• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
54s

Iditarod sled repairs 101

By Dave Detling 11:14 PM February 28, 2014

Mushers ship extra sleds to checkpoints

WASILLA - If you need an Iditarod sled you go see Bernie Willis. He’s one of the top names in Alaska and a handful of mushers have him on speed dial.

He’s been building sleds for 50 years.

Building sleds is one thing, he says, maintaining them is a whole different beast.

“Wisdom comes as a result of dealing with mistakes,” Willis said.

He shows off one sled that’s experienced tough terrain.

“These runners are full of coarse grooves. They’re not even parallel,” Willis said. “The condition of these runners tell me the sled has been across roads or on bare ground.”

The sled builder says runners are easy to change and mushers should know how to repair their sled if they’re in a bind.

“You’re never at a competitive advantage with a broken sled,” he said. “You may be able to finish the trip but it’s no longer a race if you’ve busted your sled much.”

It’s recommended mushers carry extra equipment.

The list of must-haves include:

  • Hose clamps
  • Spare tools
  • Extra lines

Latest Stories

  • News

    ConocoPhillips Alaska sets drilling record

    by Daniella Rivera on Sep 29, 21:54

    At a time when there’s no clear end in site for plummeting oil prices, good news from the North Slope is rare, but on Thursday ConocoPhillips Alaska announced its set a new drilling record at drill site CD5, the first drill site in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA). CD5 is now home to the longest […]

  • Lifestyle

    HPV vaccine works even better than expected, study finds

    by CBS News on Sep 29, 21:42

    The vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, which doctors believe causes most cases of cervical cancer, appears even more effective than believed, a new study finds. “After eight years of vaccination, the reduction in the incidence of cervical neoplasia [abnormal growth of cells], including pre-cancers, have been reduced approximately 50 percent. This is greater than what was […]

  • Lifestyle

    Emergency preparation: How to be power outage ready

    by Lauren Maxwell on Sep 29, 20:35

    Alaskans are always being reminded to prepare for a disaster, but an emergency doesn’t necessarily have to be an event like a major earthquake. Something as common as a power outage can turn into an emergency if it lasts for hours or even days. Art Nash is an energy expert with UAF. Cooperative Extension Service. […]

  • Crime

    Women sentenced for 2013 Midtown Anchorage murder

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 29, 20:27

    A 30-year-old woman was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the shooting death of her boyfriend. According to the District Attorney’s Office, Bonnie Degenstein was sentenced by Anchorage Superior Court judge Kevin Saxby, Wednesday, for the death of Ryan Tamborino. Earlier this year Degenstein pled guilty to manslaughter. Degenstein called police and told them […]

  • News

    On National Coffee Day, no shortage of stands for Anchorage caffeine lovers

    by Heather Hintze on Sep 29, 19:33

    Whether you’re a skinny, no-sugar, half-caff vanilla latte kind of person or someone who just likes a cup of joe, there’s not shortage of places to get a caffeine fix in Anchorage. “My thing is more the people,” said barista Haylee Bizaillon. “They could have really good coffee as well, but it’s the people that […]

  • News

    Pools, rinks and trails: Mat-Su residents vote on $22 million recreation bond

    by Shannon Ballard on Sep 29, 19:15

    On Tuesday, Mat-Su Borough voters will decide if they are willing to up their taxes in order to help pay for renovations to two area swimming pools, hockey rink improvements, trail systems and more. The smell of chlorine is a public pool staple, but in Wasilla the chemical has been slowly corroding already out of […]

  • Crime

    APD looking for suspect in tanning salon robbery

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Sep 29, 18:49

    The Anchorage Police Department (APD) is looking for a vehicle involved in a tanning salon robbery Thursday evening. According to a release from APD, at 5:46 p.m. police officers were called to Sun Splash Tanning, located at 6700 Jewel Lake Road, in response to a robbery. The female suspect held a handgun as she ordered […]

  • On-Air

    Reality Check w/ John Tracy: You shouldn’t blame Walker for half of a PFD

    by John Tracy on Sep 29, 17:33

    On Friday, we found out that this year’s dividend will be $1,022 instead of $2,052. All because Governor Bill Walker unilaterally cut the dividend in half, keeping nearly $700 million in the earnings reserve. Walker says that money might be needed for future dividends or for state spending after we’ve blown through our savings, which we’re […]