780 AM | 96.1 FM 


(907) 443-5221

Iditarod teams get some relief with ‘smooth and nice’ Yukon River trail

Dog sled team running up a snowy hill, sunset in background
Paige Drobny approaches the Galena checkpoint at sunrise on Saturday around 8 a.m. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Iditarod teams have finally gotten some respite from the warmer-than-usual weather and challenging trail conditions that marked the first week of the race.

Alaska Public Media’s Lex Treinen reports:

The trail on the frozen Yukon River was hard and fast into the community of Galena early Saturday, at race mile 545, said veteran musher Dan Kaduce. Kaduce and his 14 dogs pulled into the checkpoint at 4 a.m. and settled in to rest. He said his dogs enjoyed running in the below-zero temperatures.

“We’re one of the farthest north teams in the race,” said Kaduce, whose kennel is in Chatanika north of Fairbanks. “Those warm temperatures are not our style. These guys were way more back at home last night and hopefully here today.”

A musher going down a trail next to willows
Dan Kaduce leaves Galena around 8:30 a.m. Saturday. He said despite below-zero temperatures, he still hadn’t pulled out his mittens during this year’s Iditarod, mushing in leather work gloves instead. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Even with the drop in temperatures, Kaduce still worked without gloves as he prepared his dogs to continue down the trail toward Nulato. 

Nearby, British Columbia musher Aaron Peck said the cold was good for his dogs too, though he was less excited about it for himself. 

“They thrive in that — it’s me that was doing jumping jacks on the sled trying to stay warm,” he said. 

Aaron Peck feeds his dogs some medicine in the dog yard in Galena. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Lev Shvarts arrived at the checkpoint on Saturday morning in his heavy parka and frost-tipped ruff. He took it off in the dog yard and was wearing a military-surplus parka and snow pants. 

“I’m wearing everything I brought — it’s very poofy,” he said. 

A man in a fur hat and a grey-green jacket looks down
Lev Shvarts in the dog yard in Galena. He said he wasn’t enjoying the cold but his dogs were. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Nearby Paige Drobny had her own clothing concerns. She’s been wearing the same outfit since the race started last Sunday — sweating in the heat and freezing in the recent cold. 

“I just had this thin pair of socks on just because that’s what I had,” she said. “My feet got a little bit cold. It wasn’t that much fun.” 

It didn’t stop her from nodding off behind the sled on the way into Galena though. 

“It was that smooth and nice and we’re that far into the race that it’s hard to stay awake,” she said. 

Image at top: Paige Drobny approaches the Galena checkpoint at sunrise on Saturday around 8 a.m. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Share this story


Recent Posts

Round Two: U-Call We-Haul Trash Pickups Return

Overwhelming response to the recent U-Call We-Haul event has prompted the City of Nome to go for another round. Thursday and Friday, June 10-11 residents within city limits will have one more chance to to call and schedule a trash pickup.  Angie Nguyen from the City Manager’s office shared that

Read More »
A long table with a gavel resting on it. American flag in background.

City of Nome Finalizes $17.9 Million Budget for 2025

The Nome Common Council finalized the city’s fiscal year 2025 budget during its meeting on Monday, June 10. The approved General Municipal Fund Budget stands at $17,948,567.33, reflecting a slight decrease from the 2024 fiscal year’s amended budget. A $2,390,600.97 deficit is expected and will be financed through appropriations. Revenues

Read More »

Wednesday Night in Nome: Miss ANB Pageant Returns

The Miss ANB Pageant will be held at 7:00 p.m. June 12 at the Mini Convention Center in Nome. Organized by Janet Tobuk and her daughter Marsha Tobuk, the event highlights the traditions and cultural knowledge of contestants from the Bering Strait region.  This year all contestants are first-time participants,

Read More »



Work for Us:




(907) 443-5221 


(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.