With Melissa Owens' recent departure, the top 19 are out of Rohn. The trailbreaker has successfully cleared the trail to McGrath. Heavy snow is making for a slow trail, and as more dogs go over the route, the more the snow tends to get churned up and turned to a powder, which slows down the teams.
Recent snow on the interior will make the trail from Ophir to Iditarod easier going than usual. Traditionally, that section of the trail, unused except for alternate years as the race trail, has been a challenge of grassy tussocks. The trailbreaker expects to have his work cut out for him on this stretch, turning all the deep snow into a nice doggy highway!