Matt and Max (Team Green Chile?) went up to interior Alaska back in March for the White Mountains 100 Human Powered race (ski, bike, or run — we went for the fat bikes). It was a great adventure. Aven helped me pack and prepare:
We got into Anchorage and spent the first night with Gina & Harlow before going to pick up the rental bikes from Arctic Cycles.
Max was digging Alaska, and loved standing in the middle of Alaska Highway 3:
We stopped for a ride in Denali Nat’l Park and then got up to Fairbanks and enjoyed the awesome Anne & Don hospitality and some Fairbanks fun, including the ice art festival:
Then it was time to get up early, drive up to the BLM White Mountains area and face the harsh reality! Sunrise just before the race start:
The trail was fantastic and the volunteers on the trail and at the support cabins were really amazing! Max & I had lots of fun, but we finally got up to Cache Mountain Pass (~51 mile in of the 100 mile course) around 2am, with about a foot of new snow on the trail.. We decide to hitch a ride with a medic team on snowmachines (Ariana and ??). We got out to the Windy Gap cabin and got some zzz’s. Max caught the first ride out to the start/finish line, while Matt ended up hanging around the cabin due to scheduling. Windy Gap was very picturesque and the volunteers there were a fun gang to hang out with.
The ride out was spectacularly beautiful and the only thing that would have made it better would have been to still be riding the bikes. Here’s one scenery shot:
We finally made it out to the finish line with all our gear (and with lots of help from our heroes!) 🙂
We made it out to Chena Hot Springs to recover, and then zoomed down to Anchorage for the post-race party, bike returns, and then our flight home. What a trip!
I’m hoping to get back up for the White Mountains 2013, and to finally finish the darn thing!! 2012 (51 miles) was much better than 2011 (~30 miles). I still had a little bit too much gear, and I’d like to get more optimized packing. I think I need to be prepared to sleep on the side of the trail, but I think that if the conditions were the same as in 2012, I’d push on to Windy Gap on the bike and catch a few hours of sleep before heading out. But who knows what the weather and course will bring — much less if I will make it into the race (only 65 racers are allowed).