Amended Race Trail and Rules for Mushers: Please read in detail and make note of any questions you may have and ask for clarification at the musher meeting.
Due to trail conditions, we have made some changes to the race course.
Race Start is now at Deshka Landing at 10:00am. Please let us know at the musher meeting or before if you have a trailer. You will need to move your truck to Happy Trails Kennels for the finish. Please talk to the race staff if you need someone to move your truck.
From Deshka Landing the trail goes left around the Willow Swamp to the Old Hunter Trail to Big Swamp Trail and out onto the Big Su near Su Station. The trail follows the Big Su to Yentna River to Yentna Station. This leg will be approximately 50 miles.
There will be a mandatory 4 hour layover at Yentna with start time differentials.
From Yentna Station you will follow the Yentna River to Skwentna. Due to severe overflow, the Iditarod Trail to Onestone Lake is not accessible. Thus the race trail will go via Shell Lake to Finger Lake. This leg of the race is approximately 75 miles.
SEE AND BE SEEN! WHILE ON THIS SECTION OF TRAIL BETWEEN SKWENTNA AND FINGER LAKE YOU ARE REQUIRED TO HAVE A HEAD LAMP ON DAY AND NIGHT!! You are also required to have some reflective tape on the back of your sled and/or your gear; the more the better. This is the trail that iron dog racers are training on so safety is our number one concern. So, pack extra batteries and a spare headlamp. There are some very tight sections of trail on this section where head on passes are going to take some serious cooperation should they occur. For safety’s sake, put the race aside and work with each other to make the pass safely.
YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO CAMP OR STRAW DOGS ON ANY PART OF THE TRAIL AFTER YOU CLIMB INTO THE HILLS OFF THE RIVER UNTIL YOU ARE BEYOND THE TIGHT TRAILS AFTER SHELL LAKE. We will discuss this further at the meeting, but camping anywhere near Shell Lake may result in musher being disqualified. Zoe, the lodge owner who is graciously allowing us to run through her private property, has a pet dog. Please beware of the dog and DO NOT stop at the lodge. We will have race volunteers at the lodge who will need to see or hear your bib number. You do not need to sign in, but please respond when the checker asks for your bib number.
There will be a mandatory 6 hour layover at Finger Lake.
Returning the same trail back to Yentna Station for the last mandatory 6 hour layover.
The final leg of the race will go down the Yentna to the Big Su to dismal swamp, Flathorn, Iditarod trail and finishes at Happy Trails Kennels.
There may be changes to this route if conditions change and we will give you trail details at the mushers’ meeting.
Mushers’ Meeting is at Eagle Quest Lodge near Deshka Landing at 7:00pm on Thursday, January 24. If you want to buy dinner, please arrive early. Space is limited at the lodge.
Vet Checks are Wednesday, January 23 from 9 am – 4 pm at Happy Trails Kennels in Big Lake. Please check the race rules to see when you should arrive for your vet check. Vet forms will be available and you are required to bring proof of current vaccinations for canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, and rabies.
Food Drop is due Wednesday, January 23. There is a change from the original race rules. Mushers are responsible to deliver your food drop to Willow Air sometime on Wednesday. There will be signs directing you to the drop location. You may send as many drop bags to each checkpoint as you need (Yentna and Finger Lake), however for ease of loading all of the bags into the planes, please keep drop bags less than 40 pounds per bag, make sure they are well marked with the checkpoint and your name, and DO NOT use wire ties. Remember that the race will not be returning any bags so do not send out what you aren’t willing to carry home. If the weather prevents flying on Thursday or Friday, you may be required to carry your food drop. You will be able to access all of your Yentna drop bags outbound and inbound and we will make every effort to park you in your same spot on your return layover.
Straw. We will provide a bale and a half of straw at Yentna and one bale at Finger Lake.
Water. You will be melting snow at Yentna Station. There will be a hole in the lake ice at Finger Lake for water. We will provide 12 cans of Heet at Yentna Station and 6 cans at Finger Lake. You should carry more Heet in case of emergency.
Dropped Dogs. Get your dropped dog contact forms completed and turned in at vet check. There is a $30 fee per dropped dogs so be sure your handler has money to cover how many dogs you may drop. You are required to leave 4 pounds of food per dog. Dropped dogs will be flown back to Happy Trails Kennels and can be picked up there. All dropped dogs require a 16 to 18 inches cable neckline attached to its collar with a snap on one end and a loop on the other. If the dog you wish to drop does not have a cable neckline, you will have to carry it home.