May 02, 2014

Yukon Spring

As we wanted to enjoy Spring as soon as it got here, we drove down to Haines, Ak, to hike, fish and watch for wildlife. Good weather was not on our side so we could not hike but we got the chance to see a humpback whale only a few meters from the shore in the Lutak inlet. We finally decided to go North to look for sunnier days in the Kluane area.

We crossed the Coastal Mountains again and observed two young golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) and a short-eared owl (Asio flammeus), flying in this magnificent mountain landscape!

Back in the Yukon, we set up camp on the shore of Kathleen lake where the wind was blowing hard. We still managed to enjoy home made burgers while the sun was disapearing behing the tall mountains of Kluane National Park.

When the alarm goes off the wind died down, it is 2 in the morning and it is time to check if the auroras are dancing in the sky... and they are! Everywhere we look the sky is green. A huge slow moving light is sitting above the tall mountains to the west while fast moving intense light are dancing to the North, in what seems to be a glow for the sun which must not be that far below the horizon! We spent 45 minutes observing the sky as the northern lights were dancing while a great-horned owl (Bubo virginianus) was hooting nearby.

The next morning we kept driving north and stopped at the Alsek trailhead where we started a two hours hike that lead us to the shore of Thunderegg Creek. There, we were at the foot of the high Kluane NP mountains, and the views on the plains around Haines Junction were beautiful.

We then kept driving north in the Alaska Highway and stopped at the bottom of Sheep Mountain where we spent the night.

Early the next day, we hiked up the steep rocky slopes where we observed dozens of Dall sheep (Ovis dalli). Twelves hundred meters higher, we got to the top of Sheep Mountain where the views on Kluane Lake as well as on the Slim River valley and Kaskawulsh Glacier are spectacular !

 

Stunning views at the Haines Pass

Northern lights

On the shore of Thunderegg Creek

Camping by Kluane Lake, at the bottom of Sheep Mountain

Dall sheep on Sheep Mountain

Alaska Highway and Slim River Valley from the top of Sheep Mountain

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