maps for trail systems you can explore:

These recommendations are courtesy of NSCF sponsor Goldstream Sports. Most recent recommendations are listed first. You can find the full feed at their Ski Wax Recommendations page. Please support and thank all our sponsors!

 

Goldstream Sports Ski Wax Recommendations

  • Goldstream Sports Classic Trail, Birch Hill and UAF Ski Trails 5f rising to 25f deg  March 22, 2018

    Temperature: 5f rising to 25f deg
    Humidity: 69%
    Snow Type:
     Old

    • Kick Wax
    • Glide Wax
      • Toko LF Blue/Red 50/50 or Swix CH 7
      • Structure should be a Dunner Grind with a Toko Red Stucturite pressed in over the top
    • Notes 
      • If your skis glide well at slow speeds but drag on the down hills it is likely that you do not  have enough structure. This may happen later in the day in the sun..
  • Sonot and WM100 Race wax recommendations March 21, 2018

    The temperature during the race is forecast to be old snow and 0-20 degrees.

    Clean ski

    Base Glide Wax: One layer of LF Gray (Moly), This will improve break-a-way  speed and repel dirt. You can do this now. It will also slightly soften the glide wax used next.

    Glide Race Wax: Toko LF or HF Blue. Swix LF4  or HF4 would be my second choice. Toko typically runs better on old snow. The HF waxes are better at repelling dirt and water. This keeps the bases cleaner and will be faster at the end of the race.

    Top Coat: JetStream Red Bloc Ironed on. If you are using a top coat you will have better glide over a wider range of conditions and you will notice the difference more later in the race when other skis are slowing down. You could also mix the red and blue.

    Kick Zone: (after all glide waxing is done) Lightly sand kick zone, Iron in Toko Green Binder medium layer slightly shorter them you hard wax kick zone. If you do not have your kick zone clearly marked specifying  klister, binder and hard wax zones bring in your cleaned skis and we will mark them for you for free.

    KIck Wax: over the binder apply two layers Toko Blue or VR40

    Structure: Universal cold grind (Dunner) is a great structure to start with. If more structure is needed it will be added to the recommendation later. Any added structure would be a pressed in structure and would be done after all the glide waxing is done.

    Notes; Stone grinding should be done annually. It removes dried surface base material, cuts in fresh structure and flattens the bases. This makes the skis absorb glide wax better, glide faster, improves stability and tracking,  and makes them easier to wax.  It does require a fair amount of waxing afterward to get the skis running fast. It is not to late but we need to skis by Wednesday evening.

  • Goldstream Sports Classic Trail, Birch Hill and UAF Ski Trails 28-30f deg March 20, 2018

    Temperature: 28-30f deg
    Humidity: 76%
    Snow Type:
     Old

    • Kick Wax
    • Glide Wax
      • Toko LF Red or Swix CH 8
      • Structure should be a Dunner Grind with a Toko Red Stucturite pressed in over the top
    • Notes 
      • If your skis glide well at slow speeds but drag on the down hills it is likely that you do not  have enough structure.
      • The Goldstream Sport Ski trail is packed without  a track, We hope to have a track set soon
  • Goldstream Sports Classic Trail, Birch Hill and UAF Ski Trails 20-27f deg March 6, 2018

    Temperature: 20-27f deg
    Humidity: 66%
    Snow Type:
     Old

    • Kick Wax
    • Glide Wax
      • Toko LF Red or Swix CH 8
      • Structure should be a Dunner Grind with a Toko Red Stucturite pressed in over the top
    • Notes 
      • If your skis glide well at slow speeds but drag on the down hills it is likely that you do not  have enough structure.
      • The Goldstream Sport Ski trail is packed without  a track, We hope to have a track set soon
  • Goldstream Sports Classic Trail, Birch Hill and UAF Ski Trails 15f deg March 5, 2018

    Temperature: 15f deg
    Humidity: 85%
    Snow Type:
     New

    • Kick Wax
    • Glide Wax
      • Toko LF Red or Swix CH 6
      • Structure should be a Dunner Grind with a Toko Red Stucturite pressed in over the top
    • Notes 
      • If your skis glide well at slow speeds but drag on the down hills it is likely that you do not  have enough structure.
      • The Goldstream Sport Ski trail is packed without  a track, We hope to have a track set soon
  • Goldstream Sports Classic Trail, Birch Hill and UAF Ski Trails 10f deg March 3, 2018

    Temperature: 10f deg
    Humidity: 90%
    Snow Type:
     New

The annual cost of our trails program to the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks is over $100,000 including the costs of labor, fuel, equipment maintenance and depreciation, equipment rental, etc. That money is NOT government money, but is money raised by the NSCF from its membership and from corporate sponsors and donors. The Nordic Ski Club has approximately 300 memberships annually, accounting for a total somewhere around 800 members (there are normally multiple members in a single family membership). If you do the math, you can see that it is important that our club members make meaningful donations to cover these costs.

Skiers in the lower 48 pay substantial fees for day passes and season passes. You can ski at Birch Hill without having to purchase a day pass or a season pass, or wear a ticket on your clothing. However, if the high-quality trail system is to continue to exist, and if the superb grooming we have all come to expect is to go on into the future, those things have to get paid for.

Below are the donation amounts suggested by the NSCF Board of Directors. These donations are based on the actual costs of operating our trails program. A survey of what people pay at commercial and club trail operations in the Lower 48 and Canada where fees are charged confirms that these amounts are typical, or even on the low end, for a ski center the size and quality of Birch Hill. Keep in mind that for most operations outside of Alaska, the ski season is 1/2 to 2/3 the length of a typical Fairbanks ski season. The cost of our grooming operations is a direct function of the length of our season:

  • Individual Season Pass / Youth (younger than high school) – $90
  • Individual Season Pass / Junior-Student (high school or college student – $150
  • Individual Season Pass / Adult – $200
  • Couples Season Pass / Adult – $300
  • Family Season Pass (includes children through high school) – $400

Sustaining donor levels:

  • Tracksetter – $500
  • Trailblazer – $1000

As you are making your donation decision, please keep these numbers in mind . . . so that we can keep enjoying the great trails and grooming for which Birch Hill is justifiably renowned.

Please donate today!

Trails and Grooming Updates

Birch Hill trails ready for GENTLE use

Yay! The Birch Hill trails have dried out enough that they are ready for GENTLE use. There are still areas that are soft. Please try to avoid those sections. If it does rain a lot, please give the trails a few days to dry out. Here are reports from some other area...

read more

The NSCF Trails are sponsored by…

Birch Hill Trail Conditions

NameDate Last GroomedConditionSkillDistance
Lighted Loops
Warm-UpEasy1.5 km
Relay StartEasy750 meters
Tower LoopDifficult2.3 km
Old TowerEasy250 meters
Roller CoasterMore Difficult900 meters
White Bear
(to Meridian)
Difficult900 meters
South TowerDifficult400 meters
Tower DirectDifficult150 meters
MedivacMost Difficult400 meters
Green DotEasy300 meters
Blue Loops
Blue LoopDifficult1.2 km
Outhouse LoopDifficult2.5 km
Sunnyside & CliffsideVery Difficult3.6 km
Black Loops
Competition LoopMost Difficult1.1 km
North Forty (N40)Most Difficult2.5 km
Black HoleMost Difficult2.5 km
Tommy KnockerDifficult0.2 km
Tommy Knocker ExtensionDifficult100 m
Black Funk/Black BaronDifficult0.25 km
White Bear Loops
White BearDifficult9.9 km
Moilanen MeadowsDifficult1.5 km
North  Side  ClassicalDifficult6 km
White CubEasy1 km
South Side Classics
Blackhawk & ChinookDifficult2.6 km
Sonot ConnectorDifficult2 km