The Canadian Rangers and volunteer trail breakers in Alaska have been working hard breaking trail to ensure the safety of the mushers and teams. Although the lack of snow is of concern, there is only one re-route determined between Fortymile and Dawson City, as indicated below.
The trail report is as follows:
Fairbanks to Two Rivers
The trail is packed and hard from Fairbanks to the Two Rivers checkpoint at Mile 53 Chena Hot Springs Road.
Two Rivers to Mile 101
There is fairly good snow this year so the trail is in good shape.
Mile 101 to Central
From 101 the trail is packed 14.5 miles over Eagle Summit to the Steese Highway road crossing at Mammoth Creek. There is better snow cover along the mining roads this year, with only the occasional rock showing.
Circle to Eagle
The conditions are considered fairly normal for the river except for a general lack of snow. Jumble ice at all the river crossings is rough. Conditions are marginal on the south side of Eagle Summit.
Eagle to Dawson
Impassable ice jams between the mouth of the Fortymile and Dawson have necessitated a re-route to the Top of the World-Taylor Highway. Mushers will be re-routed up the Clinton Creek secondary road to the highway and follow that into Dawson. This results in a 2,500-foot climb over the course of about 20 miles up out the Forty Mile River valley to the highway and another 30 miles in high country into Dawson. The distance remains essentially the same as the usual route up the Yukon River.
Dawson to Pelly Crossing
Snow conditions are slightly greater in the higher elevations between Dawson and the Indian River. The Pelly River has frozen smooth in the vicinity of Pelly Crossing.
Pelly Crossing to Carmacks
No reports of trail conditions in this area other than snow conditions are low.
Carmacks to Braeburn
Full trail report unavailable at this time. Low snow conditions reported, but all lakes are frozen and passable.
Braeburn to Whitehorse
Snow cover is low in this area. Trail is hard and choppy. At this time there is sufficient ice and snow cover to finish race in Whitehorse.
Both groups continue their efforts. Updated trail reports will be released as more information becomes available.
The 33rd Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race starts February 6, 2016 in Fairbanks. Twenty-three mushers have signed up for the race, including three past champions and nine rookies.