I inspected the start finish area tonight. Here's a report. The ski hill is in great shape. The surface is very solid - not a sand dune. There's good traction. UAF Facilities Services has mowed just below the gate and above the gate, and the path has been cleared above the gate out to the field below the greenhouse. If it stays dry it will be clear sailing. The gate is about 10' wide, so a lot more people should be able to get up the hill without too much accordion effect, compared to the zig-zag of past years.
A grader was working on the field, smoothing out the path between the NW corner of the field and the finish. It was a work in progress, but it looks like it will be very smooth and level. I'll check again in the morning.
If the rain holds off . . . it will be a fine start and finish area.
And the polyp has been excised.