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
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
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
The trail is said to be better, more hardpacked and less fresh
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.
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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or email@example.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