Monday, February 14, 2011

Crazy Yukon Quest

The Yukon Quest, the 1000 mile sled dog race between Whitehorse and Fairbanks, has been crazy this year. First, from the reports I heard, temperatures were perhaps even above freezing in Whitehorse just before the race start. Then the race started, and things looked fast. Hugh Neff was up front, and even seemed to have made it past some difficult sections of the trail on the Alaska side before weather moved in. He seemed unstoppable. Then the cold front moved in, and things started changing. Fast. First, reports of Hugh Neff finding some serious overflow (water flowing over ice), serious enough that one of his dogs was submerged. All of that in fourty to fifty below temperatures. He still made it into the checkpoint in Central ok. Next, a report that four-time champion Hans Gatt also got stuck in an overflow someplace - he fell in chest deep after the ice he thought was solid broke under him. Same cold temperatures. A fellow musher helped to get him and his dogs out and built a fire, and they improvised some shoes from various materials on the sled, and made it to Central, where Hans Gatt scratched. He is lucky to be alive. And last report - Hugh Neff, the leader for 800 miles, could not make it over the summit a bit further up the trail, and scratched too. It will be interesting to see how the race continues, and I just hope that everyone will be safe and sound when all is said and done.


Matt Heavner said...

It really is a crazy on this year. What I read said that most of Hans Gatt's dogs were swimming when they broke threw. He had to get the dogs out, then go back, and haul the sled.. Wow.

Cecile said...

crazy !