Friday, August 1, 2014

Montana Mountain in Carcross, YT

View of Winy Arm from the Montana Plateau.
Montana mountain looked like a worthy target for a day trip from Whitehorse. The information on was excellent and helped us in our trip planning.

We talked to the Carcross Visitor Centre staff and decided to take the Sam McGee trail and then connect it to a scramble up to Montana's summit at 2,205 m (7,230 feet).

View across the Plateau toward Mount Matheson.
This route meant we traversed about 5,000 feet in elevation and went through a series of eco-zones ending up in the alpine. While the day started with clouds, they cleared completely through the afternoon and we got to enjoy a brilliant orange sun set around midnight on the drive back to Whitehorse.

One of he great things about hiking in the North in July is that daylight is near-endless. In fact, in early July, Whitehorse gets about 19 hours of daylight with the rest twilight. That means start times are often of little consequence (except perhaps if the hike features major creek crossings; those are often best accomplished early in the day.)
Crossing small snow fields along the way.

Mountain Hero!
On the way up we took the detour via the old tramway which meant bushwhacking for an hour or so through small brush on the way to the Montana Plateau. We skipped that happily on the way down for the much shorter direct route that is part of the awe-inspiring Mountain Hero bike trail.

Summit happiness.
The Montana Plateau is a beautiful space with several peaks in easy range.

We summitted Montana, the highest of them, around 7 pm after 6 hours of mostly uphill. Once we got onto the scree field on Montana we picked our own path among the rocks to the top. It was a fun summit that offered stunning views of Windy Arm on Tagish Lake and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Summit view toward the coastal ranges.
The way down went fast at about 3.5 hours. We arrived at the parking area around 11 pm, happy and content.

One the way back to Whitehorse, we briefly stopped at the Carcross Desert to learn that these are really sand dunes dating to the last ice age and now replenished by sand from nearby Bennett Lake.

We also encountered a rabbit, a fox and two black bears while driving up the Klondike highway.

No comments:

Post a Comment