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Matt with his team after 12 hours of rest.

 

Minutes before the start and the dogs are eager to go.

 

Robert Gecas is hooked on to the back of Matt's sled to help slow and control the speed of the team as they enter the starting chute.

 

Matt out of the starting chute in Eagle.

 


Dogs and Racing



 

Mush your own sled dog team of Alaskan Huskies through the Alaska, Yukon Wilderness.

Please check out our other

pages for information on our

dog sled trips and

expeditions!

 

 

 
 


Our Son, Matt Hall is the 2017 Yukon Quest

Dog Sled Champion. He and his wonderful

team of huskies ran a wonderful race.

Please check out Smokin Ace Kennels at the

link below

Smokin Ace Kennels

A Passion for Nature ultimately led to a love of the sport is a wonderful article written by Dermot Cole of ADN about Matt and his team's victory. Wayne and I were able to break away for 2 days and see him finish and achieve one of his dreams. He had a lot of help along the way. Thank you Amanda!

Photo by Dermot Cole of the Alaska Dispatch

Wayne and I are retired from the racing scene but still have a love for, and support long distance racing. Our son Matt has begun his racing career.

Matt as continued to build a wonderful name for himself and his team. He was the Copper Basin 2016 Champion and delighted us by becoming the 2017 Yukon Quest Champion among a few of his wins. He has a wonderful relationship with his team and they are moving forward and becoming a team to recon with.

Racing season 2014

Yukon Quest...Matt and team finished in 3rd place in an amazing race. He and his dogs opened a lot of eyes and he received the Rookie of the Year Award, The Challenge of the North Award and the Veterinarians Choice Award.

Copper Basin...11th place.

Chatanika Challenge 200...3rd place and Veterinarians Choice Award.

Matt was awarded Tour Guide of the Season for the 2nd time during the summer 2013 season.

Jan 15, 2013...Matt finsihed in 14th position in the Copper Basin at 18:39 last night. Positions 18th, 19th and 20th finished before him as after 17th place out of Tolsana the race organization decided to end the race at the last checkpoint instead of the finish line. So teams 1 to 17 braved the bare gravel, ice and up to 6 inches of standing water and slush that the warm winter storm had created. The 2013 race lived up to its reputation of being tough...not because of extreme cold but extreme warm, heavy snows, slow and difficult trail. Matt was proud of his dogs and glad that he did the race. He and his dogs continue to gain experience.

Matt is out of Lake Louise. He has dropped all of his yearlings and is finishing off with his older dogs. A good move on his part as he can now relax more. He is in good spirits and is looking forward to the last 50 miles of this race.

January 14, 2013...Matt is down to his last 100 miles and his dogs are looking good and he is in an upbeat mode. Alyssa said he departed Sourdough at 12:07 (time sheet says 02:07...typo). He should be at the finish line sometime in the early evening. Then time for he and Alyssa to get some rest. Alyssa is handling for him and handlers get as sleep deprived as the mushers. They do not help with the teams but are there at all the checkpoints, that can be driven to, in order to pick up any dropped dogs. That way the dogs are in familiar hands.

The trail is said to be better, more hardpacked and less fresh snow.

We are excited to see Matt finish this race!

Talking with Alyssa earlier, after Matt had left Paxson, the teams were busting through 12 inches of fresh snow on the summit and were heading back out into more snow. The weather reports are calling for an additional dump of 3 to 8 inches today and 3 more tonight. The teams are going to be slowed a good bit. They are still predicting freezing rain and rain. So instead of the severe cold they are dealing with another set of really bad conditions.

Jan 13, 2013...Matt has done an excellant job staying in the front of the pack with a 5th place into Paxson. He has taken his mandatory break there and is slowly getting back out on the trail. He intends to take this next leg more slowly with maybe a break somewhere between the checkpoints. He is working to build a good race team for the future and knows that this year it is important to keep their heads happy, so that the desire to run is uppermost in their minds.

Jan 12, 2013...Matt is starting in the number 2 position today at 10:00 am. This is the hardest mid-distance race there is and one of the reasons is it is usually very cold. So, of course, Matt did not take his rain coat. Guess what...a warm winter storm is moving through the area Saturday to Monday that can dump up to 10 inches of snow, freezing rain and rain. Might make for an interesting race. Temperatures at 7 am were 25 F.

Top of the World 350 Sled Dog Race...

Matt and his team officially finished in 9th position at 23:35 on Dec 30th. The dogs were quickly fed and bedded down and Matt is catching up on some of his beauty sleep. Good Night from a very happy mom!

Dec 30...Race planning and strategy often go out the window with good sense when involved in racing. Matt's mom and dad are here to say we are proud of the professional way Matt has handled himself and his very young and inexperienced team so far in this race. He has learned they have speed and endurance and now wants to continue gaining that experience without burning them out. His plan out of Eagle was to go back to Tok with the same run, rest scheduling even while knowing that the big name mushers with more experience and veteran dogs would be doing longer runs and shorter or no rests. We were thrilled to see him still leading Lance into 40-Mile. There he made the professional decision to not take chances with his inexperience at how far to push the dogs and is ending his first major race with his dogs welfare uppermost in his mind.
Be fully aware that we are not knocking the other mushers that did not spend as much rest time. They have been racing for years and know their and their dog's limitations. Matt has a very young team and he is using this race as a stepping stone into his racing career and we think he is doing it in a very wise way!

Dec 29th...Matt pulled out of the starting chute with a healthy, happy looking team. Pictures to follow here tomorrow but click here to see the already posted ones...http://www.facebook.com/bushalaska.expeditions

Just received this message...

whoo hoo---race on!

TRAIL REPORT: from the 40 mile race support ..."Matt Hall is flying and Lance Mackey is right behind him"

Matt pulled out of Eagle planning to be a little conservative with his young team but the above trail report has his dad and I laughing.

Dec 28...Matt pulled a sneaky one on us last night. His first race turned out to be a new race that is running between Tok...Eagle...Tok in honor of Chief Isaac Juneby. It is a 350 mile race with the first half done in a fun run fashion with an official restart out of Eagle for the final 175 miles. Anyway Matt said he was not planning on doing any fast times into Eagle when who should arrive first with a big smile on his face and great looking dogs and some of the biggest names in long distance racing hot on his tail.



The DOGS!
Each and every dog in our team is a family member.  From birth they are socialized and given the freedom to run loose.  Thus they have a love for us, a desire to be with us and seek us out for affection.  Ever member of the yard gets time to be free and play.  They know their names, are happy to come when called and love to be hooked to a sled.  Just ask anyone who has been around when we touch a sled or pick up a dog harness.  Of course they love the summer just as much, when they get to run free along the Yukon River as we jog or take the 6 wheeler to the fish wheel to pull fish.

Winning or placing high in the Yukon Quest requires not only fast dogs BUT tough dogs as well!  In a race such as the Yukon Quest, the fastest team does not always win.  Extreme temperature can influence physical and mental handicaps.  Perfect training and conditioning for both dogs and musher, race strategy, attention to detail, specialized veterinary medicine combined with specific nutritional requirements, not to mention a good dose of luck, all play into the equation of who finishes in the front and who brings up the rear.

The new type of winning long distance sled-race dog is a finely tuned cross breeding of Alaskan Husky with hound and/or pointers.  We have an ethical problem with this in our dog yard and refuse to become a part of these changes.  There is just enough northern breed bred out of these dogs where the dogs now have to wear coats and many need protective sheathes to prevent their private parts from freezing and many other undesirable traits.  But…they are faster than Alaskan Huskies.  Our kennel and many others do not want to see the REAL Huskies of Alaska disappear into oblivion just for the sake of winning races.  Therefore our team is the real thing 100% Alaskan Husky. 

Wayne ran the Yukon Quest in 2002 and crossed the finish line with a full team of 14 dogs capturing the “Challenge of the North” award.  This was the first time in the history of this race that any musher finished with all 14 dogs.  We have already proven that our dogs are tough.  We then took this “Tough Line” of genetics and bred with one of the fastest Alaskan Huskies to have run the Quest and placed 10th in the 2006 Yukon Quest. Wayne received the Sportsmanship Award in this race.

In 2009, Wayne ran the race one more time with a young team of dogs that had never raced before. They finished a respectable 15th under the shifting colors of the Northern Lights. 



The Human Side of the TEAM!

Wayne, his wife Scarlett and 19-year-old son Matt live in the very heart of Wilderness Alaska.  There are no roads to our cabin, access by boat in summer or dog team/snow mobile in winter.  The log cabin/homestead is located off the Yukon River, nestled on a ridge over-looking “Last Chance Creek.”  The life-style year round revolves around the dog yard.  Running extremely remote dog tours, in winter, provides their main source of income. 

Most of the summer months are spent gardening and taking fish from the Yukon River.  Catching king (Chinook) salmon for us and chum salmon to supplement the dog food for the kennel.  Red meat comes from the harvest of a moose or caribou in the fall. 

There are no power or telephone poles and no running water.  However there is a battery bank that powers starband, a satellite dish that gives them Internet capability and other small electrical needs.  Solar panels and a windmill charge the batteries.

Many hours of the short summer season are spent training dogs and preparing for winter, when the snow starts to fall we have to be ready.  Snow often comes in early September in this area of Alaska.

Our way of life results in the highest amount of individual independence and quality of life interlaced with a tightly loving family surrounded by God and nature.

Run your own sled dog team of

Alaskan Huskies through the

Alaska / Yukon Wilderness.

We specialize in extreme, hard-core wilderness travel using highly trained Alaskan huskies. This area of Alaska is one of the most remote locations left on earth.  Because a true wilderness experience becomes tainted with a large group or "party," we limit our tours to one or two clients plus your guide.  (Except on special request for a larger group, by you.)  You can customize your tour to your own personal physical abilities and expectations which can include day trips and a simple overnight in a tent camp or an original miner/trapline cabin dating back to the early part of the century or you can experience a full-blown expedition as long as you want, mushing into country inhabited only by God's creations, including caribou and wolves. 


CONTACT:
For more information
and/or questions e-mail us at bushalaskaex@gmail.com or bush_alaska_expeditions@hotmail.com or write us at:  Bush Alaska Expeditions, P O Box 161, Eagle, AK 99738.  No incoming phone calls due to the remote location but there is Internet access via satellite. Phone calls can be arranged via computer and satellite.   



 
   

 

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