Snow Is Shipped by Train To Alaska For Iditarod

With the Iditarod set to start Saturday, March 5, and no snow in sight, officials were forced to ship snow to Anchorage by train.

The seven rail cars left Wednesday from Fairbanks carrying more than 7,000 gallons of snow and arrived Thursday morning, according to the Washington Post.

"It's a rare occasion that there isn't enough snow in Anchorage,” Tim Sullivan, spokesman for the Alaska Railroad, told the Post.

Also, officials have shortened the route in Anchorage, where the race traditionally starts, from 11 miles to only 3. The city saw only 1.8 inches of snow last month, and all of has melted, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Nome also had the longest stretch of days with temperatures above 30 degrees Fahrenheit on record, and other areas of Alaska were likewise affected by warmer winter weather.

"Fairbanks had, by far, the lowest precipitation [and snowfall] of any December through February in more than a century of climate observations," the National Weather Service said.

"We’ve done what we can," said Karl Heidelbach, the race's start coordinator. "We have been evaluating this and stalling this decision as long as we possibly can to make the best with what we've got."

On March 5, more than 1,000 sled dogs will travel 1,000 miles across Alaska ending in Nome, where in 1925, a team of sled dogs raced across Iditarod Trail during a brutal winter to deliver a lifesaving diphtheria serum during an outbreak. Read the full story here.

See the snow en route to Anchorage:

Click here to read the story about a young girl learning her family's tradition of mushing.



fb share