Koyuk Report – Wassillie Mute

Wassillie Mute just called Janet and said the Team looked great coming into Koyuk. Wassillie said that Pete actually came in BEFORE Haltmann even though Iditarod.com is reporting differently.

He is taking photos with a cell phone and going to try to send them our way!

Nice Job Team Kaiser!!

Into Koyuk – Top Gun!!

Pete and the Team into Koyuk at 10:56.

ONE MINUTE Behind SVEN!! His run time was the fastest again over the trail from Shaktoolik to Koyuk besting both Baker and Smyth.

Nice Run from Unalakleet to Koyuk. Expect a rest period here before starting west towards Elim and White Mountain.

Looking at last year and this year, Pete and the Team are making longer runs and longer rest periods, but it is paying off with great trail times.

Updating Stats as we speak.

Gaining on Haltmann

GPS shows Pete and the Team gaining progressively on Sven Haltmann. Sven had a 90 minute advantage out of Unalakleet, but I think Team Kaiser has the faster, more durable team. (And they train on Glare Ice and Snow) Stay tuned! He is less than a mile behind Haltmann and they are 5 miles out of Koyuk.

Looking at the Standings- Pete has made most of his time up on Haltman from Shaktoolik north.

The Race for 11th

Five mushers are within close striking distance to the top 10. Presently they are lined up within short distances of each other. Sven Haltmann is leading the pack followed by Pete, Aliy Zirkle, Mike Williams Jr., and Ken Anderson. 2 miles apart at 8 miles per hour is a 15 minute separation. Anything can happen (And will!!)

On the Ice to Koyuk

This morning has Pete and the Team on the Ice bound for Koyuk.

They are the faster team and have moved up in positions over the night to 12th place. They passed both Aliy Zirkle and Lance Mackey. GPS shows the Team 31 miles out of Koyuk.

They were in and out of Shaktoolik the morning at 05:01 with no drop dogs. Having a good team of dogs is really going to pay off on this last stretch to the north. This stretch over the ice has got to be one of the worst at this time of the day. If he was seeing things on the Shageluk trail, who knows who he’ll meet on this desolate Bering Sea ice.

If the temperature is right, he’ll see mirages of Koyuk as it appears out of the ice. Temperature inversions can make you think things are closer than they appear. Stick to the trail markers and they’ll get you there.

Go Man Go!

On the Baker Front- John is maintaining the 8 mile lead with Ramey Smyth not giving much ground. They have an 8 hour mandatory layover in White Mountain and then it’s a shootout to Nome and Smyth has the faster sprint team.

From Alaska Dispatch Joe Runyan Description of Trail-

This crossing to Koyuk is, however, a challenge even without bad weather. The trip can be beautiful beneath expansive skies, but numbing in the monotony of the sea ice, and the white. The temptation to doze as the sled rocks like a cradle over windblown hard pack on a generally straight-arrow trail is a constant struggle.

At night, the musher must keep his headlight scanning the trail to be absolutely sure the lead dogs do not wander onto an errant snowmachine track. The trail is well marked but occasionally a blast of wind can take out a section of the carrot-topped, reflectorized Iditarod markers; or the ice can shift to break the thread of the trail. Then the musher must move cautiously from marker to marker, using his or her headlight to scan for a reflection in the dark. The dog driver best look back, too, just to make sure he hasn’t wandered.

About 30 miles shy of Koyuk, the lights of that village finally become visible, but they are like stars. The dogs trot for hours still and the village on a hill overlooking Norton Bay never seems to get much closer. “When will we get there?” is the thought that goes through a musher’s mind as he fights to stay alert in the dark and the white.

 

Team Kaiser Out of Unalakleet

Pete just left Unalakleet bound for Shaktoolik. It is unofficial, but GPS shows him 2 miles out.

He is leaving in 14th place with 12 dogs.

The run up to Koyuk is about 12 hours mushing with a break thrown in, Pete should get up there after lunch tomorrow.

See Ya in the Morning!

Weather for tonight’s run up the coast:

EASTERN NORTON SOUND AND NULATO HILLS-
INCLUDING...UNALAKLEET...STEBBINS...ST MICHAEL...ELIM...KOYUK...SHAKTOOLIK
.TONIGHT...CLEAR. LOWS ZERO TO 5 ABOVE.
NORTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.
.MONDAY...SUNNY. HIGHS AROUND 15. NORTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 20 MPH.

 

GPS Slow this evening

GPS is only updating every 15 minutes or so right now. That’s 4 times an hours which is excruciating if you are trying to keep track!! Pete is still in UNK. John Baker should be in Koyuk by now. Lance Mackey is out of UNK.

Spring has sprung forward, so it’s almost bedtime for the webmaster.

Be here til Pete hits the trail.

 

Sven Haltmann Out of UNK

Pete followed Sven Haltmann into Unalakleet. He was about 45 minutes behind Sven. Mackey has not left yet, so the possibility exists that Pete may be able to pick up another position. Several mushers are down to just a few dogs and that will begin to take its toll. Neff has 9 dogs and Redington has 8. Mackey arrived into UNK with 9. Pete will be leaving with 12 dogs which has to be a good thing. Aliy Zirkle didn’t rest in UNK, so she has to stop at some point. She rested on the trail from Kaltag, but I think Pete has an advantage on her.

Think of starting the K300 with 9 dogs. They don’t have quite that far to go, but it is still a stretch of ground from Unalakleet to Nome and every dog counts as well as every hour of rest.