Brent Sass has crossed into the Yukon Territories, maintaining his 30-mile lead on Michelle Phillips for the Yukon Quest 2020. Unofficial GPS results show Sass already resting at the Clint Creek Hospitality stop.
What was once a pack of four frontrunners tightly grouped together, has now begun to thin out. At 1:50pm, Ryne Olson set out of Eagle in 6th position to join the front of the pack with a team of 11 dogs to climb the American Summit.
Race marshal Peter Reuter told KNOM earlier today that teams are battling blowing snow and gritty conditions on the stretch of trail between Eagle and Dawson. That could be one factor causing the break- up of the top six teams. Since about noon, Michelle Phillips has been seen resting on the GPS tracker with Cody Strathe taking a break to camp this afternoon, as well.
Nine out of thirteen teams are checked into Eagle, with the most recent arrivals being Pat Noddin in 8th position and Rob Cooke in 9th, each with 13 and 14 dogs respectively. Noddin came in at 2:33pm this afternoon followed by Cooke at 3:54pm.
The next official Yukon Quest checkpoint is in Dawson, featuring a mandatory 36- hour layover that also marks roughly the halfway point in this race. The first teams could possibly get there late tonight.
Image at top: A dog team in the 2020 Yukon Quest. Photo from Whitney McLaren, Yukon Quest, used with permission.