Yukon River Quest paddlers began their race to Dawson on June 22.
At 9 a.m., the first 65 teams began their race with another 40 hitting the water at noon. This marks the first time the River Quest has been held since 2019.
The race goes forward amid warnings that only the strongest paddlers should attempt the high waters of the Yukon River this year.
“If you do not have strong paddling skills, wilderness experience and the ability to be completely self-sufficient for at least 24 hours, you should seriously reconsider paddling this year,” reads the latest notice to racers.
“While the race provides checkpoints with power boats, and tracks of each team, this does not guarantee that your team can be quickly reached in the event of an emergency,” reads the notice.
“This is a wilderness event. Your own skills and experience are key, particularly this year.”
The race notice warns that flow levels are “very high” and the amount of debris will make for “challenging” paddling conditions.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org