Driving up the western flank of the White Mountains one passes the colorful Yukon Quest checkpoint of 101, so named because it is, in fact, 101 miles from Fairbanks on the 161-mile long Steese Highway. Starting out as only a dog drop for the race, the site was granted full checkpoint status a few years ago.
The checkpoint sits at the base of the climb to Eagle Summit, about which Hudson Stuck wrote in 1916: “The Eagle Summit is one of the most difficult summits in Alaska. The wind blows so fiercely that sometimes for days together its passage is almost impossible. … The snow smothers up everything on the lee side of the hill, and the end of every storm presents a new surface and an altered route. … there is no easier pass and no way around.”
My friends and I stopped at the 101 checkpoint on this year’s Yukon Quest, and I snapped a few photos [All photos by Helen Hegener/Northern Light Media]: