Adventure Trend

Notes for a Traveller

Category: Yukon

Mushers, an Impenetrable Blizzard, and The World’s Hardest Dog Sled Race

It’s not the Iditarod, but about the 1,000-mile long Yukon Quest.

Elisa Shoenberger, writing in Deadspin:

Today, the Quest winds its way up through the Yukon and Alaskan wilderness, passing villages and remote houses along the way. The middle point is historic Dawson City, the capital of the Klondike Gold Rush, filled with casinos, dance halls, hotels, banks, and luxurious shopping back in the day. It was even once called “The Paris of the North.” The first musher to Dawson City wins a few ounces of gold, a nice nod to the city’s heritage.

The first race was won by Sonny Lindner in 12 days and 5 minutes; the fastest finish was by Allen Moore in 2004 in 8 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes. Aliy Zirkle was the first woman to win the race in 2000. The closest finish was in 2012, when Hugh Neff beat Allen Moore by only 26 seconds.

The Yukon Quest is a smaller and younger race than the Iditarod. The latter is better known and is much more commercialized, bringing bigger sponsors and media attention. There’s also a bigger prize for mushers who win or place high enough. It therefore attracts greater numbers of mushers: the Iditarod had 52 mushers participate this year while the Quest had 30. Some feel that the focus on money in the Iditarod has moved it away from the real stars of the show: the dogs and the mushers themselves.

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Canada’s Yukon Territory is Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

Foders:

With its untamed wilderness, gold rush past, and party-hardy reputation, Canada’s northern frontier offers a wild time—in every sense of the word.

The call of the wild emanates from just about everywhere in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Some locations are expected (evergreen forests, rugged mountain peaks, remote lakes) while others might surprise (a former brothel-now-bar, a wild-west-esque can-can show, a divey saloon). Looming large over this vast frontier north of the 60th parallel and east of Alaska are the stories and storied remains of the Klondike gold rush. Beginning in 1887, when word of gold in them thar (northern) hills reached southern cities, a stampede of 100,000 dreamers and schemers sailed north to Alaska, trudged over mountain passes into Canada, and sailed down the Yukon River to reach the gold fields. Take inspiration from their courage (or craziness) and find some wild times of your own.

Cycling the Frozen Road into the Canadian Arctic

Ben Page:

Self-shot and edited whilst cycling around the world, this short film charts my winter journey into the Canadian Arctic as I completed my bike ride up the American continent. Compelled by Jack London’s assertion, that ‘any man who is a man can travel alone’, I sought an adventure of perfect solitude. Yet, as I came to realise, the harsh truths of travelling in such a formidable environment were a long way from the romantic images I’d held of this land. The Frozen Road is an honest reflection on my solo trip; of the wonder, terror and frustration I experienced when riding through the unforgiving emptiness of one of the world’s ‘last great wildernesses’.

Notable awards for the film:

‘Special Jury Mention’ – Banff Mountain Film Festival
‘Best Director’ – Bilbao Mendi Film Festival
‘Spirit of Adventure’ – 5Point Film Festival
‘Best Adventure Film’ – New York WILD
‘Best Exploration and Adventure Film’ – Fort William Mountain Film Festival

Featuring in the Banff World Tour 2018

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