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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2003, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Default Paddling in the Yukon

Hey all,
I am in the earlier stages of planning my end-of-August get away. One of the possibilities on the table is a canoe trip from Johnson's Crossing (near Whitehorse) down the Telsin river, continuing down the Yukon to Dawson. Anyone done this? Any advice? My one concern is that my canoing buddy from Boston has only 16 days off -- and this needs to include his travel time. How many days would be comfortable for this trip -- allowing for some fishing and hiking time? Any other suggestions for trips?
Thanks!

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2003, 01:24 PM
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There are probably more detailed guide books but for a personal account of the route, read Drifting Home by Pierre Berton. They took 9 days from Whitehorse to Dawson using inflatables with outboards. (sometimes drifting and sometimes under power).

I'm interested in this trip as well, although not until next year as this year we'll be doing the Chilkoot trail.



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post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2003, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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There are probably more detailed guide books but for a personal account of the route, read Drifting Home by Pierre Berton. They took 9 days from Whitehorse to Dawson using inflatables with outboards. (sometimes drifting and sometimes under power).
It sounds like maybe they travelled the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson. Do you happen to know? I have my eye on the Telsin River, which I imagine would not be outboard-friendly, but I don't really know.

Meanwhile, I'll look for that book; thanks for the tip.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-30-2003, 07:13 PM
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Yea it was the Yukon not the Telsin.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 07:08 AM
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I've done this trip a number of times and never get tired of it. Unlike lake paddling, the current in the river allows for drifting and the ability to cover significant distances each day. Having said that, your itinerary is too ambitious for the number of days you have budgeted. It would require very lengthy days without factoring in adverse weather, your desire to hike, fish, and resupply. It may be more reasonable to do one section of the river one summer and return the next to complete it.

I would also reconsider your choice of late August for the entire stretch. Aside of the weather getting quite cold [paddling in the cold with rain is miserable - my worst memory of this paddle], you would be arriving in Dawson City when all the attractions are closed. My favourite time is early August. Mosquitoes basically gone, weather agreeable, water levels down, Dawson open.

Have you considered one stretch of river and a hike to accommodate your friend's schedule?

I'll be happy to help you with planning if you feel it is worthwhile. You can contact me at work at [email protected]

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Having said that, your itinerary is too ambitious for the number of days you have budgeted.
I was afraid of that.

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I would also reconsider your choice of late August for the entire stretch. Aside of the weather getting quite cold [paddling in the cold with rain is miserable - my worst memory of this paddle], you would be arriving in Dawson City when all the attractions are closed. My favourite time is early August.
Unfortunately, I teach until early Aug and then need to deal with a final exam before I can skip down. The end of August is my only option.

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Have you considered one stretch of river and a hike to accommodate your friend's schedule?
Is it possible to do a take out at Carmacks? What would we do with the canoes?

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I'll be happy to help you with planning if you feel it is worthwhile. You can contact me at work at [email protected]
What a fabulous offer. Thank you! I'll wait for confirmation from my friend, then I'll get in touch.



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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 11:52 AM
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Yes, you can take out at Carmacks. Some take out at Little Salmon. This helps to shave a day.

You can arrange with local outfitters to pick you up [for price]. We have a Tombstone hike which ends on Sept 6. We would be returning from Dawson City on that date and would pass through Carmacks area around mid afternoon. If we have space in the van we will give you a lift for free. If you make it into Dawson you can get a lift from there but we would charge a little for gas.

Are you bringing your own canoe or renting one? If renting then outfitters pick up their own canoes. This service is factored into the cost of rental but they charge extra for a lift [cost depends on number of people they are picking up and from where - it's not cheap but at least service is there]

The only other thing at this point Rerun is canoeing skill. Although rated a Grade I river, the current requires that a certain skill level be present to handle the river. If you are an absolute beginner or a lakes paddler, I recommend that you look at a paddling course to build these skills.

I'll be there when you need it. Be glad to meet over coffee and help with ny questions.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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Yes, you can take out at Carmacks. Some take out at Little Salmon. This helps to shave a day.
Good to know. Thanks.

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We have a Tombstone hike which ends on Sept 6. We would be returning from Dawson City on that date and would pass through Carmacks area around mid afternoon. If we have space in the van we will give you a lift for free.
What a great offer -- thank you. Unfortunately I need to be back in Vancouver by then; I'm scheduled to start lecturing on Sept. 2.
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Are you bringing your own canoe or renting one?
We'll be renting.
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The only other thing at this point Rerun is canoeing skill. Although rated a Grade I river, the current requires that a certain skill level be present to handle the river. If you are an absolute beginner or a lakes paddler, I recommend that you look at a paddling course to build these skills.
I thought that the Telsin was rated a class II river? I think we should be okay. David is very skilled and I have a modest amount of experience. I've paddled the Chatooga (the north Georgia river where the movie Deliverance was shot) a few times (mostly class II with a taste of III) but warm water and only on day trips.
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I'll be there when you need it. Be glad to meet over coffee and help with ny questions.
How wonderful! I'll be in touch as soon as things firm up a little. I'd love to get together for a coffee, or hey maybe a hike! to chat about trips up North in general and this one in particular.



Edited by - rerun on 03/31/2003 1:01:46 PM
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 05:45 PM
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quote:Unfortunately, I teach until early Aug and then need to deal with a final exam before I can skip down. The end of August is my only option.
I used to teach also. High School. Set a true or false exam and you'll be on the river the next day.

When you're ready. Do you live in Burnaby?

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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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When you're ready. Do you live in Burnaby?
Nope, but I work there -- SFU. Are you in Burnaby?

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-31-2003, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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How many days do you think would be comfortable for Johnson's Crossing to Carmacks?

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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-01-2003, 07:17 AM
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North Delta.

8 days should be more than enough. We usually factor in an extra day to account for very bad weather and then shorten days if they're not needed.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 05-28-2003, 10:31 AM
 
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HOwdy. My girlfriend and I are floating from Whitehorse to Dawson in a 13' Avon raft. We've allowed 16 days on the river and plan on rowing (ack!) Lake LaBarge. We'll be floating the last two weeks of August. Just curious...do folks think this is possible in this timeframe? I'd appreciate any tips or suggestions.



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post #14 of (permalink) Old 05-29-2003, 04:41 PM
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Sixteen days should be okay. Gives you time to explore and maintain a comfortable pace. I'm not familiar with the raft so some of this may not be germaine. Things to note: Lake Laberge is notorious for its winds and high waves. If you see any white capping stay/head for first acceptable shore and wait it out. This may mean staying in camp for a few days. Don't underestimate this lake in bad weather. Stay along the east shore as winds will blow you to shore if they come up. Using the west shore can blow you to the middle making it difficult to get to shore. Know where the places are that you can put in. There are long stretches of rock to the water where landing is not possible. If possible use the Teslin River, thus avoiding the lake.

Know what you are doing when going through Five Finger Rapids. Speak to locals [drop in and speak to people at Kanoe People]. There is potential for real disaster if you take wrong channel.

Rink Rapids can be problematic also unless you stay to the right shore.

The rest of the river is fine. Another thing to know is how to get to shore in a swift current.

Have a safe trip and do your homework. May see you on the river.

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