This photo is from the Iditasport Extreme’s inaugural year in 1997 (Race Director, Billy Koitzsch and Roger Cowles). The decision to add an extra couple hundred miles to go up and over Alaska’s most grueling trail changed everything! This race was resurrected on its 20th Anniversary in 2017. Iditasport Extreme is set up for the veteran winter adventurer, for those who have already proved that they have the skills and the respect of extremely unforgiving cold environments. Even with the support set up for this event, it doesn’t make it any easier– it is a life transforming race! Participants push themselves past their limits! There are extreme shifts in the weather, elevation gain & loss as you traverse your way over the Alaska Range, & your mental preparation is tested non-stop. If you question your outdoor winter skills–this event is not for you. We follow the Iron Dog Race route.
If you have completed at least a 100 mile winter event, you are eligible to enter the Iditasport Extreme to McGrath, Alaska! Priority will be given to those with the most experience. Please provide a detailed history in your application.
Iditasport Extreme to McGrath:
This is a supported race (trailmarkers, snowmachine / air support, & heated checkpoints) to McGrath. Your entry fee provides you with: Winter survival class, ride to the race start, snowmachined course & marked trail, online race tracking, trailbreaking crew, airplane crew, tented portable toilets. We have propane-heated tent camps. Our tent camps are Arctic Ovens–super deluxe survival tents and all are propane heated so they will be super warm when you arrive! At the tent camps you will have a resting area and drinking water. Your drop bags will be delivered via airplane. Finishers also receive a personalized ulu trophy.
Below is a photo of Checkpoint #8 in the Alaskan Range: Styx Tent Camp, an oasis in the wilderness!
Total time allowed for completion of the Iditasport Extreme to McGrath race is 12 days.
ALL racers are ultimately the responsibility of the race staff and MUST be accounted for at all times. In order to accomplish this, a disqualified racer may require an evacuation or snowmachine escort back to the road system. Understand that the race course is not on a road system. You may have to wait 24 hours for help to come–so be prepared with proper gear etc. for the harsh winter conditions!
Train with the gear you intend to use. Then you can find out if you need extra gear or if you can eliminate something. The main goal in adventure sports is stay safe and have fun! We do not recommend rechargeable items AT ALL for these events. You will not be able to charge in a timely manner–the electric source are portable generators–they are used for heat & lighting in the tent camps & lodges.