Katherine Scheck and her team race down the trail during the 2019 Silver Sled dog sled race on March 2 in Haines Junction. Scheck won the race with a two-day combined time of six hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds. (Iris Flibotte/Yukon News)

Fast trails and blue skies for Silver Sled dog sled race

“The weather was exceptionally beautiful — there wasn’t a cloud in the sky”

The biennial Silver Sled 100-mile (160-kilometre) dog sled race was March 2 and 3 from Haines Junction to Silver City and back.

As a stage race, mushers raced to Silver City on day one and camped at the Kluane Lake Research Station before racing back to Haines Junction on day two.

Katherine Scheck won this year’s race with a combined time of six hours, 44 minutes and 54 seconds.

Second spot went to Alexandra Rochat who finished in seven hours, one minute and 53 seconds with Crispin Studer hot on her heels in third with a time of seven hours, two minutes and five seconds.

A total of 17 mushers started the race, including two Alaskans, with a maximum of 10 dogs and a minimum of eight.

Hans Oettli, race marshal and board member of the Silver Sled Race Committee, said conditions came together well for the race.

“The weather was exceptionally beautiful — there wasn’t a cloud in the sky,” said Oettli, noting temperatures were slightly warmer than would be considered ideal.

“It was a little bit warm on the first day going out in the later morning,” said Oettli. “The temperatures warmed up to probably about -5 C and if you were running in the sunshine, it was probably somewhat warmer. On the second day, the start was excellent – we actually started a half an hour earlier than we usually do for the purpose of running in colder temperatures.”

He said it was around -22 C at the start of day two, but had again warmed to -5 C by the time mushers reached Haines Junction.

Like all the other dog sled races this winter, the Silver Sled was negatively impacted by a general lack of snow in the area. However, Oettli said the trail was “really, really good” and that it was packed down nicely to make for a fast trail.

“It was hard — very hard actually — because of the lack of snow,” said Oettli. “There were a couple of spots with ice and overflow, but we rerouted the trail around it.”

Although the race is open to both mushers and skijorers, this year’s field was all dog sled teams.

“Katherine Scheck used to be a skijorer and she was always the fastest one,” said Oettli with a chuckle. “She turned into a musher and she won.”

Oettli said the board is largely made up of new members, albeit ones with experience with the race, and that it was a bit of a scramble to get things in order once the board determined there was sufficient snow to hold the race.

“At the last minute, finally we were finally able to announce that we do have a race because we weren’t really sure if there was enough snow out there,” said Oettli. “Getting things organized (was) pretty well in the last two or three weeks. (It) was kind of a rough attempt for all of us. … We were actually very happy with 17 entries.”

The race used to overnight in Silver City, but in recent years has been using the Kluane Lake Research Station.

“They went totally out of their way to help us out and it was so pleasant to be out there,” said Oettli. “It was absolutely outstanding and they want us back next year, so that’s already very encouraging.”

The Silver Sled website explains that to keep the event sustainable, the race alternates each year with a shorter one-day Chili Paw race.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

2019 Silver Sled results

1 Katherine Scheck 6:44:54

2 Alexandra Rochat 7:01:53

3 Crispin Studer 7:02:05

4 Luc Tweddel 7:25:58

5 Magnus Kaltenborn 7:41:06

6 Deke Naaktgeboren 7:55:08

7 Claudia Beer 8:02:47

8 Jonathan Lucas 8:04:15

9 Claudia Wickert 8:30:00

10 Louve Tweddell 8:34:48

11 Melissa Schenke 8:37:18

12 Nick Helfinger 9:04:35

13 Matthew McHugh 9:49:44

14 Krys March 11:01:14

15 Courtney Persson 12:03:08

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Alexandra Rochat and her team finished second in the 2019 Silver Sled. (Iris Flibotte/Yukon News)

Just Posted

Two people walk up the stairs past an advance polling sign at the Canda Games Centre on April 4. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
April 12 is polling day: Here’s how to vote

If in doubt, electionsyukon.ca has an address-to-riding tool

Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon addressing media at a press conference on April 8. The territorial election is on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Currie Dixon and the Yukon Party platform

A closer look at the party leader and promises on the campaign trail

Yukon NDP leader Kate White, surrounded by socially distanced candidates, announces her platform in Whitehorse on March 29. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Getting to know Kate White and the Yukon NDP Platform

A detailed look at the NDP platform and Kate White’s leadership campaign this election

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read