Dave Dalton came into Dawson City just after noon today holding the red lantern position (last place).

It’s been a remarkable cold race this year. We weren’t sure Dave was okay when he came in. He mushed clear past the check in line, and was sitting on his cooler. It was a long time before he got up, and he never did open up his hood to show his face.

His dogs looked healthy, but tired and frosty.

It was my first chance to get my camera out, between the really cold (below -40) temperatures, and our overnight shifts at the check point, and catching up on sleep during the day.

Other mushers had teams of handlers who greeted them, and checked the dogs and gave them treats but there was nothing for this team. One handler helped guide them away from the shoot after he was checked in and interviewed briefly, but it was really a remarkable difference over earlier teams.

And off they go!

Really impressed with my new camera. It is nearly impossible to get good shots with temperatures like this, with the extreme light on the snow, and the shadows, as the breath is freezing all over my camera and my hands are screaming in cold pain, even with a thin pair of mittens on to feel the focus and shutter buttons.

Update: turns out Dave Dalton isn’t our red lantern! We’ve got another musher coming in now who is still in the race (a mistake led to belief he had called for help and therefore scratched when he had not!)