One of our Major Sponsors, Donlin Gold, asked Pete if he could do a video series on Life as a Musher and his “Keys to Success.”
We jumped at the opportunity to bring a positive message to folks! Visit Donlin Gold Facebook for the full story.
Here is the first one – Setting Goals and Reaching Them. Thanks to the fine folks at Donlin Gold for making this possible!
Good Morning Race Fans!
It’s always a bit tough to get up after a time change, but while we’re whining about an hour missed of sleep, Pete and the Team have been on a sleep deprived schedule for almost a week now!
During the night, Pete and the Team arrived into Kaltag at 1:13am with 11 dogs in harness and one in the sled. They are back on the trail after a 5 hour nap and bound for Unalakleet over the 85 mile portage trail to the coast. The Insider Video of Pete and the Team coming into Kaltag was just amazing! The Team looked Great!! Pete looked a bit tired for sure who could blame him.
This race has been challenging for Teams when you consider the trail from Ophir to Iditarod to Shageluk, and then the Grayling to Kaltag stretch being unused trails. From Kaltag to Nome the trails should be a little better as they are used by villages to travel for subsistence hunting and also were used by the Iron Dog snowmachine race.
Pete had to drop another member of the Team this morning when he left this morning at 7:30 with Richie Diehl and Ray Redington.
This is really a close race! Following in the next 30 minutes were Wade Mars, Matt Failor, and Travis Beals, all who have real nice Teams as well. This is going to be a nail biter to the finish to see who will be in the top 5! Better get the tracker on speed dial!!
It’s going to be a long day on the trail, so grab a cup and follow along!
Go Team Kaiser!!
Weather this morning is really pretty nice for mushing.
Unalakleet and Kaltag Currently- Temp-9F, light winds from the South and partly Sunny.
Unalakleet Forecast Today
Partly sunny, with a high near 17. South wind around 5 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
A 10 percent chance of snow after 4am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 9. East wind around 10 mph.
Pete and the Team are off their way North to Kaltag. They pulled over at Eagle Island after a 7 hour run and took a 5 hour break. That is an EXCELLENT time considering that the Team was pulling a few extra pound of food and supplies. In 2013, Mitch Seavey, who won that year, did that run in 7 hours 13 minutes. Very Impressive Mr. Kaiser and the Team (Of course!)
The run to Kaltag is another 60 miles. There are 7 teams pretty much traveling together behind the front 3 of Petit, Ulsom, and Seavey. Pete and Richie and Ray seem to have the speed advantage, but a small mistake at any point or a sore ankle in any Team could be costly as Teams head up this last section of unused trail.
Presently Kaltag is showing sunshine and winds from the Southwest at 8mph. A Low is headed up the coast and Sunday may prove to be weather challenging.
Mushing Forecast for tonight and tomorrow
(Remember to SPRING FORWARD tonight- YAY!- One more hour of playtime after work!!!):
Kaltag Area- Tonight
A 20 percent chance of snow after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 2. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly before 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 22. Calm wind becoming northeast around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Unalakleet Area – Sunday Night
A 30 percent chance of snow after 3am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 10. East wind 10 to 15 mph.
Snow, mainly after 9am. Areas of freezing fog after 3pm. High near 26. East wind 5 to 15 mph becoming south in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Snow likely, mainly before 9pm. Cloudy, with a low around 16. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Kaltag – Southwest
Kaltag – North
Kaltag – Southeast
Unalakleet – East
Unalakleet – East
Kaltag – South
Grayling – North
Although there won’t be any drop bags waiting for Teams, apparently there may be heater fuel at the traditional Eagle Island checkpoint. It isn’t a checkpoint now, but Mitch Seavey and Joar Leifseth Ulsom stopped over there for a break.
Pete, along with Richie and Ray Redington are approaching the spot and I’d guess that they will be stopping to break the Teams at that point.
Weathercams in Grayling are showing sunny skies, but Kaltag looking South and Unalakleet looking East show clouds. The good news is that from all reports, winds have died down dramatically. It is cold, so there won’t be a “heat of the day” thing to worry about, but after running today with extra gear, it will be a good break and Pete will know that the Team will have a lighter load as he moves North.
Ray Redington is leading the trio, so that helps out the mental energy of the Team to some extent by providing a trail to follow. Eagle Island is halfway to Kaltag, so after a break, there is light to the end of the tunnel of the southern route for 2018.
It won’t be long before Eagle Island will be a flurry of activity as there are still quite a few Teams following closely to Pete and the guys. It’s going to be exciting to the end!
Have a good break boys! Go Team Kaiser!
Currently Anvik- 4 degrees, light winds from the south. Partly cloudy.
Mostly cloudy, with a high near 18. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 2. South wind around 5 mph.
Gonders Hoffman and Steven Boney drove 280 miles to see Team Kaiser in Person– Those are REALLY Super Fans!!
Leaving Bethel they drove up to Aniak and then overland to Holy Cross and stayed the night. This afternoon they headed out for Shageluk just in time to see Pete get ready and take off for Anvik. The duo leapfrogged to Anvik where Pete was only in the checkpoint for a minute and then made for Grayling to wait and watch Pete and Richie stop for their break.
According to Steve, Pete is preparing to bring extra supplies for the run, but after he snacked and bedded down the Team, he made for a bit of shuteye himself as tonight is going to be a long one.
Here are photos from Steven and their adventures today in Shageluk and Grayling.
Just read a report that there are no supplies in Eagle Island and Teams will have to carry food and supplies for the trip from Grayling to Kaltag because the weather has been too poor to fly.
That isn’t the best news I’ve heard…
The saving grace is that all Teams will be having to do the same thing, so there’s no real advantage to an Team. In fact the Teams with the advantage are the ones that might take their 8 hour in Grayling. Mitch Seavey and Joar Ulsom are now taking their 8 hour break, so they will have a bit more rest for the journey.
I’m sure there will be a bit of grumbling in the Grayling Checkpoint tonight, but it is what it is…
I’m not sure why the Iditarod didn’t send up supplies by snowmachine as they have in the past, but they must have their reasons. I want to say I remember supplies being moved up to Cripple Creek on the Northern Route by snowmachine.
Well, not much to do about it except rest up. Pete will have to try and figure what will be the best supplies to take and try to pack light for the trip through a trail that isn’t well used, if used at all.
I spoke to Steven Boney who, with Pete’s father by the law, Gonders Hoffman, were up in Shageluk and Anvik and are now in Grayling. He said that Pete was in a pretty good mood and that the Team looked awesome. He said the trail had been pretty nice between the villages, but that wind was going to be a factor and it was right in their face. There are sections of the trail that pass high cutbank hills that can cause the wind to channel right down the river. It’s going to be a tough night on the trail tonight!!
Go Team Kaiser!
After an 8 hour rest, there’s no reason to rest up again so soon down the trail. Pete and the Team stopped just to sign in and off the went Northbound to Grayling.
It’s a bit of a windy one, but this is racing.
Gotta love those Dogs! Amazing!
I’ll have to relate a little bit about the Team. I had the opportunity to spend a couple of nights with Pete and the Team at Kaiser North just before the race and I’ll tell you they are a pretty happy bunch. I really can’t describe how they are away from all of the distraction, but I will say that they all have personalities and just seemed to be so focused on Pete. Pretty amazing and I can see why many mushers have their world revolve around the Team.
Go Team Kaiser!