Slept very well. Warm.
4:00 am. Breakfast in the CP3 cabin with Greg, also ready to go.
4:30 Go! Maximum motivation: I want to see more, to go back to confront the track, the elements.
In anticipation of the climbs, I equip my skis with small climbing skins -in addition to inset skins-. Effective! I feel like I can climb the walls. The trail winds through a sparse forest where the snow is more packed. The glide is good, I advance faster than the previous days despite the climbing. The horizon widens as the day breaks, magnificent, icy, pure.
The light is fantastic, the landscapes breathtaking. I have the breath, the legs too, the miles pass by. What happiness today.
Happy River… the misnomer: this is the terrible portion of the Iditarod. All the competitors fear it … I pass the last part as planned on my buttocks, the skis securely stowed on the pulk. The final portion consists of a descent (a fall?) of 6 meters … vertical or almost. Lots of snow this year, no real danger. I would not like to repeat this passage on frozen ground.
After 1 km on the Happy River, you have to go up… a long and steep hill. Again the skis remain on my pulk.