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Thread: Skagway to Nome

  1. #1
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    Skagway to Nome

    Jeff Oatley is riding from Skagway to Nome. That is around 2000 miles, mostly on trails, some infrequently used.

    Readers Rig: Jeff Oatley - Skagway to Nome - Bikepacker

    Jeff Oatley's Skagway to Nome 2017 live tracker by trackleaders.com

    Pretty awesome!

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    Incredible. Hard to comprehend, really. Good luck Jeff!

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    Amazing.

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    Already fifty miles in, what an epic!

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    Is the old dogsled trail still in existence or are parts of this along the highway? Generally the original trails became wagon roads and then dirt roads and eventually turned into the main highways in the state.

    I'm just trying to comprehend the possibility that there are enough trails, that are packed down and set up enough to allow a fatbike to ride over them all the way to Nome? I'd think between Skagway and the Yukon there wouldn't be a ton of interconnecting trails unless you are riding large portions on the shoulder of the highway or down in the ditch on snowmachine trails in the right of way.

    Truely and epic and amazing ride!

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    Never mind, I just figured out how to zoom in on the route and its following the highway out of Skagway. Once you get to the Yukon then you will be on trails. Initially I was wondering how this was possible on 90mm wheels with D5's. I guess I misunderstood the type of ride this was.

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    I think Jeff is taking the road from Skagway to Carcross, then trails over to the start of the Yukon Quest in Whitehorse, then follow the quest to Fairbanks, then continue on the irondog route to Kaltag, where he will then follow the iditarod route to Nome. I don't think there are any options from Skagway to Carcross besides the road.

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    Good job!

    Skagway to Nome-16388133_10212200971808811_9075338255719091192_n.jpg

    From:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    From a few days ago, he should be past Pelly Crossing now.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    I think Jeff is taking the road from Skagway to Carcross, then trails over to the start of the Yukon Quest in Whitehorse, then follow the quest to Fairbanks, then continue on the irondog route to Kaltag, where he will then follow the iditarod route to Nome. I don't think there are any options from Skagway to Carcross besides the road.
    'Burly' would be an understatement, and I wish him the best. Curious what the total climbing adds up to.

    Wonder if the bar in Chicken is open this time of year?
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    'Burly' would be an understatement, and I wish him the best. Curious what the total climbing adds up to.

    Wonder if the bar in Chicken is open this time of year?

    The total amount of climbing is pretty underwhelming given all of the river travel through the Interior. That's not to say that it's an easy ride -- we all know how much effort flat trails require at low pressures in soft snow. Can be closer to powerlifting than cycling.

    Is the bar in Chicken really ever *not* open?

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    You may have to go find the owner to open the bar tho.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Is the bar in Chicken really ever *not* open?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Trigger Finger View Post
    You may have to go find the owner to open the bar tho.
    Both valid points.
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


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    Quote Originally Posted by Smithhammer View Post
    Wonder if the bar in Chicken is open this time of year?
    Chicken is a bit out of the way I think. I am sure he will visit the bar(s) in Dawson

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    Chicken is a bit out of the way I think. I am sure he will visit the bar(s) in Dawson
    Yeah, it's a little off the Quest route. Just got me thinking about past haunts...
    I dream of a day when my children will live in a world without the shackles of cause and effect.” - S. Colbert


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    There isn't much hubbub about this ride, and I think that's because the route Jeff has chosen is off the radar for most folks -- especially non-Alaskans.

    He's been stopped for ~11 hours overnight, at (what looks to me like) Slaven's, which is a popular checkpoint on a remote stretch of the Yukon Quest route. Good place for a break after a long haul up from Eagle and a good pull still to go to Circle. It's actually possible that he's not at Slavens at all, and instead is at a cabin or even bivying. I've stopped to cook a meal at a cabin not far from there, and was glad for the shelter if only briefly. The fact that he's been stopped for 11 hours leads me to guess that he's not bivying.

    He's been out 13 days and has covered ~800 miles. While he still has a lot of miles yet to cover, including some steep climbing tomorrow (or maybe late today), he's about to finish the most remote part of his route. It ain't remotely easy or urban from this point on, but he's over a big hump and has to be feeling good about that.

  17. #17
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    The 11 hour stop might have something to do with Heather accompanying him for this stretch of the trip and it being Valentine's Day?

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    it's compelling spot watching! i wonder if he will tap out some words after he is done?

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    According to his tracker, Jeff and crew (he has company for this section I think) are almost to to the Chena Hotsprings winter trail. I biked that yesterday, and it was fantastic. He should be in Fairbanks tomorrow evening, the next 90ish miles are pretty fast. Perhaps he will hit the hot-springs tonight..

    Pretty epic - they did rosebud and eagle summit today, both big climbs, but Eagle summit is pretty steep!

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    enjoying these insights - thanks spruceboy - hangs soem meat on the bones of the spot!

  21. #21
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    So, this is either a common Spot tracker anomaly, or Jeff's invented some method of slowly moving downhill while sleeping. On two different nights, he appears to have woken up several miles further along the trail from where he started. Two nights ago he gained 3 miles in his sleep, and on his 8th night out he gained about 7. Sleeping in a sled?

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    I think he is using a inreach with the tracking interval set to something slow. It might just be queuing up the points, then sending them out.

    I think he is a day or two ahead of schedule now. I hope he gets breakfast at CHS or angel creek lodge!

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    How is he doing now. Where is he at.? I can't get the spot tracking site to load on my fon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Trigger Finger View Post
    How is he doing now. Where is he at.? I can't get the spot tracking site to load on my fon.
    Looks like he's been parked in Tanana for ~19 hours. Which might mean there is no trail out of Tanana heading west. I know he was gambling on getting there around the time that Iron Dog was coming through from the west, but it looks like he hit it a bit early. Not sure if he's left there -- his dot says he's still in town, his tracking info says he traveled .1 miles in the last ~hour. Maybe he's riding from bar to bar looking for the best jalapeño corn dog?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Trigger Finger View Post
    How is he doing now. Where is he at.? I can't get the spot tracking site to load on my fon.
    Jeff is in Tanana at the moment, waiting on a trail. Apparently there was a trail in, but wind and a bit of snow took it out.

    For some context, there is a pretty active trail system between Fairbanks and Manly, with a fair bit of local traffic. There is supposed to be a fair bit of traffic between Manly and Tanana (I haven't been on those trails), but downriver of Tanana, there isn't much, as there isn't any communities of any size between Tanana and Ruby.

    For some perspective, here is a map, the blue line is the iron dog route, which should pass through there in 2 days, and should be close to the route he is taking.

    Skagway to Nome-6l09.jpg

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    It looks like he has headed out.
    It is a bit cold there today. This is from the weather station at Tanana.
    Name:  histGraphAll.gif
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    It looks like he has headed out.
    It is a bit cold there today. This is from the weather station at Tanana.
    Name:  histGraphAll.gif
Views: 361
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    Super slow going for Jeff the last ~30+ hours, and still a good chunk of miles left to Ruby. Beyond Ruby there will be consistent trail, not just because of the impending arrival of Iron Dog, but because there is a village-to-village trail from there to his finish in Nome. He's just gotta be patient and get to Ruby to take advantage.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by spruceboy View Post
    It looks like he has headed out.
    It is a bit cold there today. This is from the weather station at Tanana.
    Name:  histGraphAll.gif
Views: 361
Size:  3.0 KB
    Yeah, I was in Fairbanks yesterday, got down to -26 around the airport, but warmed up to around -5 by the afternoon. Classic cold pools of air down low. Warmer weather supposed to be coming through 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

    You're turning black metallic.

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    He is apparently at the Kochrine Hills Bible Camp ( Home ) .

    Last year on the way to Nome I ran into a snow machiner touring from Fairbanks to the coast, he told me he didn't see anyone from Manley to Ruby. It is, I think, a pretty lonely section of trail.

    There is a nice hot springs 25 miles (ish) upstream of Ruby, perhaps he will get to enjoy a soak there. Folks say the river sees more traffic at that point, but who knows.

  30. #30
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    Jeff has finished the Yukon River, transited the Portage, and is now on the coast just north of Unk. Home stretch!

  31. #31
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    Hat's off to ya Jeff! Amazing to see the adventurous folks gettin after it and taking on such endeavors. Be safe out there and gitter dun!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  32. #32
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    Jeff bivied last night on the west slope of Little McKinley, looking out over Golovnin Bay. He's got ~110 miles to go to Nome. If conditions were amazing he could get that done today. But he's got friends in Golovin and White Mountain, and time spent with them might slow him down enough that he finishes tomorrow.

    Either way, a really impressive line laid out on the maps, and then traced on the ground. Hadn't been done in precisely this way before, and there aren't too many people capable of doing it again. One for the record books. Jeff's not known for chronicling his adventures, but maybe someone can get him to slow down for a bit and do an interview when he gets back...

  33. #33
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    Super impressive adventure. One of the fat bike sites did a podcast interview with Jeff a couple years ago after his win in the ITI long race. That was pretty cool but it would be great to see some photos of his trip.

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    His dot is no longer on the map, which means Jeff is in Nome, and probably shortly to be inhaling pizza and beer. Well done hombre.

  35. #35
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    Incredible adventure. 1820 miles in 36 days through some of the coldest country you can travel.

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    So many adjectives to choose from to describe this journey, I will go with incomprehensible- to me at least.
    It's a wonderful necessary thing to keep this skill set alive

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