November 15, 2018

2018 Iditarod Trail Committee Trail Improvement Update

From Zack Steer, ITC Logistics 

Our crew of 6 Iditarod trail breakers returned from McGrath last Friday after spending 8 days in the field.

The guys flew from Anchorage on a Pen Air regular scheduled flight, while their sleds and gear shipped on Northern Air Cargo.  

They covered the entire 178 mile (each way) trail from McGrath out to Shageluk and then back to McGrath. Over 2500 total trail miles were covered by the team on this trip. There were hundreds of stops along the way to cut brush, trees, fix tripods and install new permanent reflectors.  Besides McGrath, the guys stayed at public use cabins along the trail.  

It was a very COLD trip with temperatures ranging between -20F and -40F at night and on the low spots.  To stay warm, the guys would work up a sweat with their hand tools and saws.  

The Ski Doo Skandic SWT’s all ran well in the brutal cold, and the guys made it back with all of their fingers and toes!  We’ll spend this week going over sled maintenance and prepping for next week’s field trip up into the Alaska Range to work on the Dalzell Gorge race trail preparations.

Much of this trip was funded in cooperation with the Iditarod Historic Trail Alliance, a proud supporter and advocate for the use and preservation of the Iditarod Trail.  https://www.iditarod100.org/

Below is a map of the route the team took: