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Thread: Chances of Iditarod restart moving to Fairbanks?

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    Member etdvm's Avatar
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    Default Chances of Iditarod restart moving to Fairbanks?

    Hi all -

    Based on the trail conditions so far this year, what are the chances (in your opinion) that Fairbanks may be the restart for this year's race?

    So far, from what I have read in the forums, it's not looking good for a Willow restart.
    This makes a big difference for me in gear selection for camping out on the trail. May have to go to even warmer gear.

    (Posted here instead of mushing forum since this forum is seeing a lot more activity past few days)
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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    It snowed a bit this week. There is no telling. Just curious why you'd need warmer gear? McGrath is every bit as cold as Fairbanks. You should be prepared for -40F regardless the route it takes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by etdvm View Post
    Hi all -

    Based on the trail conditions so far this year, what are the chances (in your opinion) that Fairbanks may be the restart for this year's race?
    I'd be extremely surprised for a lot of reasons, not least of which is that the trails here are pretty sketchy. We had to reroute the TRDMA Solstice 100 last weekend (which had been postponed from December in the first place because of trail conditions) because of waist-deep overflow.

    Iditarod doesn't start for over a month - there's plenty of time for things to improve. In the meantime keep an eye on next weekend's Northern Lights 300 for a good sense of the current state of the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    McGrath is every bit as cold as Fairbanks. You should be prepared for -40F regardless the route it takes.
    Crap! Seriously? -40F is a little chilly. May need to trade bags again.

    -40, really? First week of March?
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    It happens. -20F easily.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Note that such a temperature is a possibility, but so is +40. I hunted the Farewell Burn along the Iditarod trail in mid March one year and had daytime temps in the low 30s with nighttime temperatures around zero. It can be quite pleasant, but I'd certainly be prepared for a deep cold spell.

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    I have the Wiggy FTRSS (outer bag plus -20 inner bag). Exped Downmat sleeping pad. Will be sleeping in a 4-season Trango tent. Reckon I'm close with those? Should I switch inner bags to the Antarctic -60? If things get really bad, there is shelter available at places where I will be, just want to be by myself when sleeping. I snore like an elephant with a chronic sinus infection.
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    son of a.... what happened to global warming?
    Maybe I'll gut a moose and crawl up in it. While he's alive. I'm ballsy that way.
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    I'll buy the video!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    I'll buy the video!
    I put you on my mailing list
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    Quote Originally Posted by etdvm View Post
    I have the Wiggy FTRSS (outer bag plus -20 inner bag). Exped Downmat sleeping pad. Will be sleeping in a 4-season Trango tent. Reckon I'm close with those? Should I switch inner bags to the Antarctic -60? If things get really bad, there is shelter available at places where I will be, just want to be by myself when sleeping. I snore like an elephant with a chronic sinus infection.
    Im glad you have the exped down mat. BUT TAKE MY ADVICE. You NEED to bring a closed foam sleeping pad to put underneath that down mat. Trust me, I went out into the eastern alaska range last march for 7 days, the weather was a comfortable 30 degrees durning the day and then dropped all the way to -25 by 9pm every night. I brought the exact same sleeping pad as you and froze my ass off every night. You need a closed foam to insulate you from the ground in addition to your down mat. Trust me! It will add sooo much warmth to your other pad. Also if that pad pops (which WILL happen eventually) you will be glad you have a foam pad as well. Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by etdvm View Post
    Crap! Seriously? -40F is a little chilly. May need to trade bags again.

    -40, really? First week of March?
    As I recall a couple years back a rooky musher got in a bad way when he was pinned down on the yukon during a blizzard and temps hit -40 possibly -50.

    Never, ever underestimate mother nature in Alaska.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrenna View Post
    Im glad you have the exped down mat. BUT TAKE MY ADVICE. You NEED to bring a closed foam sleeping pad to put underneath that down mat. Trust me, I went out into the eastern alaska range last march for 7 days, the weather was a comfortable 30 degrees durning the day and then dropped all the way to -25 by 9pm every night. I brought the exact same sleeping pad as you and froze my ass off every night. You need a closed foam to insulate you from the ground in addition to your down mat. Trust me! It will add sooo much warmth to your other pad. Also if that pad pops (which WILL happen eventually) you will be glad you have a foam pad as well. Good luck
    I will dig out my Thermarest and add it to the layer, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    As I recall a couple years back a rooky musher got in a bad way when he was pinned down on the yukon during a blizzard and temps hit -40 possibly -50.

    Never, ever underestimate mother nature in Alaska.
    I am deeply afraid of mother nature in Alaska. With all of the help and advice I have been getting from you folks on the forum, I will likely be the best prepared rookie camping on the trail. You people rock.
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    No need to be afraid of mother nature, and fear can lead one to making some poor choices. Just give her the respect she is do and properly prepare. There is a catch 22 of when you over load yourself with equipment for every eventuality you travel so slowly that you end up in the conditions you would prefer to avoid.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    As I recall a couple years back a rooky musher got in a bad way when he was pinned down on the yukon during a blizzard and temps hit -40 possibly -50.
    Probably thinking of that storm in 2009 where a couple of dogs froze and several teams had to be rescued. The wind was really insane - over 60mph. They hadn't gotten to the Yukon yet - it was between Iditarod and Shageluk.

    My favorite Iditarod storm story was from a long time ago, when Joe Garnie lost the trail in the storm so he hooked down the dogs and went out on snowshoes to look for markers. When he got back to where he thought he'd left the team, they were gone, and there was this monster storm bearing down. So he pulled his arms into the inside of his anorak, kneeled down facing the wind, and let the storm blow over him. When the wind subsided he dug out of the snow and snowshoed to the next checkpoint, where he found his dog team. He's from Teller and knows about coastal storms.

    Never, ever underestimate mother nature in Alaska.
    Got that right. On average you're fine but if things go wrong they can go really, really wrong.

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    What about the storm that Libby Riddles went into to win the Iditarod? I don't remember the temperature, but the wind stopped the rest of the field.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    What about the storm that Libby Riddles went into to win the Iditarod? I don't remember the temperature, but the wind stopped the rest of the field.
    Right, everybody thought she was going to die. It was a huge gamble, but she'd been living in Teller herself and felt prepared.

    Anyway, the Northern Lights 300 is a "go" this weekend, but they've moved part of the trail due to overflow.

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    Default geez...

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