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  1. #1
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    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018

    www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com

    (edit) Updates!
    www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com/news/
    www.facebook.com/iditarodtrailinvitational/

    (edit) articles https://craigmedred.news/category/news/

    (edit) trackleaders.com/iti18

    February 25, 2018

    (edit) See weather (METAR) readings, and cam snapshots from airports along the way.
    avcams.faa.gov

    (edit)
    Alaska Aviation Weather Unit (AAWU)
    See weather data from airports in Alaska.
    www.weather.gov/aawu
    hover over "Current Conditions", then click on "Surface Observations (Map)"
    Click to check "Show popup on hover:". Zoom and hover on airport to see latest observations, 24 hr min/max.


    Ice may be a little iffy.

    Feb 4, 2018 sat image
    (https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/)
    Note the grey, not white, of the ice heading out to Koyuk.

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-pack-ice-4-feb-2018.jpg


    Feb 21, 2018 pack ice map
    (www.weather.gov/afc/ice NWS Alaska Sea Ice Program (ASIP))

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-pack-ice-map-21-feb-2018.jpg


    Last March (March 9, 2017)

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-ice-pack-march-9-2017.gif
    Last edited by Canoe; 03-09-2018 at 10:40 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I can't wait to do some blue dot watching!!
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    All this snow we are getting right now is going to make for a slow start.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ-AK View Post
    All this snow we are getting right now is going to make for a slow start.
    It'll be fine.

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  5. #5
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    Iditasport is going on right now and racers should be approaching McGrath...They had a wet and snowy day or day and a half...was above freezing in Nicolai and McGrath today most of the time, mind-blowing for Alaska.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    I hear it's like 50* above normal. Is that true?
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  7. #7
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    I was not aware of the Iditasport race? A little friendly or not so friendly competition to the Iditarod??
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  8. #8
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    What impact will the Iditasport have on the Iditarod? With their supported course will there be more of a broken-in trail for the Iditarod racers?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkerik View Post
    I hear it's like 50* above normal. Is that true?
    Not quite 50, given that the 34-35 degrees yesterday was during the daytime, but at least 30 or so. It's more normal to encounter temps plunging below zero through the pass and into the interior at this time of the year.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    What impact will the Iditasport have on the Iditarod? With their supported course will there be more of a broken-in trail for the Iditarod racers?
    Weather is the deciding factor, cold temps will help new snow settle, snowmachine traffic will help to pack it in, as the Iron Dog race kicked off last weekend, but it snowed some in the last couple days and that really is the defining factor. Wind can drift snow and deposit it like a storm. Just too much variability to say that there'd be any help with previous bike traffic. Most likely no due to it not being very cold and snowing some.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  11. #11
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    trackleaders.com/iti18
    Is populated now, listing 69 athletes as PRE-START.
    Shows the event as starting in 6.5 hours.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    trackleaders.com/iti18
    Is populated now, listing 69 athletes as PRE-START.
    Shows the event as starting in 6.5 hours.
    What's the weather forecast? Current trail conditions?

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    What's the weather forecast? Current trail conditions?
    I've no idea on trail conditions. See Jayem's post two above. Hopefully someone there can post.

    See weather readings, and cam snapshots from airports along the way. Zoom to the area, click on an airport. avcams.faa.gov

    For example, Willow is showing:
    25 Feb 2018 09:20 WIND N/A / DIR N/A / TEMP -7.9F / RH 76.9%

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-willow-feb-25-2018.jpg

    Skwentna
    25 Feb 2018 09:20 WIND 002 kts / DIR 183 / TEMP -0.2F / RH 82.2%

    Puntilla Lake
    25 Feb 2018 09:30 WIND 020 kts / DIR 333 / TEMP 6.7F / RH 63.3%

    Rohn
    25 Feb 2018 09:30 WIND 004 kts / DIR 297 / TEMP 6.8F / RH 83.5%

    For some reason, sites with METAR aren't providing that data on the webpage for me this year.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post

    For some reason, sites with METAR aren't providing that data on the webpage for me this year.

    Saw that last week, something is jacked up. There's a new beta test site that only works in chrome, but offers historical weather cam pictures within about a day, so you can see if someone maybe rode by at the right time.

    It's likely to be a little cooler right now, weather has cleared out which usually results in clear nights and more radiation from the ground, which means more cooling. Haven't checked any forecasts though so I don't know what's coming. Usually weather hits Bethel/Nome first, so whatever is happening there can give you a good idea, unless a very strong high gets established over south central Alaska. Whatever happens in Bethel is usually about 2 days before Anchorage gets the same.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ... There's a new beta test site that only works in chrome, but offers historical weather cam pictures within about a day, so you can see if someone maybe rode by at the right time...
    I'd been using that site since 2016. This year, more features on the map, but METAR data not coming through.

    Wish they fed video. As it's only snapshots, there's only a few I've caught at the right time, and end up assuming it's them due to the absence of seeing anyone there before or after they went by.

    Like here 2016 Iditarod post

    Drove me nuts one time as someone rode into Golovin, stayed a while, and was back and forth a number of times right in front of the camera, just not right at the time the snapshots were taken.
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  16. #16
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    And they're off!

    Race started!

    (note: due to different times of the GPS position track logging, when the Latest Locations on the map are so close together, their relative position doesn't necessarily show who is ahead of who...)

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-2018-iti-start.jpg


    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-2018-iti-start-2.jpg
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  17. #17
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    34 minutes, in

    Before the race started, one tracker was showing a stationary position way to the West of the start. Green marker on the lower track map. At least it started moving after the start and is logging track points.

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-2018-iti-34-minutes-tracker-gps-position-off.jpg
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    I'd been using that site since 2016. This year, more features on the map, but METAR data not coming through.

    Wish they fed video. As it's only snapshots, there's only a few I've caught at the right time, and end up assuming it's them due to the absence of seeing anyone there before or after they went by.

    Like here 2016 Iditarod post

    Drove me nuts one time as someone rode into Golovin, stayed a while, and was back and forth a number of times right in front of the camera, just not right at the time the snapshots were taken.
    It's amazing that we get what we do from villages that are cut off from the rest of the world, there are huge connectivity/power issues a lot of the time, so a few stations will constantly be offline or a component won't work. In the near future, we'll be seeing a new weather unit integrated with the FAA cams, which is a much smaller and compact version of the AWOS/ASOS stuff. The hope is it'll be more reliable and give weather information for more locations, although it may not offer as many weather parameters. Current weather cams take pictures every 10 or so minutes apart, so yeah, you have to be in the right place at the right time, but I've seen some interesting stuff over the years on em.

    Supposedly a big weather storm is approaching Southcentral, up to 9" of snow here, which means locally higher in the mountains. Seems bright and sunny, but we'll see. Again, I haven't looked into the weather forecast very hard, but the warm wet storms usually come from the south pushing up, the colder ones usually from the west.

    https://www.weather.gov/aawu/sigwx

    Looks like it's just starting to hit Western Alaska right now and headed for the lower interior, right where the racers will be. It's a pretty tightly wound up low with what looks like a good warm front out ahead, depicted as an occluded front, but possibly with the capacity to kick up a bunch of moisture, the cold front depicted looks to be a result of cyclogenisis and appears a lot further back than what I'd say is shown https://www.weather.gov/aawu/ but the last frame looks like the low is kind of "stretching out", resulting in the first one with the occluded front and maybe a 2nd more well defined one coming in right after. Be interesting to see. I only have a layman's education in meteorology.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  19. #19
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    Does anyone know why halfish of the racers headed south down to Ayershire Road?
    Latitude 61

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    Does anyone know why halfish of the racers headed south down to Ayershire Road?
    All of the cyclist do this, the other racers should be the runners/skiers. I think it's to seperate the traffic out and get them ahead without clogging up the trail, the trail isn't exactly super-wide at points initially, unlike out before flathorn where it widens out. You got racers towing sleds all over the place and skiers on skinny skis that tend to use up a lot of the trail. They did the same thing last year and as I understand it, it's standard for the race.

    Last year myself and a friend rode out on the actual trail out ahead, the one the runners use, then we went south to Ayershire and joined the bike route, out to the party at Flathorn, which turned out to be a real long day because while we had some fun sections of trail, the ride out from the public-use area on Ayershire to Flathorn was very soft and slow, and we tried to jam to get out ahead of everyone. That ended up being a long day.

    On the Iditarod trail last year somewhere around Big Lake:

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-gopr5554.jpg

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-gopr5555.jpg

    Party at Flathorn:

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-gopr5601s.jpg

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-gopr5639.jpg

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-gopr5622s.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  21. #21
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    Early Raceflow for the 1000.

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-2018-raceflow-feb-25.jpg
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sryanak View Post
    Does anyone know why halfish of the racers headed south down to Ayershire Road?

    Because road is faster (less energy output) than trail. You take any freebies while you can.

  23. #23
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    GPS tracking shows:
    Neil Beltchenko (350) into Skwentna by 10 hrs 41 min.
    Clinton Hodges III (350) into Skewntna by 11 hrs 6 min.
    Jay Petervary (1000) into Skwentna by 10 hrs 43 min.

    Leaderboard has Jay in at Skwentna clocked at 10:38.

    Tracking is not showing anyone else at Skwentna yet, but seven are less than 10 miles to go.

    Tracking also shows Jeff Brandner got in at Yentna by 7 hrs 37 min, left Yentna, logged on the trail at 9 hrs 3 min, got two bends up the river (farthest logged is ~2.9 miles), then returned to Yentna, there briefly, logged back on the trail at 10hrs 3min. We'll see if we get that story.
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  24. #24
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    Neil Beltchenko shows as first in at Finger Lake, leaderboard says 17 hrs 30 min.
    Raceflow shows Clinton Hodges III almost there (last track says 1.6 miles to go).
    Jay Petervary and Jussi Karjalainen show as less than 10 miles out.

    At lot of trackers have their last report logged as quite old. From several minutes to several hours.
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  25. #25
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    That Blackborow must be working well for Jay. Does anyone have any pictures of his rig loaded up and race ready?
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    That Blackborow must be working well for Jay. Does anyone have any pictures of his rig loaded up and race ready?
    We'll see, doesn't look like he's left finger lake yet, Clint and Neil are showing around 5-6mph, which is good progress. Looks like it's snowing up ahead, so it'll be real interesting to see what happens in the next 24 hours. Blizzardy-drifting snow here in ANC.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    That Blackborow must be working well for Jay. Does anyone have any pictures of his rig loaded up and race ready?

    He posted a ton on his Facebook page for sure interested to watch this and see Jay's final race report.
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  28. #28
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    Neil Beltchenko into Puntilla, showing 23 hours 51 minutes.

    1930 ft. MSL (Puntilla Lake airport)
    26 Feb 2018 13:40 WIND 001 kts / DIR 99 / TEMP 14F / RH 68.9%
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Neil Beltchenko into Puntilla, showing 23 hours 51 minutes.

    1930 ft. MSL (Puntilla Lake airport)
    26 Feb 2018 13:40 WIND 001 kts / DIR 99 / TEMP 14F / RH 68.9%
    Neil showing 0.0 at the beginning of the gorge/pass and Clint/Jay bearing down, abet slowly. Impressive for Jay keeping that speed up on that bike. Definitely interested to see how it plays out.

    If he does well, that's going to put a serious dent in the "you need the shortest possible stays"-crowd....
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  30. #30
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    Wind has sure picked up.

    Puntilla Lake now showing 21 kts
    26 Feb 2018 20:20 WIND 021 kts / DIR 300 / TEMP 9.9F / RH 50.6%

    Rohn
    26 Feb 2018 20:30 WIND 004 kts / DIR 186 / TEMP 8.7F / RH 74.3%

    Nikolai is 12 knots from 230, gusting to 18 knots
    PAFS 270501Z AUTO 23012G18KT 9SM -SN FEW048 OVC060 M12/M15 A2960 RMK AO2 SLP045 P0000 T11221150 FZRANO

    McGrath is 10 knots from 210
    PAMC 270453Z AUTO 21010KT 10SM BKN048 OVC055 M12/M16 A2961 RMK AO2 SLP036 T11171156 TSNO

    There's some wind blowing into Norton Sound. Shaktoolik showing 23 knots from 240, gusting to 27 knots
    PFSH 270456Z AUTO 24023G27KT 8SM OVC090 M10/M13 A2946 RMK AO2 PK WND 25029/0446 SLP977 T11001128 PWINO FZRANO $

    This gives an interesting visual of the winds in the region.

    https://earth.nullschool.net/#curren...154.364,64.436
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  31. #31
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    Don't forget to check for updates!

    www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com/news/
    www.facebook.com/iditarodtrailinvitational/

    twitter.com/AlaskaOE

    craigmedred.news/category/news/

    video of the start vimeo.com/257456439 ITI2018 (Chris Coyle)
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  32. #32
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    So what's the story with Jussi K. ?? Did he get off course on the pass?
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    So what's the story with Jussi K. ?? Did he get off course on the pass?

    now that he's awake he's heading toward hellsgate. that's the way the iron dog slednecks go, so there is a (faint, probably buried) trail to follow. it's an easy turn to miss in the dark. adds ~30 miles to the stretch from puntilla to rohn.

    someone's wandering up the yentna now in a similar way, way past skwentna and making good time!

  34. #34
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    Mikesee, I marvel at how you guys find your way in those conditions! I imagine it's pretty easy to miss a trail marker in the dark with blowing snow! Does your GPS work on the pass?
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    Mikesee, I marvel at how you guys find your way in those conditions! I imagine it's pretty easy to miss a trail marker in the dark with blowing snow! Does your GPS work on the pass?

    There can be a lot of serendipity involved on this route. With fresh snow covering the trail, you're often reduced to just following the tracks in front of you. The trail isn't always marked, and even when it is you can't depend on the markers to be there. Sometimes the wind blows them down, sometimes slednecks run them over, other times dog mushers pluck them for various reasons: Some use them as a "ski pole" to help propel the dogs, others pluck them to make it harder for those behind.

    The junction that Jussi missed is actually one of the more obvious turns in that there is a big fence right there -- almost like a snow fence for stopping drifts -- that's hard to miss. But again -- in the dark, with snow falling and the wind obscuring visibility -- it'd be pretty easy to miss. Especially for someone (like Jussi) that hadn't been there before. Made even worse by the fact that the fresh snow would make both the Iditarod and the Iron Dog trail look equally trafficked and hence equally appealing. If things (snow falling, wind gusting from the north, headlamp on low beam to conserve batteries) happened in just the right way, Jussi might not have even noticed there was a split. Given that he's continued down the much longer route for hours now, I'd guess this is what happened. No doubt he's wondering where everyone else vanished to...

    GPS works everywhere out there. But because the route is never in exactly the same place (in open areas especially -- it moves from storm to storm and year to year depending on how the ice freezes up and even how tall the willows have gotten over the summer) it's more of a vague reference than a guarantee to guide you. In this case, Jussi would certainly benefit if he had a track to refer to.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    There can be a lot of serendipity involved on this route. With fresh snow covering the trail, you're often reduced to just following the tracks in front of you. The trail isn't always marked, and even when it is you can't depend on the markers to be there. Sometimes the wind blows them down, sometimes slednecks run them over, other times dog mushers pluck them for various reasons: Some use them as a "ski pole" to help propel the dogs, others pluck them to make it harder for those behind.

    The junction that Jussi missed is actually one of the more obvious turns in that there is a big fence right there -- almost like a snow fence for stopping drifts -- that's hard to miss. But again -- in the dark, with snow falling and the wind obscuring visibility -- it'd be pretty easy to miss. Especially for someone (like Jussi) that hadn't been there before. Made even worse by the fact that the fresh snow would make both the Iditarod and the Iron Dog trail look equally trafficked and hence equally appealing. If things (snow falling, wind gusting from the north, headlamp on low beam to conserve batteries) happened in just the right way, Jussi might not have even noticed there was a split. Given that he's continued down the much longer route for hours now, I'd guess this is what happened. No doubt he's wondering where everyone else vanished to...

    GPS works everywhere out there. But because the route is never in exactly the same place (in open areas especially -- it moves from storm to storm and year to year depending on how the ice freezes up and even how tall the willows have gotten over the summer) it's more of a vague reference than a guarantee to guide you. In this case, Jussi would certainly benefit if he had a track to refer to.

    Great information Mike! Once again, thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience here! I really appreciate the insight and expert analysis!
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    Looks like JK turned back, travelling under 2 mph.

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-jk-detour.jpg
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  38. #38
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    It now looks like Jussi has reversed course. Does he have to climb back up to where he took the Iron Dog route to regain the main trail? Good luck Jussi K!! Bonus miles!

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    From the map/track:
    • Around six miles in, and the same back out.
    • From the trail at ~2400' he went up over 2880' near to 2960', then below 2640', then above 2740' before he turned around.
    • On the way back, moving less than 1 mph, he's not quite halfway back to the trail. He's just above 2800' again, will near 2960' before descending to the trail at 2400'.


    Then he has the climb over Rainy Pass (over 3350') and descend into Rohn at 1400'.

    Puntilla Lake
    27 Feb 2018 15:00 WIND 011 kts / DIR 293 / TEMP 15.4F / RH 46.5%

    Rohn
    27 Feb 2018 15:10 WIND 009 kts / DIR 240 / TEMP 14.3F / RH 71.5%
    Last edited by Canoe; 03-07-2018 at 10:40 PM.
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    And Massimiliano Marta paused shortly after missing the turnoff to Skwentna, and is now continuing following Christoph Harreither's mis-track up the river...
    (I guess it looked like at least two people were ahead)

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-mm-follows-chs-track-past-skwentna.jpg


    Neil Beltchenko is less than two miles shy of Bear Creek, with Clinton Hodges III, Jay Petervary and Casey Fagerquist on the straight behind him.
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  41. #41
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    After a tour up the river for a little over three miles of the 5.5 miles that Christoph Harreither did, Massimiliano Marta is on his way back to the turnoff to Skwentna.

    Reminds me of the 2015 Hewitt Lake and Shell Lake tours.

    Jussi Karjalainen is back to where he previously camped, ~6000' from the trail.
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  42. #42
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    And I see there was a third person up the river past the turn to Skwentna. Pierre-Yves Couteau (PY) appears to have been first when he went past the turnoff around 3:28 am. After getting a little over four miles up the river, he turned back and he missed the turnoff again around 7:00 am, going further East and taking the river up to the airport into Skwentna.

    CH went past the turnoff heading up river around 8:32 am, back at 12:16 pm.

    MM went past the turnoff around 2:07 pm, back and on the turnoff at 4:52 pm.

    Looking at the tracks at the river turnoff, CH missed seeing PC returning by around 20 minutes.

    So the river tour appears to have been PY, CH, then MM.

    So I'm running the replay in case there were any more...

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-pec-river-tour.jpg
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  43. #43
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    Replay shows how close CH missed seeing PC (PY) returning.

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-ch-missed-pys-returning-smc.jpg
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    Replay shows how close CH missed seeing PC (PY) returning.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CH missed PY's returning -smc.jpg 
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    Ha! That was close!

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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    Ha! That was close!
    Sure was. Minutes later, there was another brief chance as CH came out of the trail and onto the river again. You can see the dots for PC (PY) moving to the WSW: he was tucked up to the North of the channel next to, possibly blocked by, the trees. Wish I had a snapshot of the weather cams from that time; love to know the visibility then.
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  46. #46
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    Raceflow for the 350 shows Jussi Karjalainen was third, then fourth, in the 350 before he took his break after heading off the trail.
    Once he started moving again, he was 7th, but on the wrong trail.
    Turned around and back on the trail again, he's positioned 12th.

    NG, CH, JP and CF are all heading NW on the straight before the turn to NE to Nikoli.

    So of course Nikoli is showing 10 knots from 270.
    PAFS 280301Z AUTO 27010KT 10SM OVC055 M12/M17 A2984 RMK AO2 SNE0222 PRESRR SLP125 P0000 60000 T11171172 53061 FZRANO
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    Jussi was most likely following Iditasport race markers and remnants of tire tracks and footprints. That race uses the Hells Gate/South fork route.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    Jussi was most likely following Iditasport race markers and remnants of tire tracks and footprints. That race uses the Hells Gate/South fork route.
    mikesee was discussing this in #33 and #35 above.

    Replay shows that JK off onto the trail to Hells Gate at 10:06 pm.
    And the last bike through ahead of that was CF at 8:56 pm.
    Puntilla Lake logged 21 kts at 8:20, blowing right down that valley.
    So an hour later and as mikesee says in the dark with fresh snow and blowing snow.

    And in doing his research in considering the race, at some point he may have been looking at other race maps, and had that turn in the back of his head (I'm obviously speculating).
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  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    ... MM went past the turnoff around 2:07 pm...
    Replay shows that PD was ~2000' behind him when MM went past the Skwentna turnoff. PD went as far as the Skwentna turnoff at 2:28 pm, then turned around and retraced a bit then paused, then continued back East and turned up the river route to Skwentna at 3:07 pm.

    PD got into Skwentna around 4:32 pm, MM around 5:15 pm.
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  50. #50
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    Neil Beltchenko in at Nikolai, leaderboard showing a race time of 2:11:26.

    Eight riders shown on the NW straight to the turn to NE to Nikoli, but four of those trackers are showing as stale (over 3 hours old). Jay Petervary is behind Neil but Jay is the lead in the 1000 and that's over three hours old.
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  51. #51
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    Neil Beltchenko in at McGrath, for the 350, with a time on the leader-board of 3:01:01.
    Around halfway across from Nikolai, he dodged to the South and on to McGrath.

    Jay Petervary and Clinton Hodges III are out from Nikolai, Jay just reaching the point where Neil dodged South, but Jay's GPS log is 17 minutes old.

    Casey Fagerquist made it in to Nikolai, Philip Hofstetter is around half way across the NE leg to Nikolai, and just approaching the turn from the NW straight to the NE leg is: Aaron Gardner, Jay Cable, Nina Gassler and Kevin Breitenbach.

    There's another ten riders who are either just out on the NW straight or about to join it.
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  52. #52
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    Great Job Neil!! I can't wait to read his post race report to see how he packed his gear?! That bike looks half as loaded as most of the bikes I've seen in photos from the starting line! Where is the sleep system packed?

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    I have some credible reports that there were some very lightly loaded bikes. Just going to McGrath may mean a bit less stuff, but some in the race are rolling the dice, which can bite you if weather turns.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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    when he went by me (out on the trail cheering) it either looked like he was carrying an ultralight summer weight bag or no bag/pad at all..

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    Great Job Neil!! I can't wait to read his post race report to see how he packed his gear?! That bike looks half as loaded as most of the bikes I've seen in photos from the starting line! Where is the sleep system packed?

    There was a saying that was popular in these events ~15 years ago, that the best racers were known by their small sleeping bags and their big alarm clocks. You have to cut sleep to go fast. You have to have light kit to go fast. It follows that you have to cut some corners, and take some risks, to go fast.

    Can't speak for Neil cuz I don't know what he packed. But he certainly didn't sleep much or for long. Didn't keep track -- did he even bivy, or were his stops all "inside"?

    Another way to be fast is to never need to unpack the bivy from the bike.

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    pretty sure all of his stops were inside.. and they certainly werent for very long.

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    With CF in, the top three in the 350 are.
    Leaderboard:
    • Neil Beltchenko 3:01:01
    • Clinton Hodges III 3:09:59
    • Casey Fagerquist 3:13:50


    In the 1000, Jay Petervary got into McGrath nearly five hours ago, showing at 3:04:51. From the raceflow chart, I'd estimate he's around 18 hours ahead of Philip Hofstetter, who is next behind him. Philip is out from Nikolai showing 23 miles to go to McGrath.

    And there's BP, DL, JB & JM, all on the NE leg into Nikolai, past the leg's halfway.
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    There was a saying that was popular in these events ~15 years ago, that the best racers were known by their small sleeping bags and their big alarm clocks. You have to cut sleep to go fast. You have to have light kit to go fast. It follows that you have to cut some corners, and take some risks, to go fast.

    Can't speak for Neil cuz I don't know what he packed. But he certainly didn't sleep much or for long. Didn't keep track -- did he even bivy, or were his stops all "inside"?

    Another way to be fast is to never need to unpack the bivy from the bike.
    I suppose one incentive to keep moving is knowing that a bivy is not an option! Elite racers like Neil can pull that off, pedestrian folks like me cannot comprehend heading out there without a backup plan!

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    Quote Originally Posted by farleybob View Post
    I suppose one incentive to keep moving is knowing that a bivy is not an option! Elite racers like Neil can pull that off, pedestrian folks like me cannot comprehend heading out there without a backup plan!

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

    With a modicum of suffering (getting up early or riding into the wee hours, sometimes both) it's possible to do the whole thing to McGrath without sleeping outside. You have to plan your travel windows and have good luck with weather, not to mention understand that most others will be doing the same thing such that the checkpoints are busy/noisy. But it's doable.

    Many, many, many people show up to the start line never having used their bivy gear other than in their living room...

    ...and one year, swear to god, there was a well-heeled fella from NYC that showed up to race to Nome. Didn't want to carry his bivy gear the whole way, but wanted to race. So he shipped a box with a brand new North Face puffy jacket, puffy pants, puffy mitts, plus food, socks, batteries, etc... to *every* checkpoint. Couldn't believe it. Wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it myself. He quit after 30 miles. The rules dictate that you can only ship "expendables" to yourself, and that nothing is returned. Thus it became a *real* race for us dirtbags -- to get to each checkpoint first and loot his boxes to replace our worn down/beat up crap. His stuff still had the pricetags on it, which the faster guys wore like badges of honor...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    With a modicum of suffering (getting up early or riding into the wee hours, sometimes both) it's possible to do the whole thing to McGrath without sleeping outside. You have to plan your travel windows and have good luck with weather, not to mention understand that most others will be doing the same thing such that the checkpoints are busy/noisy. But it's doable.

    Many, many, many people show up to the start line never having used their bivy gear other than in their living room...

    ...and one year, swear to god, there was a well-heeled fella from NYC that showed up to race to Nome. Didn't want to carry his bivy gear the whole way, but wanted to race. So he shipped a box with a brand new North Face puffy jacket, puffy pants, puffy mitts, plus food, socks, batteries, etc... to *every* checkpoint. Couldn't believe it. Wouldn't have believed it had I not seen it myself. He quit after 30 miles. The rules dictate that you can only ship "expendables" to yourself, and that nothing is returned. Thus it became a *real* race for us dirtbags -- to get to each checkpoint first and loot his boxes to replace our worn down/beat up crap. His stuff still had the pricetags on it, which the faster guys wore like badges of honor...
    That is a funny story! Its amazing what people throw themselves into not having a clue about it. Years ago, I had a couple German climbers come up to me at 10,200' on Denali who didn't know how to use their new stove that they just bought in Anchorage prior to flying onto the mountain. We got it sorted our through very poor communication, but I was surprised to say the least.

    Congratulations to Neil and Clinton and the others who are still on the trail. Great job on an outstanding adventure!

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Many, many, many people show up to the start line never having used their bivy gear other than in their living room...
    omg
    (yet, one of the best outdoor gear stores I ever saw was a collection of tents at a unnamed park on a trail at a beach, stocked by the rangers with the equipment first-timers would leave behind when they would bailout in the middle of the night (typically during a storm), leaving everything behind forever)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Thus it became a *real* race for us dirtbags -- to get to each checkpoint first and loot his boxes to replace our worn down/beat up crap. His stuff still had the pricetags on it, which the faster guys wore like badges of honor...
    LOL
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  62. #62
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    Why might he be idle for so long?

    https://trackleaders.com/iti18i.php?name=Jay_Petervary

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Why might he be idle for so long?

    https://trackleaders.com/iti18i.php?name=Jay_Petervary

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    He said there wasnt much of a trail out Mcgrath and he is taking the day to eat and rest up...

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    Don't know. Look at the Raceflow for 1000.
    Jay Petervary was in at McGrath 15.5 hours ahead of the cluster of KB, PH and JB, who now need rest before they head out. That's a meaningful lead.
    Nearing noon, it's sunny, clear, no wind and -6F/-21C.
    He has the experience to know when he's ready.
    His tracker did move a tiny bit an hour & 20 ago. Getting ready?
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    Looking at the log points on Raceflow, between Nikolai and McGrath they take on a very different character. Instead of smooth progress, there's jagged graph traces: shows a lot of stop-and-go? This corresponds to where the track points leave the "red" course on the map and make a dodge to the south before heading in to McGrath. So it looks like the last of the course into McGrath took a lot more work than usual.

    2018 to date/time, 350 then 1000. (the 1000 has a fourth track nearly mirroring the red).

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-2018-nikolai-mcgrath.jpg

    Another example of the track character shown by raceflow: look at Jussi Karjalainen's effort on the 350 going down then back on the old-snowed fresh-snowed Irondog trail. Makes me wonder if he was riding, pushing, dragging or carrying his bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKCheesehead View Post
    He said there wasnt much of a trail out Mcgrath and he is taking the day to eat and rest up...
    Yep. Ive been following on the IG. Hes mentioned that there isnt much of a trail and hes going to hang out for a bit.

    That would be the hard part. Youre in a warm cabin hanging out, eating some good food and maybe having a couple beers. Youve got to have some damn good resolve to head back out for another 650 miles when there might not even be a trail to follow.

    More power to them.

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    wow
    Over 4.5 days since the start, it's 3:30 am, and there's seven people out showing mph and logging miles on the trail.
    Low or no wind and temperatures in the positive F.


    Tracking/leaderboard shows seven of the 350 in at McGrath:
    • Neil Beltchenko 3:01:01
    • Clinton Hodges III 3:09:59
    • Casey Fagerquist 3:13:50
    • Nina Gassler 3:21:02
    • Aaron Gardner 3:22:57
    • Ben Pysto 4:08:18
    • Jill Martindale 4:08:19
    • Jeff Brandner 4:08:21
    • Dan Lockery 4:08:23


    worth checking out www.iditarodtrailinvitational.com/news/ for some of the story
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  68. #68
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    So no one is likely to move out of McGrath until after the trail breakers go by on Monday? I can see how that makes sense, but it's weird. Maybe this woulda been a good year to wear skis.

    On 2nd thought... I bet someone will leave early and plan for the trail breakers to pass them at a well-timed distance out of McGrath, giving them a decent head start on the others. I can just imagine trying to sneak out of town...

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  69. #69
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    Looks like Jay Petervary and Philip Hofstetter took off for Takotna a little while ago . When I checked they were traveling at 3.9 mph, so I doubt they are pushing bikes.

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    Congrats to Nina Gassler for pulling it together after having her bike and all her gear stolen in Anchorage the night before the race.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    Congrats to Nina Gassler for pulling it together after having her bike and all her gear stolen in Anchorage the night before the race.
    Seriously? What a rock star!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Seriously? What a rock star!
    It was posted on Nina's Facebook account (Feb. 23) that Greg from Speedway spent the night building up a new Fatback for her to use after hers was stolen after the meet and greet the day before the start. Kudos to Speedway (Greg, and shop crew) for getting this together for her. It was an orange and blue Fatback Corvus with HED wheels.
    ptarmigan hardcore

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by rth009 View Post
    Looks like Jay Petervary and Philip Hofstetter took off for Takotna a little while ago . When I checked they were traveling at 3.9 mph, so I doubt they are pushing bikes.
    That was interesting!


    I don't know what to think about the following. The Full History of a person shows a number of track points (blue squares), but replaying the main map at slow speed shows a significant number of more points. Phil's Full History has him in McGrath, then the first point out of McGrath appears the NE at 10:06:15 am, where he heads SW back to the edge of McGrath before heading on the trail to Takotna. Replaying the tracks at slow speed provides the following...

    • 6:50 pm shows Phil out on the river making his way North:
      • at 10:50 pm he's gone around 1000'.
      • 12:50 am shows him on the far shore equal to the North of McGrath.
      • Around 3:50 am he's another 1000' North, drifting a little East.
      • At 6:50 am (over 12 hours from his start) he's ~4000' North of the resting location in McGrath.

    12 hours and 4000'???
    Given his Full History shows a point at rest in McGrath before this and the next one after this at 10:06 am to the NE of McGrath - with no points in between, are the above trackleaders' replay points/time true?

    I just replayed it again, and it gives similar times but different track points... essentially a straight line to the 10:06 track point. This I believe is an extrapolated track based on two widely time-separated points. The first replay appears to be an extrapolated track that missed the 10:06 track point.

    • ~9:35 am, Jay starts out, up to the North end of McGrath, then heads NE around 4 mph,
    • Jay and Phil show up with track points ~5000' to the NE of McGrath, somewhat after 10 am,
    • Both reverse and head back SW to the river,
    • Back on the river, both get on the usual track to the NW,
    • 10:50 am has Phil around 1000' behind Jay as they head to the NW,
    • With some variance in their track, they're on the red track on trackleaders map and moving well (~5 mph). Jay making the turn from NW to W around 11:15 with Phil around 2000' behind him.
    • Jay makes the turn to WSW ~11:50 am, Phil behind him but losing ground.
    • Moving 3 to 5 mph. Jay has one burst reporting 8.8 mph.


    Jay is in at Takotna around 3:00 pm (leaderboard says 5:00:56), with Phil around 9000' behind him.

    And while I was writing the above, Jay now shows as heading West ~4000' from Takotna and Phil is maybe ~4000' from arriving.
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    The trail from McG to Takotna is heavily traveled, for many reasons, and would not be a concern for ITI racers. Leaving Takotna and heading to Ophir should be fine, too. It's beyond Ophir that's the concern.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-opski View Post
    It was posted on Nina's Facebook account (Feb. 23) that Greg from Speedway spent the night building up a new Fatback for her to use after hers was stolen after the meet and greet the day before the start. Kudos to Speedway (Greg, and shop crew) for getting this together for her. It was an orange and blue Fatback Corvus with HED wheels.
    They posted it on the Anchorage fatbike page too, I believe it's an orange bike with orange pogies that got stolen. Way too many bikes have been stolen in the last year here...
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    Daylight pretty much. I can't get a response from avcams.faa.gov site, but from www.weather.gov/aawu I got:
    McGrath 0 knots, -8.9C (15.9F)
    Kaltag 0 knots, -10.6C (12.9F)
    We'll see who moves today.

    (edit)Did I not update?

    • Jay Petervary is well out of Tolstoi, Philip Hofstetter shown arriving.
    • Kevin Breitenback & Jay Cable are out of McGrath, well on their way to Takotna.
    • Tim Hewitt is out of Nikolai, Grant Morgan on the last leg in.
    • Scott Hoberg is still showing as stopped between Nikolai and McGrath. Tim should pass by there today.
    • Ten more showing as moving on the NW straight leg to Nikolai.
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  77. #77
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    Will be interesting to see how Phil does overall, Jay is keeping the lead, but Phil is only around 13 miles behind and he's a pro at this race, done it many times and he's just riding home at this point, to his house in Nome Both are around a couple miles per hour right now.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  78. #78
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    7 days out!

    Out of McGrath on the 1000:
    • Jay Petervary is showing at mile 450, out of Big Yentna heading to Shageluk.
    • Philip Hofstetter next between Iditarod and Big Yentna.
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback are ~8 miles to Moose Creek.
    • Troy Szczurkowski is over halfway from Takotna to Ophir.
    • Tony Lund, Kyle Durand & Adam Erritozoe are at Tokotna.
    • Tim Hewitt - first walker out of McGrath - is over halfway between McGrath and Takotna.


    Weather:
    • Nikolai 30F/-1.1C, 0 knots
    • McGrath 22F/-5.6C, 4 knots from 120
    • Shageluk 28F/-2.2C, 7 knots from 150
    • Kaltag 22F/-5.6C, 0 knots
    • Unalakleet 28F/-2.2C, 12 knots from 90
    • Shaktoolik 29F/-1.7C, 17 knots from 140
    • Koyuk 29F/-1.7C, 5 knots from 150
    • Elim 26F/-3.3C, 13 knots from 180, gusting 22
    • Golovin 27F/-3C, 23 knots from 150, gusting 29, not much visibility beyond 500 yards
    • White Mountain 27F/-3C, 15 knots from 130, gusting 24
    • Nome 27F/-2.8C, 15 knots from 140


    Last good sat images (27th) don't show a meaningful change from open water close to or at shore at Elim, Topcock to Safety. Wind blowing ice pack around in Norton has alternated between putting/taking fresh ice to/from shore, and has appeared to regularly break up any fresh ice. Shaktoolik to Koyuk looks good from satellite but don't rely upon that.
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  79. #79
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    Man those are warm temps.
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    Out from McGrath, less than ten miles to ___________:
    • Jay Petervary to Anvik,
    • Philip Hofstetter to Shageluk, and
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback to Iditarod.


    Also out from McGrath:
    • Troy Szczurkowski is between Ophir and Tolstoi.
    • Behind him, Kyle Durand & Adam Erritozoe are currently stopped out of Ophir, next leg heads South.
    • Tim Hewitt is stopped between Takotna and Ophir.
    • Toni Lund is in Takotna.


    Fewer still on the trail to McGrath.
    • BJ and JT have less than six miles to go,
    • AG and LD have less than 15,
    • CH has headed out from Nikolai,
    • MD, JH & JD are in Nikolai,
    • KS has started the NE leg into Nikolai,
    • And TK is covering the rear, past Bear Creek on the leg to the turn to Nikolai.


    Approaching midnight...
    • Nikolai ~11pm 0 knots, 16F/-8.9C
    • McGrath ~11pm 7 knots from 130, 21F/-6.1C
    • Shageluk ~11pm 13 knots from 200, gusting 18, 30F/-1C
    • Anvik ~9pm 9 knots from 150, 26F/-3.3C
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    Seriously? What a rock star!
    Amen to that!
    Nina is a good friend of mine.
    Former world rowing champion, former Pro/Elite MTB XC.
    From Germany, but now resides in the Norwegian mountains at Geilo, running among other things a popular fatbike rental business, (renting since 2014 or so, I'm proud to say, Diamant fatbikes)
    She is the founder/promotor the great 'Fat Viking' event, a ITT qualifying race:
    Fat Viking 150 - Geilo - Aktiv
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  82. #82
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    Jay P posted on FB awhile ago, sounds like lots of issues with drops...

    Thanks for keeping this updated makes it great to follow the race.
    XC, Road, XXC, Endurance, Mtn, All-Mtn, Cross, Gravel, just go have fun on 2 wheels!

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Thanks for keeping this updated makes it great to follow the race.
    There's a lot more info at:
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canoe View Post
    I'm getting such a kick out of this guy's stories. He has a million of 'em!

    -F
    It's never easier - you just go faster.

  85. #85
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    ~2pm
    • Jay Petervary 2/3 from Anvik to Grayling,
    • Philip Hofstetter at Shageluk,
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback 1/3 from Iditarod to Big Yentna,
    • Adam Erritozoe, Kyle Durand & Troy Szczurkowski are past Tolstoi heading for Moose Creek,
    • Tim Hewitt is nearing halfway of Ophir to Tolstoi,
    • Toni Lund out of Takotna,
    • Peter Ripmaster is at Takotna,
    • Craig Bullen over halfway from McGrath to Takotna,
    • Beat Jegerlehner is 1/3 from McGrath to Tokotna.


    Also,
    • CH, JH, MD and KS are between Nikolai and McGrath, and
    • TK is on the short NE leg to Nikolai, ~6 miles out.


    2pm weather of note
    • Nikolai ~2pm 7 knots from 210, 28F/-2C
    • McGrath ~2pm 7 knots from 190, 30F/-1.1C
    • Shageluk ~2pm 11 knots from 210, 33F/0.6C
    • Anvik ~2pm 12 knots from 220, gusting 16, 34F/1.1C
    • Kaltag ~2pm 0 knots, 32F/0.0C


    And the trail is starting to go to the dogs.
    1,059 dogs.
    The mushers have all cleared Yentna. Several are into Rainy Pass, and two have left Rainy Pass.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEMIjer View Post
    Jay P posted on FB awhile ago, sounds like lots of issues with drops...
    salsacycles.com/culture/topic/jay_petervary
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  87. #87
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    Thanks for all the updates Canoe!
    Gettin' Fat!...That's Where It's At!

  88. #88
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    • Jay Petervary is just before Eagle Creek.
    • Philip Hofstetter is just before Grayling.
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback are just after Shageluk.
    • Tim Hewitt stopped around 9pm last night, then started out again around 3am. Not too long after 6am he moved ahead of Adam Erritozoe, Kyle Durand & Troy Szczurkowski who were still stopped. They're now trailing Tim by around 2 miles, with Tim <18 out from Moose Creek.
    • Craig Bullen shows as resting just after Tolstoi.
    • Toni Lund is just before Tolstoi.
    • Peter Ripmaster is around halfway between Ophir and Tolstoi.
    • Beat Jegerlehner is around 1/3 out from Ophir to Tolstoi.


    Also,
    • KS is less than 15 miles to McGrath, and
    • TK is six miles out from Nikolai to McGrath.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  89. #89
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    ~7pm
    • Jay Petervary is past a 1/4 from Eagle Creek to Kaltag.
    • Philip Hofstetter shows at Grayling.
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback shown at Shageluk.
    • Tim Hewitt and Kyle Durand shown as neck&neck 3.5 miles to Moose Creek,
    • Followed by Adam Erritozoe less than a mile behind them and Troy Szczurkowski showing ~3 miles behind them.
    • Craig Bullen, then Toni Lund, tracked out of Tolstoi heading for Moose Creek.
    • Peter Ripmaster stopped at Tolstoi.
    • Beat Jegerlehner stopped over halfway Ophir to Tolstoi.


    KS is moving ~5 miles out from McGrath, TK is moving 28.5 miles to McGrath.

    METAR max so far today:
    • Nikolai 32F, 6 knots
    • McGrath 31F, 13 knots
    • Shageluk 33F, 12 knots
    • Anvik 30F, 12 knots
    • Kaltag 29F, 6 knots
    • Unalakleet 30F, 20 knots
    • Shaktoolik 32F, 16 knots
    • Koyuk 33F, 6 knots
    • Elim history n/a, last 28F, 4 knots
    • Golovin 30F, 20 knots
    • White Mountain history n/a, current 28F, 7 knots
    • Nome 28F, 16
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  90. #90
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    Jay has quite the gap on Phil. Damn.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  91. #91
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    Canoe, thanks for the links! This one has some info on his bike and how the ride differs from previous races: https://salsacycles.com/culture/jayp...ate_from_anvik

    Interesting stuff.

  92. #92
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    With the temperatures on the coast, and the wind moving ice around, I'm wondering if they'll have the same issue with water coming up through the ice like they had with the Iron Dog having to pause (at Unalakleet?). I haven't found more technical details on what/how that worked out.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  93. #93
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    The lead musher was in then out of Ophir before 5:00am this morning. Next checkpoint for them is Iditarod. So we'll shortly, if not already, have overlap with the 1000 mile.

    ~9am
    • Jay Petervary was off around 8am, currently 40 miles to Kaltag.
    • Philip Hofstetter stationary at Grayling.
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback showing stationary, back at Shageluk after heading out then heading back ~19 hours ago.
    • Adam Erritozoe stationary at Iditarod.
    • Tim Hewitt is moving < 1.5 miles from Iditarod.
    • Kyle Durand and Troy Szczurkowski are heading to Iditarod around 11 miles out.
    • Craig Bullen, Toni Lund & Beat Jegerlehner show as stopped between Tolstoi and Moose Creek (right where Adam Erritozoe, Kyle Durand & Troy Szczurkowski where previously stopped when Tim passed them).
    • Peter Ripmaster shows as just having passed them, ~27 miles to go to Moose Creek.


    TK was up and moving towards McGrath, currently paused, less than 8 miles to the finish.
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  94. #94
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    METAR max so far today:
    • Nikolai 36F, 5 knots
    • McGrath 32F, 6 knots
    • Shageluk 32F, 17 knots, gusting 23
    • Anvik 30F, 12 knots, gusting 17
    • Kaltag 28F, 6 knots
    • Unalakleet 32F, 16 knots
    • Shaktoolik 33F, 15 knots
    • Koyuk 32F, 9 knots
    • Elim history n/a, last 29F, 13 knots
    • Golovin 29F, 28 knots, gusting 32
    • White Mountain history n/a, last 27F, 19 knots, gusting 28
    • Nome 28F, 24 knots
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  95. #95
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    Here is a link to my race report for the 350. I was a foot racer this year so it's not directly on point, but it may give you some feeling for what the conditions were like out there during part of the race.

    https://larsdanner.blogspot.com/2018...roduction.html
    Last edited by Lars_D; 03-08-2018 at 07:18 AM.
    --Peace

  96. #96
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    Ooh, thanks, I look forward to reading that!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  97. #97
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    Lars, amazing to get those invaluable personal accounts. Thanks much.

    The dog sled race just updated, showing the lead musher in at Iditarod at 20:28, so we've had overlap.

    ~9pm
    • Jay Petervary just in at Kaltag.
    • Philip Hofstetter out of Grayling, 1/3 of the way to Eagle Island.
    • Jay Cable & Kevin Breitenback showing stationary out of Shageluk, and 17.6 miles to Anvik.
    • Adam Erritozoe and Kyle Durand stationary at Big Yentna.
    • Tim Hewitt is moving 4.5 miles shy of Big Yentna.
    • Close behind Tim is Troy Szczurkowski with 7.4 miles to Big Yentna.
    • Toni Lund and Craig Bullen are less than 1000' from Moose Creek (now showing 1054'...?).
    • Peter Ripmaster shows as 1.7 miles to go to Moose Creek.
    • Beat Jegerlehner shows 10.8 miles to Moose Creek.


    Toni and Craig were within 1000', then headed NNW?

    Iditarod Trail Invitational 2018-tl-cg-moose-creek.jpg
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  98. #98
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    Regarding race difficulty:

    The trail is created by the Iron Dog race. Without the machines going through, it would be impassible. But that race starts a week before the ITI. So from the minute the ITI starts the trail begins to disappear through the normal action of snow and wind. The front racers do a bit to restore the trail through their steps and pedals and the occasional snowmachine travelers help a bit as well. So, the middle of the pack usually has the easiest time. But by the time that the last few folks come, the trail has again begun to close up and is only really reopened by the dog sled trail breakers.
    --Peace

  99. #99
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    Thanks for the nicely written race report Lars. Great job on the race too!

  100. #100
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    Nice job.

    I saw that you went out to TN for the Barkley, so fun, I lived in Oak Ridge TN for twenty years, ran ultras all over the region, know the Barkley folks well, use to run in Frozen Head all the time.

    So, did you prefer running to riding on the ITI?
    I'm not convinced that riding is the most efficient or easiest. Foot travel is the simplest and often the most efficient, of course we are on a biking forum

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars_D View Post
    Here is a link to my race report for the 350. I was a foot racer this year so it's not directly on point, but it may give you some feeling for what the conditions were like out there during part of the race.

    https://larsdanner.blogspot.com/2018...roduction.html

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