Competitors were briefed today on trail conditions for the 2017 Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race by Ranger Sgt. John Mitchell, exercise coordinator of the four patrols of Canadian Rangers who break trail on the Canadian side.
Despite some trouble spots with open water, which the trail will go around, and below average snowpack in certain sections, Mitchell, a Quest finisher with 23 years experience breaking trail for the event, says this year’s is “one of the best trails I’ve seen in the history of the Quest.” Mitchell characterized much of the 2017 route as “fast, with a good base, and packed but with a nice bit of cushion to the snow.” Regarding initial concerns about access to the West Dawson dog yards, Mitchell reported that an ice road has been established, allowing for vehicle access for mushers, handlers, and race officials.
A written briefing from Mike Reitz, Trail Coordinator for the 500 miles of trail on the Alaskan side, reported much the same in his jurisdiction: several spots with open water, which the trail will go around, and some sections with limited snowpack, but otherwise predicting favourable conditions.
As trail conditions are apt to change they are monitored throughout the race and mushers receive updated reports as they become available.