I talked to Aliy at 2:15pm. She is in Nikoli resting the dogs. She sounds good, but a bit worried about her dogs. The trail has been “the worst she has ever seen.” The lack of snow is leaving rocks stumps and trees exposed. The dogs are sore. The trails are so hard and fast.
The wind was gusting near 60 mph between Rainy and Rohn. Markers were knocked down. Several mushers including Aliy got lost when the Iditarod trail took a hard turn. Most of the markers were down and the other trail was better used and also marked. Aliy thinks it was the Iron Dog Snow Machine Race’s trail. She went out 45 minutes before thinking something was just wrong. She turned around saying she would go back until she found a marker or a dog team. She did find a marker that looked just like the Iditarod ones and was about to turn back around when Zack Steer came up on her. Together they found the correct trail. When you look at the times, the mushers who made it to Rohn in 4 hours didn’t get lost and those who made it in 5:30 or more got lost. To make things worse, the temperatures were hovering around -40 degrees out there.
The second dog Aliy dropped was her star Venus. She hurt herself on the rough burn area. Hopefully she can get the team into the 24 hour rest without losing any more dogs. They will be able to rest and recoup.
Still no reports on Allen. I am going to head over to Race Headquarters and see what I can find out.