The teams left the start line in Labrador City under sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures this past weekend.
The mild conditions turned the run into harsh, bumpy terrain. It wasn’t long before it took its toll on some of the snowmobiles.
With 3000 kilometres to travel across Labrador and northern Quebec, the competitors travel day and night and have to battle not only the terrain - but fatigue, and weather plays a huge role in how the race progresses.
"The weather this year really played a big part in the race this year. The teams started out in Labrador City on a nice sunny day, but the weather changed a bit," says Mark Pelley, Cain's Quest east race marshal. "I know some of the racers told me that when they left Churchill, they had rain for two to three hours, which made the snow quite sticky for riding."
A recent 10 degree reading in Goose Bay turned a solid ice covered checkpoint area into a small pond.
14 of 35 teams have been forced to scratch so far from what is known as the world’s toughest snowmobile challenge.