Iditarod conditions are good, but some areas on the trail remain a concern

ANCHORAGE – Like the song says, “Let it Snow.”It may be Stan Hooley’s favorite holiday tune. At the very least, the Iditarod’s executive director hopes the yuletide classic is a sign of what’s to come.As usual, the race is scheduled to begin in Willow. That of course, doesn’t always happen. Rewind to last year when a warmer-than-usual winter led to a weather nightmare forcing the race to move its restart north to Fairbanks.Ten months later, there’s optimism.“Overall, I would say at this point we have more snow than we had last year at this point,” said Hooley, who’s been with the race for 22 years, and said there are spots of concern. “Like Rainy Pass and the Dalzell Gorge. Surprisingly, those places, even at higher elevations have a lot less snow than we would like.”The race is two and half months out. Two days before Christmas the conditions were good enough for Lisbet Norris and a handful of teams to get out on training runs.Conditions right now are “pretty good, decent,” according to Norris.To keep them that way, Santa could do everyone a favor by bringing a few big snow dumps to avoid a repeat of last year.

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