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Yukon Quest 2019 – Day 12a

Sled DogStrange – yesterday the standings and tracker showed Misha Wiljes (17) was beyond Central, but this morning the tracker has her back at Central.

Okay, It becomes clear. There’s a storm currently over Eagle and Rosebud summits and visibility is near zero. Everyone is waiting for the storm to pass. Misha must have turned back rather that camping out in a blizzard. No one is going anywhere until the storm passes.

In addition to weather problems, Misha Wiljes had a five-year-old male dog, Joker, die yesterday. The initial necropsy determined the cause of Joker’s death to be aspiration, i.e. inhaling food, a too common problem with large breed dogs

Update: At 10:30AM CST the weather isn’t forecast to improve until Noon local time, 3PM CST. Brian, Dave, & Martin are the only teams likely to move this morning as Two Rivers and Fairbanks are not affected by the storm. Sled dogs generally refuse to move with wind in their face, and will lay down and curl up to wait out storms.

Update: At 1PM CST the teams at Mile 101 and Central decided to move as groups to get everyone over the mountains. Rob Cooke and the Siberians are leading out of Mile 101 to tackle Rosebud, while Hendrik Stachnau with the Malamutes and Greenland dogs will break trail to Eagle Summit.

Martin Apayauq Reitan is on his way to Fairbanks and first place among the rookies. His brother, Vebjørn Aishana Reitan, was last year’s Rookie of the Year.

Update: At 3:20PM CST the teams from Central are at the top of Eagle Summit.