Musher Brent Sass arrives first at the halfway point at Dawson City, Yukon late Tuesday afternoon in the annual international dogsled race
Photo Credit: Cheryl Kawaja- CBC

Halfway there. The annual epic Yukon Quest dogsled race!

One of the world’s great Arctic events and races is now at the halfway point in -27 Celsius weather.

Mushers in the Yukon Quest annual dogsled race reached the halfway point yesterday afternoon and evening in the epic 1600 km race run annually between Fairbanks Alaska, and Whitehorse, Yukon.

American Brent Sass was first into Dawson City, the halfway point and is looking forward to the mandatory rest. He said his dogs picked up speed once they sensed they were nearing Dawson. © Cheryl Kawaja/CBC

On its website, the idea of the race is explained.

“The Yukon Quest was founded on the premise that a dog driver and his team should be a self-sufficient unit; capable of challenging varied terrain and severe weather conditions. The race is a living memorial to those turn-of-the-century miners, trappers, and mail carriers who opened up the country without benefit of snowmobiles, airplanes, or roads”.

The race began on February 4. Of the 21 mushers starting this year, there are several Americans, a few Canadians,  a Belgian Canadian, a British-Canadian, a Swede, a musher from France, and one from Japan. Several women are among the mushers as well, in this gruelling endurance test.

Cheryl Kawaja- CBC- video tweet of Hugh Neff arriving late on Tuesday in second place at the Dawson City halfway point.

Three teams have pulled out just before the halfway point at Dawson City.

One was Canadian Jason Campeau, another was American Laura Neese, both citing conern about the condition of their dogs. Musher Ed Stielstra also scratched but said it was in support of his racing partner, Neese.

The race direction alternates every year, This year it started in Alaska and will end in Whitehorse. Map shows route and also heigh ot mountains to cross © Yukon Quest

In Dawson there is a mandatory 36 hr layover where dogs and musher’s conditions are checked. Sass will be the first to start out from Dawson City on Thursday morning.

Additional information-sources

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