Well that didn’t take long. We got in a few days of mild temperatures, but now they’re heading back down again. The forecast says we can look for about -20 degrees for FBD this week. George has us hitting the stairs around campus to get our heart rate elevated. He also likes to throw a little bit of mental exercise at us so be ready to count the steps as you run up and down. The accompanying map has yellow arrows pointing to the locations of the 4 sets of stairs along the route this week.

Start out by heading south on Fairbanks Street. Cross the bridge over the train tracks and as you enter the garden areas, veer off to your right and look for the first set of stairs going down to the Cold Climate Housing road. Take a left turn there until you come back to Fairbanks Street where you’ll cross the road and run through West Valley, past the track and out to University Avenue. Take a left there and then another left at Alumni Drive into campus. Go past the time and temperature sign and veer off to your right and take the long set of stairs up the hill behind the new engineering building. When you get to the top, take a right and just past Taku Drive, look for another set of stairs going down into the Taku parking lot. Head off to the left through the parking lot and up the path through the trees toward North Tanana Drive. When the path first meets up with the road, head to your left and cross over the road to Kuskokwim Way where you’ll turn right and follow it to the T intersection with North Tanana Drive. Take a left there and then a right onto the old “Road to Somewhere” that takes you over to West Ridge. Follow the back edge of the parking area until just before you come to the West Ridge Research Building (WRRB), the white building that comes almost all the way to that back edge. Turn left just before WRRB and you’ll see the last set of stairs going up behind the Geophysical Institute. Keep going straight to the curvy Koyukuk Drive where you’ll turn right past GI and IARC and past the ski hut. At the corner before going down the hill, turn to the right and follow the commuter trail behind the farm until you come out onto the Sheep Creek bike path. Turn left and follow the bike path to the roundabout and back to Patty Center. Total distance is 4.9 miles. If you want something shorter, you can come down the hill below Butrovich instead of taking the commuter trail for 3.8 miles.

So get your cold weather gear back out, grab your headlamp and reflective gear, and be at the Patty Center this Wednesday for the briefing around 5:40 and departure at 5:45. Hot chocolate, cookies, and a great time await.