FAIRBANKS, AK (Nov. 4) – The lack of snow and a forecast calling for continued rain forced U.S. Ski Team officials and local organizers Tuesday to cancel the first cross country ski races in Fairbanks for the new SuperTour, U.S. Nordic Director Luke Bodensteiner announced.
“There wasn't anything anyone could do about this,” Bodensteiner said Tuesday. ” John Estle and the organizing committee have done everything at Birch Hill, but the weather wouldn't cooperate. Even our usual backup sites, which have been so reliable in Fairbanks or down the road in Salcha, where it's almost always cold, didn't get any snow, so…
“And, of course, snow was late getting to Fairbanks last month, and then there wasn't much…and now the rain and prospect of continued rain takes it out of anyone's hands. I spoke with John again today and it's too bad but we have to cancel the races despite everything he and his crew have done.” Races had been set for Nov. 8-9 in Fairbanks.
Bodensteiner said a decision would be made in the near future about the second round of SuperTour races, scheduled for Nov. 15-16 in Anchorage.
Head Coach Trond Nystad, who delayed the Ski Team's arrival in Fairbanks by five days because of the unseasonally warm conditions, was flying back from Alaska to the U.S. Ski Team's base in Park City, UT, which has received two feet of snow in the last week. The Canadian national team and the Quebec provincial team also left Alaska, he said.
“We were able to get some good training. It was god for a week,” Nystad said, “but then there was a steady downpour [Monday] and it's a shame but that's how it goes sometimes.”
From John Estle, race organizer:
I am sorry to announce that the SuperTour races scheduled for November 8 and 9, hosted by the Nordic Ski Club of Fairbanks at Birch Hill will not be held.
The snow conditions at the moment are very thin, and the forecast for the next several days is not promising. Some amount of snow if forecast for this Thursday, Friday or Saturday, but the amount is uncertain, and temperatures are supposed to be close to freezing. The forecast is not strong enough to count on.
If we do receive some snow on Thursday and/or Friday, we will try to organize some sort of competition. It will likely be quite low-key.
Birch Hill IS SKIABLE at this time, although thin. Last night I skied about 4km or 5km of the trails at Birch Hill. It was thin granular snow in the process of freezing and was quite fast. I would definitely recommend against using good skis. However, it really wasn't bad skiing. It looks really bad during the daytime, so I recommend skiing at night when the snow cover looks a lot whiter 🙂 2″-3″ of fresh snowfall would make the conditions quite good.