Another trip to Joffre Lakes

Back in June 2014, I did another trip to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. The first trip was great fun and some of my best photos, and  I hadn’t been for a few years so why not.

For those of you looking for details and maps, here they are:

Now for the updates. Since I last went, the trail work has mostly been completed. The lower boulder hopping is now a smooth path. There is still a steep ascent through the trees requiring careful footwork. I had a broken radius and was in a cast at the time so gripping was tricky. As you get just past Middle Lake, you might find fallen trees that you need to duck under. The upper section has been rerouted East (to your left if ascending) and now there is a stairway and bridge as opposed to another boulder field. The approach to the campsite is still along a rocky shoreline and the outhouse door was broken when we were there.

Camp set up (quieter in June so no issues finding a spot) and dinner eaten. Jesse (dog who was with us) unearthed “human leavings” under a stone right by the campsite. If you’re thinking of doing this, please don’t. Walk to the outhouse like a civilized human-being.

This time, instead of doing Tzsil (snow was still too low), we headed for a lookout near the Glacier (see the map above). This was steep and you had to be careful of your footing and of falling rocks. However, seeing all three lakes at once was spectacular.

Now, onto food. We had decided to hike up a light frying pan, cutting board, spatula, tongs and the following:

Breakfast

That made pancakes and scrambled eggs for breakfasts!

Dinner

  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Spices (Taco spice mix worked well)
  • Chorizo
  • Carrots
  • Courgette/Zucchini
  • Beansprouts
  • Noodles
  • Stock

That made an enormous amount of stirfry and soup (a very excellent soup Louis I must say). We were absolutely full and kind of happy not to eat dehydrated for a change.

I’ll be doing another, beginner focused, hike up there soon!

Chilkoot photos from the Gold Rush

No sooner do I write that introduction post to the Chilkoot Trail than I stumble across photos of it. We were in the rather excellent Chuckanut Brewery last night, having dinner, when we noticed these on the walls behind me.

I’ll be doing the Chilkoot Trail this year!

Last year me and a few friends decided that we wanted to do a hiking holiday and we decided that the Chilkoot Trail looked perfect for this.

The Chilkoot Trail is a National Park and National Historic Site/Landmark both in Canada and the USA, that connects across the border forming the old route of the Klondike Gold Rush which took place between 1896-1899. It’s a 33mi/53km route from Dyea, Alaska (close to Skagway) to Bennett, British Columbia (close to the border with the Yukon). The closest city (and airport where we fly into) is Whitehorse.

Maps of the route from Parks Canada and the United States National Park Service.

The history of this is that the trail is that it was a route that was used by Gold Miners, seeking fortune in the Klondike. They would take heavy packs of equipment and supplies expecting to stay up there a year (for that year, they were recommended to get all this stuff, but I’m not sure how they got all of it there). They would head to Skagway, where where they would start the 53km journey. On the second day, when they saw the 12.7km trip from Sheep Camp to Happy Camp, better known as The Pass… they might eject a lot of that equipment.

Elevation profile showing The Pass highlighted

Elevation profile showing The Pass highlighted

As shown by some of the research (done by Hannah, thanks Hannah) you can still see the items they threw out to lighten the load by the side of the trail route.

It’s a 5 night hike, about 12km each day, undulating. We’re then getting a train service back featuring a carriage to properly seal off all the unshowered hikers from the other tourists.

Will be posting more about it over the next few weeks. We leave at the end of July!