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Is a “Bottomless Pit of Sugar Snow” Yet to Come?

text by David Dodman; audio by Laureli Kinneen

The second half of the Iditarod trail may begin with a “bottomless pit of sugar snow,” says Ramey Smyth.

In Takotna – where Smyth (pronounced “Smith”) was taking his 24-hour layover – the Willow, Alaska musher talked with KNOM trail reporter Laureli Kinneen.

Smyth said he was wary of the trail that could lay ahead, especially for the mushers that aren’t at the front of the pack. While the lead competitors might experience a relatively unspoiled, faster trail, the mushers to follow, Smyth says, might experience a de-facto “time penalty” of a difficult, worn, “punchy” trail.

It’s a penalty that Ramey is hoping to avoid:

As of 6:24pm Thursday, Ramey Smyth is in 12th position. He arrived at the Iditarod checkpoint at 2:17pm, the only top-20 musher to retain a full team of 16 dogs.