Its 12.30pm Alaska time.
Aliy has left Nikolai with 15 team mates on the line. We've just seen the Insider video of the Red Team coming in Nikolai and they look great! She had Waylon back up in lead with Quito, Chica with Nacho, Boondocks with Olivia then everyone else still in their same starting positions as they came in.
Take a look at this Anchorage Daily News article where Aliy described the trail - "No snow. Zip. Zero. None." Apparently her sled, brake and drag mat broke but she was able to fix them out on the trail. She said she "bit it a few times. More than a few times." and she told Joe Runyan that she hurt her hip on one of the falls. Edit: check out knom.org's interview with Aliy!
There certainly have been some horror stories come out from the Rohn to Nikolai run but as difficult as it was on mushers and sleds take a read of this snippet from Joe Runyan's report after talking with Nic Petit: He was quick to point out that the trail was good for DOGS, just not humans. With solid footing, the dogs were just as they were in the fall time training before the snow falls. ”Oh yeah, the dogs were having lots of fun. They love it because its not boring. The trail is changing all the time.”
Here is a photo from our fall training to give you an idea that the dogs know how to run low snow conditions. Obviously though, it is not the same as what they are facing out there. Note also that we ride 4-wheelers!
Fall training in Two Rivers
There's been some questions about hydrating the dogs in these conditions. The mushers will be carrying water and, listening to Martin Buser's and Hugh Neff's interviews, it sounds like there are areas of water (rivers, glacier etc) along the trail where they can stop to let the dogs drink and restock their supplies.
Looking at the tracker analytics it seems Allen and his team are have a stop-start time of it on this section. There are currently a few other mushers clustered around the same area and a quick check of their details shows it looks like they are a little stop-start also. We're not sure what's happening in that particular area so will keep an eye on the action.