Monday, January 10, 2011

Camping, Traveling Stout

Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada
Hillary, Stout and I decided to spend New Years weekend over in Whitehorse to do some nordic skiing and explore the big city.  Well, Whitehorse is actually about the same size population wise as Juneau (~30,000), but it has the Alaska Hwy running through it, so maybe it seems a little bigger?  We took the Fairweather ferry up to Skagway then braved White Pass, over the coastal mountains into BC, then into the Yukon.  It was a couple hour ferry ride on the fast ferry and then a 110 mile drive across the border.  The pass lived up to its name.  I was glad to be in the car because if I was standing outside I probably would have fallen over from vertigo.  White sky, with white falling snow, with white roads, in a white cloud, with white mountains, and no trees.  The kinda deal where you keep turning your windshield wipers on because you are convinced that the window is all fogged up, but it does nothing! 
Whitehorse is on the other side of the coastal mtns so it is typically very dry and cold in the winter.  The week preceding our trip the highs were in the negatives Fahrenheit, but a storm came through, dropped a little snow, and the highs were comfortable in the mid - upper 20s.  After crossing the border we stopped by at Log Cabin (a national historic site off the Chilkoot Trail where they set tracks for nordic skiing, and is the site of the Buckwheat ski classic).  Since it was nice on this side of the pass we used the waxless skis and got in about 10k before continuing down to Whitehorse.  In the parking lot a dude grilling asked us if we wanted any moose brats.  We accepted stuck out the cold for a few extra mins for the delicious bite. 
We spent 2 nights down in town at a hotel and skied a ton.  Right next to town they have over 80k of groomed trails, and Stout is allowed on about half of them.  We mainly classic skied, but also explored the World Cup trails for a bit one night while skating.  On Sat we soaked in the local hot spring for an hour or so while watching the sun skip across the mtn tops.  We finished our last day with a ski up Mt. McIntyre on a narrow winding track. 
There are some pictures on Hillary's camera from Whitehorse that I will add to a new blog when she gets back into town.
Off the Fairweather stern (ripping about 25 knots)

Sights along Lynn canal

Eldridge Rock Lighthouse

Hillary equally enjoying the views from the ferry.  Stout had to stay down in the car for the trip and we weren't allow to visit him.  He seemed frustrated that we were waking him up when we made it to Skagway.

Stout exploring the hotel room

Then finding his spot

At one of the parks down in Skagway before catching the ferry out.  Again, Hillary has most of the actual Whitehorse pictures.

Stout finds the big stick

And tries to play with it like it is a little stick

He's crazed!
 This last weekend Hillary flew to Rochester to visit with her grandmother.  It sounds like they have been doing all kinds of things that you miss out on in Juneau (i.e. pedicures, eating out, shopping, etc.).  Stout and I decided to go for a hike/ski/camp up on Blackerby Ridge a couple miles out of downtown since the skies were sunny (and are forecasted to remain at least thru next weekend).

After a hike up to the snow I started skinning through the forest

Stopping for a break after a steep 2500 ft gain in less than 2 miles.  Stout carried his food and water for the weekend, while I carried everything else for a winter camping overnight, which isn't always the most fun to have on your back for the ski down.

At just below 3000 ft the wind started ripping really hard, so with all the blowing snow turning us into ice cubes we decided to set up the tent in a lee area rather than suffering all night up higher towards the icefield.  While I was putting up the tent I turned around and Stout was digging a hole for himself to settle into to stay warm.

He ended up liking the tent a lot more and licked my face for about 20 mins in his excitement

Then he realized how tired he was from his pack and postholing through the snow

Sunset with blowing snow

After our trip I made a bunch of homemade tortellini for dinner to have with some blacktail deer smoked bratwurst.  

The dinner portion.  I froze about 4-5 times as many.  I also made a ton of spinach pasta ravioli on Friday night that will supply a couple meals in the future.  These are a little more work than ravioli, but are kinda fun.  Let me know if anyone wants directions/recipe.

No comments:

Post a Comment