Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Leap frogging the trail breaker

Reports from the race confirm unrideable conditions into Ruby. The times of the leaders reflect this as well (they got in last night at 8pm). Ruby is mile 564 of the race, the halfway point. With over 9 days down it seems unlikely that Mike's record to Nome will fall this year.

For Mike it's been a slow day. Speed picked up for a few miles, I'm guessing due to the dog sled trail breaker, but has dropped again to pushing levels as of this evening. I see on the Ion tracker that the trail breaker has holed up in Cripple, and Mike is well past there, likely encountering the same conditions as the race leaders. Actually, there's some chance conditions are worse given the ridiculously warm weather and near rain (!) that's been going on out there.

Mike is about 70 miles from Ruby, which means he's looking good for his goal of sub 25 days to Nome. It may take him another 2-3 days to reach Ruby, but he'd still be on track, especially given the layover in McGrath.

The mushers are getting slowed by the soft conditions, but they are creeping up on Mike. On the phone he mentioned that he hoped to be to the Yukon River (at Ruby) before the dogs catch him. I'm not sure why (help anyone?) this is, but it doesn't seem like that will be the case. They may pass him tomorrow sometime, but it would be late tomorrow.

Not too much going on in the map, except that the SPOT is sending more consistent points. The Alaska Range is now in the distance, and the terrain generally more flat.

That, and not too many miles covered. Looks like a day full of stepping in Jay, Pete, Rocky, Carl and Dario's deep foot steps.

Finally, here is a "big picture" view of the trip so far:

The tents mark approximate camping spots. Note that two nights were spent at McGrath.


  1. Not that I know anything about snow biking but I would imagine Mike feels as though the conditions (soft snow) along with millions of doggie prints would make his job of pushing/pedaling even harder? Maybe just the fact that he likes being alone? One could speculate forever but who knows what his actual thoughts are. Thanks so much for the updates!