JOSEPH, Oregon -- A notable dog sled race is happening in Oregon's beautiful, Eagle Cap Wilderness near the Wallowa Mountains.
The Eagle Cap Extreme is a qualifying event for Alaska's famous Iditarod. Here, Mushers travel up to 200 miles through a rugged landscape of mountains, steep canyons, and alpine forest.
The event kicked off Wednesday. It includes three races: a 12-dog, 200-mile race, an 8-dog, 100-mile race; and a shorter 62-mile race for 6 dogs.
Montana's Roy Etnire won the 100 mile race just before 6:30 a.m. Friday. The 200-mile race is expected to conclude early Saturday morning.
Organizer Troy Nave says 2014's race marks the event's 10th anniversary.
Great turnout, and we have also one of the biggest fields of mushers in the history of our race, Nave told KTVB over the phone. We had 19 mushers, some from Montana, Idaho, Washington, several from Alberta, Canada.
Competitors from Idaho include Rick Katucki, a veteran musher from Eagle with 14 years of experience, 20-year-old Josi Thyr of Cataldo, Idaho who's been mushing from the age of 9, and 20-year-old Garrett Warren from Council, along with his mom Laurie Warren.
Those who take part In the 200-mile course will gain and lose 26,000 vertical feet, which approaches the height of Mount Everest.
The winner in each category gets a cash prize. Organizers say the sled dogs in these races burn up to 10,000 calories a day, and earn a well-deserved rest.