As They Leave Kaltag, Mushers Say The Real Racing Is Yet To Come

Iditarod teams are making their way for the Bering Sea Coast, after days of travel along the frozen Yukon River and through the Interior’s boreal forest.

Download Audio

Up until this point, mushers have been trying to set their teams up for the most competitive part of the race.

When Aaron Burmeister arrived in Kaltag, he said he was surprised to be there first, but he was looking forward to the more competitive part of the race.

Temperatures of more than 30 below didn't stop Dallas Seavey from mixing up a concoction of fat, meat and kibble for his team after they reached Kaltag. (Photo by Emily Schwing)
Temperatures of more than 30 below didn’t stop Dallas Seavey from mixing up a concoction of fat, meat and kibble for his team after they reached Kaltag. (Photo by Emily Schwing)

“There’s some big names,” he said. “I haven’t been racing them to this point, but from here on, we’re going to see whose schedule shakes out and who’s up there.”

Once teams lave Kaltag and the Yukon River behind, they head through the Unalakleet River Valley and out to the Bering Sea coast.  Jeff King says this is the point in the race most teams have been building up to.

“Up to here, it’s to a large extent preparation of your team for getting here, how are they when they get here?” King said.

Dallas Seavey also believes the real racing is yet to come.

“It definitely starts to come to a head now we’re all frost bitten, tired and beat up and now is when you can see the end goal,” Seavey said. “The end is in sight and we gotta just dig in and power through for the last couple of days here.”

Teams are still struggling with deep cold – temperatures of 30 below and colder overnight, but the weather is supposed to warm up.  With it may come strong winds and heavy blowing snow. The National Weather Service is calling for two inches of snow and winds up to 30 miles per hour.