Friday, December 18, 2009

More snow in Southcentral Alaska

This week has been amazing.
We received another foot of new snow. In some places in the Mat Su Valley even more than that.
It will take some grooming and snow machine traffic on our valley trails before we get to ride our fat tired winter bikes again.
Temperatures are supposed to drop to -20 F according to the Noaa weather service.
We snow shoed again up the trail behind our house which was plenty of workout since we had to basically brake the trail out again.
Last week I skied Archangel road at Hatcher Pass with beautiful sunny skies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snowfall in Southcentral

There has been a significant amount of snowfall in the the Mat Su Valley and up the Iditarod Trail. According to reports Skwentna received about 2 feet in a 24 hour period this week. Shell Lake and further up the trail received 3 feet and more.
In the Anchorage area and also in the Mat Su Valley some came down in form of rain, but up here in Chickaloon and up the Iditarod Trail it came down in form of snow.
At times it was very wet snow and stuck to the trees, weighing down limbs with a heavy load, but it made for a beautiful wintery landscape.
This also meant we had a lot of chores around the house wind clearing the snow, packing our trails and cutting tree limbs that were now blocking our road and our trails.

Since we have been back to Alaska we have been snowshoeing once behind our house and it was a lot of work braking out a trail.
Hopefully soon we can start checking out the trails in the Mat Su Valley and on the Iditarod Trail to check on trail conditions first hand. We have our first winterbike training camp on the Iditarod Trail coming up shortly, December 27-31.Several new racers have signed up for the camp
and we still have some spots available.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer guiding season 2009

I haven't posted anything since last year's race which finished officially after the last racers arived in Nome. Entries for the 2010 race opened on April 1, 2009.

The race filled up May 1 of 2009 ( all 50 spots) and there are about 20 racers on a waiting list.
For those interested in the race you may have to join us in 2011 if you are not signed up.
We will have two 5 day winter training camps again:

December 27-31, 2009
February 13-17, 2010

For more information visit our website at:

Bill and I have been guiding and paddling our kayaks all summer long all over Alaska since May of this year and will be out paddling some more in Alaska and biking and kayaking in Utah and Florida this fall.

For those of you wondering what Bill and I have been up to this summer, check out our picture gallery on Google Picasa here:

Guided Trips and Adventures throughout Alaska

Friday, March 13, 2009

350 mile race results 2009

Here are the final results for the 2009 race to McGrath in the 350.

Out of 45 racers that started with 25 rookies among them, 28 arrived in McGrath.
Looking at the race stats I just noticed that we had the exact number of starters and finishers in the last two years:45/28 that's a 62 % finishing rate.
Amazing, considering last year was possibly the best year as far as conditions and temperatures to McGrath and this year we had some of the worst conditions ever.

That really says something about the athletes that showed up for the race this year.
I think it is possibly the hardest year ever as far as the trail conditions to McGrath since the 350 mile race started in 1997.
But I wasn't out there on the trail until 2003 and have completed the race in 2005 and 2006 to McGrath and 2008 to Nome.
Bill has been on the trail every year in one form or another and finished 8 times to McGrath and once to Nome since 1998 and agrees that this year was definitely a tough one. Congrats to all of this year's racers that finished and made it over Rainy Pass in those conditions.
I will set up links to racers trail reports, Lou Kobin has already posted one on her blog spot

2009 results 350 mile

Jeff Oatley bike 5 days 19 hrs 34 min Winner

Tracey Petervary bike 6 days 5 hrs 28 min 2nd place, first woman

Jay Petervary bike 6 days 5 hours 28 min 2nd place

John Ross bike 6 days 5 hours 55 min 4th place

Peter Basinger ski 6 days 6 hours 15 min 5th place

Cory Smith ski 6 days 6 hours 55 min 6th place

Phil Hofstetter bike 6 days 7 hours 45 min 7th place

Alec Petro bike 6 days 9 hours 18 min 8th place

Ed Plumb ski 6 days 9 hours 53 min 9th place

Tim Hewitt foot 6 days 15 hours 10th place on to Nome

Tom Jarding foot 6 days 15 hours 10th place on to Nome

Louise Kobin bike 6 days 20 hrs 41 min 12th place

Eric Warkentin bike 6 days 20 hrs 41 min 12th place

Aidan Harding bike 6 days 21 hrs 49 min 14th place

Billy Koitzsch bike 6 days 21 hrs 49 min 15th place on to Nome

Eric Johnson foot 7 days 15 min 16th place

Todd Kasteler foot 7 days 1 hour 39 min 17th place

Rick Freeman foot 7 days 8 hours 18th place

Robert Struble foot 7 days 8 hours 18th place

Marco Berni foot 7 days 8 hours 50 min 20th place on to Nome

Bob Ostrom bike 8 days 6 hours 5 min 21 place

Frank McGuire bike 8 days 13 hours 22 place

Howard Cook foot 9 days 9 hours 40 min 23 place

Francesco Ghigliotti foot 9 days 9 hours 40 min 24th place

Savino Musicco foot 9 days 10 hours 25th place

Sean Grady bike 9 days 23h 25min 26th place

George Azarias bike 10 days 9 hrs 40 min 27th place

Roger Leavesley foot 10 days 12 hrs 30 min 28th place

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Message Board

Please put your comments for racers here since our message board is down.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

The race is on...

The race started today, Sunday March 1 at 2:00 PM at Knik Lake. Check for latest news daily for the latest updates from the trail.


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Winter Training Camp II and Su 100 race

Bill and I went out to Point McKenzie to set up our winter training camp on Friday afternoon. We had only 2 students Kevin Hill from Canada and Yair Kellner from Australia, but we had a great time with them despite the warm weather and all the new snow on the trail. Gear testing was all about how it worked in this soggy wet conditions. I was actually able to watch the start of the Susitna 100 race and the Little Su 50 K race at the Point McKenzie store. I met a lot of our friends that were in the race. The trails for the race were soft and rather slow, despite that the bikers Bill Fleming, Greg Matayas and Janice Tower in the 100 mile and Billy Koitzsch in the 50 K finished in an amazing time. The skiers were definetly having the edge this year with snowy trails and warm temperatures perfect for sking. We cheered on racers from our camp in the trees just before Flathorn Lake and spent 5 days out on the trail testing gear and riding the trail to the Yentna River where Kroto Slough joins the trail on Tuesday when the trails finally firmed up some. Despite a tire failure on one of the bikes and a broken snow machine the winter school was a great success.
Thanks to Kevin Hill and Yair Kellner who were great campers and riders!

How different it can be,last week in Willow with -20 F and this week at up to 35 F.
We met Eric Parsons and Brij Potnis on the trail and had a good visit.

Conditions can vary so much. They are supposed to get two more feet of snow in the Alaska Range, we will see what this year's race has to offer us. It is never the same twice for sure.

We eat well!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It has been very busy for us gearing up for the 9th annual Iditarod Trail Invitational.
We were able to sneak up to Willow for the 25 mile Va Moose bike race.
The last year and this year so far has been really good to us. The race roster filled up early in November of 2008. Our first winter training camp in November on the Iditarod Trail was a success and we had a great article and video in the New York Times. It has been so exciting to see the winterbike scene and winter ultra races grow so much over the last few years.
The race is growing in popularity locally, with more bike shops in Anchorage offering snow bikes And other smaller winter races such as the 25 mile bike race in Willow during the Willow Winter Carnival, a full Susitna 100 and Su 50K race
AND in the Lower 48 with new and exciting winter races such as the Arrowhead 135 in Minesota
And even overseas, with more international athletes signed up this year.
There has also been a lot of interest already for the 2010 and the 2011 races.
I decided to take a year off from racing myself and will be reporting from McGrath this year.
I think it will be great to see the athletes ariving into McGrath and interview them and post pictures on the website. It will give the race live reporting and what is going on the race course.
I am truly looking forward to that opportunity again.
Even though I am not on the trail racing I will be out there with the racers.
We will have a leaderboard, message board, sleepmonsters reports and MTB podcasts again.
I will post the links to all those sites on the website before the race.
Starting Saturday we will be out on the Iditarod Trail again for another 5 day winterbike training camp through Fabruary 18th.
I will be at the Point McKenzie store and watch the start of the Susitna 100 on the 14th at 9:00 AM where so many of our friends will be that have signed up the the 100 mile race.
On Saturday Feb. 21 we will collect all the drop bags for Fingerlake, Rohn and for the Nome racer's Iditarod drop at Alaskan European B&B at 3107 Cottonwood Street.
Bill will take those and the food & supplies for Puntilla and Rohn to Willow the next day to fly them out to the checkpoint locations with Denali Flying Service.
Our pre race meeting will be February 28th, at the Golden Lion Best Western Hotel in the Kenya Room at 2:00 PM.
It will be a very busy time for us between now and then, but it is always the most exiting time of the year for sure.
The big bus will leave the Golden Lion Best Western Hotel at 11:00 AM Sunday morning March 1 and take all the racers to the starting line on Knik Lake.
But finally the race will take off at Knik Lake on March 1 at 2:00 PM.
Looking forward to seeing everyone off again for another great race!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You Tube Video

Bill posted a video on You Tube from footage we took during our race to Nome in 2008.
Wheels in the Wind