Saturday, November 5, 2011

Fall Catch-Up

As winter starts rearings its ugly head, nows the time to recap a few fall outings.
Besides trying to squeeze in every last morsel of mountain bikeing, we managed to get in our fall moose hunt, which was successful.
The usual gang packed into the boat and headed off in search of meat. 
Loads of gear

Good thing its a big boat. 
Grant had already bagged a moose earlier, so we were only out to get one.  I managed to connect the day before we were going to head home.  Got him early in the evening, and by the time we were finished, it was midnight and too dark to get back to camp.  Well, too dark after my floodlight packed it in and left us in the dark, floating down river.  So we spent the night around a fire, drinking single malt around a fire on a gravel bar, staying warm, and waiting until light.

Michelle was back in base camp, tending the fire and keeping the wolves at bay.

Went out on another, shorter hunt with two friends and one of the sons.
Went down the Teslin about 70 Km, but spied nothing.  Good time though, as it always is when out with friends.  Campfires, beers and messing about with boats.
Young John had fun

Are we having fun yet?

Part of my job entails performing inspections on equipment, often times at some remote sites.
One inspection this fall was at Shingle Point, a DEW line station on the North coast of the Yukon.
I had to fly to Inuvik, then by a Bell 212 to the DEW line site.
The DEW lines have all been converted to unmanned operations, but rest assured they are well monitored.  They are ins such good repair, they could move 100 people in tomorrow.
Its was pretty spooky, and downright Dr. Strangelove-esque at the site.  Very 1950s.
I kept looking around for something to climb on in case a polar bear showed up.
The ubiquitous Bell 212

The camp and station is remotely monitored 24/7/365.  Don't even THINK of trying to bust in.

All the fuel for the station is Jet B.  They burn it in the generators, and they can also fuel the helis or the planes with it.

The radars face towards Russia, but its debateable whether thats the direction of threat these days.

Looking out over the Mckenzie delta towards the Beaufort sea, and beyond...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mount lorne Horseshoe

Last Sunday dawned perfectly, and after wasting Saturday working on our boat, I felt driven to get into the alpine.
Michelle had run leg 8 in the Klondike Trail of `98 Road Relay the day before, but being the machine she is, was willing to make the most of a promising fall day.
We grabbed the hound, headed off, and were cruising up the trail to Mount Lorne by 9 AM.

The day was perfect, and I do mean perfect.  Warm, very little wind, stunning colours; the best day of the fall I think.

We were on the summit by 1 PM.

Kona was mega-energized all day, hence the leash

The route traverses the summit ridge from left to right

Marsh lake in the distance

Its a shame we only get 3-4 days of fall

We arrived home after 8 hours out, and headed off to the Edgewater for a well deserved pint and a burger.
We are currently getting packed up for the fall Moose hunting trip.  More to come later.

Time To Catch Up

So August was pretty busy.  Yessir, lots going on.
First of all, my old compadre Grant and I loaded up his C-180 with gas and food and hit the mountains in search of the elusive Ovis Dalli. 
Initially we flew to "Daves Lake", but after 3 days of heinous wind, and no legal rams, we re-loaded and headed further afield.

Well compensated with great alpine vistas

The wind made for a wild take off, but we managed ok, and soon found ourselves a new lake to land on.
We spent the next day putting in lots of vertical, and horizontal too, but only saw a few groups of young rams.  Lots of ewes and lambs though. 
We theorized that the staking activity and associated helicopter use has impacted the ram population.
Remember; mining is good for us.

Pretty dramatic terrain

We spent some time scoping from camp, and found a group of rams, and were fortunate enough to be able to put it all together the next day, and harvest a nice 9 year old.

The rain moved in just about the time we finished up dressing him out, and it was two very soaked fellows who made the long walk back to camp on an overgrown horsetrail.

Thank god for Leak-Tex

A big fire, grilled Sheep tenderloin and some
 red wine made us much happier

Late August found Michelle, Malcom and myself out in the alpine on a 5 day trip, which got aborted due to lack of time for the intended route.

The wind was absolutely ferocious, and we had to make camp behind a small copse of trees.

Autumn alpine colours

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mount Porsild

Mt. Porsild is the tallest peak at the South end of Kusawa lake.  At around 8500', its one of the higher peaks outside of Kluane.
Malcolm and I had tried to bag it a few years ago, but were weathered off.
So, with a good weather forecast, we loaded up the boat and headed up Kusawa to give it a whirl, but this time to do it in a day, so that we didn't have to hump heavy packs up the miserable approach.
Getting into the alpine.

Following gully's make for the easiest way to access the plateau.

Porsild makes its first appearance.

We stayed right on the talus ridge, and thence to the summit via the snow fields.

Thunderstorms and rain threatened all the way to the top.

The sky cleared giving us some great views into the coast ranges.

Someone put some work into the summit cairn.

A fast and easy descent.


Ski descent anyone?

A very cool little north face on it.

A last glimpse.  12 hours round trip with ~12000 feet of
elevation gain and loss made it feel like a fairly full day.

Loaded up and heading home.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kusawa Lake Hiking

My old buddy Roger and his friend Dean from Kimberly BC arrived back from their motor bike trip through Alaska.
We had planned a trip up Kusawa lake to explore, hike, and give them a chance to have a look at one of the most incredible areas of a place loaded with incredible spots.
So off we went even though the forecast looked grim.
The weather turned out quite nice, and we had some great hikes.

The lads with Ark mountain behind.

Mt Porsild, a trip objective later  this summer

The Dall Sheep havens of GMZ 7-21

An idylic campsite.  Dean Chatterson photo.

The weather turned to what they predicted on Saturday morning, so we loaded up and headed back avoiding the wind and rain that followed us back down the lake.

Farewell to Ark mountain.  Dean gazing into the Coast Ranges. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Grey Ridge

Spent the day with some old friends cruising around the alpine on Grey Ridge.