It’s 9.45 Sunday morning.
RED TEAM UPDATE
The Red Team pulled through Kaltag at around 9am this morning. They made the run from Koyukuk in six hours, 48 minutes hours stopping in Nulato only long enough for Aliy to grab her “to go” bag of supplies and get back on the trail.
Aliy then spent 20 minutes in Kaltag packing her sled ready for a camping trip along the portage trail. The standings show the Red Team as being in sixth place as they left but they will be stopping soon and teams behind them will pass. We will be seeing lots of leap frogging now as the run/rest schedules of the teams are so different and out of synch.
Now that the trail is back on a “normal” route we can follow along with Don Bowers Jnr’s trail notes to give you an idea about what to look out for on the trail. the quick overview of the trail between Kaltag and Unalakleet says “This leg follows the ancient Kaltag portage, a relatively straight valley angling southwest through the coastal mountains; the route has been used for millennia by Natives. It is normally a well-used snowmachine highway. It marks the major transition from the inland river environment to the Bering Sea coast. Conditions can be vastly different at opposite ends of the portage, and wind is a constant threat on the western half.“
Here’s a video Aliy took last year when the team camped between Kaltag and Unalakleet. This will give you an idea of the views they will enjoy as they mush through the area later today. Last year the conditions at this point were also pretty warm as you will see the dogs were perfectly content to lay in the snow with their coats on.
BLACK TEAM UPDATE
Allen has broken the run from Huslia to Koyukuk into roughly half and camped on the trail for about six hours. They only just hit the trail again and shot out from their camp spot at 9.6 miles per hour. They will be enjoying the sunrise on the run into the next checkpoint.