Ray Redington Jr.

Emily Schwing / KUAC

  Pelly Crossing, YK - The first Yukon Quest musher to arrive in Dawson City is awarded four ounces of gold. This year, it’s valued at six thousands dollars. In order to keep the money, the team also has to finish the race.

Gold or not, mushers have to find a ways to get to Dawson with teams that can still be able to race on the Alaska-side of the trail.

Allen Moore was explaining his race strategy when his alarm went off in the Pelly Crossing Checkpoint. “Uh oh, it’s time to get up. Alright, I’m awake!” he joked.

Julien Schroder / Yukon Quest

Carmacks, YK - Yukon Quest mushers continue to battle subzero temperatures, but the race is heating up as teams complete the first of four mandatory layovers.  Mushers are trying to decide if they should rest their dogs early or keep moving and try to claim an early lead.

Perhaps it was no surprise Tok musher Hugh Neff arrived in Carmacks ahead of his competitors. In recent years, Neff has pushed his team early. “I just like to be out on the trail by myself, I don’t want to be around hoard of other people,” said Neff.

Fairbanks, AK - Of he 26 mushers signed up to race dog teams in this year’s Yukon Quest International Sled Dog race, 10 are rookies. They might be new to the race, but a few trained dog teams with a handful of well-known and champion long-distance mushers.

Emily Schwing / KUAC

Fairbanks, AK - Over the weekend, veterinarians looked over the sled dogs that will run the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in both Fairbanks and Whitehorse. They wanted to make sure the dogs were healthy, well-fed and ready to race on the 1000 mile trail.

Inside a large warehouse, veterinarian Nina Hansen checks the paws and teeth and listens to the heart beats of sled dogs.