Pete Out of Elim

Pete is out of Elim. Solidly in 5th position, after a 4 hour break he should have a good run to White Mountain and a mandatory 8 hour layover.

Update- Pete was out of Elim at 11:41. The Team is now down to 10 dogs, with a dropped dog in Elim.

Dallas Seavey, the race leader, just arrived in White Mountain with a trail time of 8h 49m. If Pete and the Team match that time, they should be into White Mountain at about 8am tomorrow morning. An 8 hour rest will mean leaving at about 4pm. Another 9 hours puts Pete and the Team into Nome early Wednesday morning– Probably between Midnite and 2am. See ya there!!

Speaking of moving, Kaiser Fans in Bethel and the Anchorage area are boarding planes to Cheer Pete and the Team as they cross the line tomorrow.

I got a call today and there was an open seat and thanks to Rick and Kathy Hanson, I’ll be covering the finish!

Now that Pete is back on the trail, I have to get packing! See ya in the morning!

Last Update- Iditarider (Seavey’s Blog) mentioned the 2h 30m that Dallas camped out on the trail. I forgot this little detail, so Pete’s time could be about 2 hours earlier, at about 10pm or so. Arrival time in White Moutain will be the tell.

Elim – A Short Break

Pete and the Team headed for Elim -

GPS still has Pete and the Team in the checkpoint at Elim. Pete is a cautious musher and a short break here means his team needs it. He knows he has the speed, but also knows that the most important thing is to finish the race with a healthy happy team. No need to push it for no reason. Anticipate a fairly short break though as the next stop is White Mountain, 46 miles down the trail. While Pete and the Team will pass through Golovin, but since it is not an official checkpoint, they can pass right through.

Pete’s times are about an hour slower than last year which tells me that trail conditions are not as good. Last year the trip from Elim to White Mountain took 7 hours and 5 minutes. A slower trail would mean a longer trip of  over 8 hours. That would more than likely be the reason for taking a breather in Elim.

GPS is really up and down tonight. Smythe and Burmeister GPS seem to be offline at this time.

Here are the Elim Stats:

Elim IN Kaiser IN Musher Time Back DIFF L-G
15:19 19:45 Dallas Seavey 4:26 0:39 GAIN
15:51 19:45 Aliy Zirkle 3:54 0:25 LOSS
18:26 19:45 Aaron Burmeister 1:19 0:20 GAIN
18:50 19:45 Ramey Smythe 0:55 0:55 LOSS


Into Elim – Stay or Go??

Pete and the Team are into Elim. The first two teams rested at this checkpoint and it looked like Aaron Burmeister was going to do the same, but then Ramey Smythe blew through the checkpoint without rest and Burmeister is now out of Elim as well. I am curious to see if Pete and the Team stay or go. Smythe is stopped as I write this and I wonder if it was a chess game on his part. It’s now about to get interesting.

Next stop Golovin-

The trail usually heads back out on the sea ice from Elim and runs a mile or two offshore to a cabin at Walla Walla, on the coast eight miles south of Elim. In some years, when there is open water just off shore, the traill will stay overland on the Old Elim Mail Trail.

At Walla Walla, the trail rurns inland and climbs over the Kwiktalik Mountains with a series of long, moderately hard grades. The final summit is 1,000 feet at Little McKinley, about eight miles past Walla Walla and ten miles from Golovin. This is considered the hardest climb on the last half of the race.

The trail then makes a fast descent to Golovin Bay, running northwest along the bay ice for the last five miles to Golovnin. (The bay was first explored by Captain Gloving of the Imperial Russian Navy in the early 1800?s. The bay and lagoon behind the town retain the original spelling; the town’s name ha been changed over the years.)

Pete’s decision to rest an hour more in Koyuk is bound to pay dividends in this next section of the trail. Teams will need some stamina to climb the hills before the homestretch into Golovin.

Today has undoubtedly been a struggle with strong cross winds and chilly temperatures. Luckily this is like the weather is in their home court, so it isn’t anything they haven’t seen before.

Pete and the Team are now 46 miles from White Mountain and an 8 hour mandatory rest. Then it is a 77 mile sprint for the burled arches in Nome.

Weather tonight:

257 PM AKDT MON MAR 12 2012

WITH LOCAL GUSTS AROUND 20 MPH. – Windy Trail to Elim

Ramey Smith pushing to Elim

From Sebastian Schnuelle-


A place of common headgames. In 2008 Lance Mackey snuck out of there while Jeff King was sleeping. It is really crunch time, if you want to make a move. Most likely Ramey Smyth will blow through here, in the hunt of Aaron Burmeister. Its been a tough and windy run over here. It was blowing a steady 25 mph from the northeast. Somewhat from the side, still making conditions difficult, the trail blown in. Windy as hell along the Kwik River Delta and Moses Point.

ALL mushers were pushing hard, either nonstop pedaling like Ramey or ski-poling like Mitch and Aaron.

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