Wallowa County’s Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race Jan. 23-26, 2019, is planning to join with two other Iditarod qualifying races in Idaho and Montana to offer the Rocky Mountain Challenge Cup.
“This means that we are recognized as a truly premier event,” said race president Randy Greenshields. “It’s really a feather in our cap.”
The Rocky Mountain Challenge Cup will award mushers who place in races in each state. There are several Iditarod qualifiers. Exactly how the various races and distances will be ranked is still under discussion.
The Eagle Cap Extreme is the first race of the trio of races. The Eagle Cap Extreme 200-mile race is the Iditarod and Yukon Quest Qualifier. The Idaho Sled Dog Challenge, Jan. 29 to Feb. 2, includes both 150-mile and 300-mile Iditarod qualifiers.
The race is held outside of McCall, Idaho. Montana’s Race to the Sky, Feb. 9-13, is the last of the three and is run east of Helena. The Montana Race includes 100-mile and 300-mile Iditarod qualifiers.
The Eagle Cap Extreme is still looking for volunteers to fill several important roles for the 2019 race. They include two cooks for the Ollokot checkpoint, several volunteers to staff the Salt Creek Summit checkpoint and a few people who are familiar with the race to help answer questions from the public and assist with educational programs at Race Central in the Joseph Community Center.
The race also needs one or two snow machines to transport dropped dogs (sore or tired dogs who are left at checkpoints) and carry supplies.