Cold Trail into Ophir

Good Morning Kaiser Race Fans!

I’ve been writing lately about how “fun” it must be for Pete, Richie, and Joar. I guess we’ll find out how much “fun” it really was…

Last night after a break at the Moose Creek Cabin, Pete and the Boys got back on the trail and headed North to Ophir. As the evening progressed, temperatures dropped dramatically. Pete said the only thing keeping him warm was running back up the hills as temperatures dropped to near -60. When it is seriously cold, the air gets almost “heavy” and the colder air will drop to the lower places. You can actually feel the difference in just 100 feet or so. Down into a valley and into the cold temperatures. If feels almost like swimming into colder water and then rising up out of it into just a bit warmer air.

It was a challenging trail, but all 3 Teams had great trail times into Ophir.

Dallas Seavey, who is resting less on the trail, but switching out dogs into his trailer is having success with a steady trail pace. At this point he has about a 4 hour lead. It will be interesting to see how this plays out heading back into the Alaska Range.

Pete’s average running speed is 8.6 mph compared to 7.6 mph for Dallas, but this is due to Dallas remaining on the trail and resting dogs while still moving.

Upon arrival into Ophir, all three mushers declared their 8 hour layover. This is the last of the mandatory layovers until the last one in Skwentna. Unfortunately, as cold as it is, there is little respite for mushers as they only have one heated tent. Apparently the cabin they were expecting and stayed in on the first Ophir stop no longer has heat. The crew of mushers in Ophir are ingenious, though, and I’d think they would come up with a plan to get some heat going. It’s unfortunate, though, because time spent on getting heat is time they don’t get to rest themselves. Between the group, you have Aaron Burmeister, Pete, Richie, Joar, and Ryan Redington. All are very experienced mushers that will come up with something.

The sun will warm things up dramatically, so hopefully Pete will be able to get some rest and warm up before the run into McGrath.

Richie led the trio into McGrath arriving at 6:23, followed by Pete at 6:30, and Joar at 6:36. An 8 hour break will allow them to leave at 2:23, 2:30, and 2:36 respectively.

Today’s Mushing weather is more of the same– Clear and cold.

Today- Sunny. Highs around 3 above. Light winds.
Tonight- Mostly clear. Lows 13 to 25 below. Light winds.

I am tracking a storm on the coast that will have mushers glad that they aren’t running up to Nome. It’s a nasty low with wind, snow, and all of the fun that goes with it.

The outlook for the Alaska Range and Skwentna for the next few days:

Saturday Night-  Mostly clear, with a low around -4. Calm wind becoming northwest around 5 mph.

Sunday- Snow, mainly after 9am. High near 18. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.

Sunday Night- Snow, mainly before 3am. Low around 6. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%.

Monday- A 50 percent chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 26.

I’m thinking that rest in the tank is going to be critical headed up the Alaska Range with fresh snow. This race isn’t over! Here’s to Pete and the Team getting some of that rest for the upcoming day on the trail!

Go Team Kaiser!!


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