Pelly Crossing - Dawson City
(Distanz 112 km)
This is the longest stretch between two Checkpoints in this racing and here the real test begins. Deep in the wilderness and far away from each civilization there are only two inhabited shrub cottages, "Stepping Stone" and "Steward River" and the Dogdrop "Scroggie Creek" to find along the Trails. Next to all other already mentioned hindrances, that emerge again and again, the teams comes now into a hilly landscape; the "Black Hills".
They are mostly not too steep, however the teams are permanently demanded with up- und downhills over kilometers which tire the muscles and the power of dog and musher. Here should be said that Musher do not stand simply on there sled, if it goes uphill they jump off und push or even in difficult places precede. After that, shortly before Dawson, follows "King Solomons Dome" whose crest is held by strong winds often snow free and carries no trees at all.
Its not sure if the trail by this mountain is higher then over Eagle Summit but its for sure that this is one of the higest points in the race and in storm devastating.
Somewhere between the Black Hills and this mountain the real race begins, because in Dawson the teams expected the first prescribed rest of 36 hours which then is urgently needed. Who arrives 5 hours before the next team, may depart also 5 hours earlier after 1 1/2 day. Moreover 4 ounces Gold (approximately 130 gr.) expect the first Musher in Dawson. A gift of the gold graves city. However the brightness of the gold can also mislead to folly. The race is long and less than half of the Musher that won the gold passed at the end the finish line as a victor. So Rick Mackey did say when he arrived some years ago as 5th Musher: "I’m here for the gold I’m here to win." 7 days later he passed the finish line in Fairbanks as winner. For all those who follows the race it becomes more and more interesting how many dogs are rest in the teams. If you read the lists, you should note that the most of the mushers drop their dogs shortly before departure after 1 1/2 day, and only rarely at the arrival, where all animals are examined immediately by veterinarians.