Iconic Alaska

Michelle Phillips pushes up Eagle Summit during the 2019 Yukon Quest.

Plans for the 2021 Yukon Quest are coming into focus as the Alaska side begins to regain its financial footing after announcing earlier this year that the organization was in financial straits.

In a note on the Yukon Quest’s Facebook page, Peter Kamper, vice president of Yukon Quest International/Alaska, said the Alaska and Canada sides of the Quest are still planning separate races in 2021 since the coronavirus pandemic has closed border crossings. The Alaska side will put on a 300-mile qualifying race called “The Summit Quest,” because the course will include two of the highest mountains on the 1,000-mile trail: Rosebud and Eagle Summit.

“While only organizing the YQ300 in 2021 could be seen by many as a setback, the Alaskan Board of Directors tried to take 2021 as an opportunity to further develop a race that has long stood in the shadow of the YQ1000,” Kamper said. The Summit Quest will serve as a qualifier for the 2022 1,000 Mile Yukon Quest, which both boards say they are optimistic will occur.

Kamper says the Quest has put away enough money to field the 300-mile race, which will include some changes from past races that will be announced at a later date.

Signups will be held starting at 2 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Howling Dog Saloon.

Contact staff writer Julie Stricker at 459-7532.