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In Brief: Eagle Cap Extreme sled dog race has strong field

From staff and wire reports

WINTERSPORTS –The only Iditarod and Yukon Quest sled dog race qualifier in the lower 48 west of the Rocky Mountains is staging near Joseph, Oregon, this week.

The 13th annual running of the 200-mile Eagle Cap Extreme sled dog race starts at noon Thursday and runs through Saturday in northeast Oregon’s Wallowa County.

The Eagle Cap Extreme is one of only six qualifying races in the U.S. outside of Alaska.

The events schedule includes four races:

  • A 12-dog, 200-mile race, which is the Iditarod and Yukon Quest qualifier. (The Iditarod and YQ each cover more than 1,000 miles.)
  • An 8-dog, 100-mile race.
  • A 6-dog, 62-mile “pot race,” which consists of two 31-mile stages held on consecutive days.
  • A 4- to 6-dog juniors race, 20 miles, starts Friday.

All races begin at Ferguson Ridge ski hill. Pot race finishers return to Fergi later that afternoon, and again on Friday; 100-mile finishers arrive early-mid morning on Friday; 200-mile finishers arrive early on Saturday.

‘Ski-shoeing’ rules at Hok Festival

WINTERSPORTS – The Hok, a short hybrid ski with a built-in skin that also functions much like snowshoes will be available for demo and lessons at the second annual Hok Festival on Jan. 28 at Sitzmark Ski Area near Tonasket, Washington.

Altai Skis based in Curlew will have several models available with bindings that fit around winter books as well as some with classic three-pin bindings.

Activities run form 10 a.m.-3 p.m., including demonstrations on using the Tiak – a single pole used by traditional skiers instead of a pole in each hand.

Although the Hoks are made for going uphill as well as downhill, Sitzmark is offering discounted lift tickets to festival participants.

Altai Skis backcountry skiing expert Nils Larsen, who calls Sitzmark “Hok Heaven,” says about 40 people showed up last year for the first Hok Festival.

Info: altaiskis.com/blog.

Polar bear biologist talks climate change

ENVIRONMENT – Polar bear scientist Steven Amstrup will present a free program, “Polar Bears and Climate Change, on Monday at 7 p.m. at Mountain Gear Corporate Headquarters, 6021 E. Mansfield in Spokane Valley, sponsored by the Spokane Canoe & Kayak Club.

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