2014 Iditarod, route, weather and more: From Cripple to Ruby

After crossing the halfway point, the race turns north on Thursday.

Thursday at the 2014 Iditarod should be one of the better racing days for the mushers, at least in terms of conditions. Rough conditions had plagued the race since it began on Sunday with some stretches of the course devoid of proper snow and causing over 10 mushers to drop out of the race due to equipment damage and injuries.

Things are starting to look up, though, as the leaders reached the halfway point at the Cripple checkpoint on Wednesday. According to weather reports from the course, the snow in this section of the course is fully blanketed and hard packed throughout, which is ideal for racing.

The next leg from Cripple to Ruby is approximately 70 miles moving in a generally northern direction. The trail is well defined, mostly old mining roads according to the official Iditarod website. The terrain is wooded, rolling hills full of black-spruce taiga trees.

Because of the quality of snow ahead, the leaders could choose to push on to Ruby before taking their mandatory 24-hour break. Some had speculated that the frontrunners would take their break at Cripple but they may decide to take advantage of the good snow.

The race's current leader Aaron Burmeister has decided to take his required rest period in Cripple, but second-place Jeff King appears ready to push on and take his break later on down the trail. The bulk of the field remains two checkpoints behind in Takotna, completing their rest periods.

More from SBNation.com

SB Nation Featured Video

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.