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Beware of Doggerel
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Daily news

ADN article has some info on the iron dog start here:

http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/7443491p-7354339c.html

Here's the part about the weather:

"At the foot of the Alaska Range, Skwentna was reporting 37 degrees with rain and mist. At the top of the Alaska Range 160 miles north of the starting line, it was 35 degrees with wet snow falling.
Only north of the range did temperatures begin to drop below freezing, and then just barely. McGrath, a key Interior checkpoint, was at 30. "


The article also talks about the track shaped trenches that the racers expect to leave as they sink into the soft snow. Yippiee. Maybe our race should be called the Idita-Swim (if it keeps getting warmer), we could all do the "doggie" paddle all the way to McGrath.

Edit: After I posted the above I visited the Iron Dog website. www.irondog.org. They have a good and up to date trail conditions section. Check it out.

Adam
 

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FatBike Fiend
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Mixed bag

I was planning on riding out from Knik Lake today but after seeing all the meltwater puddles in Wasilla I changed my mind and rode from Palmer Fishhook to Buffalo Mine Rd and over to Wishbone Hill and the trail was great, still lots of snow and it had been groomed so hard and fast. On the far reaches it was frozen cottage cheese from the paddle track snowmachines and rough. Talk to Bill and Kathi they rode out from Knik today so they should have the latest on the Iditarod.
 
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Trails are Good

pbasinger said:
Wildfire, Bill, anyone. What are things like out there?
Are Susitna riders going to need hip waders?
Hey sorry to break up all the doom and gloom. We rode out to the Big Su today. I don't think it was ever above freezing and the trails were hard and fast. Just a dusting of fresh snow over hard pack. A little crunchy in places but still fast. We rode with 30 psi in the tires. Flathorn and the Dismal Swamp were good. The river looked hard but we didn't go down and check it out. Didn't want to climb back up!!!!
Bill M
 

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Just learnt of this....its really woken me up to how dangerous it can be out there.

On 02/15/2006 at approximately 11:00 am, Alaska State Troopers launched
our helicopter, Helo One, from Anchorage bound for the avalanche site in
Dalzell Gorge, approximately 12 miles from the Rohn Road House. On
board is a member of the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group and an avalanche
expert from the Alaska Avalanche School. Plans at this time are to fly
to the site and attempt to ascertain the safety of searching in the
area. Troopers are currently strongly advising against any ground
searches in the area due to continuing unstable snowloads and extreme
avalanche danger. The Dalzell Gorge is a 48-mile stretch from Rainy Pass
to Rohn. In the Gorge the trail descends swiftly for two miles from the
Alaska Range and eventually turns into a narrow trail, crossing ice
bridges on Dalzell Creek.
 

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very sad news.




Troopers were notified around 6 pm on Tuesday 2/14/2006 of an avalanche
along the trail that is believed to have trapped Richard Strick, Jr, age
46 of McGrath. Strick was reportedly part of a snowmachine team that
had just finished manning the Iron Dog Race checkpoint in Rohn. They
were reportedly headed back behind the snowmobile racers, breaking trail
for the upcoming Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race when the avalanche
occurred. Alaska Air National Guard responded last night with members
of the 210th, 211th, and 212th rescue squadrons in a HC130 aircraft and
HH60 Pavehawk helicopter, along with members of Alaska Mountain Rescue
Group and the Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs. The team was able to
complete some aerial recon but were not able to land. According to
information from the fly-over, an avalanche approximately 250' wide,
100' long and 4'-5' deep swept down the face of the mountain and is
believed to have pushed Mr. Strick off the trail into the gorge where he
was buried under approximately 30' of snow
 

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FatBike Fiend
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Bummer

Man, talk about gloom and doom. Condolances to Mr. Strick's family and friends in McGrath. That can be a dangerous stretch of trail with huge slopes above you and the gorge beneath you with no where to go if something comes down. Sorry to hear that.

Carl, on a less somber note I am taking your drop bags in today. I promise not to ransack/ sabotage them.

carlhutch said:
very sad news.




Troopers were notified around 6 pm on Tuesday 2/14/2006 of an avalanche
along the trail that is believed to have trapped Richard Strick, Jr, age
46 of McGrath. Strick was reportedly part of a snowmachine team that
had just finished manning the Iron Dog Race checkpoint in Rohn. They
were reportedly headed back behind the snowmobile racers, breaking trail
for the upcoming Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race when the avalanche
occurred. Alaska Air National Guard responded last night with members
of the 210th, 211th, and 212th rescue squadrons in a HC130 aircraft and
HH60 Pavehawk helicopter, along with members of Alaska Mountain Rescue
Group and the Alaska Search and Rescue Dogs. The team was able to
complete some aerial recon but were not able to land. According to
information from the fly-over, an avalanche approximately 250' wide,
100' long and 4'-5' deep swept down the face of the mountain and is
believed to have pushed Mr. Strick off the trail into the gorge where he
was buried under approximately 30' of snow
 

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Beware of Doggerel
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665 Posts
More info and some thoughts

There is some more info in today's daily news including ariel photos of the site from AST. Still sounds like the area is too risky for recovery attempts.

Anyone thinking of bringing an avalanche beacon? I am considering it, but it isn't all that useful if you are the only one with a beacon. (All right for those who know me I'm not really this cautious but my wife thinks I should bring a beacon). Seems really easy to throw a beacon and a probe into my pack, its minimal weight stuff. But the bigger question is will anybody else be thinking along these same lines. Being the only person with a beacon and a probe is sort of useless and it seems really hard to co-ordinate crossing the pass in some safe formation with other beaconed and probed riders. So in the end I'm not convinced that this is a practical or useful idea. Crossing the pass alone, or in a tight group, with a beacon seems rather like wearing a seat belt in a 747 jetliner, it may feel safe but if things really hit the fan its pointless. Any thoughts??

On another note has anyone ever ridden the long way around (iron dog trail). Is that trail a realistic option if the pass is moving when we get there? Or is there something about it that would make it un-rideable or un-findable? Seems like adding 45 miles would be better than having to turn around and ride back to Knik. I'm not really considering that route, just trying to gather some info to preserve my options if rainy pass is out of my "comfort zone" when I get there.

Adam
 

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On the plus side at least the rumour mill wont be about the overflow at Rohn but rather avalanches.
Unless you plan on getting to rainy pass 1st me thinks PB and his pace through there should sort out any avalanches.
If you are prepared to wait for me Adam then im happy to share some company through wildfires secret mining tunnel.
 
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