Baby it’s cold outside

“Baby it’s cold outside” (BICO) is an online awareness and educational program about hypothermia and cold injuries developed for professional Search & Rescue responders.

This program is so informative and important that I decided that all future MYAU participant need to do it as part of their preparation.

Even though athletes are not the primary target group of this training, there is a lot to be learned. It will help MYAU athletes better understand some of the things that will happen to their bodies out there in the cold. And of course there always is the possibility that an athlete becomes a first responder when encountering another athlete in trouble on the trail. If the trouble is cold related, this training will help in taking the right steps.

BICO has got several advantages which make it great for athletes:

  • It’s an online program and thus available for anyone with internet
  • It’s free of charge
  • It deals with all relevant cold weather issues and rescue scenarios in an easily understandable way
  • It’s divided up in several chapters and does not all have to be done at once
  • It’s just the right amount of information
  • At the end of it you get a certificate and thus can proof that you did the training
  • You can repeat that training as much as you want

So, any MYAU participant is asked to go to to register and do the program. Upon completion please either email me the certificate to or print it out and take it with you to the Yukon to hand in when we deal with any paperwork pre-race.

I do suggest you don’t do the training too soon or that you repeat it a week or two before the races. That way your memory of the program is still fresh when you are at the start line in Whitehorse.

Racelite features MYAU shop

Racelite is an online shop specialized in trail running. I actually started it in 2005 as a consequence to organising the MYAU and having to deal a lot with questions and issues regarding clothing and gear for the Arctic. Over the years the product range offered on Racelite has grown significantly. Thus it has become increasingly challenging to actually filter through to the products that are relevant for cold to extremely cold temperatures. In order to change that, from now on there is an MYAU Shop-in-Shop on Racelite that focuses 100% on (ultra) running in cold weather. It is called MYAU shop but of course the product featured in it is relevant for any cold weather training or event.

In addition on Racelite you will find an updated gear list with many interesting tips for winter ultra running in an event like the MYAU.

Exped sleeping mats for rent

From next year onwards we will rent out Exped DownMat XP 9 sleeping mats. These mats have an R-value of 8 and are rated down to – 38° Celsius. With the help of the included pumpbag you can inflate this mat in no time and you won’t get humidity inside.

To have the best possible sleeping mat is absolutely vital for a sleeping system that needs to work in even the most extreme temperatures. And that is not to say that at – 40 or colder this sleeping mat will guarantee you a warm and cozy night. You still need to have picked the right spot for your camp, be well hydrated, have the right liner and bivouac bag or tent. Your sleeping bag needs to be dry and you may need to build a wood fire. But if you do not have a good piece of insulation between your sleeping bag and the ground these temperatures will be dangerous and there is no way you will get any rest.

For all the information on the product and the rental price please check out Rentals in our Service section.

The Reckless raven

You are wondering what the Yukon is like in the summer? And while you check it out you would like to run an ultra? How about entering the Reckless raven?

The Reckless raven is a 50 miles race with beautiful single track trails, quad roads, 3 ridges, 2 peaks, about 2,361 m of elevation gain, water crossings and fun aid stations. You can participate solo or as a team of 2 runners. The third edition will be held on June 30th, 2019 with a start in Whitehorse. Registration will open in October. You can follow the Raven on facebook  and of course there is a website, too:

Staying at the Downtown Hotel, Dawson City

Once again the Downtown Hotel is our partner hotel in Dawson City. Just as a reminder to all athletes who are in the 430 mile race, accommodation in Dawson City is not included in the entry fee and sleeping at the finish line checkpoint is not possible. The Downtown Hotel is giving athletes reduced room rates. I just updated the respective information in our information section on travel.

As you will see rooms rates are based on single or double occupancy, i.e. if you team up with other finishers you can save money if you want to. Please feel free to use our facebook group if you want to share a room and get in touch with others.

There are no transfers from Dawson City to Whitehorse prior to February 16th. So, if you arrive earlier you stay in Dawson City until that day. Time to relax, gain back some weight and watch others cross the finish line. We will all leave Dawson City together on February 16th at noon at the latest and get back to Whitehorse late afternoon.

It is possible to book an Air North flight from Dawson to Whitehorse at your own expense if you are optimistic and plan for an early finish. I do not recommend to count on an early arrival because delays are always possible. But people have done it and it can of course also be done spontaneously, i.e. after actually having reached Dawson City.

New autumn/winter products from Montane

The first new Montane products for autumn/winter 2018 are becoming available! Many of these are great for the Yukon, e.g. the Alpha Balance Jacket which is a hybrid fleece with a perfect combination of lightweight, comfort, warmth, breathabiltiy and protection for the body’s core. Or the family of the very successful Men’s Icarus and Women’s Phoenix Jackets which is growing. There is now also a Micro Jacket (without hood) and vest. All with the great windproof PERTEX® QUANTUM ECO outer and the innovative PrimaLoft® ThermoPlume synthetic insulation.

To get an overview of what already is in stores and what is soon to come, please check out

Pertex® becomes new “gold level” sponsor

For almost 40 years Pertex has worked closely with the leading outdoor apparel and equipment brands, to develop lightweight and innovative fabrics for all conditions. Pertex fabrics are designed to eliminate excess weight without compromising on performance or durability and have been used on countless expeditions and adventures in the planet’s most inhospitable environments. Participants in the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra every year use many products that are made with Pertex fabrics. Therefore, I am very excited that as of now Pertex will be a new “gold level” sponsor for the MYAU.

To find out more about Pertex, please go to

Rule Update

I have just updated rule #7 regarding mandatory gear. From the 2019 edition onwards it is a requirement that all ultra distance athletes carry vacuum-insulated bottles with a combined volume of at least 3 litres. If you prepare yourself for the MYAU you will quickly find out that hydration is very essential. Not drinking enough comes with many risks, one of these being higher chances of getting frostbite and/or hypothermia.

Please do not mistake this for a recommendation as to how much you need to drink per day. As a matter of fact if you are moving almost all day you will need significantly more to drink in 24 hours than just 3 litres. So, you need to work out a strategy and this may well mean to actually take 5 or 6 litres of liquid along on the trail. Maybe all of it in vacuum-insulated bottles, maybe a mixture of 3 litres in vacuum-insultated bottles and the rest in an insulated hydration bladder. And there are other options for more volume like insulated Nalgene bottles or similar. Another thing to factor in is your willingness to stop and melt snow or ice. If you are happy to do that you need to have less hot drinks with you. But of course you need to consider the chances of a stove failure (which then means you need to build a wood fire). And even if technology does not fail, operating a stove in extremely cold temperatures in itself can be dangerous, not to mention time consuming. Last but not least, you do of course have the checkpoints where you can (re-)hydrate and get as much hot water for on the go as you want. Here I want to mention that chances are, sometimes your timing is off and you need more time to get to a checkpoint than you had planned. Which means you may end up needing more water between two checkpoints than you had expected.

Be prepared, play it safe and do not risk getting dehydrated. It is probably one of the top reasons for people to be faced with a DNF.

Driving Force to provide rental vehicles

We are very lucky to get the support of some great local companies. Driving Force is one of them. Pretty much since the existence of the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra they have been providing us with rental vehicles. In 2019 they will be supporting us again.

Driving Force offer great service and vehicles of all types in perfect condition. Both is super important especially when leaving Whitehorse to go on some longer drives.

They also offer a 10% discount to athletes and friends and family members who may be with them in the Yukon. Athletes who pre- and post-race prefer to stay in Whitehorse do not need a rental vehicle for their logistics. However, anybody who wants to leave the downtown area or to follow the race will need a vehicle.

If you are interested, please use the following contact to make your reservation:

Nikita Hryniuk
Rental Manager
Phone: 867-668-2137 Ext:7343

There is no booking code to get the 10% discount. When you make your reservation please just mention that you are with the MYAU and would like to make use of the promotion.

Total North – our partner for satellite communication

Total North will be our partner for satellite communication at the Montane Yukon Arctic Ultra 2019. For years this local specialist company has been providing satellite phones for our crew and it’s great to have them on board once again.

Whilst in Whitehorse and places like Carmacks, Pelly Crossing and Dawson City cell phones work just fine. However, in between there is no cell phone coverage. So, for a race like the MYAU there is no way around using sat phones for communcating from trail or remote checkpoint to race HQ. It is vital for the overall race safety and great to be able to count on the reliable phones and perfect service provided by Total North.

Total North also rent out to athletes. And I strongly recommend any athlete doing an ultra distance to have a sat phone. The SPOT is great for communicating a status but all we get is a “Help”, “Okay” or “911”. A race participant will not be able to get across any further details using a Generation 3 SPOT. Here a sat phone can not only be a back-up (in case the SPOT fails) but you can actually tell race HQ exactly what is going on.

If you want to rent a sat phone please find the form here:

Sat Phone Rental Form – Total North

With the MYAU and Yukon Quest both leaving from Whitehorse and plenty of athletes on the race roster I do recommend you reserve your phone rather sooner than later.

And please remember, anything that runs with batteries can fail! This is also true for sat phones. So, your number one goal needs to be to stay out of trouble in order to not have to rely on any battery powered technology.