Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Tombstone Mountain Backpack

We hiked into the Tombstone Mountains which are 30 miles NE of Dawson City in the Yukon. The Tombstones are part of the Ogilvie mountains. The area was officially made a Territorial Park while we were in the mountains, but were a provisional unit for a number of years.

Its an 8 mile hike from the Dempster Highway to Grizzly Lake where we spent the first night. After you leave the parking lot you follow a creek, then climb steadily to the ridge, follow it and eventually drop down to the valley floor. We've never found it an easy hike especially if you get a clear hot day, but if you go early enough there is water and snow up high to replenish.

Grizzly Lake is behind Valley in this photo. (Click on any photo to enlarge.)

Nicki on typical terrain playing the Pied Piper roll with the dogs. The dogs carried their own food which consists of Eagle Pack Power and dehydrated meat as a supplement. Rocket also carried our apres-hiking shoes. Valley also carried some fuel and food.

It snowed on us the night we arrived at the lake and stayed around for the next day. You know something is up when the pitter-patter sound of the rain on the tent changes to something softer falling. The few folks we met on the trail asked us how the dogs liked the trail, we just laughed, the dogs were having the times of their lives.

After we waited out the snowstorm, spending the day relaxing, snoozing and reading we headed up and over the pass to Twin Lakes. This was the only "treacherous" part of the hike, snow on ice on scree.

Up in the pass to Twin Lakes with Rocket looking back towards Grizzly Lake.

Looking past Jago up valley beyond Twin Lakes.

Campsite at Twin Lakes.

I always forget something, on this trip I forgot the windscreen to the stove. It blew pretty good everyday so we had to improvise. We also forgot our hiking staffs which was a major pain the rump. I also ripped out my pants in the front the first day, boy what a pain that was. Drafty :)

On a walk to look at the upper lake.

Time to take a break.

You'd never know this girl was so afraid of life she was unapproachable for years. She has adrenal gland failure (Addison's disease) so we plan life around her Percorten injection. In this case, we had it the day we departed.

I love this picture. I have never been on a hike where the weather changed so quick, so often and so drastically. It went from hot to cold to hot again many, many times.

Two happy girls.

Valley! We used the Flexi leashes 26 feet long(8 m) of the ribbon variety. The rock ate away at the ribbon so we almost had complete failures a couple of times. I like the length and weight of those units but maybe the web variety is the way to go.

Can you spot our tent in this picture?

Using a snowline to climb out of the valley back up to the pass...much easier walking than walking on scree or negotiating giant rocks.

The dogs were always after ground squirrels and marmots. Jago(Babe) spent the time at Grizzly Lake by the outhouse which had a resident marmot. That damn marmot was pesky. He jumped out of the john, threw a giant rock holding the seat down at me, then ran over and kicked my shin. LOL.

Jago leaving Grizzly Lake to head back home.

Nice view looking back to the lake from the approach ridge.

Looking down at the Dempster and if you look closely, you can see the trailhead lot.

Rocket! No trip to the Yukon is complete without swimming in the Yukon.

We do a long backpacking trip into the wilderness every year. We like to get away where it is quiet and their aren't many people or other disturbances. About the only criteria we have is we like to find a place to hike without trails. The dogs really love these adventures, after we finished they slept for 3 days. We grow closer to them and they to us.


Blogger Kathleen said...

What a fantastic adventure!

I have such a longing to spend time in the Yukon.

I suppose this hike wouldn't be recommended for someone with bad knees. Pity.

Your pups look SO happy.

The picture of them asleep in the tent is identical to what I see when I get ready to go to bed. Do they sleep with you?

Thank you for the guided tour! It was lovely.

7/08/2009 09:21:00 PM  
Blogger funhog and fundogs said...

well they sleep with us in the tent, and at home in their beds next to the bed, well until one of rises :) unless of course they get into the bed before we do LOL

7/19/2009 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Percorten said...

Wow! what are so funny dogs.I like those.

12/29/2010 04:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Misha Collins said...

Hello all,

The pups are asleep in their tents and look SO happy.

12/29/2010 05:12:00 PM  

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