ACC Yukon Icefield Discovery Camp 2016

 

Editor's note: It would be nearly impossible to document all of the adventures that ACC members get up to across our country each season, but we're going to continue to bring you stories and images of some of the most interesting ones. This annual camp of the Yukon Section enjoys an established basecamp, big ski lines and even bigger expanses of icefield, all in the land of the midnight sun. 


ACC Yukon Icefield Discovery Camp 2016

The Yukon Section of The Alpine Club of Canada again hosted two weeks of glacier fun deep in Kluane National Park at the Icefield Discovery Camp. The camp is located on the Kaskawulsh Glacier approximately 35 km from Mount Logan and was catered and operated by Icefield Discovery. This trip report is from the second week which was from June 4-11, 2016.

Our group was represented by members from the Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver Island, and Yukon Sections. Due to an incoming storm, the group took advantage of a small weather window to fly into camp a day early, after which the storm grounded flights for the next 3 days! The views on the flight in were spectacular.

The impressive Kaskawulsh Glacier in Kluane National Park in the Yukon. Photo by Barret Hatton.

The impressive Kaskawulsh Glacier in Kluane National Park in the Yukon. Photo by Barret Hatton.

Ski planes and endless glacier plains

The inbound flight took about 45 minutes from the Icefield Discovery Headquarters to the Glacier Camp where the group from the previous route was waiting and preparing to be flown out.

Base camp as seen on approach. Photo by Barret Hatton.

Base camp as seen on approach. Photo by Barret Hatton.

The next couple of days saw our group hang around the camp waiting out the poor visibility, blowing snow, and winds gusting to 50 km/hr. We took the opportunity to practice crevasse rescue, start digging a snow cave, catch up on some reading, as well as do short tours around camp. For the week, temperatures ranged from -16°C at night to +4°C during the day.

Hanging around camp during a whiteout. Photo by Martin Hoffman.

Hanging around camp during a whiteout. Photo by Martin Hoffman.

Endless days with endless possibilities

Once the weather cleared, t got after many of the locals peaks and had some great spring skiing and touring. The next four days saw a high pressure ridge come in and bring blue sky. With the clear skies came the sun that baked us during the day and seemed to never really set at night! Though there was an official sunset, it didn’t seem to ever get dark which did take some getting used to.

The real beauty of the Discovery Icefields. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

The real beauty of the Discovery Icefields. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

Spring ski lines with 360° views

During the four days of sunshine, groups ventured up the Poodle, to the various nunataks including Pikatak and the weather station, and to the ridge north of the camp which provided some great ski lines. Both skis and snowshoes were used for travel. No attempt was made during the week on Mt. Queen Mary, which gives us something to come back for. All in all, there was no shortage of terrain to explore.

A happy crew on top of the Pikatak (Check links below for route desctiption). Photo by Barret Hatton.

A happy crew on top of the Pikatak (Check links below for route desctiption). Photo by Barret Hatton.

On approach of what will be a great ski decent. Photo by Christian Pedersen.  

On approach of what will be a great ski decent. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

 

 Ski tracks (inset) on the ridge north of camp.  

 Ski tracks (inset) on the ridge north of camp.

 

The photo above shows the ridge to the north of Icefields Discovery Camp. The country is big here and what looks like a short jaunt across the glacier can be quite deceiving and take much longer than it would seem!! The inset photo shows our ski tracks for scale. Obviously, there is lots of options on this ridge for skiing.

The final push towards a hard earned summit. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

The final push towards a hard earned summit. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

Big cornice with an awesome backdrop view. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

Big cornice with an awesome backdrop view. Photo by Christian Pedersen.

Come on back now ya' hear!

What better way is there to spend a week in June than chasing turns above 2,600 m under the eye of Canada’s largest mountain? Good views, good food and good friends make for good times. The participants of our trip would like to give a special shout out to Brad (camp cook and custodian), Tom (pilot), and Sian from Icefields Discovery for such a great week.


Want more information?

Check out the links below for more information on the Discovery Camp.

ACC-LogoSample.jpg

ACC Yukon Website

Icefields DiscoveryYukon Hiking

Don't miss out on opportunities such as this that our sections across Canada host. Check out the 22 local sections across Canada and join the one that suits you best. Or join for the other awesome benefits such as our national level trips, discounted hut nights, affordable guide books and maps etc. Need we say more?

Great people, great opportunities all lead to great memories. What are you waiting for?