With temperatures plunging deep into the negatives on Tuesday, mushers and dogs sported a coating of frost when they pulled into Nikolai, a small village about a quarter of the way into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
The roughly 80-mile stretch from Rohn to Nikolai usually has has some of the worst trail conditions anywhere along the 1,000-mile route. But not this year.
The roadhouse in the community of about 300 people has many roles: It’s an Iditarod logistics hub, community center and a burger stop.
Four-time Iditarod champion Jeff King tapped Underwood, a 28-year-old from Atlanta, to take over his sled dog team after he had emergency surgery.
‘The best trail I’ve ever seen’: Iditarod teams rest in the sun at Rainy Pass as they settle into the competition
Although they battled storms and deep snow the first dozen miles, many mushers said the trail ascending the Alaska Range to the Rainy Pass checkpoint was as good as they ever remember it.
Among the 57 mushers, a dozen are rookies competing in the Iditarod for the first time.
Race commentators said two-time Iditarod finisher Zoya DeNure was having health issues. Her husband, John Schandelmeier, is taking over the sled dog team.
The 32-year-old Bethel musher is on the trail with most of his sled dog team from last year, and he’s gunning for another victory.
For these fans, "trailgating" is a chance to share a moment, and maybe a hotdog, with their favorite mushers.
Dozens of mushers and hundreds of sled dogs paraded through Anchorage on Saturday.
Iditarod race marshal Mark Nordman said the word for this year’s race may be “patience” as teams navigate deep snow along much of the trail.
The Seattle-based airline, which got its start in Alaska decades ago, said in a statement that the decision to end sponsorship after this year’s race was made as the company transitions to a new corporate giving strategy.
The thousand-mile Iditarod kicks off with the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage on Saturday, and this year's race will be the first for its new CEO Rob Urbach, who took over in July.
Musher Jeff King pulls out of Iditarod because of health emergency, rookie handler will run his team
Hours after a live event in Anchorage, the veteran musher was in the ER for what looked like a hernia, but turned out to be much more serious.
What can we expect from this year's field of racers? How have trail conditions and sled designs changed over the decades? And who's trail stories are the most…hellacious? It's all about the Iditarod when race icons Jeff King and DeeDee Jonrowe join us.
The food and gear drop is part of the massive web of logistics to prepare for the annual 1,000-mile sled dog race.
William "Middy" Johnson, 53, was a life-long musher who ran the Last Great Race before taking over his town's checkpoint.
Fifty-eight mushers are signed up for the upcoming Iditarod race, including six previous champions and many more top teams.
Alaska Federation of Natives convention keynote speaker Pete Kaiser grew up around sled dogs, and he says his speech Thursday was about relating lessons learned from raising dogs himself.
Pete Kaiser, last year’s Iditarod Champion and Bethel’s own hometown hero, will deliver the Keynote Address at this year's Alaska Federation of Natives Convention.