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