This section of the fabled Yukon River includes scenic Lake Labarge, the fast flowing Thirty Mile section, and a 3 day stretch from its confluence with the Teslin River to the village of Little Salmon. The Yukon River has been a major waterway since the territory was first occupied by First Nations peoples, and more recently was the route to the Klondike Goldfields. Traveled by steam-powered riverboats in the early 20th century, the river continues to draw river lovers from around the world, some traveling all the way from her headwaters south of Whitehorse for 2500 kms through Alaska to the Bering Sea. Relics of earlier days are in frequent evidence along our route and will give us a sense of traveling through time as we head northwards towards the land of the midnight sun.
The section of the Alsek River that we will run is entirely within Kluane National Park, in southwest Yukon. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, Kluane is also part of the world's largest protected area, which traverses an international boundary, and incorporates three other parks – Alaska’s Wrangell-St Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks, and British Columbia’s Tatshenshini Provincial Park.
The Hart river has incised a path through the western perimeter of the Wernecke Mountains and the eastern edge of the Ogilvies. It is one of seven main tributaries of the Peel River, which flows north into the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie River. The Hart is a class 2 river, with some class 3 sections, offering a variety of paddling conditions, from an abundance of tranquil waters, to fast flowing shallow stretches, braided channels, and a series of rapids formed by ledges of sedimentary rock. Canyon walls and steep slopes form a dramatic backdrop to the river’s middle section. We’ll spend a week in this stretch, enjoying scenic campsites and superb hikes into the high country.
Mountain sheep scamper across steep talus slopes, descending to the river to access mineral salt licks. Moose are often sighted in the shallows of McClusky Lake, our put in site near the river. Caribou scamper along rivers' edge, the bulls displaying their impressive racks of antlers. The Wind is also home to grizzly and black bears, wolves, wolverines, fox and other small fur-bearing animals, as well as variety of bird species.
The Snake River valley is a paddler's and hiker's paradise. In the upper reaches alpine tundra stretches almost to rivers edge, allowing easy access to wildflower meadows and sweeping ridgelines. The river itself has carved a path through land slides and canyons, boulder gardens and braids, until it spills out of the Wernecke and Mackenzie mountains onto the Peel plateau. It's the most challenging of the three Peel watershed trips that we offer, with a fast current punctuated by several class 2+ and 3 rapids.
Tombstone Mountain, a towering plutonic intrusion, is at the heart of southern Ogilvies. It is also the namesake for Tombstone Territorial Park. This park straddles the Dempster Highway – a narrow strip of gravel in an immense expanse of northern Yukon wilderness. Multiple alpine glaciations have sculpted the rock spires and left behind distinctive features such as cirques, tarns and moraines. The Tombstones are at the southern edge of Beringia, a unique region that was not scoured by continental glaciers during the last ice age.
"Numinous" is defined as "of or pertaining to the spiritual and supernatural". How often have we looked at a landscape and felt a degree of transformation or elevation? How is the process of walking through the landscape a numinous journey, and how may photography be our personal reflection of this experience? Through this workshop, we will explore how an image may be our vehicle for sharing the numinous qualities we discover in the wild.
Join us in this exploration of the sacred, in the land of the midnight sun. Through sound and silence, and in the sublime sub-Arctic light, our senses will awaken as we immerse ourselves in the beauty of the Yukon wilds and allow the natural world to awaken our innate connection to all beings. And through music, movement and stillness we can experience the natural world in a profound and joyful way.
This is a chance to connect deeply to the healing energy of this powerful landscape. As well, it is an opportunity to be in community, to share our insights and laughter with trip companions, and through this sharing to co-create a journey together. In this exploration of self in nature we can connect to the simple purity of the present moment. Give yourself this gift of time to just BE.
Discover some of the excellent cross country ski trails and skiable routes in Southern Yukon. We will do day trips from Whitehorse on some of the local trail networks, as well as forays further afield to explore some more remote options. MArch is prime time for skiing with the warming temperatures and lengthening day length, and the month is usually graced by clear skies. In addition to day time excursions we will plan to spend a couple of evenings around a fire, with the wArmth of a wall tent or yurt to retreat to, hoping for some star gazing and aurora viewing.