February 17


Preparing For The Susitna 100 Winter Endurance Race

By Dan

February 17, 2011

Fatback Snow Bike with a Photoflex Galen Rowell Chestpouch

This weekend, I’ll be doing the Susitna 100, which is a 100 mile winter endurance race that’s held out on the lands and frozen rivers west of Anchorage, Alaska.

Of course, as an adventure photographer, I’ll be taking along my camera with me on the snow bike. After deliberating whether to buy or borrow a nice light point and shoot like the Nikon P7000, or the Panasonic Lumix LX-5, I’ve decided to go with what I know and take my DSLR for maximum versatility.

At this point, the plan is to take the D700 and two lenses, the 24mm f/2.8 wide angle and the 85mm f/1.8 short telephoto. Both area relatively light and compact.

However, the D700 is not very light, but hey, that’s the way it goes. Sure, it will probably slow me down a bit, but how is that different from anything else that I’ve ever done in the past fifteen years?

I’ve rigged up a very simple system in which to carry the camera when it’s not slung over my shoulder. It will live in my Photoflex Galen Rowell Chest Pouch attached to the handlebars, just above the handlebar bag, where I’ll keep most of my food, including 8 slices of homemade pizza, which I will certainly enjoy eating in the middle of the night when it’s dark and cold and and I’m tired of cliff bars, GU and trail mix.

The photography part should be fairly straight forward, including the obligatory “how to keep your batteries warm and keep condensation off of the camera and the lenses.” I’ll keep spare batteries inside inner pockets and use hand warmer packs if it gets too cold.

Hopefully, the conditions and weather will be favorable, hopefully I’ll even be able to finish the race, and hopefully I’ll get some great images, although I guess we’ll see how that goes. Depending on the snow, I’m thinking that it will take around 24 hours go complete the race.

If… (Big IF!) I get some photos worth sharing, I’ll post them here next week. Until then, wish me luck!

Have a great weekend.


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About the author

Hi, I'm Dan Bailey, a 20+ year pro outdoor and adventure photographer, and official FUJIFILM X-Photographer based in Anchorage, Alaska.

As a top rated blogger and author my goal is to help you become a better, more confident and competent photographer, so that you can have as much fun and creative enjoyment as I do.

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  • Don’t do it! Grab your skis instead!

    Just kidding. I know it’s going to be a slog though with all the fresh snow. I see you and Amy are both signed up, have a good ride together and stay safe. I’ll talk to you about it next time I see you on the trails.


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