Day 1: Teton County, Wyoming

Today, we raced from Blackrock Ranger Station at the base of Togwotee Pass, about 30 miles from Jackson Hole. The temperature when we got to the trailhead was 10 degrees. It was cold for us, but the dogs love the colder temperatures.

 Michael Tetzner preparing his sled for the race.

The race course is 29 miles. If the mushers are lucky, they are treated to a Teton Mountain view in the distance. At 9:00, the first musher left the chute and headed on the trail.

We were joined by many spectators who came out to watch the mushers at work with their dogs and to cheer them out of the chute. They did a fabulous job helping the timers count down from 10. All the dogs were eager to get on the trail. Today’s mushers left in the order of their bib numbers. After today, mushers will leave each morning in a reverse start order. The slowest person from the previous day will be the first to leave. Mushers leave 3 minutes apart.

The mushers returned quickly. The first to cross the line was Remy Coste with a time of 1:42.34. He was followed by last year’s champion, Anny Malo, with a time of 1:49.18. In 3rd place was Michael Tetzner with a time of 1:56.32. All the mushers came across the line with a smile, happy to have completed Stage 1 successfully.

Stage Stop has a fun tradition that we all look forward to each morning. The winner of each stage is given the Yellow Bib to wear in the next day’s race. Each morning at the driver’s meeting, it is exchanged, or in some cases, the musher will keep it if they won the previous day’s race. Tomorrow Remy Coste will leave the chute sporting a bright yellow bib!

Stage 1 results. 

Remy will be the 1st musher to wear the 2024 Yellow Bib!

As we headed to Lander for Stage 2, mushers prepared for the Meet the Mushers event. Each stage we visit on the race circuit puts on a Meet the Mushers event. This allows the community to meet the mushers and dogs the evening before they head out on that communities race trail. All 13 mushers lined up on Lander’s Main Street. The dogs enjoyed all the special attention and pets while their musher visited. Lander Bake Shop sold paw print and dog-shaped sugar cookies. We always enjoy meeting all the great Lander race fans.

A team rounding the corner on the trail. 

Check back tomorrow to see how Stage 2 at Louis Lake Trail Head at the top of South Pass!