Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

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Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby mira » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:58 am

Finger Lake to Rainy Pass wrote:
This is a tough run with some short stretches of extraordinarily difficult trail.

After leaving Finger Lake, the trail climbs steeply over a ridge to Red Lake, runs along it for a mile or two, swings up a ravine, and then follows a series of climbing wooded shelves interspersed with open swamps. About ten miles from Finger Lake, the trail drops down a series of wooded benches toward Happy River, then onto the river itself via the dreaded Happy River steps. Then it’s down the river to its mouth, up the Skwentna River for a few hundred yards, and back up a steep ravine to the plateau on the south side of the Happy. The trail will cross Shirley Lake, then Long Lake (11 miles from Rainy Pass Lodge) and then run along the steeply sloping mountainside above the south side of the Happy River valley to the checkpoint. There are two nasty stretches of sidehill trail in the last eight miles.


Rainy Pass to Rohn wrote:It has some very tough trail, including the notorious Dalzell Gorge.
The trail runs in the open on the tundra of Ptarmigan Pass from Rainy Pass Lodge to the mouth of Pass Creek, which it then follows northwest up to the summit of Rainy Pass itself. Then there are several miles of sometimes steep downhills and often tight, twisting trail through scrub willow southwest along Pass Fork to Dalzell Creek. The trail then drops into the infamous Dalzell Gorge for a few miles and finally onto the Tatina River for the last five miles to Rohn.


Rohn to Nikolai wrote:This run breaks into three natural sections: 20 miles along the south side of the South Fork of the Kuskokwim from Rohn to Farewell Lakes and up onto the Farewell Burn, 35 miles across the Burn itself to Sullivan Creek, and then 20 miles north from Sullivan Creek past Salmon River to Nikolai.
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby libby the lab » Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:58 pm

Can't wait for the reports of how The Step are? Could be lots of overflow too!
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby Barney » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:15 pm

The Dalzell didn't freeze very good.. Reports are there are 20 bridges built this year. Much more than usual. They deteriorate as more teams cross them so it will pay to be in the front down the Dalzell this year.
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby elsietee » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:42 pm

Currently, the Beringtons, Wade and Blair Braverman are all camped out at the foot of the Happy Steps. Don't know exactly if that's good or bad.

  • Recovering?
  • Drying out clothes?
  • Trying to get through that section in daylight, but needed to rest, so pushed their runs just long enough to get through it?

Ramey Smyth is also camped five miles up the trail.

Buser, Jeff Deeter, Charlie B, Aaron, Richie Beattie and Seb Borges all past the steps and still moving.
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby elsietee » Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:54 pm

Wade-Kristy-HappyStepsCamp.JPG


Strange activity on Wade's tracker. Even though he's done the same trail as Kristy, and is currently camped in the same place, his tracker shows him going up over a 1000+ foot mountain. No wonder he stopped to rest :)
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby Heidi » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:13 pm

:shock:

Hey, thanks for the updates ET! :)
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby libby the lab » Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:03 pm

Noticed in the video of Linwood reaching Rainy he has a boat anchor for a sled hook!! :o
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby elsietee » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:34 am

Snippets from videos at Rainy Pass:

Kristy B - running a little longer than their usual schedule. They've manage to eliminate one rest and go through to Rohn (where they are currently resting). She said she's never seen the Dalzell Gorge in daylight, so was hoping that she'd be able to this year.

Sarah Stokey - "It's really warm"

LInwood: "Trail is amazing - can't remember it being any better. Firm base, wide packed. Pretty warm, though. Got here just in teh nick of time at 11:30 and will take off late afternoon when it cools down"

Joar: left a couple of good lead dogs at home - they were 9 - including Missy (his good leader from last year). He's spreading Rudy Demoski's ashes. Rudy apparently ran the race the first year Joar ran. He'd come out to Joar's cabin and help him train. Always happy.

Jessie R: no reason to leave until it cools off. 32 degrees is "really hot" for these guys - like putting on a big parka. She stops periodically to let them roll in the snow and eat snow and cool off for a few minutes, and that seems to be helping. No one is overheating. She said it normally takes her 4+ hours to get from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass - this year it took her 3. She thought "maybe" it would take her 3 and half. Trail is really fast - a nice surprise. She's still on the brake and they're moving along at an easy pace for them.

Jessie H: arrived in RP an hour earlier than last year, and he took an extra hour of rest on the trail, so he's two hours ahead. Rested 6.5 hours in Swentna.

Matt Hall: took advantage of a high bib number to do two long runs and stay out in front to keep on the good trail. Also set him up to arrive at RP at the perfect time to avoid the heat.
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby Another UK Fan » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:48 am

Thanks for the updates ElsieT - really, really appreciated. :D
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Re: Finger Lake to Nikolai (cross the Alaska Range)

Postby Another UK Fan » Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:52 am

Nic left Rohn first and Joar followed him 25 mins later . . .
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