Yukon Alone: The World's Toughest Adventure Race

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Yukon Alone: The World's Toughest Adventure Race

by John Balzar

Henry Holt and Co. | January 13, 2000 | Hardcover |

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In the tradition of Into the Wild, a story of daring and determination in one of nature''s harshest, loneliest, and most beautiful places.

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race is among the most challenging and dangerous of all the organized sporting events in the world. Every February, a handful of hardy souls sps over two weeks racing sleds pulled by fourteen dogs over 1,023 miles of frozen rivers, icy mountain passes, and spruce forests as big as entire states. It''s not unusual for the temperature to drop to 40-below or for the night to be seventeen hours long.

Why would anyone want to run this race? To find out, John Balzar moved to Alaska months before The Quest began and he spent time in the homes of many of the mushers. Balzar then spent many days and nights on the trail, and the result is a book that not only treats us to a vivid day-by-day account of the grueling race itself but also offers an insightful look at the men and women who have moved to this rugged and beautiful place, often leaving behind comfortable houses and jobs in the lower forty-eight states for the sense of exhilaration they find in their new lives. Readers will also be fascinated by Balzar''s account of what goes into the training and care of the majestic dogs who pull the sleds and whose courage, strength, and devotion make them the true heroes of this story. For anyone captivated by the wild north country, this riveting tale of courage and adventure will inspire and entertain.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 0.79 in

Published: January 13, 2000

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805059490

ISBN - 13: 9780805059496

Found in: Historical, Travel, Winter Sports

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Yukon Alone: The World's Toughest Adventure Race

Yukon Alone: The World's Toughest Adventure Race

by John Balzar

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 Pages, 6.3 × 9.45 × 0.79 in

Published: January 13, 2000

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0805059490

ISBN - 13: 9780805059496

From the Publisher

In the tradition of Into the Wild, a story of daring and determination in one of nature''s harshest, loneliest, and most beautiful places.

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race is among the most challenging and dangerous of all the organized sporting events in the world. Every February, a handful of hardy souls sps over two weeks racing sleds pulled by fourteen dogs over 1,023 miles of frozen rivers, icy mountain passes, and spruce forests as big as entire states. It''s not unusual for the temperature to drop to 40-below or for the night to be seventeen hours long.

Why would anyone want to run this race? To find out, John Balzar moved to Alaska months before The Quest began and he spent time in the homes of many of the mushers. Balzar then spent many days and nights on the trail, and the result is a book that not only treats us to a vivid day-by-day account of the grueling race itself but also offers an insightful look at the men and women who have moved to this rugged and beautiful place, often leaving behind comfortable houses and jobs in the lower forty-eight states for the sense of exhilaration they find in their new lives. Readers will also be fascinated by Balzar''s account of what goes into the training and care of the majestic dogs who pull the sleds and whose courage, strength, and devotion make them the true heroes of this story. For anyone captivated by the wild north country, this riveting tale of courage and adventure will inspire and entertain.

From the Jacket

IN THE TRADITION OF INTO THE WILD, HERE IS A STORY OF DARING AND DETERMINATION IN ONE OF NATURE''S HARSHEST, LONELIEST, AND MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES.

The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race is among the most challenging and dangerous of all the adventure contests in the world. In February, a handful of hardy women and men set out from Canada''s Yukon Territory for Alaska''s remote Interior with teams of fourteen dogs. Ahead of them lie 1,023 miles of frozen rivers, icy mountain passes, and spruce forests as big as entire states. Some mushers will try for victory. Many hope simply to finish. In the darkness of seventeen-hour nights, temperatures drop to 40 degrees below zero, and sometimes rescue may be days away.

Why would anyone want to run this race? To find out, award-winning journalist John Balzar, himself an adventurer, moved to the Far North months in advance of the Quest. He trained and lived and caroused with these intrepid people who have abandoned the comforts and routines of the lower forty-eight states. The result is a vivid day-by-day account of this adventure that also offers an insightful look at the exhilaration and travail of life on the distant edge of the North American frontier.

Among the colorful personalities competing in this year''s race is Aliy Zirkle, a twenty-eight-year-old former college track-and-field hammer thrower and a sometime wilderness biologist. Aliy is one of four women, all rookies, who will be running the Quest this year. Like a lot of "new" Alaskans, Aliy came north for what was going to be a temporary stay. She ended up settling above the Arctic Circle in the village of Bettles, population 45. We also come to know Paddy Santucci, who embodiesthe character of the Far North: at thirty-seven years of age, he is an accomplished mountaineer, hunter, bush pilot, construction worker, and dog driver. Paddy never seems to eat or sleep, seldom speaks, rarely smiles, but has rigorously prepared for the race and commands respect from those who understand the life-and-death arts of winter bushcraft. As we follow Aliy and Paddy and others, we are given an understanding of the fascinating bonds between humans and the majestic dogs whose strength and devotion have made them the true heroes of the story.

Yukon Alone tells a tale that has all the danger and drama of the landscape through which the mushers and their dogs run. Anyone who has ever dreamed of wild country will be inspired and entertained by this adventure of a lifetime.

About the Author

John Balzar is a roving correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and was awarded the Scripps Howard Foundation prize for human interest writing. Balzar has worked as a river boatman in Alaska''s Brooks Range Mountains and sailed across the Pacific. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

From Our Editors

Many sporting events test the physical and mental fortitude of their participants. But no event is as trying as the annual Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, in which men are pulled by 14 dogs across 1,023 miles of Arctic cold over a two-week period. In Yukon Alone: The World`s Toughest Adventure Race, John Balzar provides readers with a day-by-day account of this grueling struggle for supremacy, when temperatures get as cold as 40 degrees below zero. Through frozen rivers, mountain passes and large forests, Balzar presents this unique story of courage and passion.  
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