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Flying the Yukon Quest 2023


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This is a special time of the year form me: Sled Dog Racing is back to Canada and Alaska.

I love to follow the races online and follow the route on FS9: hauling cargo, transporting dogs left at the dog drops back to major hubs from where they be flown home back to their kennels - but, above all, enjoying low and slow flying!

The Iditarod I did many times - usually taking me some 7 to 10 days of short daily flights, going through so many different and wonderful Alaskan Landscapes - From Anchorage to Nome, 1049 miles 🙂

The Yukon Quest I only did a couple of times and don't remember the trail that well. I'll try to fix that this year!

The first YQ Race happened in 1984. The original route would go from Fairbanks in Alaska to Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon in Northern Canada. It followed long streches of the Yukon River and some Historical Trails used during the Gold Rush in the early 1900's - celebrating those times, those places and those adventurers.

The pandemics had a huge impact on these races, as you would guess, and since 2019 the routes had to be adapted - even as ways to protect and keep safe some remote communities along the trails. On top of that there seems to be a breakup between the YQ divisions in Alaska and Canada. So this year's Quest will be composed of 3 races : a 100-mile race to Braeburn, a 250-mile race to Pelly Crossing, and a 450-mile race to Dawson City.


Some relavant links:

website : https://www.yukonquest.com/

wikipedia : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yukon_Quest

media guide with route map and description : https://www.yukonquest.com/sites/default/files/2023-01/2023 YQ Media Guide.pdf


This is leg one. I'm using the great Plan-G for this. The route is as real as it gets!




And if you want some music to go with it.....  🙂


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Joao Paz

Alaskan Winds, L'Air Azur

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So, the day is here!

It's early but I'm eager to arrive at the office!image.thumb.jpeg.9072d2b0cddeb3d83ca16233595c6482.jpeg


Even before loading the aircraft couldn't help to just sit there for while and enjoy the view.

At times the passing clouds allow to see a big moon .. it's called Wanning Gibbous and it's on its 21st day at 69,9%




Here I go! Whitehorse Intl CYXY




Whitehorse, and from here is up the Yukon River to the point where it meets the Takhini River.




Turning to the old Dawson Overland Trail, a transportation route used during the Klondike Gold Rush, built in 1902, that would connect Whitehorse to Dawson.






Flying by the Dawson Overland Trail Time Station








CEK2 Braeburn in sight. Mushers must take a 6-hour layover, here or at Carmacks when the time differences from the start will be adjusted.




Wasn't really expecting this.. sudden crosswinds at 26kts ... when I really didn't need them. But it didn't look that bad in the end 🙂



And I am done for the day. I see some campfires and everyone's is getting ready for the arrival of the first musher.. but it will take some time!






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Joao Paz

Alaskan Winds, L'Air Azur

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Day 2 starts at Braeburn.
Michelle Phillips left the checkpoint with her 12 dogs at 0303 local, four hours ahead Connor McMahon who left with 11 dogs ..
Mille Porsild was the final musher to leave Breaburn at 0751 and so, with no more YQ 450 mushers at Breaburn is time to hit the skies again.
It's 0830 and I'm ready for takeoff.






Flying by Coghlan Lake



The Chain Lakes area




Lake Mandana ahead, where the Time Station for this leg is locate.. lower the skis!






A great place to land and away of the mushers point, the area roughly above the compass.




Down and safe. I'm going for the news and will take off again briefly. Now sure why ... but there were a lof of guys speaking about "OVNIs" today... I guess I don't wanna know ..




Ahead, the trail will be once again on the great Yukon River!








Flying by Carmacks CEX4, but 1st I'm going to take a look at the Community of Carmacks where the checkpoint is located.



The checkpoint is located at Carmacks Community Centre.


(from the YQ Media Guide)

Carmacks Official Checkpoint (Mandatory 6-Hour Layover Here or in Braeburn)

Population 597

Carmacks gets its name from George Carmack, one of the men credited with making the gold strike at Rabbit

Creek (renamed Bonanza Creek), near Dawson City, unleashing the Klondike gold rush in 1896. Before that, he

discovered coal in and around Carmacks and this, his home, became a trading post – Carmack’s Post.

Carmacks is located at the confluence of the Yukon and Nordenskiold Rivers. It lies 112 miles (180 km) north of

Whitehorse on the North Klondike Highway. The checkpoint is set up in the community centre, and a food

concession is available inside. Parking is limited and vehicle plug-in is only available for the race personnel and

volunteers. Be prepared to start and idle your vehicle on a regular basis in cold weather.

Connecting personal power cords to those already plugged into other vehicles will not be tolerated.

Sleeping arrangements can be made with the Carmacks Hotel. There are two service stations in town and one

restaurant. Floor space within the checkpoint is for race personnel, volunteers & handlers. Please respect this

space and keep voices down during checkpoint operations.





Turned back to CEX4 and it's low and slow and cereful with those tree tops!




A short hop but a thouroughly enjoyable flight! Now to grab some hot soup. Talk to you later!






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Joao Paz

Alaskan Winds, L'Air Azur

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I forgot to mention, I chuckled when I saw the missing gauge on the panel. I guess you don't need an "INOP" sticker if it's not even there, LOL

Always Aviate, then Navigate, then Communicate. And never be low on Fuel, Altitude, Airspeed, or Ideas.

phrog x 2.jpg

Laptop, Intel Core i7 CPU 1.80GHz 2.30 GHz, 8GB RAM, 64-bit, NVIDIA GeoForce MX 130, Extra large coffee-black.

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2 minutes ago, PhrogPhlyer said:

I forgot to mention, I chuckled when I saw the missing gauge on the panel. I guess you don't need an "INOP" sticker if it's not even there, LOL


😄 that sure is a funny touch on this plane .. that and a couple of Rivella and Ice Tea cans I got rid of mid flight 😉 Didn't throw them out the window, though!

Joao Paz

Alaskan Winds, L'Air Azur

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6 minutes ago, PhrogPhlyer said:

Joah, is this aircraft available on this site as a download?


That's the Payware Pilatus Porter from FSD - but the price is right.. it comes in wheels, skis, amphib. It flies really nice, too (FDs by old time guru Steve Small) 


Joao Paz

Alaskan Winds, L'Air Azur

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