Many Southcentral Alaska races have grown in popularity while more and more new races crop up ever year. That leaves stalwart Alaska racers with more options than ever while the bar of entry for new racers or would-be runners feels lower and less scary. Alli Harvey
The young musher from Eureka pulled out of Circle City first, heading towards the jumble ice of the Yukon River.  Sass, Allen Moore of Two Rivers and  Hugh Neff of Tok are leading the racers toward Whitehorse. Casey Grove | Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
A Montana State University student from Anchorage was found dead after he failed to return from a solo backcountry ski trip near Bozeman.The Associated Press
A hungry marten hunts down a snowshoe hare in a video taken by James Loon, who drove upon the scene while heading to work in rural Quebec on Thursday. Laurel Andrews
REI's business acumen has taken it to heights rarely seen by a retail cooperative. But as a record-low turnout in the latest annual election shows, REI's original democratic fervor seems to have stayed at base camp. Ángel González | The Seattle Times

The 33rd annual Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race begins Saturday in Fairbanks. Twenty-three mushers will race to Whitehorse, Yukon. 

Alaska Dispatch News
Stargaze in Alaska's early winter mornings to catch four visible planets simultaneously. If you're very, very lucky, you might be able to make it five planets.Jill Burke
Water has a way of making memories and teaching lessons — whether it’s your snowmobile buried to the running boards in overflow or the big trout below the ice.  John Schandelmeier
Acclaimed big mountain skier Angel Collinson emerged almost unscathed after falling 1,000 feet down a mountain in Alaska’s Neacola Range last spring, as seen in a newly-released video.Laurel Andrews
With the start-and-stop of snow in Southcentral the past several winters, the weirds have settled in pretty hard for me. My eyes feel tired and swollen as if I had a mild sinus infection. I am cranky and think about sunny places in a resentful “if only” way — as though it’s not my choice to live in Alaska. Alli Harvey