Mike and his Team are out of White Mountain at 16:39 with 8 dogs. He has 77 miles in the light of the sunset as he makes his way West. The Top 3 Teams averaged 9-10 hours on the ride. We are expecting him at the Finish Line in Nome around 2:30am. We will be there to get some photos and a word or two!
Pete will be able to leave at 22:31 (10:31pm) followed 25 minutes later by Richie and his Team.
Weather Conditions in the White Mountain are overcast with a light breeze of ice crystals. Nome is very much the same, weather conditions-wise. Expected weather in the problem areas near Safety have calmed down substantially since last night, but it still will be a bit breezy.
After a good long break due to weather, Pete and the Team are barrellin’ down the trail headed for Nome. They just arrived into White Mountain with an astonishing time of 5 hours and 22 minutes. To put it in perspective, that is over 40 minutes faster than Jeff King’s super run! GO Team!!
They arrived into White Mountain and the mandatory 8 hour layover at 14:31 with 13 dogs.
Right on their tails, (just had to add that in there!) was Richie Diehl and his Team. Richie has been battling Matt Failor for position since Elim. Matt’s Team left Elim over 30 minutes ahead of Richie and Pete, but Richie was able to prevail and arrived in 14th position 3 minutes ahead. What is notable, though, is that Richie’s time into White Mountain was 5 hours 47 minutes, a whopping 48 minutes faster over the run. Go Richie and Team Diehl!!
Out Times for our Kusko Trio:
Mike Williams Jr. – 16:31 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 2am and 4am Wednesday Morning
Pete Kaiser – 22:31 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 5 and 7am Wednesday Morning
Richie Diehl – 22:56 –
Guestimate Finish – Between 5:30am and 7:30am Wednesday Morning
After 14 hours in Elim, Pete and Richie are back on the Trail. A long hard night of weather is improving luckily. The trail will also be much easier to deal with considering that it is now daylight.
The run of the night, in my book, was the EPIC run of Mike Williams Jr. He took off out of Elim when many Teams, including Pete and Richie, had decided to wait it out.
“Kitaki” (Yup’ik for Let’s GO!)
I can just imagine the thought process– Mike takes a look at the weather and the ice and thinks, “Just Like Akiak or Whitefish Lake.” Mike has been training on very similar conditions (And the wind knows how to blow in Bethel!)
As we saw this morning with Jeff King, lady luck can be the leader of the team at any moment. In Mikes case, Lady Luck led him through Golovin Bay by the weather improving where it had been so severe to the mushers in front of him.
Mike Jr. is now running in 11th position and is now taking his 8 hour mandatory layover.
Considering all of the layovers and delays, I am guestimating Mike Jr. arriving between 1 and 3 this morning. Pete and Richie, having left Elim at 9:09 am, I am guestimating a Finish between 10 and Noon tomorrow.
Mushing Weather for Today, It looks like the party is not over! Visibility isn’t great, but not bad.
855 AM AKDT TUE MAR 11 2014...STRONG LOCAL GUSTS EAST OF NOME TODAY....TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. PERIODS OF SNOW. SNOW ACCUMULATION UP TO
2 INCHES. HIGHS ZERO TO 10 ABOVE. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH. EAST
OF NOME...LOCAL GUSTS 45 MPH WITH LOW VISIBILITY IN BLOWING SNOW.
.TONIGHT...CLOUDY. FLURRIES. LOWS ZERO TO 10 BELOW. NORTH WINDS
5 TO 15 MPH.
The excitement of the Iditarod doesn’t end until the last musher crosses the Burled Arches in Nome. But the fever pitch is building to crown the 2014 Iditarod Champion for sure!
When Team Kaiser Pit Crew boarded the Jet to Anchorage at 8, Jeff King seemed to have the race under control. Well as our turbulent flight arrived in Anchorage, it was no match to the turbulence of the race up near the Safetly.
As the Jet pulled into the gate, my phone started to buzz, and Buzz, and BUZZ! Tiffany Tony is Screaming in my Ear- SHE’S PASSED HIM!!!
Aliy had passed Jeff? Naw, I said, that can’t be true.
Apparently it is.
Whatever the reason, Aliy and her Team were into the Safety checkpoint and Jeff has not made it there. The winds now near Safety are Brutal. Reports have it close to 45mph. It’s bad enough that Sebastian Schnuelle said he’s just not going back out there to check.
Cape Nome this Afternoon
My phone wasn’t the only phone ringing. As I called Myron Angstman, he also had a hot hand from fielding calls. I got a call in and he said this has happened before– The Finish has had it’s lore of exciting times in the last bit of the race.
Thought the news of the day is of Jeff King and the Win at the Finish Line, conditions are brutal on the trail tonight.
Fast Teams have been reduced to a crawl as they attempt to make the crossing of Golovin Bay. The wind has been gusting over 30mph and top teams from yesterday are posting times that are pitiful, yet an indicator of the terrible trail.
Martin Buser, the jackrabbit for much of the race made the journey into White Mountain this afternoon in well over 12 hours compared to Jeff King, who last night made the trip in just over 6.
As usual, when Alaska Weather rears its head, pay attention because often it has a temper!
Tonight’s Weather doesn’t look for much improvement and our Teams are going to have their work cut out for them for sure!
432 PM AKDT MON MAR 10 2014.TONIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW. LOWS 2 TO 7
BELOW. NORTH WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH. EAST OF NOME...AREAS OF BLOWING
SNOW WITH GUSTS TO 40 MPH.
.TUESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF SNOW IN THE AFTERNOON.
HIGHS 4 BELOW TO 1 ABOVE. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH. EAST OF
NOME...AREAS OF BLOWING SNOW WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH.
I just got a call from Myron Angstman concerning the conditions and he has a great trail report and some insight as to what Teams are facing out there tonight.