Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sheep Hiking

Some call it Sheep hunting, but in reality its more like Sheep hiking, as there is very little hunting invoved (usually), but lots of hiking.
We, being myself and good friend Jim, flew in to a remote lake west of Whitehorse in my buddies C-180.
After nearly losing my lunch in the back seat, we landed safe and sound and bid adieu to Grant.
The plan was to hunt for 6 days, and get picked up by Grant, hopefully with a Sheep, but if not, just stomping around in the mountains is enough.  Doubly so, as I had never been in this neck of the woods before, and was looking forward to exploring it.
Unfortunately, the weather was not ideal for Sheep hunting, as it was quite hot, and the terrain round the lake was very tough; lots of thick Dwarf Birch and boulder fields.
Dwarf Birch lake

We  hiked up a side valley the first day and spent a few hours glassing the various cirques and ridges looking for the elusive Dall rams, finally spotting some on a ridge about 10 Km distant.  Too far for any serious attempt that day.
Glassing for rams

The area is quite rugged, with lots of granite boulders hidden just below the Dwarf Birch, and clogging the creeks.
Boulders and more boulders 

The next day we split up and I went off west in search of the group we has spied the previous day.  I spent 9 hours or so cruising ridges and peering into isolated nooks and grannies, but didn't see anything.
Great Sheep country

But no Sheep

Arrived back in camp after a long day with lots of vertical.  Went for a swim and enjoyed a cold beer on a sunny beach.  We called in a floatplane the next morning, as it was getting too hot to contemplate getting a Sheep and have any hope of keeping the meat cold, and the Sheep were obviously smarter than we were.
A fun trip none the less. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mt Patterson

Great weather beckoned, so we packed up the boat and headed down to Tutshi lake with friends Donna from Comox, and Tracy for some hiking and exploring.
Saturday was rainy, so we hiked the old trail from Tutshi to Tagish lake, exploring old sawmill remains along the way.
Poured rain Staurday night, but Sunday was bluebird, so we headed up the "Buns of Steel" couloir and so up the ridge to Patterson.
Mt Patterson is the largest peak you can see on your left across Windy Arm as you are driving to Skagway.

Looking up Tutshi towards the Skagway road.

The area has a healthy Goat population.

Alpine strolling at its best.
Watching a Grizzly on the valley floor.

Looking towards the summit.
Looking suave on the summit
Looking along the ridge towards Tutshi

Tutshi below us,
Looking down the "Buns of Steel" couloir.
A welcome swim removed the sweat and grime.  We luxuriated in camp enjoying the weather, and some beer before packing up and heading back to Whitehorse.