Trip briefing over beers and nachos.
We request that you arrive a day or two early in order to make sure your bike and gear are ready to go. If you need any last minute repairs, then Icycle Sport in Whitehorse will be able to assist you. This is also a good moment to check out some of the amazing winter single track around town.
There are a number of accommodation options in Whitehorse.
After hotel pick up at 7am, we have about 2.5hrs of driving to get our starting point at Eagle Nest Bluff. This is an important landmark on the Yukon River which we will cross on a trail that weaves between large blocks of spectacular jumble ice. Once we are on the other side, we will take the Yukon Quest Sled Dog trail that connects Whitehorse, Yukon and Fairbanks Alaska for a total distance of 1600 kilometres. After, we will start the climb up to Mandana Lake and on to the Chain of Lakes. We will travel through a stunning landscape with several large burns where blackened trees contrast with the snow before we drop onto the flat lake ice of Mandana.
If we have time, we may stop at the Heebink pioneer style cabin.
Breakfast is not included on the kickoff of our tour, so make sure to provide your own. Otherwise, we can stop at Braeburn Lodge for a full breakfast approx 1hr from Whitehorse.
Our next stop after a night out and hopefully our first peek at the Aurora Borealis is the village of Braeburn. To get there, we will ride on a lake system bordered by steep mountain terrain. A highlight of this stretch is Coghlan Lake with its stark limestone cliffs. Sections of single track between these lakes will be challenging but also some of the most beautiful of the whole route!
On our third day of cycling we will go down the old Dawson Overland Trail. This is a place of history and treasure hunters, riddled with artifacts, old cabins, and where we might also catch a glimpse of bison and moose.
On our last stretch of the Yukon fat bike expedition, we will get the chance to visit Dog Grave Lake and the Golden Canyon. As we approach the end, the terrain opens up and we approach the Takhini River valley, a large tributary of the Yukon River. A winding dog-mushing track will lead us to the Takhini Hot Pools were we can have a final restorative foot soak.
We will be camping on different sites.
All participants must have all of the following equipment. Biking gear can be rented locally and we can help with that.
Biking Gear (guides will carry an extensive repair kit).
Fat bike in good working order (minimum 4" tire platform).
Helmet (optional but recommended as we will be crossing some bare lake ice).
1 extra tube, bike tool, tire lever.
Pump (everyone should have their own pump as you may want to alter tire pressure frequently).
Pogies (hand warmers that fit over handlebars).
Headlamp or bike light (we will try to avoid riding in the dark).
Warm jacket and pants for camp.
Toiletries (things freeze)
Water bottle (1L)
Small thermos (750ml)
Extra full merino or poly base layer (in luggage)
Hand warmer packs
Packable puff jacket (down or synthetic)
Luggage systems to carry all of the above plus snacks and extra clothes. Icycle Sports in Whitehorse sells an assortment of luggage from Salsa and Revelate.
Full merino med - light base layer (2 sets)
Footwear for biking: Your feet must stay warm down to -20C. Please put some thought into your footwear and run it by us before you commit to a system. Lightweight winter boots with flat pedals are acceptable. Remember, there is a chance you will have to push your bike for short stints.
Camp booties (insulated)
Ultra light gloves for inside pogies
Larger gloves for camp etc.
Soft shell biking pants OR gortex over pants
1 set comfy camp clothes
1 light cycling jacket for warm days
1 packable puff jacket
1 breathable fleece or softshell
If you are purchasing items of clothing for this ride, Derek Crowe, Arctic Ultra veteran recommends Rab Vapour Rise garments and Sealskinz socks.
Personal gear for camp (will be transported for you) - Everything must fit in a small, soft duffle with no hard wheels or sides. Like a helicopter trip, there is very limited space on the snow machine trailers. Think extremely minimal packing like a self-supported ride
winter sleeping bag (-20C min)
ear plugs (if needed)
personal medications (please inform our staff of medical conditions if you think they could lead to an emergency)
Booze and snacks
Alcohol is not provided by us but we will transport it for you. Please be reasonable with amounts. No glass please.
We will provide riding snacks however, if you are particular about your nutrition please bring your own gels, bars, whatever. We will have trail mix, bars, cookies, etc.
I am an ACMG ski guide, as well as a Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) Professional Member and an Advanced Wilderness First Responder.
I was born and raised in Fernie, BC in the heart of the Canadian Rockies and have spent my whole life working and playing in the mountains. There is nothing I love more than exploring remote mountains on skis and sharing that experience with others.
The northwest corner of British Columbia and the western Yukon offer some of the most mind-blowing ski terrain on the planet and I have spent over a decade exploring that terrain. As one of the few certified guides in this vast region, I have intimate local knowledge of the area and can help you make the most of your Yukon adventure.
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