The handler team has rolled into Meiers Lake to await the teams. There's no wi-fi there so we are limited to text communication. They will be trying to get some rest themselves so they are ready for the arrival of the teams in what we are estimating to be late tonight or in the very early hours of the morning.
We found these great pics from the start on the Copper Basin Facebook page!
Black team await their turn (from CB300 Facebook)
Black Team at the start line (from CB300 Facebook)
Red Team at the start - the question answered: she started with Waylon and Dutch in lead (from CB300 Facebook)
Evidently Aliy said her run to Chisto was "perfect" - their passes were great and the dogs responded fantastically to commands. Wes confirmed that Dutch and Scout were in lead into the checkpoint, then leaving Chisto she put Lydia up into lead with Scout.
As predicted, Allen had more trouble with his passes and ended up with four dogs in lead (Mismo, Chipper, Tinder and Junior). They had a lot more passing to do! He had Mismo and Kodiak (Edit: this should read Tinder) in lead out of Chisto to power up the hills.
One of those hills is know as "the hump" but according to the elevation map it is 3298ft high, the highest point of the race, so it is quite the long, slow climb. Can you picture the teams pulling hard with Aliy and Allen running and poling up the hill! Phew!
For a few miles before the checkpoint, the teams follow the Alyeska Pipeline before they cross over the road to the Meiers Lake Roadhouse. The road crossing, although over the major Richardson Highway, is very well manned, with signage and flashing lights and is as safe as possible for dogs, mushers and motorists.
More when we can.