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Yukon Quest – Blizzard on American Summit

After the last Yukon Quest musher, Dyan Bergen of Yellowknife, arrives in Fairbanks today to be awarded the red lantern, the 30th running of the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race will be part of history. It’s been a great race, and the only minor regret I have is that the trail between Fortymile and Eagle did not go over American Summit, but instead was re-routed down the Yukon River because the trail breakers could not put in a good trail over American Summit. In the years as a race photographer, I have seen epic struggles of mushers and their teams at the top of American Summit, like here in 1998, when Aliy Zirkle broke trail in front of her team in drifting snow and near whiteout conditions. I don’t think it would have changed the outcome of the race, but it’s just another aspect that makes the Yukon Quest as challenging as it is known for.