Skis, Sleds and Softball on Snowshoes: Anchorage packs three wild events into 10 winter days

Looking for winter fun, a true Alaska experience and a dash of adventure? Three huge events spice up late February and early March in Anchorage. Spanning 10 days, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® and the Tour of Anchorage fill the city with winter activities to suit any interest.

From February 24 to March 4, 2012, Anchorage Fur Rendezvous, or “Rondy” as it’s known locally, features dozens of events that make the most of the Alaska winter. Wild events like outhouse races, the Frostbite Footrace, snowshoe softball and Yukigassen – a team snowball fight tournament – mean lots of fun and plenty of friendly competition for bragging rights. This year, Rondy marks the fifth annual Running of the Reindeer. In which participants make a mad dash down Fourth Avenue alongside live reindeer. Rondy also is home to the World Championship Sled Dog Races, the premier short-distance sled dog race. But just as Rondy reaches its pinnacle, another event – perhaps the most iconic Alaska event – kicks off in Anchorage.

The 1,049 mile Iditarod starts in downtown Anchorage on March 3, 2012, as mushers, dogs and sleds line Fourth Avenue and spectators pack the sidewalks in anticipation of the “Last Great Race.” After a mile and a half on city streets, the course speeds through forested trails, greenbelts and parks of Anchorage. But this is merely the beginning; in the days ahead, mushers face daunting terrain, treacherous weather and vast wilderness on their way to Nome. But even after the last team has left Anchorage, the weekend holds another big event.

See the city of Anchorage and get a good workout in the process. On March 4, 2012, the annual Tour of Anchorage takes full advantage of the city’s vast trail system for the ultimate cross-country skiing event. Part of the American Ski Marathon Series, North America’s longest running and largest citizen’s racing and touring series, the Tour of Anchorage also celebrates its 25th year in 2012. With 50K, 40K and 25K routes, it’s all about endurance. Whether speeding to the finish line or taking a more leisurely pace, the Tour of Anchorage is a great way to experience Alaska through the trail system.

For more information on Anchorage’s wild adventures and urban delights, visit

See also:

Alaska Heritage Tours Turn a Stopover in Anchorage into a Wilderness Exploration

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