This memory is more Milena’s as she was a beginner skier when she got to the Yukon. From Whitehorse, it only takes a couple hours to be in the mountains, backcountry skiing. So, of course we had to give it a try, it’s one of the local winter activity! We had very experimenced friends that were willing to take us on our first backcountry skiing trip! Milena had tried skiing only once near Whitehorse... let’s say that she was new to it but had a rough idea of what to expect ! But their are so many slopes to choose from, we picked the easy ones! we rode our snowmachines up and let them "ghost ride" back down, on their own. The engine and the deep snow eventually stop them! The sun wasn't really with us that day but skiing in from of all these never-ending views made for a great day and great memories!
We have now been in the Yukon for more than 6 years and we’d like to share some of our experiences with you. It was hard to pick only five memories, but here is our number 5 of our best memories !
Driving on the ice road and reaching the Arctic ocean !
The first time we did this trip was with our Ford Escort. We had 5 days off work and decided that we could make it work! So, we pilled our warm sleeping bags, duvet cover and extra gas into our little car and left, driving north on the Klondike Highway and then the Dempster Highway. It was quite cold, around -25°c every morning. We would wake up in the back of the car with frost all around our faces and during the day the back windows wouldn’t even defrost… We were amazed by the Tombstone territorial park and the Dempster Highway, colours were soft and the white snowy peaks mixing with the turquoise of the visible ice was beautiful. We reached the ice road on day 3. That was a fun day! Driving on the Mackenzie river following the meanders on this road up to 50m wide in some places! And then at some point the trees disappear and so does the river bank and eventually you come upon a sign that says “Arctic Ocean”. That’s when you realise that beneath your wheels is an ocean! We reached Tuktoyaktuk and took a stroll in this little community which, at that time, was only connected to the rest of the world by air during the summer and ice road in the winter. We didn’t have much time to explore as we had two days to get back to Whitehorse. On our way back, we experienced the road closure between Fort McPherson and Eagle Plains. We got stuck for 24 hours because of extreme wind on the Yukon side of the Richardson Mountains. This made our winter expedition to the Arctic ocean even more complete!
Our selection of backpacking trips got bigger this year again, as a result you have more options to choose from. So, we thought it would be helpful if we made a comparison of all of our hiking trip. You will find here some general information but don’t forget that if you want the full description of one of our trip you can find it on our hiking trip page!
Also, don’t forget that we would be happy to answer anymore questions you might have or help you find the right hiking trip to discover the Yukon at the right pace!
One week after our failed attempt to reach the ice cave with snowshoes, we decided to go with our snow machine this time. This was the only way we could make in time to be back in Whitehorse for our 4:30pm meeting!
A good of ours joined us with her machine. It took us only 16 minutes to ride up the creek to the cave. The wind was crazy again, but with helmets and goggles it did not stop us this time! The last section of the ride got very technical as the fierce winds exposed many large rocks along the river bed. Miléna was looking for the ice cave as we passed the 6km mark, thinking that with the snow flying all around us we could easily miss it. Impossible, the ice cave is in fact an ice tunnel right over the creek we ere following… hard to miss!
The experience inside the cave was fun and thrilling! The wind, being funneled through the cave created a tube of snow snaking right in the middle of the tunnel. That was cool to see!
The wind forced us to have lunch lower down in the valley where we found shelter in the trees. Once we got back to the van, the dark clouds cracked and let a beautiful sun shine on Kluane. I guess we’ll have to come again if we want to see the ice cave in the sun!
Last summer, a hidden secret in the Yukon got exposed to the public in a newspaper. The ice cave is located near Haines Junction and we decided to take our chances to explore this little gem! We left town on a Monday night and spend the night in Haines Junction before heading out the next morning. We found the start of the trail easily and it was well packed but still decided to make it a snowshoe hike! It was a little windy when we started but it got worst while hiking up. We probably had wind up to 50km/h and with the snow hitting our face we had to turn around after about 5km! It made for a fun day anyways and we will be sure to try this hike again, especially that we know that we could make it a snowmobile trip next time!