Evening update March 9
The first bikers have arrived in Kaltag after the long over 100 mile stretch up the Yukon River in warm conditions with sleet, rain, snow, wind, overflow and soft trails.
The first two arrive were Petr Ineman and John Logar followed by Troy Sczurkowski.
Troy reports temperatures close to 40 degrees with soft punchy trails.
The two Alaskan women in the race to Nome, Missy and Kim, are making steady progress on the Yukon River despite the warm and soft trail conditions.
Jose Bermudez, Steve Cannon and Peter Felten are keeping a steady pace despite the slow trails.
Runners Beat, Klaus, Eric and Grant are also keeping a steady pace.
I spoke with Eric Johnson. He said he has trouble getting the tracker unit opened up to put new batteries in. The screws are in so tight, he is afraid he might strip them out. Will find out how we can get the tracking unit opened up.
The weather forecast for Kaltag:
A 40 percent chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 30. Northeast wind around 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
Snow, mainly after 9am. High near 33. Northeast wind around 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Snow. Low around 27. Northeast wind 5 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of around an inch possible.
Snow likely. Cloudy, with a high near 29. Northeast wind around 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Kathi Merchant, Matanuska Valley
The women’s record holder Jill Homer is in Nome for a month training for the White Mountains 100 race and awaiting Beat Jegerlehner’s arrival. She went on a locals ride outside of Nome today and witnessed a storm that broke the sea ice loose and she writes on face book that now you can see the ocean from front street in Nome. An aerial image posted later by former racer Sean Grady snows most of Norton Bay without ice also. This means most of the trail beyond Shaktoolik to Koyuk, Elim to Golovin will most likely run overland this year. The warm tempereatures along the coast will also not be ideal for running dogs in the Iditarod. They tend to overheat when it is above freezing.