This photo is from the Iditasport® Extreme’s inaugural year in 1997 (from left to right Race Director, Billy Koitzsch and Roger Cowles).
The decision to add an extra couple hundred miles on to the Classic Race that would lead you up and over Alaska Range ending in McGrath was a game changer! The Range is a grueling section that leaves you at the mercy of Mother Alaska, winds, ice shoots, open water and elevation gain & loss as you traverse this section. 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. — it is a life transforming race! Participants push themselves past their limits! There are drastic shifts in the weather and 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 this will lead you through the majestic Ptarmigan Valley and down Hells Gate!
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 crews, 4 tent Camps / 4 Lodges) to McGrath. Your entry fee provides you with: Winter survival class, ride to the race start, snowmachine crew, wooden markers also reflective flagging along the trail, online race tracking, tent camps & tented portable toilets. The BLM cabin will have wood provided. Our tent camps are Arctic Ovens–super deluxe survival tents and all are propane heated so no getting up in the middle of the night to get the fire going. At the tent camps you will have a resting area and drinking water. Your drop bags will be delivered to two remote areas. Finger Lake tent camp(@ mile115) and Forks tent camp (@ mile 210). Finishers also receive a personalized ulu trophy.
Below is a photo of one of our checkpoints 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.