Running the race again 2 years later Max and his team encountered many difficulties. On the first night he and his team became soaked in the overflow from the Skywentna river and spent considerable time drying out both himself and his team of dogs.
He subsequently left Skwentna very late. An uneventful few days took him through Finger Lake, Happy River, Rainy Pass and the Dalzell Gorge.
On leaving Rohn Max and his team got severely lost on the Glacier going into the burn and in the moonless night spent many hours finding the way back.
Once back on the trail, the dogs seemed to know what was happening and lost all enthusiasm for the race. At Nikolai it was evident to Max that a scratch was the only result. He continued on to McGrath because that was a logistically more suitable place to end his 1997 Iditarod.