As the calendar turns to December, many Alaskans are wondering where all the snow is.
It’s been more than 2 weeks since the last snowfall and that means winter sports enthusiasts are putting some of their activities on hold.
“We know for sure this type of winter comes up every once and a while,” said Dick Mize of the Nordic Ski Association. “So it's not really all that unusual, but it's somewhat disappointing.”
Mize had 17 lancers and 8 snow cannons working at Kincaid Park Saturday, but the Nordic trails won’t be ready until late next week.
"A lot of the people are still enjoying skiing by going out to Sand Lake, or Goose Lake, I understand they had a high school race down in Girdwood," adds Mize.
Further south on the Hillside veteran musher Scott Janssen says the lack of snow has altered his dog's training regimen. He’s spent the early part of the season running them on the beaches of Kasilof.
"We would run with four wheelers or the little black cart down the beach,” said Janssen. “You're breaking the dogs, you're keeping them at a low speed, and they're working for short distances."
Like marathon runners, dogs need plenty of miles under their paws before Iditarod.
Janssen is used to running them when there isn't a lot of snow on the ground, but some of the rookie mushers may not be.
You’ve got all of the little bumps and everything sticking up,” adds Janssen, “as opposed to when they're covered up, if you're a young musher it gets pretty exciting.”
Whether you're a musher, skier or someone who just wants to play in the snow; compared to last winter's record-setting snowfall, so far this winter isn't nearly as white.
Contact Adam Pinsker