Hans Gatt wins 2021 Yukon Journey

Yukoner Hans Gatt won the 2021 Yukon Journey in Whitehorse, crossing the line just after 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 26.

Gatt left the final time station with a 13-minute head start on Ed Hopkins, but Hopkins narrowed the gap over the last stretch of the race, finishing just minutes after Gatt.

With fresh snow making trail conditions a little slower, Gatt rounded the final bend with a ski pole in hand as he did everything he could to help his team finish.

Hopkins was also poling as he neared the finish, albeit with the classic musher’s pole of a lost trail marker.

After the race, Gatt said he was happy with the way his team performed but that an error could have cost him dearly.

He did not bring plastic from Braeburn he would typically use on his sled in conditions like this – there was a noticeable amount of fresh snow in the last 24 hours – and was forced to use a type of plastic better suited to warmer weather.

Gatt said after taking care of his dogs, he’d be enjoying a beer and waiting around to welcome in the other finishers.

Hopkins said his first order of business would be a trip to the sauna.

More mushers are expected within the hour.