Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pushing to McGrath

It looks like slow going along the Kuskowim River today. Mike has covered 30 miles so far, with what looks like constant movement (my track data is showing no stops). He's been moving for about 12 hours straight. That's an average of 2.5 mph (adjusted for GPS track distance, not SPOT distance).

My guess is it's fresh snow causing the slow down. Here's the current forecast:

Snow in the area to the east of Sleetmute will continuing through the evening. An additional 1/2 to 1 inch of new snow fall possible through the period...expect larger amounts of snow fall to the east of McGrath. Visibility reduced to less then 1 mile during heavier periods of snow. Variable winds 5 to 10 mph with temperatures in the mid 20 to lower 30s. Conditions continuing through 10 PM.

Nobody said it was going to be easy. Mike walked most of this stretch last year, and I'll wager he keeps pushing on through the night to reach Peter / Tracey's place in just a couple more hours.

Here's a close up shot of Mike's candy filled waterbottles:

Thanks to Eric P. for the pic and the correction on 4.75lbs of Mike and Ikes, not 5lbs!

I updated the TopoFusion tracker with the full route to Nome (I had the north route from last year, but had to piece together the southern route, thus the delay). It looks like Billy is at Ophir tonight.

I just checked in with the Iditarod dog race (tracker here) and they are catching up to Mike. According to that tracker the trail breaker already passed Mike (it was into McGrath 5 hours ago), but it doesn't seem to have helped him much.

I'm looking forward to hearing from Mike soon. I'm sure I'll have plenty to write in tomorrow's update.



  1. Just curious if you have word that the self imposed rules have changed and if Mike will stay for a warmup at the oasis or if he will be sticking to his guns and staying outside?

    And what of the mancakes? They would be hard to resist I imagine.

    Thanks for keeping us updated on what is happening, here is wishing MC luck from sunny Iowa.

    Looking forward to the pics!

  2. Ah, well I guess the FIN post answers my question