The first race was in 1987 across the Chugach Range from Eureka Roadhouse to Valdez. The route was the idea of a couple Valdez adventurers (Brian Teale and John Weiland), whom I thought would show up, if that was the route.
But they didn't show up, of course, and the route had avalanche danger, so the second year course was through the Alaska Range, "the Denali Dash".
The Dash Route (1988-1990) was the route I had envisioned since 1981 and the route that Audun Endestadt and I skied in 1986 in about 3.5 days, making two, 12 hour camps en route (Black rapids Pass; Susitna-West Fork Pass). That was an amazing ski trip and the route is a great nordic mountaineering adventure: up the Black Rapids, down the Susitna, over to the Gillam or over to the West Fork and the down the Yanert. This is the route Luc et al did in the summer classic across moraine, bare ice, and river by foot and packraft last summer in the 2011 Classic.
But as a ski trip in springtime it is a TRUE classic.