Sourdough Rendezvous: Carrying the “flour pack”

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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.)

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