FAQ, updated 9/5/2022
* How do I reserve a spot? We'll hold one based on an e-mail or phone call, but need an entry form and deposit quickly. I don't care if 30% says "tba", send a form!
* How are starting numbers assigned? In general, early entries get better numbers. Past winners start first, past entrants before novices, and exceptions may be made for press. Final numbers will be assigned a few weeks ahead, but web list is roughly in start order. (Minor adjustments may be made to keep teams closer).
* What are the risks? We haven't had an injury accident in 36 years of winter events, but a few cars have been badly damaged. 40 entries means 200,000 vehicle miles in serious conditions, so safe & sensible driving is expected.
* How much help can I expect? Our first concern is everyone's personal safety, equipment is secondary. In practice this means radios, planning, a "buddy system", prepared teams, and experienced staff make fast response the rule, but we may not have enough resources at any time and place to spend hours helping a broken or badly "stuffed" vehicle. At a minimum you should expect transport to the nearest warm place where commercial help is available. We do our best to help with vehicle repair or extraction, but not if this would create additional hazard or limit resources needed for safety of others.
* Can you carry gear if we have 3 people in an Impreza? Yes. Officials won't carry your tires or safety equipment, but will transport one 40# bag per "small" vehicle (be sure it's not essential overnight gear as officials could be hours behind).
* What vehicle do you recommend? You might have more fun in an Audi or Subaru, but a full size 4x4 truck or SUV has more reserve capability. We love big trucks for sweep but personal favorites have been Dodge D50 diesel (30 mpg), Audi 5000 Quattro (20+ MPG), Ford Excursion (13-14 mpg with 44 gallon tank), and Audi Q5 (26 mpg). We also like Subaru Foresters but range is less. We have seen teams in rental vehicles. Not recommended, but this isn't a race so as long as insurance covers you in Canada this could do with winter tires.
* What vehicle if we're really serious about winning? Few win ice slaloms in a truck, so maybe a solid SUV. These offer space, ground clearance and reasonable handling, plus extra capability if weather turns ugly. An AWD sedan is also nice, but haven't proven any faster. Some small SUV's are great and others not, but try for 300+ mile driving range (in 2004 some BMW X3's saw a 230 mile range under load, while a gas Excursion got 1 mpg less and did 500+ miles).
* What do you NOT
Avoid 2wd unless you want a challenge. Same story for a
SUV or truck: a long wheelbase is more
is nimble but demands skill and attention. Do NOT add
a lift, and
be wary of automatic 4x4 hubs: No Ford Ranger or
Explorer has finished
a winter Alcan with 4wd still functioning. Examples include:
1) Paris-Dakar veteran Siegfried Lucka bought a new Ranger for 1990 Alcan but 4WD quickly failed, he "would have brought his wife's Caravan" if he planned 2WD.
2) The '95 Ranger I bought for '96 Alcan Winter broke a front hub on day 3 and spent 3000 miles in 2WD.
* How about winter tires? Canada requires "3 Peak" rated winter tires, and narrow is better. Also see discussion at https://www.alcan5000.com/Fouse.htm
* What's a "rallycross"? Basically an autocross on ice or snow, run 1 car at a time. Venues have included 1/4 mile oval tracks, snowmobile courses on frozen lakes & rivers, and Anchorage Sports Car Club road course on Big Lake. (We called them "Solo II" in 80's before dropping SCCA sanction).
* When is the next Alcan event? The next Alcan Winter Rally is 2024, then 2028. The next summer Alcan will be August 2026.
* Why is your web site so basic? To make information quickly & easily available (we don't like frames or Wordpress).