After being weathered in for a couple of extra days the teams finally made their way out of Salluit on Wednesday. The first team hit the trail at 10:15 with all the other teams following behind in 2-minute intervals. A small mix-up had team 6 leave before team 5 but this was solved in the overall timesheet.
Once the teams made it off the ice and on to the land they encountered some pretty narrow trails which caused some of the support staff to pass the dog teams in pretty close proximity, something we typically try to avoid doing but in this case the crews had no choice.
Once the support teams made it ahead, they went on to set up the checkpoint where the race would end for the day. When the support crew made it to the designated checkpoint, they noticed that the tough snow conditions combined upwards slope would make it too hard for the teams to make it that far that day. They made the decision to go back approximately 20km to set up the camp for that night, which in the end was a good decision as the final team made it into the checkpoint just before dark.
The next morning the teams were off by 10 am, knowing the trail conditions weren’t great they knew they wouldn’t make it into Ivujivik that day, so the plan was made to set the checkpoint up at Tasialuk Quliq.
Shortly after the start of the race, we received the very sad news that the wife of Peter Boy Itukallak passed away that morning. Peter made his way to Ivujivik shortly after receiving the news and he is currently in the process of returning to his home community of Puvirnituq. Our deepest condolences go out to peter during this difficult time.
The mushers continued on their way to the designated checkpoint for that day, the snow conditions on the trail were real soft, which made for tough traveling conditions for the mushers and their dogs. Later that morning it was discovered that blizzard conditions were on the way, so considering this information it was decided that it would be better to get all the teams into Ivujivik for safety reasons.
To do this in a timely manner, many of the teams were ferried to town by snowmobile and sled, this was no small feat, in some situations the support teams had to try and catch some dogs in blizzard conditions. After all was said and done, the time was approaching 11 pm but we feel this extra work was worth it to ensure the teams were not stuck out in the blizzard.Ivakkak Update