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Pete’s GPS is over 90 minutes old. Mike Williams Jr., who he left with is at Mile 144 which would put him at a similar point on the trail. Teams are making the run between Rainy Pass and Rohn in about 4 hours. John Baker left Rainy an hour before Pete at 15:34. Pete is running at a similar pace and rest schedule, so I anticipate Team Kaiser into Rohn between 8:45 and 9:00pm. Weather is still good and teams are making pretty good times.
GPS shows Team Kaiser out of Rainy Pass on the trail towards Rohn. This is a tough stretch of trail and probably why he took a bit more rest here.
This leg is not as long as the official mileage indicates. It is really only about 32 miles, and should take three and a half to five hours. It has some very tough trail, including the notorious Dalzell Gorge. Given a choice, most mushers prefer to do this during the day, although a nighttime run is entirely feasible, and with a bright moon can be ethereally beautiful. If possible, leave Rainy Pass Lodge so as to be at the summit of Rainy Pass about dawn (about a two or three hour run). If you do it in the afternoon, plan to be at the summit with at least two hours of daylight remaining.
The trail runs in the open on the tundra of Ptarmigan Pass from Rainy Pass Lodge to the mouth of Pass Creek, which it then follows northwest up to the summit of Rainy Pass itself. Then there are several miles of sometimes steep downhills and often tight, twisting trail through scrub willow southwest along Pass Fork to Dalzell Creek. The trail then drops into the infamous Dalzell Gorge for a few miles and finally onto the Tatina River for the last five miles to Rohn.
Nicholai Weather is cooler with light winds.
Pete and the Team were into Rainy Pass at 12:38pm. They will probably take a break here before heading out. Weather conditions are fair, far better than I imagined as we had a blizzard this morning and it continues at this moment. It is improving though and the warnings appear to be cancelling. That’s good news as I was fearing for a storm run into the Alaska Range and that wouldn’t be much fun!