Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Yukon Avalanche Association at work

Yukon Avalanche Association (1) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (8) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (7) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (4) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (6) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (2) (Large)

snow check (Large)

Yukon Avalanche Association (3) (Large) Yukon Avalanche Association (9) (Large)

Yukon Avalanche Association (5) (Large)

Avalanche crew skis (Large)

The Yukon Avalanche Association checks snow conditions alongside the South Klondike Highway. They publish information on a website and also create web videos explaining snow conditions and how to stay safe.

The crew travel on skis and snowmobiles across a massive landscape. They warn people of avalanche risk.

These images are stills from CBC report. Radio version is linked here:


Sourdough Rendezvous: Fireworks over Whitehorse

_DSC0212 _DSC0215(These photos actually from 2013, but I didn’t have a blog last year! Apparently this year’s show was set to music.)

Sourdough Rendezvous: Carrying the “flour pack”



DSC_0223DSC_0015DSC_0019DSC_0172   DSC_0237DSC_0240DSC_0247DSC_0256DSC_0262DSC_0269What is this dangling chair? It’s a steel backpack frame able to carry hundreds of pounds; the rig for the annual flour pack.

This Yukon test of strength goes back to the gold rush. In the 1890s the RCMP required people crossing the Chilkoot Trail to carry six months’ provisions when entering Canada.

Men and women would travel back and forth across the trail carrying flour, coffee, lard, preserves, candles, dry meat, clothing, lanterns, oil, tools, mining equipment and all manner of supplies.

This year the women’s gold medal winner walked a short distance carrying 530 pounds on her back.

The Flour Pack record is apparently more than 800 pounds for men.

(Safety note: The backpack is suspended by chains. The chains are kept loose and a supporting rig is wheeled along by assistants as the contestant slowly moves forward. If a person falls the backpack doesn’t crush them.)

Sourdough Rendezvous: The one-dog pull

DSC_0060 DSC_0061 DSC_0078A favourite event of the Sourdough Rendezvous is the one-dog pull. People bring their mightiest dogs and encourage them to pull a sled with dog food a few metres.

The winning dog keeps the food.

This kind of thing is fun for families, it’s very entertaining at little cost. A good reason to be outside an afternoon, bring out your dogs and cheer for the winner.

Sourdough Rendezvous 2014: Celebrating 50 years



DSC_0004 DSC_0006 DSC_0063DSC_0086DSC_0128 DSC_0066

DSC_0021 DSC_0025 DSC_0027 DSC_0044 DSC_0053 DSC_0199

Whitehorse marks the Sourdough Rendezvous every year. It comes at a time when the sun is returning and people look forward to spring.

The name “sourdough” is of course a type of bread which was brought to this region in Gold Rush times and came to mean experienced miners.

Sourdough Rendezvous has a lot of fur on display. There is snow carving, music and outdoor games for the love of winter.

Spectacular northern lights in Whitehorse

DSC_0942 DSC_0940 DSC_0938

DSC_0927 DSC_0915 DSC_0901   DSC_0950For the second night in a row there were vivid displays of northern lights over Whitehorse.

In the neighbourhood of Riverdale, many photographers rushed to the lookout point.

Northern lights in their slow movement are one of the most calming and serene phenomena in nature.


“Dun Kenji Ku,” a place for people with FASD

FASD house - building FASD house - elements FASD house - happiness FASD house - Teddy Jackson looks around FASDN house - still kitchen FASDsupport - Martina O'Brien new facility - Vicki Elias


Whitehorse has opened a new residence which caters to people with FASD or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. It will provide apartments for independent living with councillors in the building.

FASD is a type of brain damage which is inflicted when a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy. Oftentimes it is misdiagnosed. The victims often have cognitive disabilities and emotional problems. (One example is an inability to see consequences of actions or plan ahead, also sometimes a propensity to explosive temper.)

Yukon is currently studying the prevalence of people with FASD in the justice system. People with FASD are also over-represented among the homeless population and also in emergency room visits.

This housing-first approach (result of a $3 million investment, from federal, territorial, even municipal) is a study in preventing problems before they start.