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The White Pass Route – first skiing attempts in the North

The White Pass Route – first skiing attempts in the North

After our excellent drive on the Stewart-Cassiar Highway up into the Yukon Territory, we first made our way to Whitehorse where we stocked up our supplies and planned our next steps. On the southern Klondike Highway, we wanted to drive up to the White Pass, which lies between the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska. The weather forecast wasn‘t really appalling, we even got hit by a snowstorm at our departure from Whitehorse. Like two years ago we first reached Carcross, where we enjoyed a hot chocolate and gazed at the stunning summits in the sun across Lake Bennett, while the weather here was more like on doomsday.

Lake Bennett and the stunning summits in the sun.

A little later we moved on to the Tutshi Lake, another old friend, that was still as beautiful as I remembered it. There we prepared for our tour on the next day. 

The drive to the White Pass was truly spectacular.

That one we started after a relaxed breakfast at the shore of the lake.

Camping right next to the shore of Tutshi Lake. Can’t be much better, eh?

Today’s destination was the Log Cabin Trail, a rather mellow slope through the trees into the alpine. Good terrain to get a first impression of the snowpack up there. Unfortunately, the snow was everything else than great and both the ascent and the descent were quite difficult and not very funny.

Looks spectacular, but it was pretty difficult to ski on that snow.

In addition to that, the wind constantly blew and smashed some snow showers into our faces. Even the only light, cold snow in an otherwise slushy environment was bothering us on that day. To take at least a little bit of experience from this trip we decided to dig a snow pit and compare our different approaches to the snowpack observations.

A little bit of snow science at the White Pass.

Also, I had the opportunity to fill in another report into my field book, which I always carry with me since my Operations Level 1. So much to our first trip up there. Skiing day 122 was more like a flop, but whatever…

For the next day, we chose a different route a bit further up the pass, maybe there’s still something to get there. But again, the weather wasn’t cooperating at all and the White Pass paid its name all honor. It was a complete whiteout up there and the snow was shitty as well. Instead, we changed our plans and moved on to Skagway, Alaska, from where we hopped on a ferry to Haines, which I haven’t had the opportunity to explore it two years ago. On exactly the same boat as back then, the MS LeConte, we set over to the port of Haines.

A lot of good memories I had of my last time traveling on the MS LeConte through the Inside Passage.

What a day! After the whiteout and the snow on the White Pass, we now found ourselves in the lush, green rainforest of the Pacific coast. 

The beautiful town of Haines! Luckily, the cruise ships don’t stop at this place!

In Haines, we first went out for a little hike to move our feet and then drove to the Chilkoot Lake and Chilkoot River, one of the great wildlife viewing spots in the area. In fall there are tons of grizzlies hunting for salmon, at this time of the year we only found a lot of eagles and tons of young salmon preparing for their trip out into the ocean.

Not much going on here at this time of the year. In fall all the Grizzlies will gather here!

However, it’s been great to be around the wild Pacific Coast again. With a great view on the sea we that parked our van and spent the night there, enjoying the moderate temperatures at the coast.

The pacific Coust is truly amazing!
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