96.1 FM | 780 AM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Posts by David Dodman

Ulsom, hoping he can “keep the speed” beyond Ruby

Joar Leifseth Ulsom in Ruby

Norwegian musher Joar Leifseth Ulsom had a very good run in 2013. In his first Iditarod ever, he finished in 7th place and took home Rookie of the Year. In 2014, he’d love to finish in the top ten again, and while he knows the competition is stiff, his dogs are looking good. “They’ve gotten good…

Read More

Baker, strategizing runs and rests in Ruby

John Baker in Ruby

It was an “uneventful, cold” run to Ruby, John Baker says. “Things went smoothly.” The Kotzebue musher and 2011 champion (and current record-holder for the fastest Iditarod run ever) talked with KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen in Ruby on Friday morning. With Laureli, Baker talked about the strategy of when and where he’s taking his mandatory rests…

Read More

Martin Buser, happy to take his Yukon rest in Ruby

Martin Buser approaches Ruby

It’s “perfect timing,” Martin Buser says, that the longtime musher arrived at Ruby at the time he did. His dogs were starting to slow down a bit in the Cripple–Ruby run, and after two long stretches of trail – Ophir to Cripple and Cripple to Ruby, each of which took him about 10 hours to…

Read More

First to the Yukon, Jeff King gets a feast (photos and audio)

Ready for the next course

Thursday night, the Ruby checkpoint temporarily became a gourmet restaurant, as Jeff King’s prize – for being the First to the Yukon River – was served up. The musher’s special meal was as much a media event as it was a meal, but that’s largely because the meal was so lavish: an Alaskan seafood stew,…

Read More

In photos: Ruby

Countryside near Ruby

Ruby, Alaska has nicknamed itself the “Gem of the Yukon,” and given the views from around the checkpoint building, it’s not hard to imagine why. When the Iditarod runs on the northern route (even-numbered years, including, obviously, this year), Ruby is the first checkpoint on the Yukon River; it’s situated on hilly terrain on the…

Read More

Robert Sorlie arrives in Cripple

Robert Sorlie

Upon arriving at the Cripple checkpoint this (Thursday) morning – at 9:09am – Robert Sorlie’s dog team was looking very good. The Norwegian musher agreed, saying he was “very satisfied” with his team and that his 16 dogs were “excellent.” Hear Robert Sorlie in Cripple: [please check back for complete audio interview] Robert Sorlie departed…

Read More

In photos: Cripple

Dog team supply bags (2)

Windy, cold, and frosty this Thursday morning, the checkpoint of Cripple is the official half-way point of Iditarod’s northern route (followed in even years). A few photos from Cripple: 

Read More

At Cripple, Petit “ready to move a little faster”

Nicholas Petit in Cripple

In Cripple on Thursday morning, Nicholas Petit was feeling good, and seemingly, so were his dogs. In his interview with our trail reporter, Laureli, Petit said that he’s been keeping with a strategy of not running his dogs too fast – a strategy that he hopes will make his dogs less prone to injury. “Slow…

Read More

Hugh Neff, in Cripple, “all about getting to Nome”

Hugh Neff in Cripple

“For me,” Hugh Neff says, “it’s not just about racing. It’s about exploring, too.” The Tok, Alaska musher’s exploratory spirit has taken him mushing around the world – not just up and down the Iditarod trail, but also to races elsewhere in the state, to Norway, and soon to New Zealand, where Neff says he’ll…

Read More

In Cripple, Aaron Burmeister on “the toughest run of my life”

Aaron Burmeister in Cripple

In Cripple on Thursday morning, Nome-raised Aaron Burmeister was determined to see the finish line in the 2014 race, despite an Iditarod run that’s tested him both physically and emotionally. It was “probably the toughest run of my life” pulling into Cripple, Burmeister says. There have been a lot of superlative descriptions of the trail’s…

Read More