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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
CWF
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Whitehorse, YT, Canada.
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I'm up here in Whitehorse for the summer and fall, and loving it. My friend Annie was coming up for her first time, for 10 days, so I wanted to show her as much as I could of what the Yukon has to offer in the short time she was here. We did the usual Whitehorse sightseeing: going to the Visitor Center, the old log church, the log skyscraper, the fish ladder, Miles Canyon and a hike down to Canyon City and back, followed by halibut wraps at Finney's Fish & Chips stand.

The next day we set out on our first trip: skirting the north-central area of Kluane, in at Bock's Creek and out at Congdon Creek to the south. After stopping in at the Park office in Haines Junction to see the video there and to get cinnamon buns across the street at the Village Bakery, we headed north to Sheep Mtn for a stop and look around at that Park office before continuing on to Kluane Lake. We stashed my mtn bike at Congdon Ck Campground so that on our way out I could drop my pack there and ride the 10 miles or so of highway and gravel back up to the trailhead to get the truck.

It's pretty cool to be hoisting your backpack in the afternoon, knowing you've got hours of daylight to get where you're going.

This is how Bock's Creek looked when we started out:

The creek meandered through the plain, sometimes cutting into the steep valley wall in front of us, so we had to cross it several times to stay on the flat and easy. As we climbed up the gentle valley, we saw old grizzly tracks in the dried mud but that was the only sign. We left the thickets below and entered a valley of rock and more rock:

The creek would appear and disappear under rock, but could always be heard rushing underneath:

Should have taken the right fork, instead chose the left which turned steep and narrow, so we decided to climb up and out to the ridgeline above via a narrow vertical snowfield:

Once on the ridge, we descended to our campsite overlooking Bock's Lake.

Found a flat patch of gravel and set up the tent, cooked and ate dinner, and bedded down in the midnight sun. Woke up to some cloud, but otherwise looked to be a nice day.

We hiked down to the lake and up a glacier to the pass to the valley heading down to the Duke River. The Duke was to be our destination the next day. Down the Duke to where Dickson Creek flowed in, up Dickson Creek to the pass below Right On Mountain, and down to Congdon Creek and out.

From the pass, we headed back down to Bock's Lake for a look around. There are posts marking mining claims but no signs of mining activity. Dall sheep tracks and turds everywhere but we only see the sheep themselves on distant ridgelines. Found some horns, bones, partial skulls... The view down Bock's Creek valley to Kluane Lake:

It hailed on us during dinner

and rained all night. This is what we woke to:

I knew that the creek crossings would be extra hairy due to all the rain and snow added to the regular melt (these long days make for swollen creeks) so we decided to change our route out, skipping the Duke and Dickson and Congdon creeks and heading instead back down Bock's Creek to the draw leading up to the pass over to Nines Creek. We'd head up, over, and then down Nines to the highway and a shorter hike back to the truck. Well, Bock's was a torrent even in the morning. On one crossing, I lost a croc even though it was tied on as well as strapped, and got bashed in the shins by some good sized rocks tumbling downstream. I started slipping in the waist-deep water and Annie grabbed my pack to keep me from being washed away. We both ended up getting knocked off our feet before making it to the other side. We passed by the draw for Nines and headed instead for the truck, reaching a point across from it around late afternoon with Bock's raging.

We tried crossing at a couple places but decided to spend the night in the valley and try crossing in the morning. We made it across the next day and drove down and picked up my bike.
Visited the native village of Klukshu (which seemed to be deserted at the time)

then packed daypacks and headed off on the trail to St. Elias Lake

for a picnic in grizzly country:

Later that evening, we grabbed a campsite, shower, and dinner near Haines Junction.

Our next trip was up Alder Creek (crossing one of the few, if not the only, footbridge over a Kluane creek)

to Shorty Creek, thinking we'd get back up in the alpines to camp and bag Mount Barker the next day. Fantastic weather, no bugs, no grizzlies in the thickets, just moose droppings, placer mining tailings, and paraphernalia. You follow an old mining road to where Shorty's Creek joins Alder,

then you're in tailings and the creek up to the headwaters. But again, the creek was full, up the banks right to bush too thick to bushwhack through, so we baled on Barker, making camp creekside. Something we didn't know, Moose lose their antlers every year, one often dropping off before the other, so they walk around lop-sided. We found this one near the creek, with the other 200 yards or so away in the thick bush.

Lots of cool stuff lying around: pick axes, sluice boxes, the remains of the hydraulic works' piping... but did they ever blast the hell out of the valley walls. Made me want to rent the Eastwood film "Pale Rider" to refresh my memory of that type of mining.

We spent the rest of Annie's visit touring around Kluane, Carcross, and Atlin. You can pack a lot in during these long days!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:16 PM
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Nice! Love the picture of the Grey Monk Red a'la bear spray. That's classic
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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Looks amazing! I'll definetly have to make a trip up there in the future.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-17-2005, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
CWF
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quote:Originally posted by BillyGoat

Nice! Love the picture of the Grey Monk Red a'la bear spray. That's classic
Yes, the Gamay Noir was quite tasty and paired well with the Freybe's and bear spray.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 08:56 AM
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Wow! Great trip report and some of those pics are amazing!

----------------------------------------
Chaos, Panic & Disorder----my work here is done.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-18-2005, 10:34 AM
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Beautiful country up there []!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the T/R
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-25-2005, 11:21 PM
 
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Very nice, tantalizing... in fact, I think I'll see you there in a few weeks

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