Iditarod start line stays put despite poor snow conditions

Iditarod trail committee director Stan Hooley says the start line for the Alaska sled dog race will be at Willow even with poor snow conditions.
Lead dogs on the team of Louie Ambrose run during the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail sled dog race in 2013. (Dan Joling/AP Photo)

Iditarod trail committee director Stan Hooley says the start line for the Alaska sled dog race will be at Willow even with poor snow conditions. 

The starting location had been a moving target for the past few weeks because of snow conditions.

Hooley says the trail will be improved using heavy equipment and a company with experience building ice roads, and he's confident it can be upgraded to a safe condition by the March 1 start.

Yukon has three mushers racing in the Iditarod this year: Marcelle Fressineau and Hans Gatt of Whitehorse, and Michelle Phillips of Tagish.

Dog teams race about 1,800 kilometres from Willow to Nome, Alaska, taking between nine and 17 days to cover the distance.