Hans Gatt and his team reach the finish line of the 2019 Yukon Quest on Feb. 11 in Fairbanks, Alaska. Gatt finished second in the race. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News)

Local Hans Gatt places second in 2019 Yukon Quest

“After 30 years of mushing, I know when a dog team is running well and they did run well”

Hans Gatt finished the 2019 Yukon Quest in second place, arriving at the finish line with his team of eight dogs at roughly 2:15 p.m. local time.

Gatt is a four-time Quest winner but this was his first 1,000-mile — 1,600-kilometre — race since the 2017 Iditarod.

His team was very young, with his oldest dog being just six and most being two or three years old.

When told that meant he had a good team for next year, he agreed.

“Absolutely,” said Gatt. “I just don’t know who’s going to run it.”

Gatt said he had some trouble with Eagle Summit.

“Somehow, my dogs just decided they were afraid of the wind coming down the mountain and blowing all that snow in our faces,” said Gatt. “They just didn’t want to go up, so I had to walk a couple miles up Eagle Summit ahead of them and my leaders just followed me. When I was out front, they were fine.”

Gatt was in fourth place at Mile 101, but said he started to make ground after a relatively easy trip up Rosebud Summit.

“After 30 years of mushing, I know when a dog team is running well and they did run well,” Gatt said. “I knew I was going to pass people.”

A fan favourite, Gatt said he saw a lot of familiar faces along the way.

“It’s been a while since I was out on the Quest trail and a lot of the people at checkpoints are still the same and they were pretty happy to see me,” he said. “It was pretty cool to see a lot of old friends out there.”

Asked if the Quest was as much fun as he remembered, Gatt paused before answering with a laugh.

“Well, it was OK, but first of all it was cold at the beginning and I can’t deal with the cold very well anymore, so that wasn’t any fun.

“It was fun running that young dog team, no question about it.”

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

Just Posted

Yukon government was wrong in evicting youth from a group home, commissioner finds

The health department has roughly two months to respond to recommendations

Stephanie Dixon ready to dive into new role as chef de mission for 2019 Parapan American Games and 2020 Paralympic Games

“You do it because you believe in yourself and you have people around you that believe in you”

WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World

Whitehorse becomes first community north of 60 to have private pot shop

Triple J’s Canna Space opens its doors to first customers

Whitehorse council news, briefly

Some of the news that came out of Whitehorse city council this week

Snowmobiles and snow bikes descend on Mount Sima for Yukon Yamaha Uphill Challenge

“I think everyone had their eyes opened on what could be done there”

Yukon Orienteering Association starts Coast Mountain Sports Sprint Series off in the right direction

The race on April 11 was the first of five sprint races planned for the spring

Yukon gymnasts stick the landing at inaugural B.C. Junior Olympic Compulsory Championships

Seven Polarettes earned five podium finishes at the two-day event in Langley, B.C.

École Émilie-Tremblay hosts first Yukon elementary school wrestling meet of 2019

“You can grab kids and you can trip and you can do that rough play, but there are rules”

Driving with Jens: Survey says….

If you’re like me, you probably feel inundated with surveys. It seems… Continue reading

Editorial: Promising electoral reform is the easy part

Details of what that would actually look like are much harder to come by

Yukonomist: The centre of the business universe moves 4,000 k.m. northwest

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business named Whitehorse Canada’s top place to start and grow a business

Whitehorse starts getting ready for Japanese students

This summer 13 Japanese students are slated to come north

Most Read