Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race
The Eagle Cap Extreme runs through the rugged Wallowa Mountains in Northeastern Oregon. It has been described as challenging, fun and drop-dead beautiful by participants and fans alike. This all-volunteer race receives high marks for professionalism and for being very well run. We focus on making the mushers experience as safe, comfortable and fun as possible. The mushers and their dogs really love their fans, especially all the school kids that make a special field trip to see the event.
The event starts with morning Vet Checks on Main Street in Joseph followed by afternoon checks in Enterprise. The Vet Checks are a fun way to meet the mushers and interact with the dogs! They are free and open to the public.
The race starts the next day at 12 noon at the Fergi Ski Area, about 9 miles southeast of Joseph. Fans can line up on the side of the starting chute to root for their favorite team! Race Start Parking is provided nearby, with a shuttle starting at 10:45 or prepare for a 5 to 10 minute walk on a plowed road to get to the Fergi Ski Area. The race start is also free and open to the public.
Another great vantage point is the Salt Creek Summit Sno-Park. The racers start coming through this first checkpoint about an hour after they start. Note: This area requires a sno-park permit.
There's a lot going on in addition to the Vet Checks and Race Start: visit the schedule here.
Be sure to come early and witness how excited the dogs get when they do what they love: RACE!
*Pot Race Defined: A race in which the race winnings consist exclusively of that race's entry fees. For this year's ECX "pot" race, that means 50% to first place, 30% to second place; 20% to third place.
A Community Love Affair
Story by Rose Hansen, images by Benjamin Krause.
Bino Fowler feels something burning in his boot. A rock? A wood shaving? He tries to ignore it, focuses on the tug, on Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, June Carter – the dogs of his country legends litter. He considers his competitors, all ahead of him. He's the caboose. He worries about temperature – a warm 34 degrees. He thinks about the trail – Gumboot Butte and Big Sheep Basin and Tamarack Mountain. He admires the snow's glimmering, scalloping waves, but dammit – something's burning in his boot. Maybe it's just bad luck. Maybe it's fate. He doesn't have time for that. There's a race going on, and he's only five miles in.
Read more: Mushing Magazine 2011 ECX Article
as told by Steve Madsen, Winner 2011 ECX 200 Mile Race
In January of 2011, I got to compete in the Eagle Cap Extreme against two teams fielded by the kennel of Karen Ramstead of British Columbia, Canada. With a field of only three teams, the 2011 Eagle Cap probably didn’t represent the very best of the hundred or so elite distance racing teams outside of Alaska. Nevertheless, it did set up to be a classic duel of evenly-matched teams which would ultimately run only minutes apart over 200 miles of the most challenging terrain in the Pacific Northwest. This was to be a race in the classic sense which would tap the considerable skills of its mushers and seemingly bottomless endurance of its canine competitors. Every moment in the lead was a moment that would have to be earned.
Read more: Too Close to Call
Brett Bruggeman - Winner 200 mile race!
Bino Fowler, Winner 100 mile Race!
Trevor Warren - Winner 62 Mile Pot Race!
Moriah Hubbell - Winner 22 Mile Junior's Race!
photo by Amy Edison
Eagle Cap Extreme operates under a special use permit from Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer