March 8 day 11 of the 2019 ITI

Racers are making steady progress up the Yukon River and the first 3 bikers — Troy Sczurkowski, Petr Ineman and John Logar — have made it past Eagle Island on the Yukon River, heading north towards Kaltag.

The only two women in the 1000-mile event are Alaskans Kim Riggs from Anchorage and Missy Schwarz from Fairbanks. They both have finished the 350-mile event multiple times previously.

They are currently 50 miles south of Eagle Island, moving along at 6 mph. This indicates the trails on the Yukon River are pretty good and have set up to ride.

Florian Reiterberger is still in Ophir. He is waiting for a flight out. His bush flight may have been delayed because of bad weather. Alaska bush pilots fly VFR, which means the must have enough visibility to fly. Icing conditions also prevent bush pilots from flying when temperatures get close to the freezing point.

The last racer on the trail, just out of Ophir, is runner Grant Maughan from Australia.

Anchorage Daily News had this article about the snowless trail conditions and tussocks showing in the 80-mile stretch between Ophir and Iditarod:

https://www.adn.com/outdoors-adventure/iditarod/2019/03/08/its-just-bam-bam-bam-iditarod-leaders-just-spent-hours-grinding-across-a-tussock-studded-trail-with-not-much-snow/?

The picture of the musher in the article explains pretty well what Alaskan tussocks look like.

Current conditions and forecast for the Kaltag area:

This Afternoon

Snow. High near 31. Northeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.

Tonight

Snow, mainly before 4 a.m. Low around 22. East wind around 5 mph becoming southeast after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of about an inch possible.

Kathi MerchantComment