North of 60: Dog Sledding, Ice Caves, Snowboarding and Mountain Summits with Mandy

Back in January, I went on a climbing trip to Mexico. I had a great time climbing the amazing multi-pitch limestone walls out there, and enjoying the beautiful Mexican landscape. But I also met someone, and ultimately fell in love with this person, over the course of several months, writing e-mails and letters and postcards and talking over Skype. That person, Mandy, decided to come visit me in Whitehorse for two weeks in late March / early April. Wanting to impress her, and convince her that the Yukon is a fantastic, magical place, we jam-packed our days with winter activities. Here’s a highlight of those events (in no order whatsoever, because for the life of me I cannot remember):

– dogsledding with Muktuk Adventures:

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I would say that dogsledding was surpringly boring. I’m sure it has the potential to be a lot more fun and exciting, but ultimately you don’t really control where the dogs are going… they just follow the ski-doo ahead. For our sled, we had one person sit in the sled, and the other person standing at the back. That person’s responsibility was putting on the brakes when necessary to slow the dogs down, or tilting the sled so it wouldn’t roll when going around corners. That part was fun… but ultimately the dogs can only go so fast, and you’re just sort of along for the ride. The scenery was nice, and the dogs were adorable and wonderful. The dogs were definitely the highlight of the experience.

– Caribou Mountain:

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Caribou Mountain is a pretty spectacular hike to a height of 1700m (1000m gain).

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I think that’s Bennett Lake in the background.

– Juneau, Alaska: ferry, Eaglecrest Ski Resort, and Mendenhall Glacier:

We headed to Juneau, Alaska after several days in Whitehorse. Juneau lies within the Inside Passage in southern Alaska. It’s known for fjords and glaciers and whale watching. To get there, we drove to Skagway, Alaska and then took a ferry down to Juneau:

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We took some sexy photo-shoot-type shots…

We arrived in Juneau at night, and the next day we headed to Eaglecrest for some snowboarding:

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Eaglecrest is a really great snowhill, with lots of opportunities for backcountry options… unfortunately, all the backcountry snow was crusty 😦

The next day we headed to the Mendenhall Glacier, where we heard there were ice-caves to explore:

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The ice caves were UNREAL. I cannot recommend them enough.

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– Finally, we attempted the Slim’s River West trail hike in Kluane National Park (home to Mount Logan, the largest and highest mountain in Canada), which is ~45km round trip. It ends at the Kaskawulsh Glacier. Unfortunately for us, we were told we’d need snowshoes and avalanche gear to get in. Furthermore, it turns out I have no concept of how much a tent, snowshoes, avalanche gear, a hatchet, etc. etc. would weigh on my back. We ended up making it 15km in before deciding to set-up for the night and head back the next day. I would later attempt this hike again by myself in September:

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About dontdontoperate

28 year old originally from Barrie, Ontario, Canada. H.B.Sc. from UofT with a major in chemistry and a double minor in philosophy and math. M.Sc. from UofT in physiology and neuroscience. Finished my Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at McMaster in the fall of 2013.
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One Response to North of 60: Dog Sledding, Ice Caves, Snowboarding and Mountain Summits with Mandy

  1. Andi says:

    I heart Mandy! Can I have a copy of the pic of you in the ice cave? it’s too cool!

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