Yukon Quest trail report #7 Dawson City to Eagle, Alaska ~ 150 miles

Based on reports from Race Manager Alex Olesen at the musher’s meeting in Dawson CityCanadian Ranger John ‘Mitch’ Mitchell, gave the final report from the Canadian Rangers at the Dawson City mushers meeting. He reported on the final 75 miles of Ranger-maintained trail to the border then handed it off to Race Manager, Alex Olesen who gave a report on the volunteer-created Alaskan Trail. Before he did, William Kleedehn stood up and thanked Mitch and the Rangers for creating the best racing trail he had ever been on. All attending mushers agreed.Mitch told mushers they would have great trail as they left the campground and turned left onto the Yukon River. Mushers would find flat, dry ice as they headed up the left bank of the Yukon River out of Dawson City. As creeks flow into the Yukon, Mitch told mushers to expect some overflow and bumpy ice. However, he did report all ice to be ‘Yukon River normal’ which is a term the Rangers use to identify conditions of some jumble ice and overflow, but nothing out of the ordinary or dangerous. About 25 miles out of Dawson, at the mouth of the 50 Mile Creek, Rangers identified some overflow and diverted the trail across the Yukon River. That crossing was somewhat rough and bumpy.The mushers will run beside an open lead half way to the border near Raven’s Bluff, but a well marked trail will take them on safe, solid ice around the hazard.About 50 miles outside of Dawson they will run into more rough ice as they work their way across the sloughs in front of the Forty Mile River. As they reach the old mining town of Forty Mile, mushers will have the opportunity to stop into the last remaining inhabited cabin. Residents Sebastian and Shelley are keeping their warm cabin and hot water available for the mushers. From here, mushers will turn left up the Forty Mile River towards the border. Rangers were watching a potential problem section about 26 miles up river for overflow and glaciation issues. Last report was safe passage through the area with some snow for traction.The mushers will cross the border and head to the Taylor Highway Bridge. As the mushers come up the bank they will find a wall tent set up by the Yukon Quest Finishers Club. Working with Eagle resident and Yukon Quest veteran, Wayne Hall, the club sent in a tent, supplies, and wood for mushers to use on this traditonally cold section of trail.From here, mushers will run up the unplowed Taylor Highway towards Eagle. They will climb American Summit on which trail breakers report some side hills and drifting, but not as bad as in previous years. The trail is reported to be well packed.Ten miles outside of Eagle, trailbreakers had to divert the trail around a dangerous section of glaciation. Mushers report this section to always be somehwat tricky and William Kleedehn said, ‘if they had to divert around this section, it must have been really bad.’ Trailbreakers created a new section of trail down into a creek bed, around the ice and back onto the road. This reroute will be steep and fast and the mushers will have to deal with some overflow, but it will not be dangerous.From here, the mushers will have a safe, good trail into Eagle where they will park their teams in front of the old schoolhouse and enjoy the famous Eagle hospitality.


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