Crispin Studer’s first Silver Sled was a golden experience. It sounds like he’ll be back for another next year.
“It was great. It was really a fun event,” said Studer. “Every musher you met was just laughing and happy – it was a really great atmosphere.
“There was nice weather for the mushers. It was about zero degrees. It was a warm temperature for the dogs.”
The Carcross musher took first place in the 100-mile dog sled stage race from Haines Junction to Silver City and back over the weekend.
The 34-year-old finished the two-day race, that saw 29 sled and skijor teams compete, in six hours and 42 minutes. It was his second title of the season after win his fifth 30-mile division of the Carbon Hill Sled Dog Race in January.
“It was a bit shorter than 100 miles, it was maybe 90-something miles,” said Studer. “But it was really fast trail and that’s why we posted fast times – everybody posted fast times.”
Three pairs of sledders tied for positions in the top 10, including second place.
Whitehorse’s Hans Gatt, a four-time Yukon Quest champ, tied for second with Carcross’ William Kleedehn, the race’s defending champ, with a time of 7:03.
Kleedehn was racing Studer’s yearlings from his Pika Kennel.
“So it was really fun to see they were performing really well too,” said Studer.
The Silver Sled race ran for about a dozen years before 2008’s running was cancelled due to poor trail conditions. It was finally resurrected in 2013 after a six-year break.
As the musher to post the fastest time to the turnaround point in the ghost town of Silver City, Studer was the last one back on the trail on Sunday.
“I ended up starting last and I ended up passing almost everybody,” said Studer. “So I met a lot of people on the trail. I wasn’t lonely at all.”
This year’s Silver Sled also featured a 30-mile skijor race entered by three teams.
Whitehorse’s Katherine Sheepway, who won two divisions at Carbon Hill, took first with a time of 4:57. Husband Darryl came in at 5:09 for second and Whitehorse’s Adam Robinson took third at 6:49.
Studer is set to enter a couple more races this season. He plans to race the Cinnamon Bun Run (formerly the River Runner) this weekend. Studer won the River Runner in 2013.
He also hopes to defend his title in the Percy DeWolfe Memorial Mail Race at the end of the month in Dawson City.
“The organizers did an amazing job, all the mushers were fun to meet and it was a great race,” added Studer of the Silver Sled.
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Top 10 dog sled teams
1st Crispin Studer
(Carcross) – 6:42
2nd Hans Gatt
(Whitehorse) – 7:03
2nd William Kleedehn
(Carcross) – 7:03
4th Susie Rogan
(Whitehorse) – 7:15
5th Gerry Willowmitzer
(Whitehorse) – 7:24
5th Jade Netzer
(Fox Lake) – 7:24
7th Marine Gastard
(Whitehorse) – 7:32
8th Maren Bradley
(Carcross) – 7:47
9th Jason Biasetti
(Dawson City) – 7:48
9th Nathaniel Hamlyn
(Grizzly Valley) – 7:48