Iditarod trail invitational pictures- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Iditarod trail invitational pictures

    For those interested, I have a web album with pictures of the 2007 Knik Lake-Nome Iditarod Invitional, they are a combo of mine, Masaru, and Jan's. The link is picasaweb.google.com/jose.dundee. Enjoy! -Jose

  2. #2
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    That must have been really difficult to find iditarod.It looks like hardly any snow and no trail.
    Hope you`ve settled back into every day life by now.

  3. #3
    Caveman
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    Wow,
    Impressive photos, looked brutal from Mcgrath to the Yukon.
    Thanks for sharing, hope the nerve damage in your hand has improved.

  4. #4
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    Pix and tripods to Nome

    Jose:

    Nice pix especially given the finger numbing temperatures and winds!! Hey, one of my daytime disguises is as the BLM coordinator for the Historic Iditarod Trail (which is a little different than the race trail on the ground, but often they're in the same place). (Off hours more of biker/skier/parent/trail-wonk...brought IMBA up to AK twice yadayada). Your and your bud's pix really help me get to know what's going on in terms of trail conditions (since I haven't convinced my bosses to buy some Wildfire bikes to patrol the trail with--YET!)

    Anyway, while our work has mainly focused on the upkeep of the shelter cabins (Rohn, Bear Creek, Tripod Flat, Old Woman), I want to get a bunch of better trail markers up across the Farewell Burn (if it's needed) and Kaltag Portage (and help other folks get them up from Puntilla to Dalzell, from Don's Cabin to Iditarod, etc. etc., but those aren't BLM lands so I can't lead the charge on those).

    And knowing that there's nothing like riding or pushing a bike across the countryside to get to know a trail, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in talking some more about what you saw on the trail...got a phone number or private email I could contact you at? If you don't want to tell the world, you can get to me at [email protected] Thanks, and enjoy the balmy riding temps these days!! Kev K

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhutch
    That must have been really difficult to find iditarod.It looks like hardly any snow and no trail.
    Hope you`ve settled back into every day life by now.
    Yes, during that stretch I was travelling with Jan, and we often had no trail to follow. Near Moose Creek the trail completely disappeared, and we came down to the creek without knowing whethor the trail was upstream or downstream. It took about 2 hours of searching up and down to find it. Masaru came through a day later and got lost in almost the same place. He said it took him 12 hours to find the trail- talk about nerve-wracking!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Jose:

    Nice pix especially given the finger numbing temperatures and winds!! Hey, one of my daytime disguises is as the BLM coordinator for the Historic Iditarod Trail (which is a little different than the race trail on the ground, but often they're in the same place). (Off hours more of biker/skier/parent/trail-wonk...brought IMBA up to AK twice yadayada). Your and your bud's pix really help me get to know what's going on in terms of trail conditions (since I haven't convinced my bosses to buy some Wildfire bikes to patrol the trail with--YET!)

    Anyway, while our work has mainly focused on the upkeep of the shelter cabins (Rohn, Bear Creek, Tripod Flat, Old Woman), I want to get a bunch of better trail markers up across the Farewell Burn (if it's needed) and Kaltag Portage (and help other folks get them up from Puntilla to Dalzell, from Don's Cabin to Iditarod, etc. etc., but those aren't BLM lands so I can't lead the charge on those).

    And knowing that there's nothing like riding or pushing a bike across the countryside to get to know a trail, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in talking some more about what you saw on the trail...got a phone number or private email I could contact you at? If you don't want to tell the world, you can get to me at [email protected] Thanks, and enjoy the balmy riding temps these days!! Kev K
    I'm at [email protected]. Tripod and Old Woman were in great shape (though I must say Old Woman was full of musher trash). I real nice trapper was staying at the old Old Woman and had loaded Tripod and Old Woman with fresh firewood. Farewell Burn and Kaltag Portage have pretty obvious trail I think, lots of big visible tripods on the portage. Unfortunately the non-BLM lands are more problematic-- Heading up ptarmigan pass, the right turn to rainy pass was completely invisible, and I know later on a lot of mushers headed the wrong way in the storm, even after the trail had been broken in. A big tripod with a sign marking that turnoff would be good. Also, as you can see from my pics, permanent markers along the trail from Ophir to Shagaluk are few and far between, especially the area between Don's Cabin and Iditarod. Even the Iditarod trailbreakers had a heck of a time finding the trail out from Iditarod to Shagaluk, as the locals out of Shagaluk could not find the trail themselves. This could be a dog health issue as well, because when the trail is first broken by trailbreakers coming through only 12 hours or so before the leaders, the trail is soft and punchy and dogs get more shoulder injuries falling into moose holes etc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Jose:

    Nice pix especially given the finger numbing temperatures and winds!! Hey, one of my daytime disguises is as the BLM coordinator for the Historic Iditarod Trail (which is a little different than the race trail on the ground, but often they're in the same place). (Off hours more of biker/skier/parent/trail-wonk...brought IMBA up to AK twice yadayada). Your and your bud's pix really help me get to know what's going on in terms of trail conditions (since I haven't convinced my bosses to buy some Wildfire bikes to patrol the trail with--YET!)

    Anyway, while our work has mainly focused on the upkeep of the shelter cabins (Rohn, Bear Creek, Tripod Flat, Old Woman), I want to get a bunch of better trail markers up across the Farewell Burn (if it's needed) and Kaltag Portage (and help other folks get them up from Puntilla to Dalzell, from Don's Cabin to Iditarod, etc. etc., but those aren't BLM lands so I can't lead the charge on those).

    And knowing that there's nothing like riding or pushing a bike across the countryside to get to know a trail, I'm wondering if you'd be interested in talking some more about what you saw on the trail...got a phone number or private email I could contact you at? If you don't want to tell the world, you can get to me at [email protected] Thanks, and enjoy the balmy riding temps these days!! Kev K

    It's hard to take a wrong turn in Farewell burn. At least the last 6 times I've done it. I think it would be useful to have better markers leading to the shelter cabin out there that is somewhere not far past Buffalo Camp. In Nickolai they said that there is a nice BLM cabin somewhere~10 miles out of buffalo camp going towards Nikolia. 3 of us looked for it desperately last year, but only found a few scattered reflectors going off the trail. I searched around for it some this year when passing by where I thought it should be, but couldn't find it.

    I recall the Kaltag portage being extremely well marked. Maybe it gets pretty tough to find in the real windy spots, but there were a ton of tripods there in 2003. I think there are even huge signs out there comig in toward Unalakleet that could be seen from an airplane.

    Rainy pass always seems to be the tough spot for trail breakers. A few big tripods leading into the pass would be nice, but I wonder if its not more difficult than that. Maybe they don't bother because the trail has to vary so much from year to year depending on water, snow depth and who knows what else? I heard that the lodge owner at Puntilla had plans to build a cabin somewhere up in the pass. Don't know if it will be just private or a shelter cabin.

    Remember though
    part of the fun on this trail is not always being entirely sure where you are.

  8. #8
    Bill M
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    Thanks Pete

    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger
    It's hard to take a wrong turn in Farewell burn. At least the last 6 times I've done it. I think it would be useful to have better markers leading to the shelter cabin out there that is somewhere not far past Buffalo Camp. In Nickolai they said that there is a nice BLM cabin somewhere~10 miles out of buffalo camp going towards Nikolia. 3 of us looked for it desperately last year, but only found a few scattered reflectors going off the trail. I searched around for it some this year when passing by where I thought it should be, but couldn't find it.

    I recall the Kaltag portage being extremely well marked. Maybe it gets pretty tough to find in the real windy spots, but there were a ton of tripods there in 2003. I think there are even huge signs out there comig in toward Unalakleet that could be seen from an airplane.

    Rainy pass always seems to be the tough spot for trail breakers. A few big tripods leading into the pass would be nice, but I wonder if its not more difficult than that. Maybe they don't bother because the trail has to vary so much from year to year depending on water, snow depth and who knows what else? I heard that the lodge owner at Puntilla had plans to build a cabin somewhere up in the pass. Don't know if it will be just private or a shelter cabin.

    Remember though
    part of the fun on this trail is not always being entirely sure where you are.
    Thanks for that comment Pete!!! I definitely feel the same about not knowing being a big part of the experience. ie: if you get a chance read what I posted on the latest news the other day. If I ever had doubts about not wanting more markers/support they went away after a long evening with Joe May at the Rohn Cabin.
    Bill M

  9. #9
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    so Bill, do 2 negatives make a positive?

    Peter and Jose: Thanks for the comments and info, although I'm not sure I need to hear Bill's again (just kidding...I actually like bike orienteering myself) So Bill, is the 'news' you refer to on your Ultrasport site, or on this one? It looks like your site is down for maintenance...from your double negative, I couldn't figger out whether you still prefer unmarked ruts, or had some near-religious experience or something and experienced a conversion
    I'm definitely going to get some tripods/signs in at the turnoff for the Bear Creek cabin (the one north of Runkle's Bison Camp). BTW, I was taking a close look at Google Earth the other day and you can easily see the Camp, the shelter cabin, and much of the trail thru the Burn...it's got some of the highest rez photography of the whole trail on GoogleE. It's pretty obvious where it heads north from Submarine Lake...more chitchat tomorrow or later...gotta get some sleep, but a belated congratulations on your effort Peter! (Also, am getting a chance to enjoy that Anthem!) Happy trails! kk

  10. #10
    Bill M
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    Near religious Experience

    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Peter and Jose: Thanks for the comments and info, although I'm not sure I need to hear Bill's again (just kidding...I actually like bike orienteering myself) So Bill, is the 'news' you refer to on your Ultrasport site, or on this one? It looks like your site is down for maintenance...from your double negative, I couldn't figger out whether you still prefer unmarked ruts, or had some near-religious experience or something and experienced a conversion
    I'm definitely going to get some tripods/signs in at the turnoff for the Bear Creek cabin (the one north of Runkle's Bison Camp). BTW, I was taking a close look at Google Earth the other day and you can easily see the Camp, the shelter cabin, and much of the trail thru the Burn...it's got some of the highest rez photography of the whole trail on GoogleE. It's pretty obvious where it heads north from Submarine Lake...more chitchat tomorrow or later...gotta get some sleep, but a belated congratulations on your effort Peter! (Also, am getting a chance to enjoy that Anthem!) Happy trails! kk
    Easy on my lack of command of the English Language!!! It is rare when the Trail fails to provide me with a near religious experience but it ALWAYS validates my feelings that "less is more" when it comes to trail markers. This coming from someone who in "99" visited Farewell Airstrip during the race after loosing the trail in fresh snow on Submarine Lake and going cross country 8 miles back to the Trail at Bison Camp to avoid a 15 mile backtrack. The lesson was "If you have time take a short cut".
    The Latest News is on the Ultra Sport site. It was only down for a couple of days for maintainance. Let me know if you can't access it.
    Bill M

  11. #11
    Beware of Doggerel
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    Jose:
    Great shots I really enjoyed seeing your trip and seeing the trail (even if it was just on the web).

    Kevin:
    I agree with Pete and Bill. On my two trips to McGrath I made navigational errors each time. And in both cases I made my mistakes before Skwentna. I think that once you get past Finger Lake the trail is pretty clear, more or less. Both times I did it I used pretty basic maps and I carried a compass and a GPS that I never touched. Sure I got confused here and there (that happens even when I'm not on the trail) but the trail is more or less perfect as it is. I agree with Pete's comment on Rainy Pass, I've assumed that the poor marking of the entrance to Rainy Pass is a function of geography and constantly changing trail conditions rather than a lack of effort. And besides as it is right now that is the best part of the trip. Its marked well enough to find it without too much trouble but its still an adventure and a challenge.

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

  12. #12
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    Bill, the site still seems to be down
    Kevin, I forgot, you got a new bike. I bet it's a pretty nice ride. Be kind to it.

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