It is certainly more like 'the old days' when men and women braved the frozen wilderness for various reasons, all alone out there with their faithful teams. There are many fewer checkpoints than the Iditarod and the elevation changes are extremely challenging. This year the route has been changed some. I am not sure if this is because of the weather conditions or not. At any rate there is even more climbing but more distance traveled along a highway, which is closed this time of year since it is impossible to keep it clear and passable for vehicular travel except for the snow machines.
The start alternates between Fairbanks, Alaska and White Horse, Yukon Territory, Canada. This year it starts in Fairbanks where there will be a lot of events this coming week leading up to the start on Saturday, February 6.
Here is the link to the YQ's website. www.yukonquest.com They also have a Facebook Page. https://www.facebook.com/YukonQuest There is a good tracker, similar to that of the Iditarod so fans can follow their musher faves' progress.
Here is how the Alaskan Headquarters looked when I was there in August 2014. Of course it is all white and snowy now as shown on the FB page. The race starts on the Chena River, which is frozen over solid at this season, right behind the YQ Headquarters. It's a beautiful place watched over by the First Family Statue.
|YQ Headquarters Front|
|YQ HQs Rear|
|Chena River behind YQ|