On Thursday (February 24, 2011), the Pro Class teams headed out ahead of the Ambassador team which was not in the original game plan – but then again, the epic storm kept anyone from going anywhere as originally planned.
The Ambassador Team riders were in good condition. The Polaris Adventure snowmobiles were unscathed and ready to roll. Everything was set to go. The riders set out for White Mountain just behind the Pro Class teams, disappearing into white out conditions.
At the time, weather conditions were forecasted to improve. Ultimately, a sudden surge of sea ice, high tides, high winds and waist deep overflow had created a significant risk of danger for the Ambassador Team.
After receiving similar caution about the worsening conditions from the Pro racers already ahead on the trail, the Iron Dog officials made the decision to get our Ambassador riders back to safe haven.
Due to unprecedented storm conditions, the Iron Dog race officials asked the Ambassador Team to turn back on Thursday (February 24, 2011) afternoon. It was then too late to make another attempt and the team was asked to end their journey right there in Nome.
Even after making this decision, conditions along the return route worsened as the riders pushed their way back to Nome. Nearly twelve hours of zero visibility, relentless winds, overflow and grueling conditions. Every rider was soaking wet and pushed to their limits.