Q:What are the more challenging parts of the trail?
A:Again this is an area where most people have misconceptions about the trail. Racers will encounter a very diverse geography, wildly varying snow conditions and extreme temperatures. There are large open plains with little or no snow requiring racers to be careful not to overheat the sled and melt the hifax - regardless of the ambient temperature. There is a 5 mile stretch known as the “Tunnel” where the trees are so close that a racer might only be able to see 10 feet ahead at any given time. The trick is to keep both skis on the same side of every tree. It sounds simple enough but countless A-arms have been broken here. Some riders narrow their sleds just to more easily make it through this 5 mile section of the 2,000+ mile course. In other places there are ice slides that must be climbed. Without studs it would be impossible, with studs it is still challenging. There are plenty of places were some good side hilling skills are required. (Try side hilling an ice sheet...it often has to be done.)