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Let It Snow?

Contrary to popular belief, snow isn’t good for sled dog races, but this year’s Iditarod is going to have to deal with it.

From the Anchorage Daily News : Iditarod Trail missing under deep snow

… Out with Oatley somewhere along the trail was Merchant’s husband, Bill, an Iditarod trailbreaker. He went ahead of the Invitational on a snowmobile trying to pack out a route in fresh, waist-deep snow.

Steve Perrin, owner of the Rainy Pass Lodge at Puntilla, said on Monday that Merchant’s new, 120-horsepower Yamaha Viking Professional — a snowmobile designed to go through deep snow — ended up so bogged down that two of Perrin’s sons had to help Merchant dig it out.

That snowmobile costs about $11K and is used by skiing areas to groom runs. It has large, wide-spread steering skis, and a large track. If it is bogging down, think about the two-runner sleds used by mushers. It may be time to think about a toboggan.

And then there’s: Storm traps wilderness racers on Iditarod Trail

Along the Iditarod Trail, a race was on today to reach mountain bikers, skiers and runners trapped by snows high in the Alaska Range as the notorious Rainy Pass winds began to blow.

This is a human powered pre-Iditarod event. Currently most of the competitors, including the skiers are stuck in a roofless cabin up in the the pass. The winds can create white-out conditions, and the skiers would be the only ones with a chance to move through the snow.

It looks like the mushers will get to see how well they can move in snowshoes, because in conditions like this there will be no riding on the sled. If you have never traveled in snowshoes, be grateful. I’ve done it and I don’t recommend it.