Eddie Burke and Kelsey Taylor – SuperFans!

Really??? Haha!

As Pete and the Team arrive into Anvik, we want to say a special Hello to our Super Fans,¬†Eddie Burke and Kelsey Taylor, who we’ll forgive for not using Pete’s photo as their Facebook photo (Mitch Seavey? Really??) HaHa! They are really a hoot and always stop by the musher’s banquet to say Hey to Pete and the Team.

But as we know… REAL SuperFans meet us at Breakers at the Finish! So See Ya There, Boys!!

Thanks for the Support!

Go Team Kaiser!!

On to the Yukon!

Team Kaiser is on the Move!

After a trail that had Teams walking in front of their Leaders in a blowing snowstorm, Pete and the Team were ready for a break! A long break! Richie was breaking trail into Shageluk and he related that it was 6 inches of fresh blown snow and they were just “wallowing through.” Tough going, but a real fine run for our pal from Aniak!

Fortunately Shageluk is the first checkpoint that Teams can take their 8 hour mandatory break and Pete and Richie were more than in for that!

A bit after 2pm the guys set out for the Yukon River and the Anvik checkpoint. Weather in the area is windy and cold, but fortunately for Pete, the Team is used to wind!

As before they arrived into Shageluk, a bunch of Teams are racing for the Top 10 as well.

It’s going to be a long night tonight as Pete and the Team turn and face the wind on the way North to Kaltag via Anvik (26 Miles), Grayling (18 Miles), and Eagle Island (62 Miles).

Go Team Kaiser!!

In terms of Weather, there IS another low approaching and wind is going to switch to the South as it approaches from the Southwest. Crossing our fingers that it doesn’t cause issues going across the Portage.

This Afternoon
Cloudy, with a high near 23. North wind around 20 mph.
A 20 percent chance of snow before 9pm. Cloudy, with a low around 11. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
A 20 percent chance of snow before 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 18. Southwest wind 5 to 10 mph.



Headed for the Yukon

The Iditarod Race Standings page has incorrect information this morning out of Iditarod. Pete and Richie have been running together since Nikolai and they left Iditarod together just before midnight.

The Race Standings page has Pete and the Team out at 22:50 with 12 dogs, but the tracker shows the actual time at just before Midnight.

After a 4 hour break in Iditarod the duo headed West for Shageluk in front of a passel of Teams bearing down on them and waiting for just the smallest mistake to overtake them. The times between Teams is extremely close and very exciting.

Nic Petit is finally showing what I really anticipated would happen after watching his Team this year. He has an extremely fast Team and seems to be burning up the trail and should be enjoying the 5 course First Team to the Yukon this morning.

Mitch Seavey and Joar Leifseth Ulsom are several hours in front of Pete and Richie, but then it becomes a tight group of Teams.

Consider that Pete and Richie left at 23:50, but by the next hour 9 Teams had left also. Some of those Teams had pretty fast Times including Jessie Royer, Hugh Neff, Linwood Fiedler, and others. In any case, it is pretty close and everyone is looking over their shoulder.

From most reports in Iditarod, the trail has been a bit soft and snowmachiners are really not doing the Teams any favors. A nice fragile trail that can support a Team is no match for a 5-600lb snowmachine. What happens is the snow can be a couple of feet deep with a crust of frozen snow on top. It is fairly hard and if you’ve ever walked on such snow it will support you pretty well. But under the first 6-8 inches of snow is soft fluffy snow that hasn’t been exposed to cold and rain and the elements. It’s kind of like an eggshell and once its broken, you fall right through. That is what Teams are having to deal with as well as wind blown stretches in exposed tundra valleys and open areas. It is pretty tough in these wild areas that aren’t used by local people.

After they reach Shageluk, the trail should be pretty nice as the Villages of Shageluk, Anvik, and Grayling have trails connecting them. But then tomorrow, as they leave Grayling headed North, it is going to be much the same with the addition of a cold North wind as they head for Kaltag.

Pete is down to 12 dogs in the Team having carried one in the sled some of the way yesterday, but consider that he starts the Kuskokwim 300 with 12 dogs and there is 566 miles to go. 12 dogs is a bit less work in the checkpoint and during breaks and this is something we see many times in many races.

Go Team Kaiser!!

Mushing Weather for today:

The Low that we have been watching for days is set up of the whole State of Alaska. Low pressure rotates counter clockwise. Generally as they pass through the State they suck up warm weather as they approach and then as they pass the south wind turns to the North and the very cold interior temperatures are drawn into the areas. It’s a double whammy and we get it all the time. Rain and then extreme cold. Exactly what happened during the K300 this year. Rain and then Ice. As the low moves Eastward winds should subside and leave Teams with cooler temps, but not anything dramatic. The coast is calling for light winds during the weekend, so this may be our only weather event of the race. Let’s cross our fingers!!


Anvik– 20 degrees, NW Wind 20mph, Partly cloudy, Windchill 8 degrees.

A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 23. North wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
A 30 percent chance of snow, mainly after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 11. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph.

Long day on the Trail

Iditarod Summer 1922

It’s been a long day on the Trail for Team Kaiser. The southern route of the Iditarod has a couple of sections that really are “out there” and the trail from Takotna to the Yukon is one of them. The scenery is beautiful, but it is a long arduous journey. After resting enroute about halfway to Iditarod with Richie Diehl and Aliy Zirkle, Pete is now about about to reach Iditarod and I would think at about a 4 hour break.

Richie Diehl’s Team is showing outstanding times and has pulled in front of Pete by a couple of miles.

Iditarod will be a welcome break for Teams before heading to Shageluk. Nic Petit, whose Team has been winning 300 mile races this year, struck out in front of Teams resting in the checkpoint. Musher Joar Leifseth-Ulsom, who reached the checkpoint first, may have gambled and lost as he cannot leave the checkpoint for a few more hours. He will, however, have a fully rested Team and the next challenge awaits all of the Teams as they leave Grayling up through Eagle Island to Kaltag. This trail could be a kicker as well, and a conservative approach is still more than likely a good strategy even now as we reach the halfway point in the race.

The storm I have been watching looks like it will rear its head this evening and tomorrow calls for wind. Teams are going to be running up the Yukon into the wind. Oh doesn’t that sound like fun!! I would anticipate windchills well below zero and visibility being an issue. Front runners will have their work cut out for them as this storm looks like it will be here for the run to Kaltag.

Pete and the Team are used to wind, and temperatures shouldn’t be too bad, so they won’t be surprised.

Go team Kaiser!

Cloudy. A slight chance of snow in the evening, then a chance of snow after midnight. Areas of freezing fog. Lows in the lower to mid teens. North winds to 10 mph increasing to 10 to 20 mph after midnight.
Snow likely. Areas of blowing snow. Snow accumulation one to 2 inches. Highs in the lower to mid 20s. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph.

Back on the Trail! Headed for Iditarod!

Good bye Pies- See ya next year!!

Pete and the Team are back on the trail to Nome! After a 25 hour and 18 minute break, rested and ready, Team Kaiser left the Takotna checkpoint at 3:43am with 14 dogs. Pete was led out of the checkpoint 3 minutes earlier by Richie Diehl also leaving with 14 dogs.

The big news is how Joar Leifseth-Ulsom’s strategy of mushing all the way to Iditarod will work out for him. It’s a gamble to head all the way to Iditarod on an unbroken trail and everyone is talking about it. How will it work out for him?

One thing to consider is trail speed. When we are watching the tracker and looking at speeds we often are looking at how fast Teams are going. Now, I personally look at averages over a longer distance because the tracker has some amount of error. But as you look at analytics, you can scroll over a distance and see how fast a Team may be going.

Now here’s something to consider– When we are looking at the speeds, what is 1mph after all? Pretty small right? Well, not really. Multiply the speeds by 10 as an easy example. Say Joar ran the trail at 7mph between Ophir and Iditarod and then Pete comes over that same course at 8mph. It doesn’t seem like much, but it is almost 10% faster. Consider driving on a highway and you need to pass someone, so you give the vehicle the gas at 55mph and pass the person at 65mph. ZOOM! It’s way, way faster. Well that’s the difference 1mph makes to a sled dog Team. It’s quite a bit!

So the tale of the trail will be how rested Teams manage the same trail that Joar ran yesterday and how fast they go over it. A trail can deteriorate quickly as many Teams travel over it or it may cool down and get icy and actually get faster. Also a rested Team will have an easier time than one that has been on the trail for many hours. It will be interesting to see how Joar’s strategy pays out.

I am thinking that later Teams will have a bit easier trail, at least the first 10-15 Teams. Temperatures will cool as the day progresses today and as they get closer to the Yukon.

The real deal with this race is that from Ophir to Shageluk is not a trail that is used regularly and neither is the trail from Grayling to Kaltag. That means almost 300 miles of trail that could be very soft and what a musher would call “punchy” or soft and slow.

The last time this course was run, the trail up to Kaltag through Eagle Island was full of snow and sleds were just pushing snow for the whole way. It was a tough one. Apparently the coast is also full of snow and if the wind kicks up this is going to be quite a race. Great for fans, but tough, tougher, toughest for Teams.

Mushing weather for today isn’t as good as originally predicted and temperatures are staying a bit warm. It is cooler than yesterday, but not cooling off as fast as it is to the south. The long range forecast for the race shows a low that is deteriorating, but could bring wind to the coast later in the race. For today:

27degrees – Winds South at 5mph Mostly Cloudy Skies Light Snow
20degrees – Winds South at 9mph Mostly Cloudy Skies
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a steady temperature around 27. West wind around 10 mph.
Snow likely, mainly after 3pm. Areas of freezing fog after 3pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Light northwest wind becoming southwest 5 to 10 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.

Here’s Pete’s Takotna insider interview:

Time for a Break! 24 hour Layover


With a cooler weather in the long term forecast, Pete and many Teams are taking their 24 hour mandatory layover in Takotna. This is Pete’s traditional layover place, so being here with many other Teams is in many ways, part of his “system.”

Warm weather in the high 20’s with light snow is predicted for the next 24 hours, but a slight cooling trend is expected this weekend.

Pete and the Team were into Takotna at 2:25am with 14 dogs just behind Richie Diehl who arrived two minutes earlier with 15 in his Team.

After bedding down the Team and getting them some food and water, Pete is surely fast asleep getting a bit of sleep himself.

Get some rest boys!

Go Team Kaiser!