The early stretches of the Iditarod Trail lead mushers away from the suburbia of Southcentral and into the vast wilderness of the Alaska Range. Reports on Monday suggested the weather was on the warmer side, nearing or exceeding the freezing point in some places.
The first musher to arrive in Skwentna said trail conditions had been favorable, but continued warmth could deteriorate snow cover and lead to a slower trail going forward.
Here are highlights from KNOM’s coverage of Iditarod 2019 on Monday, March 4.
Stories and the Leaderboard
- Alaska Public Media’s Zachariah Hughes reported Monday morning from Skwentna Roadhouse, “one of the first opportunities teams have to take a rest after departing the Willow restart 83 miles earlier.” Iditarod’s leaders hit Skwentna overnight Sunday into Monday. Jessie Holmes was first into the checkpoint. While caring for his sled dog team, he told Zach that the trail was good, despite relatively warm weather that led him to rest his sled dogs more frequently (on Sunday, Rick Thoman had predicted temperatures in the 20s-30s Fahrenheit). Read more in “Iditarod Reaches Skwentna Overnight, After 83 Miles of ‘Warm’ But ‘Good’ Trail.”
- As of late afternoon Monday, 26 mushers have passed into or through the Rainy Pass checkpoint. Well out in front on the leaderboard are Nicolas Petit and Pete Kaiser, who departed Rainy at 9:14 and 9:25am, having taken only eight or seven minutes of rest, respectively. Both mushers have 14 dogs on the line. (Listen to the 2pm Iditarod Update below for more.)
- update, 6:45pm Monday: Nicolas Petit maintained his lead through the Rohn checkpoint. He is currently the only musher out of Rohn; Petit arrived at 5:52 and departed at 6:12pm. Joar Leifseth Ulsom was the second to arrive, at 6:30pm. Listen to the on-air update from 6pm, below, for more. (Note: at the time of the 6pm broadcast, Petit had not yet been confirmed out of Rohn, nor had Joar Leifseth Ulsom yet arrived.)
On-Air Update: Monday, 2pm
Emily Hofstaedter and Davis Hovey delve into the leaderboard, paying special attention to the current race for first position between Nicolas Petit and Pete Kaiser.
On-Air Update: Monday, 6pm
Emily Hofstaedter and Katie Kazmierski provide a leaderboard update, as Nicolas Petit leads Iditarod 47 into Rohn.
Temperatures are expected to remain relatively mild on the early stretches of the Iditarod Trail on Monday night into Tuesday, says UAF forecaster Rick Thoman:
Image at top: Anna Berington in the Skwentna checkpoint. Photo: Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media.