Molly Rettig, KUAC - Fairbanks


Last week a group of scientists traveled to a small village in the Arctic to find as many different species as they could. It was happening all over the country in celebration of the hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service. But it had special meaning in Anaktuvuk Pass, where the local Inupiaq people live a subsistence lifestyle inside of a national park. Download Audio

Mushers and fans gathered over the weekend to celebrate the completion of the 2016 Yukon Quest in Whitehorse. The event was highlighted by awards and stories from the trail. About a dozen Tlingit dancers paraded onto the stage in fur, feathers, and traditional clothing to congratulate Hugh Neff for winning the Yukon Quest. Download Audio

The Yukon Quest is winding down. The last musher, Canadian rookie Gaeton Pierrard is expected to cross the finish line early Friday morning. Running at the back of the pack can be just as trying and rewarding as racing at the front. That was the case for rookie mushers Andy Pace and Laura Neese. Download Audio

Yukon Quest mushers continue to come across the finish line, and competition in is not confined to winning when it comes to the thousand mile sled dog race. There was a battle between two Quest mushers who finished nearly a day behind the winner. Download Audio

Yukon Quest mushers continue to come across the finish line, and competition in is not confined to winning when it comes to the thousand-mile sled dog race. Download Audio

Yukon Quest teams continue to make their way to the race’s finish in Whitehorse, but mushers and their dogs aren’t the only athletes on the trail. An ultra-cyclist from Fairbanks peddled the thousand mile trail. Download Audio

Hugh Neff won the Yukon Quest on Monday. After flying under radar behind first half leaders Brent Sass and Allen Moore, the 2012 champ had built a commanding lead heading toward the Whitehorse finish. The top 10 finishers will split a $115,000 prize, and Neff will take home about $35,000. Download Audio

It was warm and misty on the Yukon River as Brent Sass left Dawson City with fourteen dogs just after midnight. Snowdrifts, ice melt and gold mines are just a few things mushers have to look out for in the second half of the Yukon Quest.The warm weather has caused some of the glaciated hillsides to melt onto the trail. Download Audio

The top Yukon Quest teams are in Dawson City, Yukon, settled in for a mandatory 36-hour layover at the race’s halfway point. Brent Sass was first into Dawson yesterday. Download Audio

Brent Sass covered the 150-mile distance from Eagle to Dawson in two runs. He said his team was feeling better in Eagle after starting the race with some stomach issues.

Frontrunners in the Yukon Quest are running toward the race’s halfway point at Dawson City, Yukon. Defending Quest champion Brent Sass continues to lead the race. The Eureka musher was in an out of the Eagle checkpoint first this morning, after 4 hours of mandatory rest. Download Audio

Brent Sass is leading the Yukon Quest. He is followed by Hugh Neff, Ed Hopkins, Allen More and Matt Hall. The next section of trail takes teams along the Yukon River to the community of Eagle. Quest mushers made the daunting traverse of Eagle Summit on Sunday. Download Audio

The order is set for tomorrow’s start of the Yukon Quest. The 23 mushers, slated to begin the race in downtown Fairbanks, drew numbers Thursday night to determine the running order. The first person to leave for Whitehorse on Saturday will be a 19-year-old rookie from Ohio.

Saturday’s Yukon Quest start is being relocated due to rough ice conditions on the Chena River in downtown Fairbanks. Race organizers say the start chute will shift from its traditional spot on the ice near the Cushman Street Bridge, several hundred yards up river to solid ground behind the Morris Thompson Center. From there, dog teams will drop onto the Chena, in an area where ice conditions are better. Download Audio

Yukon Quest mushers have surpassed a major milestone in preparation for running next month’s race. Tons of race food and gear were dropped off over the weekend for shipping to checkpoints along the thousand mile route between Fairbanks and Whitehorse. Download Audio

Gold is in Clutch Lounsbury’s blood. His grandparents took the Valdez Trail up to Fairbanks during the Gold Rush, and Clutch was on a cat before he could walk. He’s searched in creeks, canyons, and underground. He’s sluice boxed, dredged,and hard rock mined all over the Interior and the Arctic. Today he lives in Ester above an 800-foot mine shaft in the hillside. Download Audio

Fairbanks didn’t attract a lot of young, single ladies in the ‘60s. Ritchie Musick was 24 when she first came to Alaska to escape city life in southern California. She found all the adventure she dreamed of–hauling water, mushing, and moose in the backyard. Fifty years later she has the same frontier spirit, though she finally got plumbing. Download Audio

John Davies came to Alaska in 1967 to study geophysics and climb mountains. Twenty-five years later he was making laws in the Legislature. Along the way he’s faced floods, volcanic eruptions, and a battle over state income taxes, learning a lot about the tectonic plates and the people who have shaped Alaska. Molly Rettig talked to John Davies for this series about life in Fairbanks before the pipeline boom. Download Audio

Everyone’s heard about the rapidly retreating sea ice in the Arctic. But if you’re a scientist, how do you actually study what is happening out on a frozen, moving ice cover? Listen Now