AD Main Menu

Toll climbs in Iditarod -- 10 knocked out of race on Tuesday

Beth Bragg,Kevin Klott
Martian Buser mushes across the virtually snowless Farewell Burn during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ramey Smyth drives his dog team into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his dog team down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher leaves the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen drives his team onto Puntila Lake as he comes into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ray Redington Jr. rests at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen gets his finger taped up at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Johannsessen had earlier cut the finger opening a can of Heat.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his team down the river on his way to the Rohn checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes tips over on the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Jim Lanier eats his lunch at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes over the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod Vet George Stroberg blows on PreciousÕs paw as Anna Berington holds her at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Precious tore part of a toe nail off and the vet snipped off the rest of it and then cauterized it to stop the bleeding.
Bob Hallinen
DeeDee Jonrowe sleeps on her sled at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Jessie Royer gets straw to bed down her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Kristy Berington feeds her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Linwood Fiedler surveys his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Santos drives his dog team into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
John Baker comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Ellis comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mitch Seavey feeds his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod checkers Susanne Rieder and Michelle Keagle work in the cook area as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
An Iditarod volunteer heads to the communications tent as checkpoint volunteers wait for mushers at Finger Lake during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod veterinarian Paul Pilfer, from Sylvain, Oh., looks at photos on his iPad as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
The Winterlake Lodge is home to Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and is quiet on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014 as volunteers await mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Frank Macias cooks up scallops as Brandon Gchachu and pastry chef Amanda Dixon plate the Soffrito Sunday evening, March 2, 2014, at Winterlake Lodge. Soffrito is a slow roasted pepper stew with Kodiak Bay scallops, arugula salad, and crispy prosciutto and shaved mahon cheese. The Winterlake Lodge is home to the Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and staff was busy serving guests as they awaited mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Martian Buser mushes across the virtually snowless Farewell Burn during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ramey Smyth drives his dog team into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his dog team down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher leaves the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen drives his team onto Puntila Lake as he comes into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ray Redington Jr. rests at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen gets his finger taped up at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Johannsessen had earlier cut the finger opening a can of Heat.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his team down the river on his way to the Rohn checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes tips over on the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Jim Lanier eats his lunch at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes over the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod Vet George Stroberg blows on PreciousÕs paw as Anna Berington holds her at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Precious tore part of a toe nail off and the vet snipped off the rest of it and then cauterized it to stop the bleeding.
Bob Hallinen
DeeDee Jonrowe sleeps on her sled at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Jessie Royer gets straw to bed down her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Kristy Berington feeds her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Linwood Fiedler surveys his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Santos drives his dog team into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
John Baker comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Ellis comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mitch Seavey feeds his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod checkers Susanne Rieder and Michelle Keagle work in the cook area as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
An Iditarod volunteer heads to the communications tent as checkpoint volunteers wait for mushers at Finger Lake during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod veterinarian Paul Pilfer, from Sylvain, Oh., looks at photos on his iPad as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
The Winterlake Lodge is home to Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and is quiet on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014 as volunteers await mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Frank Macias cooks up scallops as Brandon Gchachu and pastry chef Amanda Dixon plate the Soffrito Sunday evening, March 2, 2014, at Winterlake Lodge. Soffrito is a slow roasted pepper stew with Kodiak Bay scallops, arugula salad, and crispy prosciutto and shaved mahon cheese. The Winterlake Lodge is home to the Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and staff was busy serving guests as they awaited mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Martian Buser mushes across the virtually snowless Farewell Burn during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ramey Smyth drives his dog team into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his dog team down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher leaves the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen drives his team onto Puntila Lake as he comes into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ray Redington Jr. rests at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen gets his finger taped up at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Johannsessen had earlier cut the finger opening a can of Heat.
Bob Hallinen
A musher heads towards Rainy Pass after leaving the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his team down the river on his way to the Rohn checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes tips over on the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Musher Jim Lanier eats his lunch at the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ralph Johannessen, from Dagali, Norway, rolls his sled as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Rick Casillo comes over the last drop as he comes down the steps onto the Happy River between the Finger Lake and Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod Vet George Stroberg blows on PreciousÕs paw as Anna Berington holds her at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3. Precious tore part of a toe nail off and the vet snipped off the rest of it and then cauterized it to stop the bleeding.
Bob Hallinen
DeeDee Jonrowe sleeps on her sled at the Rainy Pass checkpoints during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
Jessie Royer gets straw to bed down her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Robert Bundtzen comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Kristy Berington feeds her team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Linwood Fiedler surveys his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Santos drives his dog team into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
John Baker comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mike Ellis comes into the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Mitch Seavey feeds his team at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday morning, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod checkers Susanne Rieder and Michelle Keagle work in the cook area as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
An Iditarod volunteer heads to the communications tent as checkpoint volunteers wait for mushers at Finger Lake during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Iditarod veterinarian Paul Pilfer, from Sylvain, Oh., looks at photos on his iPad as they wait for mushers at the Finger Lake checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
The Winterlake Lodge is home to Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race and is quiet on Sunday evening, March 2, 2014 as volunteers await mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Frank Macias cooks up scallops as Brandon Gchachu and pastry chef Amanda Dixon plate the Soffrito Sunday evening, March 2, 2014, at Winterlake Lodge. Soffrito is a slow roasted pepper stew with Kodiak Bay scallops, arugula salad, and crispy prosciutto and shaved mahon cheese. The Winterlake Lodge is home to the Finger Lake checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and staff was busy serving guests as they awaited mushers early Monday morning.
Bob Hallinen
Martian Buser mushes across the virtually snowless Farewell Burn during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3, 2014.
Bob Hallinen
Ramey Smyth drives his dog team into the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A musher drives his dog team down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen
A pair of mushers drives their dog teams down the Dazel Gorge out of the Rainy Pass checkpoint during the 2014 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday, March 3.
Bob Hallinen

The Iditarod Trail exacted a terrible toll on Tuesday.

Nine mushers officially left the race, many with bruised bodies and broken sleds. The group included two who finished in last year's top 10 and another who had never scratched in 16 previous races

Willow's DeeDee Jonrowe, Big Lake's Jake Berkowitz and Chugiak's Jim Lanier were among those calling it quits. Last year, Jonrowe and Berkowitz placed 10th and eighth, respectively, and Lanier reached Nome for the 16th time in as many tries.

Also scratching Tuesday: Linwood Fiedler of Willow, Mike Santos of Cantwell, Gus Guenther of Clam Gulch, Jan Steves of Edmonds, Wash., and Cindy Abbott of Irvine, Calif.

Another musher, Karen Ramstead of Perryvale, Alberta, was withdrawn by officials. In a press release, race officials said Ramstead wanted to keep racing but officials made her stop because of an injury. 

A 10th musher -- Anchorage's Scott Janssen -- was reportedly out of the race but had not officially scratched by late Tuesday night. According to his Facebook fan page, Janssen broke his leg after crashing on the Farewell Burn between Rohn and Nikolai.

Combined with Cindy Gallea's decision to drop out on Monday, the departures leave the race with 58 mushers out of the field of 69 that started Sunday in Willow.

Gallea, of Wycoff, Minn., ended her race in Skwentna due to illness, but most of Tuesday's departures were by mushers who fell victim to poor trail conditions.

Berkowitz, 27, was stranded for hours on the snowless Farewell Burn, a mine field of brush, rocks and stumps, on Tuesday after his sled was broken beyond repair.

Unable to get his dogs to either the checkpoint behind him (Rohn) or the one ahead (Nikolai), he eventually signaled for help. Iditarod officials sent two planes to retrieve Berkowitz and his dogs, race marshal Mark Nordman said.

"He was definitely disappointed, but the dogs were fine, he was fine -- he just couldn't get the sled going," said Nordman, who spoke to Berkowitz on satellite phone. "I know Jake was looking to win this race, and he felt his race was over. He was happy his dogs were all in good shape."

Berkowitz finished a career-best eighth in last year's race and won the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award for outstanding dog care.

Berkowitz was the only musher who scratched while crossing the Burn. Jonrowe, Fielder, Santos and Guenther scratched in Rohn after a rugged trip through the Happy River Steps and Dalzell Gorge.

Jonrowe told race officials she got "beat up physically in the Dalzell Gorge."

A fan favorite, she was shooting for her 30th Iditarod finish. Jonrowe is 60 years old and hoped to use her time on the trail to heal from the death of her dad, Ken Stout. Stout was fighting cancer during last year's Iditarod -- Jonrowe placed 10th in that race -- and died in early May.

"It's been a long year, a tough year," Jonrowe said Saturday before beginning her race. "It was one week from getting off the trail and getting into crisis mode."

Jonrowe said that within a week of her finish, it was clear her dad was declining rapidly. She helped him get to a family reunion in Missouri, and two days after the trip, Stout was in the hospital. Three days after that, he was in hospice care.

Soon after that, three of her dad's cousins died. Then Jonrowe's husband, Mike, separated his shoulder on a training run with the dogs.

"I've been on overload for a year now," she said.

Lanier's troubles began Monday just before he reached the Steps, which wind wickedly down to the Happy River. His sled tipped on a hill and he was dragged. He said the helmet he was wearing smacked a stump.

"I hurt my Achilles' tendon," he said Monday. "It went 'pop.' "

At 74, Lanier is the oldest musher in the race, and news traveled quickly up the trail to Nikolai that he was hurt. Nicolas Petit of Girdwood urged him to quit. "Somebody call Jim and tell him don't do it," Petit told Iditarod.com.

Petit has a soft spot for Lanier -- he drove Lanier's team during his rookie campaign in 2011 while Lanier recovered from a hip replacement.

"It's not worth it," Petit said. "Somebody get Jim on the horn right now."

 

Complete Iditarod coverage
By BETH BRAGG and KEVIN KLOTT
Anchorage Daily News