ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - It takes a certain type of adventurous spirit to camp outside in the Alaskan winter while running a team of dogs across a thousand-mile trail. Rookie Iditarod musher Quincy Mountain has a history of survival skills and traveling with animals but mushing wasn’t always part of his plans.
Quince Mountain, musher #50, as he moves down 4th Avenue at the Ceremonial Start of the 2020 Iditarod, on Saturday, March 7, 2020.
"You gotta be careful who you fall in love with,” says Mountain. “When I started dating my wife, our first six months or so of dating, she came horseback riding with me. I had a horse down in Iowa. We were both in school for writing and I used to ride horses and she'd come with me...then after a while it was time for me to try her hobby, only fair and her's is dog mushing. And you know...once you get on the runners with a dog team, you’re kinda hooked. It's hard to stop.”
Mountain’s wife, Blair Braverman, finished her first Iditarod in 2019 with dogs the couple raised. Mountain is running this year’s Iditarod with a team owned by Ramey Reddington.
While there are a dozen rookies in this year’s race, a few factors help Mountain stand out from the pack.
“I am allergic to dogs,” he says. “So I take Claritin. Sometimes I take Claritin D. That helps.”
His race is historic in another way—as the first openly transgender person competing in the Iditarod. For Mountain, it’s not breaking barriers that motivates him, but rather the same love all mushers share.
“I’m outside with my best friends, and often my wife and out in this quiet,” says Mountain. "There’s no phone ringing, there’s nothing. There’s no bill collectors calling. There’s no work that you’re overdue on. You’re just out here alone and the rhythm of the dogs. I usually don’t end up even putting on headphones or anything like that.
“I love winter. I love being out here and being out here with dogs? What more could you want?"
Mountain appeared in an episode of Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid" in June 2019. He was the first transgender survivalist on the show.
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