According to an article in this morning's edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, trail conditions between Dawson and Eagle are horrible. In fact, the term used by the Canadian Ranger interviewed for the article was unprintable - so I imagine it's a four letter word starting with "S" and ending with, well, you get the picture.
"Mitchell said a series of snowstorms has undone much of the progress
Rangers were able to make on the trail. The latest came in the past
three days, burying the hard-packed trail under as much as 3 feet of
snow. Mitchell said there will be a trail base by the time
mushers begin traveling but that it’ll be a slog. Mushers who want to
camp off the Yukon River will need to use snowshoes to do it, Mitchell
This ends my speculation that a front runner may try to make the trip between Dawson and Eagle in a single run. Based on that description of the trail, such an effort would be the equivalent of suicide in this race. It does provide Brent Sass and his bigger dogs a relative advantage over those of his rivals, though. Brent frequently trains his dogs to break out deep snow trails. Allen's dogs are quite small compared to Brent's, and I think that Hugh and Jake Berkowitz also run smaller types of dogs.
Today will tell the story. Hugh is already out on the trail, and the others are anxiously awaiting their turn to leave.