Visit Alaska

Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

What is on your mind? This is the place to discuss other races and whatever non-Iditarod but still 'mushing' topics or topic of interested to race fans.

Moderator: Iditarod Staff

Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby jpamusher on Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:57 am

I just read on the Yukon Quest site that Donald Smidt was withdrawn for not providing the dog care expected of a Yukon Quest musher. As I recall, he finished next to last in the Iditarod last year with his team of purebred siberians. He seemed to take excellent care of his team in the Iditarod last year so this news came as a surprise to me. I was really hoping for him to finish the Quest. Does anybody know more about this? There is no news on his Howlin winds website.
Thanks,
jpamusher
:cry:
jpamusher
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Philadelphia,PA

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby Di* on Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:10 am

Yea I was pretty surprised to hear this also. I've only followed the Quest real close for a couple of years but each year the officials have seen fit to fine, disqualify or withdraw mushers from the race....just my observation.
You don't see much, if any of that with the history of the Iditarod, so there really is a difference between the two races/officials.
Sorry I can't give you any specifics regarding Donald Smidt though......
User avatar
Di*
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:25 am
Location: MN

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby jpamusher on Tue Feb 12, 2008 6:59 am

Thanks Di,
Didn`t know the officials were so strict. Don seems like a very good musher.
jpamusher
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Philadelphia,PA

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby musherpeg on Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:40 pm

From what I've heard from different folks here in Fairbanks, Donald being withdrawn from the race was a case of not being adequately prepared to care for his dogs during the race. I saw him leave the start line and have pictures of his team and him and let me say that his animals looked great. They looked fit and happy. It was interesting to note that his team wasn't wearing dog jackets but to my eye that didn't appear to be a problem because they had beautiful, heavy coats.
After I heard of his withdrawal I looked at my photos again. The one thing that struck me was that his sled looked very light in terms of its contents compared to the other mushers.
The Quest is a very different race from the Iditarod. We have had some seriously cold weather (45 to 50 below) in the week leading up to the race and from what I had been hearing on the ham radio, the temps near Slaven's cabin were and I quote, "not good." In Alaskan language, that's deathly cold. Add the winds on Eagle Summit and you've got the recipe for disaster if a musher is ill prepared.
There are almost twice as many checkpoints in the Iditarod and please don't take that to mean that I am saying that the Iditarod is easy. A thousand miles on a dogsled is a thousand miles. However I believe that a Quest musher needs a whole different set of wilderness, navigation and dog care skills in order to successfully negotiate the miles between the checkpoints. And with those skills comes the neccessity for more gear.
Heck, just running dogs out here in our neck of the woods demands that a musher be prepared for anything. Sometimes it's a very long way between cabins and a very long time before you might see someone else.
I am wondering if Donald was more in an Iditarod frame of mind when it came to packing his sled for the trip.
It should be noted that the race marshall, Grilliot, wasn't at Chena Hot Springs when he made the final decision. The vets at the Hot Springs checkpoint were the ones who initiated the discussion and to me that shows that they had their priorities straight - the dogs must come first.
While it must have been terribly disappointing for Donald the welfare of the dogs must be the highest priority. The race marshall has to be strict. It's not a popularity contest.
musherpeg
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:14 pm

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby Di* on Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:27 pm

Jpamusher, I must humbly say that I really am only an observer, "armchair musher" so take what I say with a grain of salt! Just my observations, granted my perspective may be way out in left field....wouldn't be the first time! :lol:
The fun part(for me) of these forums is that there is a place for me(hopefully) and the "real deal"(musherpeg)! I enjoy learning all I can and thank everyone who posts with more accurate insights/experience! You made some great points mp, it is a way different race than Iditarod!
User avatar
Di*
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:25 am
Location: MN

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby musherpeg on Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:36 am

Hey Di,

I love armchairs mushers. You folks do so much to support mushers, races and just the sport in general. And I know I'm not alone in this thought. Musher after musher who left the Yukon Quest chute was waving to the crowd and thanking them for coming out to see them off on their journey.
I love seeing crowds at the races my husband and I enter. Here's a bunch of people standing out in the freezing cold cheering and waving. And the really nice thing is that spectators will cheer as loud and as hard for the red lantern musher as they do the winner.
I have my sites set on the Quest next year and already my friends and co-workers here in Fairbanks have said that they plan on being at the finish line to welcome me home. I told them to dress warmly because they may have a bit of a wait...LOL. My biggest challenge will be getting my team past the turn-off to home, about 90 miles from the finish line!
The other point about armchair mushers is that you folks do a lot to help us deal with the crap from the animal rights folks. Many of you know mushers or have visited kennels and you know how we love our dogs. It helps to have non-mushers responding to the stuff that the AR folks churn out. So thanks for being there!
musherpeg
 
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:14 pm

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby Di* on Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:09 pm

:D Thanks musherpeg, sometimes it really gets old just being in that armchair though! :lol:
I've really enjoyed your posts, they are a breath of fresh air, sounds like you have had some great adventures, keep posting!
User avatar
Di*
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:25 am
Location: MN

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby jpamusher on Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:35 pm

:D Best of luck to you,musherpeg in next year`s Quest. I must humbly confess to being an "armchair musher" myself although I do do a lot of backpacking with my dog. Smiley,my golden X,and I have hiked the Chilkoot ,Granite Tors,and other trails in Alaska. I also support the Iditarod with a membership in the ITC.

Image
jpamusher
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:50 am
Location: Philadelphia,PA

Re: Donald Smidt and Yukon Quest

Postby Daphne in Alberta on Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:47 am

Di - Ditto to all you said. At 73 I'm a computer chair musher too, have great admiration for the teams and wish I could have done something like it. What an adventure! I was so impressed to see one of the ladies in the I'rod was 62. She has my profound admiration.
Thanks again musherpeg for your input. Wish you well in your quest for the Quest but you must let us know your name so we know who to root for. :?:
Daphne in Alberta
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:12 am


Return to Off Topic

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron