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View one of the options for a tour Yukon Charley Rivers Preserve a 2.2 million acre wilderness.

Our tours are customized to each individual client. We take into consideration each clients physical level of ability and what they are hoping to experience with Bush Alaska Expeditions then weave it all together for the best possible trip. (See Physical Requirements in the next column.) We take no more than 2 clients on any tour unless the client ask for a larger group.

Please see our Trips page for pricing.

The About Us & Blog page has some recent pictures of the ice on the Yukon River after break up. Please check it out.

IN AMUNDSENS FOOTSTEPS Expedition has come to a

successful close!

The international team have all gone in different directions and the 22 wonderful dogs of our kennel have settled into some relaxation. Their winter season is closing and the new spring awaits.

http://fm.kuac.org/post/amundsen-s-footsteps-expedition-re-traces-route-explorer-s-1905-journey

March 29...arrival into Eagle! The final day of the expedition for the international gentlemen and the Bush Alaska Expeditions Sled Dogs.

The last part of the journey was very warm, +5º on Saturday, with the snow sticky and melting, patches of open ground on the side of the river. The mountains are beginning to lose snow. Spring is coming.On Sunday we spent the night at Wayne’s Cabin and set off for the final 7 miles Monday morning. We arrived at Eagle (population 86) at approximately 1.00 pm, local time, ending our journey at Fort Egbert, which is the old army barracks. The telegraph that Amundsen used at the end of his journey at Eagle, to tell the world that he had navigated the NW Passage, has not been used for years, probably not since 1930’s. We were able to use a Satellite Phone.

We are delighted to report that we have all suffered only mild frostbite on various fingers and toes and that the dogs are well. Only one of them seems to have lost a bit of weight but will be nurtured now and all of them have loads of new straw bedding and warm kennels to go to. What amazing dogs these have been! What a feat of endurance to have pulled a heavy sledge 700 miles in bitter temperatures over extreme terrain and still be wagging their tails every morning.

At the beginning I thought we only had a 50/50 chance of achieving the journey, not achieved since 1905. It has been interesting and hard but we’ve had good dogs, a good team and the careful planning paid off. We are looking forward to coming home.

http://inamundsensfootsteps.com/29th-march-2016/

March 28 is the culmanation of the dreams of Tim Oakley and Wayne Hall...The international team of Tim Oakley, Wayne Hall, Graham Burke and Earl Rolf enjoyed time with the community and students of Eagle. The men were in great spirits tho a bit tired. The dogs of Bush Alaska Expeditions
were just the opposite....energetic and happy. They loved their time in the spot light.

http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/in-amundsen-s-footsteps-expedition-completes--mile-arctic-journey/article_035664c0-f581-11e5-953a-c763fe3ed337.html

 

Current as of March 27, 2016...In Amundsen's Footsteps team the gentlemen and happy dogs have reached the starting point and will arrive in Eagle tomorrow.

Happy gentlemen and very happy dogs! They rolled in here a couple of hours ago. The stories they have to tell are amazing. What they and Bush Alaska Expeditions dogs http://bushalaskaexpeditions.com have been through is truely a life changing event.

Tim Oakley, Wayne Hall, Earl Rolf, Tim Graham Happy gentlemen on arrival Lefty very happy in her straw bed Nenana relaxing on top of her dog house

Current as of March 26, 2016...The international gentlemen and the 22 wonderful huskies of Bush Alaska Expeditions are roughly 35 miles from our home cabin and another 6 miles from their destination of Eagle. They will roll in here late tomorrow and finish off at a leisurely pace on Monday.

The dog houses have been cleared of snow and tomorrow a plush bed of straw will be added for the heroes and heroines of this expedition. If not for the strength and endurance of these dogs the men would not have been able to make it through the Firth River and complete this incredible expedition.

Current as of March 25, 2016...HOME STRETCH!!!!!!!!!
The international team and Bush Alaska Expeditions Dogs are on the final miles and into some better trails. The Yukon Quest dog sled race trail to be exact. They are moving well and are expected to come into Eagle on the 28th.

Of the 22 dogs on the trail, only 1 is a bit thin...all the others have maintained their weights through all the cold and horrible trail conditions. RJ, the thin one, gets bowl phobia when the weather gets minus temperatures and refuses to eat thinking his tongue will stick to the metal.

Wayne will have happy feet. Both feet sustained damage from freezing but looks like they are healing, just painful.

Current as of Mar 20, 2016...The international team and Bush Alaska Sled Dogs are on the move again today after sitting out yesterday as a bad storm worked its way over them. You will notice a gap for day 18. The DeLorme did not register on that day. They made 32 really hard miles. Most of them while standing backwards on their sleds because of the high winds. But all is going well. Earl is still recovering from his snow machine roll over on the ice as it was breaking out from under him. He took a hard hit to his head and is having some neck problems but the team is working on him daily and it seems to be improving.

We want to say a big Thank You to two other snow machine support crew who helped Earl break trail to the border and stayed with him until the expedition crew met up with him as the area they were in was extremely remote and dangerous for 1 person. Thank you Mike! Thank you Ramona!

Current as of Mar 19, 2016...The international "In The Footsteps of Amundsen" team and the Bush Alaska Expeditions sled dogs have passed the halfway point. Yesterday started out beautiful and then the winds kicked up making visibility marginal and the team members had to ride on their dog sleds facing backwards because of the severity of the storm. Presently they are pinned down by the storm with heavy snow and winds gusting to 40 mph. The storm should pass by some time tonight or tomorrow morning and they hope to be back on the trail. Please check out the blog on their day to day experiences.

Current as of MAR 17, 2016...Bush Alaska Expeditions and the international team are nearing the halfway point in their expedition. A new posting to the blog is down below. Go to http://inamundsensfootsteps.com/blog/ to see some wonderful pictures from the trail.

Current as of Mar 16, 2016...The team and dogs of Bush Alaska Expeditions reached the Porcupine River Yesterday and arrived at John Herbert's Cabin. One of the few places along the river to take shelter. They will be taking a day off for all to relax and rest. There are many miles left to travel but barring some unforeseen circumstance they will be able to complete their amazing expedition.

Current as of Mar 13, 2016...Talked to Wayne tonight and the team is doing well and moving along nicely. They have 20 miles of bad ice ahead of them tomorrow but after that things should be really nice.

Wayne's foot is improving and the other team members stay busy bandaging his toe which had had all the skin fall off of and he says looks like a piece of raw meat. But so far so good! He sounded much more perky and not nearly as stressed.

Current as of March 11, 2016...The expedition team and dogs taking a hard earned day off and visiting with a family on the Colleen River. Wayne has been in touch with medical personal at medcallassist.com and is on antibiotics and pain meds for his foot but it looks like he will be able to continue with the expedition.

Talking with him yesterday he was able to tell me about a couple of their wonderful sightings on the Firth River. At one point there were 4 wolves out in front of them and then they came upon 20 something musk ox. What a lifting of the spirits for those guys after all the hard and grueling days they had had.

Tim will be posting a new update onto the blog later today. Watch for it. I will add it to the blog further down the page.

Current info as of March 9, 2016...Tim, Wayne, Graham and the dogs have had one survival situation after another as they battled overflow the whole length of the Firth. The first 4 days were spent wet, constantly in water with no way to dry out. It was not until the Sheep Creek Depot stop that they had a place to dry their gear and start out with lifted spirits.

The dogs have been stressed as they have been in such extreme conditions but the teams reached the US-Canadian Border late yesterday and met up with their support team who had another drop of dog food and supplies for them. The dogs will now have 3 days travel not on the river which should help to relax and destress them. They spent the day yesterday, lazing around in the sunshine.

Current info as of Februray 29, 2016...The expedition is underway and the teams are doing great. They 3 dog teams left Herschel Island yesterday and crossed the sea ice and moved into the Firth Delta. Today they are working their way on through the Delta and will soon leave the open Delta behind as they reach the rolling hills. The 1st 120 miles are unsupported and they are working at hauling dog food, people food, fuel for cook stoves.

Their support crew has come up from the south making food and supply caches along the way. This support crew has reached to border. The furtherest they are allowed to travel.

In the days of Admunsen this 700 mile route was a populated area with Athabascan and Inuit Tribes, gold miners, fur trapper/traders and whalers. Admunsen was able to hire a local guide with dogs and they bartered for food and supplies as they traveled south from Herschel into the Firth River, the Coleen River, the Porcupine River and finally the final stretch along the Yukon River. There were cabins, trading posts and hospitality stops throughout the reagion. Today it is a desserted land.

Tim Oakley from England, Graham Burke from New Zealand and Wayne Hall of Eagle, Alaska make up the dog sledding crew along with 22 of the finest dogs to be had anywhere. Their support crew is headed by Earl Rolf.

 

The team from left to Right...Tim Oakley, Earl Rolf, Wayne Hall and Graham Burke. The team with proudly displaying the Protected.co.uk banner, one of their sponsors. Tim and Earl having a last consultation before the support snowmachine and 2 sled loads of dog food, supplies, people food and gas headed towards Fort Yukon. The sledding crew with some of the team dogs waiting to take off.

 

In February of 2016 Wayne is taking time off from guiding for Bush Alaska Expeditions to travel with 2 other explorers on a personal expedition that has long been his dream. They are embarking on an ambitious 700 mile expedition by dog sled in one of the coldest and remotest places on the planet.

In 1905 Roald Amundsen completed a 700 mile journey to tell the world of his successful navigation of the North West passage. For the first time in 111 years, a team of three people using sleds and huskies will retrace his footsteps. Amundsen also was the first explorer to reach the South Pole using dogs (of course) in his race to the pole against Robert Scott.

They will be comparing terrain and diary entries to shed light on the changes in exploration and the landscape over the last century, sharing their story with an educational program in schools and general public around the world.

This project is supported by The Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) with a Neville Shulman Challenge Award.

Details of the expedition are below, we would love to discuss further the possibility of your support.

EXPEDITION DIARY


EXPEDITION DIARYDAY 37 - Monday 28th March .

WE HAVE ARRIVED IN EAGLE!! The last part of the journey was very warm, +5 on Saturday, with the snow sticky and melting, patches of open ground on the side of the river. The mountains are beginning to lose snow. Spring is coming.On Sunday we spent the night at Wayne's Cabin and set off for the final 7 miles Monday morning. We arrived at Eagle (population 86) at approximately 1.00 pm, local time, ending our journey at Fort Egbert, which is the old army barracks. The telegraph that Amundsen used at the end of his journey at Eagle, to tell the world that he had navigated the NW Passage, has not been used for years, probably not since 1930's. We were able to use a Satellite Phone. We are delighted to report that we have all suffered only mild frostbite on various fingers and toes and that the dogs are well. Only one of them seems to have lost a bit of weight but will be nurtured now and all of them have loads of new straw bedding and warm kennels to go to. What amazing dogs these have been! What a feat of endurance to have pulled a heavy sledge 700 miles in bitter temperatures over extreme terrain and still be wagging their tails every morning. At the beginning I thought we only had a 50/50 chance of achieving the journey, not achieved since 1905. It has been interesting and hard but we've had good dogs, a good team and the careful planning paid off. We are looking forward to coming home. D

AY 34 - Friday 25th March -10C The weather is very warm and the days are getting longer, the snow is getting slushy and there is a lot of jumble ice that is very tricky and tipping our sledges over. Have done another 40 miles today to get to Kandik cabin. We are running on the Yukon Quest race trail now. We should be at our destination in two to three days.

DAY 32 - Wednesday 23rd March -5C Arrived in Circle and had my first change of clothes! We are staying in the Circle Fire Station, where they keep the fire truck, sleeping on the floor. The Municipal laundry has a shower and we have had our first shower since the start of the expedition! Only 4 more days of trail. We have all suffered mild frostbite especially on the fingers and toes, but the dogs are looking really good despite this long journey.

DAY 31 - Tuesday 22nd March We got up really early and sledged 40 miles. The weather is getting warm now in the day time, so we need to sledge when the day is cold.

DAY 30 - Sunday 21st March Now we are on the Yukon River and continuing to head SE. The days are getting longer by 10 minutes a day. When we were in Inuvik further north they were getting longer by 15 minutes a day. When we get to Eagle it will be 7 minutes a day. We are still over 200 miles from Eagle. We are heading down to Circle now, we have another day to camp then we should be at Circle, that's assuming there isn't a storm or something. After Circle we should be able to stay in cabins. Today it is clear and sunny, the going is very slow as the snow is so deep from the storm. We are only making about 3 miles an hour. As we go south it will get warmer and warmer, so earlier today it was -12 but it is now only -7 so the dogs overheat and we have to keep stopping to let them cool down. Otherwise everything is good. We are making headway. We think we are going to be about 5 days early arriving at Eagle.

DAY 29 - Sunday 20th March The wind dropped away, it was gusting now and then but it wasn't too bad and when it stopped snowing the visibility was good. The wind had blown the trail so it was nice and hard, we managed to do about 34 good miles. We went straight through Fort Yukon, which is an Indian village with about 600 people living there, and camped outside on the Yukon River which is a very beautiful place.

DAY 28 - Saturday 19th March The wind started to get up gusting between 40-50 mph and snowing. It got very difficult, we couldn't see anything, so we stayed put. We camped, it was very boring lying around all day with the tent banging and crashing, the wind was so bad we thought the tent was going to tear to shreds, we had a whole night of it buffeting and banging around. DAY 28 - Saturday 19th March Strong winds 30 gusting to 40 mph, snow, poor visibility, we will have to stay put today. Will try to move tomorrow, only 34 mls to Fort Yukon. Forecast from Scarlett Hall near Eagle .. They are pinned down by a storm that is dumping lots of snow and high winds all along the eastern interior here. Snow today 2 to 4 inches, winds 15 to 30, gusts to 40 mph. Same exact weather for tonight so total accumulations could be 4 to 8 inches of snow. Tomorrow snow likely in the morning winds 15 to 25 gusts to 30 mph. Monday partly sunny lighter winds.

DAY 27 - Friday 18th March We camped last night. We didn't sleep much because the dogs were barking and howling all night because there was a pack of wolves that were howling as well. They do it to let each other know about territory, because if two wolf packs get together there tends to be a fight, so our dogs spent all night barking and howling. We have had a Raven flying with us for a few days. The wind has got up 35mph and gusting 45mph for the rest of the day, a big snowstorm is forecast for tomorrow. Sorry for the gap on our expedition progress map, forgot to turn on my Delorme InReach!

DAY 26 - Thursday 17th March Sunny no wind -20 rising to -10 in the daytime. We have left the Colleen River and are now on the Porcupine River. Made 37 miles today, it has been good running, the dogs are on good form and we are clicking through the miles. Temperatures are now warmer as we get toward the back end of March, though we have had very cold nights of -30C and -35C. The trail is really good on the Porcupine and we haven't had any real problems though we have just been through some jumble ice which you have to pick your way through a bit. We have got to camp for another 2 nights and then we should be at Fort Yukon. The reports are good on the river condition from Fort Yukon to Circle, despite being impassable a few weeks ago. We are slowly getting ahead of schedule and will probably get to our destination at Eagle early I think. Saw another fantastic aurora borealis display.

DAY 25 - Wednesday 16th March Rest day today. We have still about 300 miles more to do but we are getting there. There is no danger in what we are doing now it's just slogging through the miles. Not much overflow, and just a bit of deep snow now and then. Last night, finally, we saw some amazing northern lights! DAY 24 - Tuesday 15th March - 20 C Snowed again all day with strong wind. Deep snow on our trail we made 30 miles again today. We stopped at a place called John Herbert village which is actually just three cabins, one of which we are staying in. John Herbert was an Athabascan Indian. We are going to take a rest day tomorrow because we are all exhausted including the dogs.

DAY 23 - Monday 14th March High winds 25mph & snow blizzards all day After staying at Heimo's we had 3 days of blizzards, really strong winds and a lot of snow. Made 30 miles today, we are making faster progress now that we are on trails. Up on the Firth River we saw some magnificent Dall sheep quite close by (Dall sheep are the northernmost wild sheep in the world) and had a black wolf running in front of us for mile, very unusual, he was looking back at us all the time wondering what we were doing there! We also surprised a herd of musk ox and they ran off for about 200 yds, and then corralled together with their backsides pointing inwards. Because they can't run very fast they take this stand when threatened and head butt anything that comes near them.

DAY 20 - Friday 11th March - 20 plus a lot of wind. Overcast We have approximately another 530 miles to go. Our only concern is what condition the Yukon River is between Fort Yukon and Circle as we get further south. We are half way through. I think the rest now is going to be a hard slog, bumpy bits, overflow and deep snow.

DAY 19 - Thursday 10th March - 41C, inc. windchill of - 21C. Snowed all day Ramona and Mike left early in the morning, they had been there for a week already waiting for us, so headed straight home. It's dangerous to be up there on your own, so they had been keeping Earl company. We are now running on trail that Earl has made for us. This is what Amundsen would have been doing most of the time. We had another long day, 37 miles to get down to Heimo and Edna's home where we are stopping and will have a day's rest. We went off the top of the divide down to Lois Creek which was like a roller coaster as it is narrow and very windy. The creek is more like a stream and there is no risk of overflow so we just whizzed down snaking in and out. Then we were onto the Colleen River, which has a lot of deep snow but the overflow wasn't too bad. Heimo and Edna have lived up here for 41 years, trapping and raising their children, 300 miles from any civilization! Edna is cooking us a magnificent dinner of moose, potatoes and gravy! It will be a welcome change to the packet food we have been having so far.

DAY 18 - Wednesday 9th March We had a long day slogging 34 miles up hill to the top of the mountain 3,500ft up and camped on top of the plateau. Very cold and windy, it is too high for trees so no protection. We met up with Earl, Ramona and Mike, camped together and had a rest day.

Up on the Firth River we saw some magnificent Dall sheep quite close by (Dall sheep are the northernmost wild sheep in the world) and had a black wolf running in front of us for ¼ mile, very unusual, he was looking back at us all the time wondering what we were doing there! We also surprised a herd of musk ox and they ran off for about 200 yds, and then corralled together with their backsides pointing inwards. Because they can’t run very fast they take this stand when threatened and head butt anything that comes near them.

 

EXPEDITION DIARY
DAY 14 – Saturday 5th March
– 40ºC
We managed to make 15 miles today. As we left Sheep’s Creek we went straight into a class 4 rapid, the worst so far. A lot of broken and collapsed ice, my sledge and I fell partly into a sink hole with the rapids running underneath me.
It took 3 people to move each sledge with ropes and pulleys almost vertically up the collapsed ice slopes of the rapids. We are exhausted, it took us 2 hours to get through. The dogs are very tired and hate the overflow, so if you sledge too near the edge, they try to climb out of the wet onto the bank.
We left the river twice to avoid a lot of bad overflow which held us back all day. We made very slow progress till about 3.30pm, then we made the rest of the miles to Joe Creek, which is a beautiful place. We had a very cold night.


DAY 15 – Sunday 6th Feb
– 40ºC Sunny
It takes about 3 ½ hours from waking to get going, feeding the dogs and ourselves, breaking camp etc. Hitting ice off the sledges takes about ¾ hour, and it takes at least 10 mins to get each boot on because they are frozen solid, and have to be defrosted over the Primus stove.
Finally we set off and straight away we got into heavy overflow; this continued all day except for when we left the river, but then we were into deep snow so that made very slow progress as well.
We are now out of the canyon so no more collapsed ice and no more tricky elevation changes. The countryside is getting wider with the mountains set further back. We made slow progress all day, only making 14 miles.

DAY 16 – Monday 7th March
– 45ºC Suddenly very cold last night
At last we had a really good run, making the 22 miles to the border. We crossed an ice field, which is a massive lake all frozen solid. Lots of cracking and groaning in the ice under us as we sledged along, which is always worrying as you don’t want to go through and get wet!
On the border we ran into a lot of willow trees and deep snow. It took 2 ½ hours to make the last 2 miles but we finally made the border.


DAY 17 – Tuesday 8th March
We met up with Earl Rolf who had come up from the south and spent the day re-supplying from the air drop, fixing stuff and checking over the dogs.

DAY 18 – Wednesday 9th March
Today we are going up into the mountains, 26 miles straight uphill, and we will camp on the top. Now that we are more southerly trees are beginning to grow and we can use firewood, but as we get into higher elevations the trees stop growing. It will be a two day run up the mountain till we can get more firewood, so we are taking a bit with us. It is 52 miles to the top of Lewis Creek. It has clouded over with a bit of snow now.
We want to push on as hard as we can as I am worried about the condition of the Yukon River when we get to it.

DAY 8 – Sunday 28th Feb
-45º incl wind chill
The first flight flew to Herschel island at about midday. When we arrived there were very high winds and it was very cold – the snow was airborne about waist height. So we picketed the dogs straight away, unloaded the aircraft and it took off again. Then the first thing we had to do was to re-stake out the dogs round the back of the building out of the wind, to allow space for the dogs coming in on the next flight.
There is a really nice comfortable hut on Herschel which we have been given permission to use by the HTC. (Hunters and Trappers Association)
The 2nd flight out had a mechanical problem and couldn’t get back in till about 6pm by which time the wind had dropped a bit so we managed to feed the dogs and get the place warm, so that was all a big relief.

DAY 9 – Monday 29th Feb
– 30ºC + -15ºC wind chill = – 45ºC
Strong breeze, sunny clear sky and we sledged all the way down the side of Herschel Island and Pauline Cove, into the channel between the mainland & HI and along the sea ice, 15 miles to the delta. We kept drifting a bit far west and lost a couple of miles. Pretty nasty overflow through the shallows which means running water on top of the ice, this freezes onto the rails of the sledge and onto the dogs legs so each time we run through it we have to stop, hack the ice off the sledge with an axe, try and get the dogs as free from the ice as possible and keep going. If we hit another slushy patch we have to repeat the whole manoeuvre. Monday night we camped in the open.

DAY 10 – Tuesday 1st March
– 25ºC
The wind dropped in the night but it snowed all day till about 3.00pm, visibility was very poor. We set off and I used a compass bearing to correct our direction to get to the Firth mouth. It is always a bit hairy just going on a compass bearing, as you don’t know where you are, but anyway we found the mouth of the Firth and just as we could see it in the distance Graham’s sledge handle broke, that took ½ an hour to fix.
We had a good run on frozen overflow and glare ice (hard ice) the dogs sliding around and the sledges all over the place, but then we hit some really bad overflow for 2 hours, up to our knees in water. My sledge got turned over into the water, everything got wet but we managed to move on through the overflow and then we camped about 20 mins later by the side of the river which was a slightly elevated point a couple of feet above it. The overflow was coming down river as well and was creeping towards us getting to within 1 ½ m of our camp and dogs!
Cold, wet and very miserable, everything soaking, we had no fire or water.

DAY 11 – Wednesday 2nd March
– 30ºC all day
Clear and sunny but as we were in a canyon the sun didn’t come through till later. We had to wait all day for the overflow up river to freeze so that we could run on it and we couldn’t go back because of the overflow below us. We had a miserable time, very cold camping in an open area with no shelter and everything was still wet with no chance of drying anything.

DAY 12 – Thursday 3rd March
We set off, it takes about 3 hours to break camp. We came across a lot of hollow ice, then we had a very good run on flat ice to Sheeps Creek, the ice breaking, cracking and groaning under us was a bit alarming! The hollow ice is a real problem, it is where there is a hole in the ice to the running river and rapids underneath, it took us 3 hours to get through. We had been wet since Tuesday and by Thursday, after three very hard days, we were exhausted and dangerously cold.

DAY 13 – Friday 4th March
We had a beautiful run down to Sheeps Creek where there is a rangers hut. Our boots and clothes were still soaking wet so we stayed here for 24 hours to dry out. The only heat we had in the hut was our little Primus stoves which heat the water for our food and drink, and for the dogs. The boots took a whole night to unfreeze. You have to hold the frozen boot over the Primus stove for five mins just to be able to melt the ice enough to get the liner out. We used bin liners over our socks to keep them reasonably dry.
Sheeps Creek is staggering beautiful. Suddenly the dogs started howling then stopped and across the valley wolves howled back.

DAY 14 – Saturday 5th March
– 40ºC
We will head out 50 miles to the border, feeling very positive. Have now got 2 sets of dry clothes, one on us and one in the bag. It should be 3 1/2 days to the Alaska/Canada border. Been hell getting this far but we knew this part of the trail would be very difficult.


BLOG – 03/03/16
DAY 5 – Thursday 25th Feb
We were very lucky to be able to drive up to Inuvik from Dawson on the Dempster Highway. It was closed for three days before we set off, delaying us by a day, and closed again behind us and is still closed. There is a particular section called Hurricane Alley just north of Eagle Plains where the wind and snow gets really bad. Driving the highway makes you realise just how big this country is. The drive was about 9 hours and 450 miles on a graded dirt road with frozen ice on it. The scenery is mind-blowingly beautiful. Saw caribou. We stopped at Eagle Plains truck stop for lunch, refuelled and gave the dogs a bit of a run.
We arrived in Inuvik around 9.00 pm.

DAY 6 – Friday 26th Feb – Inuvik
Spent the day getting last minute things and feeding the dogs. Some are a little sick from picking up a bug from the Yukon Quest Race dogs that had been along our route to Dawson before us.
DAY 7 – SAT 27th Feb – Inuvik
-23c sunny and light breeze, -35c with the wind chill
We went out to the airport hangar to weigh the loads for the flight to Herschel. Met with the ground crew and pilot to talk through the load splits. It all went easily as they already had my manifest with all the weights and instructions for splitting the load between the two flights.
It is getting lighter by 15 minutes a day. The weather is meant to stay sunny so we may be OK for getting both flights in tomorrow. If it gets cloudy we have to abort the flight and try again the next day. Each flight is about an hour for the 185 mile flight to Herschel Island, North West of Inuvik.
DAY 8 – Sunday 28th Feb
We went out to the airport at 10.00 am for the flight. The light was good so we took the first flight to Herschel, the ground wind was 35 mph and -25c! A lot of airborne blizzard snow. We managed both flights into Herschel and are now ready to start our Amundsen expedition!

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT. This is where it really begins. We are getting a daily increase in followers especially from mushers who understand what we are taking on. Earl, who will be meeting us on the USA border, has made it up to the mouth of the Coleen, so the Yukon and the Porcupine are passable at the moment. This is great news and a relief as the reports on the river conditions ahead of us we’re not good. Pat has been amazing with the technical and logistical support.

BLOG – 26/02/16

PREP DAYS
Have been staying at Wayne and Scarlet’s for a few days sorting stuff, loading sledges etc. Every one up here knows about the expedition. Most of the Quest runners are now following us. All the kids are following us and doing projects around the trip!
DAY 1 – Sunday 21st Feb
-25c rising to -10c clear sunny skies
Set off from Wayne and Scarlet’s cabin around 10.00am to sledge 27 miles up the Yukon. Easy sledging, though a lot of open water on the river. Slept the night on the floor of a self-built cabin. Had some technical issues with the equipment but Pat Oakley in Canada – our technical base – has been fantastic with support, we now should be on the map!
DAY 2 – Monday 22nd Feb
-20c rising to -10c clear sunny
Left around 10am to sledge 33 miles to ’40 Mile’ village. The river Yukon is much faster running than I thought it would be, there is a lot of open water on the river and some nasty slush ice overflow. Smashed my knee on some ice when I caught an inside edge on an ice crack and the sledge flipped. Saw two herds of Caribou, one running across in front of the dogs. Arrived at Earl’s cabin late in the day.
DAY 3 – Tuesday 23rd Feb
-25c sunny to start. -10c later, cloudy lots of wind (wind chill -15c)
Left 40 Mile village at 10am and sledged 20 miles uphill to approx. 3800’ at the top of the “World Highway”. The trail was blown out in places and we had a very interesting traverse with a drop off to manoeuvre where we turned the sledges three times! Sledged on until dark, then stopped on the trail around 7pm to feed the dogs, using the Primus stoves to melt the snow for their food. We then lay down by our sledges to sleep for 4 hours, but there was a strong wind so we got going after 2 hours and sledged all night to Dawson arriving at 4.00am. Total distance was 68 miles. We put the dogs out on pickets and slept for a few hours on the sledges.
DAY 4 – Wednesday 24th Feb
Brian Wilmshurst, who will be trucking us to Inuvik in the Northern Territories, arrived at 7.15am and we fed the dogs, drove into town and had a good breakfast as we hadn’t eaten since Tues morning!
Staying at Brian’s place tonight. The Dempster highway to Inuvik has been closed for three days at Eagle Flats due to snow drifts and gales. We are a day ahead of schedule so it will hopefully reopen tomorrow. Plan is to head off and if it’s still closed we can sleep in the truck tomorrow night and hopefully get to Inuvik on Friday morning at worst.

ABOUT THE EXPEDITION

Starting in February 2016 the expedition will take approximately 40 days. This will be a team of three people and 22 sled dogs. The expedition will be carried out in extreme temperatures in one of the most remote areas left on the planet. The link to our website is

In Amundsens Footsteps

EDUCATION

We have created an educational program connecting six schools in Canada, Alaska, Norway and the UK who will work together to bring a focus to climate change, geography and the history of exploration.

The program will broaden student's syllabuses, create exchange opportunities and enhance learning experiences in both isolated and populated schools.

 

For more information and/or questions e-mail us at bushalaskaex@starband.net or bush_alaska_expeditions@hotmail.com

 

2015

Mallika Ranjan put together a great You Tube video of some of her tour. Click

http://youtu.be/9knhaaK160E

to see this video.

We had a wonderful 2015 season and hated to see it draw to a close. The clients were wonderful, trail conditions could not have been better and the dogs enjoyed all the time out on the trails.

NEW VIDEO

"A Quest for Adventure" and "Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon," are two videos a gifted client, Court, has put together. His videos covers so much of what happens while on tour with us and a segment of the Eagle Checkpoint during the Yukon Quest 2014 Dog Sled Race and our son, Matt Hall's race.

http://www.vimeo.com/21423713 "Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon"

http://www.vimeo.com/87437491 "A Quest for Adventure"

Check out the caribou migration crossing the Yukon near our homestead on our About Us & Blog page.

 

Our son, Matt Hall has some very awestruck parents and quite a fan following as he competed in theYukon Quest 1000 mile Dog Sled Race.

Feb 2014...Matt Hall finished with a very

strong team

in 3rd place and was awarded the Rookie of

the Year, The Spirit of the North and the

Vets Choice.

Follow his progress on our Face Book Page...

Facebook

Here are the links to his finish line interviews on YOU TUBE and YUAC!

Youtube

KUAC

Matt has a website going as he starts preparing for racing. If you get the chance check out Smoking Ace Kennels and/or see some of his racing career here on our web site at Matt's Racing

Our Blog has been moved to the About Us & Blog

Click here for Touring and KENNEL UPDATE/BLOG


Photos and details of our expedition trips have been moved to Expeditions & Photos to see more about our expedition trips and their photos.

 

 

Sled dogs enjoying back packing in the off season. 

 

Ever hear the one about not standing up in a canoe?

Aug 14, 2012...The second wave of suicidal porcupines have broken through the perimeter of the homestead and here is one of the wounded warriors.

 

 

June 17th...Happy Father's Day...Wayne is not too impressed with the gift the dogs gave him...

 

Personally, I am not either...a bear up a tree in the dog yard all night...Quiet PLEASE!

We have been enjoying travel on the river and came across an interesting discovery. Is it a new species...?

 

 

Cleaning out some paperwork I came across an interesting picture. Here is our very first Sierra Club Tour group waiting at the Eagle Air Strip for the charter flight to pick them up for their return to Fairbanks. Picture is compliments of Bob Thorton.

 

Just in case anyone thinks this is a serious picture...this was a fun loving group who had a great time setting this photo up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
 

 

 

Mush your own sled dog team of Alaskan Huskies through the Alaska, Yukon Wilderness. Our adventures and custom trips specialize in extreme wilderness travel using highly trained Alaskan huskies. This area of Alaska is one of the most remote locations left on earth and includes the Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve, which is a 2.2 million acres protected wilderness area. NPS Yukon Charley Rivers National Preserve. Bush Alaska Expeditions has the only "Commercial Use Authorization" to run dog teams within the Yukon/Charley wilderness area.

There are expeditions above tree line over mountain summits, along creek and river drainages and into boreal forests. Our specialty is "PRIVATE CUSTOMIZED TOURS."

Because a true wilderness experience becomes tainted with a large group or "party," we limit our tours to one or two clients plus your guide. (Except on special request for a larger group, by you.) You can customize your tour to your own personal physical abilities and expectations which can include day trips and simple overnight adventures in a tent camp or an original miner/trap line cabin dating back to the early part of the century or you can experience a full-blown expedition as long as you want, mushing into country inhabited only by God's creations, including caribou and wolves.


Along with the experience of riding the runners behind the dogs, you can spend time hiking, skiing, ski joring, snow boarding, aurora watching, (on clear nights the northern lights often grace the sky), or just kicking back in a relaxed, remote location.

While you are here you will be exposed to a variety of hazards and risks, which are inherent in each trip and cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of what you want to experience. Rescue and medical facilities are not easily available. Take note the closest doctor or hospital is over 350 air miles from your dog tour starting point at our cabin.  Your physical conditioning is essential for your safety.  Medical help could be days away!

Your dog sled adventure begins in the small town of Eagle where we will make our way 6 miles down the Yukon River to the home cabin, as there are no roads to our homestead, located deep in the interior/boreal forest, and continue on to our fall dog training camp situated high on the tundra of American Summit above tree line and beyond.  If the timing is right you can run your dog team among thousands of migrating caribou--with wild-life viewing possibilities ranging from exotic Alaskan Sable to Lynx, Moose, Wolves and other Alaskan Interior Wild-Life.

Due to the nature of this total wilderness environment the country does not allow for luxury accommodations.  However our tours range from log cabins to hard-core tent camps set up in mountain ranges accessible only by dog team.  We specialize in primitive expedition type travel by dog team.  Typical clientele are athletic type sports enthusiasts looking for a challenging adventure to test themselves in a harsh environment which includes an element of risk.

If you are into a fun type sledding experience, that does not require an extreme level of physical fitness, we have trails and very rustic cabins in remote areas that also include everything the expedition type tours offer with-out the inherent risk and physical requirements.  All tours are custom designed to your specifications for each selected client.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Because our tours are customized to meet specific requests from each individual client our physical requirements will vary considerably for each tour or expedition. Because of the very nature of our remote, wilderness location what we might call an easy trail can be in extreme circumstances an intermediate or even advanced trail for 95% of other dog tour businesses.

Even a custom tour geared to a beginner requires a decent level of physical fitness. A beginner in good shape can move to intermediate level in just a couple of days...age is not a discriminatory factor. We have friends in their 70's that we would take on tour.

If you cannot jog/walk 2 miles in less than half an hour then you should consider a Fairbanks or Anchorage connection for your dog tour. Riding a sled is a physical endeavor. You don't just stand on the runners as you are in constant motion and good balance is a must. You have to be prepared to take falls and they can be hard or easy falls depending on what you fall on. When going up a steep slop you need to be able to step off and if not push the sled up at least jog up behind it while still holding on. This takes some of the weight off the dogs.

Expeditions require a much higher level of physical fitness. Expedition clientele are selected.

Many times your fitness level will determine which trail system your guide will take you on. It is important for us to know ahead of time your fitness level and/or limitations...also important to you for your enjoyment of the tour.

GUIDES:  Wayne Hall, Scarlett Hall, Matt Hall, Nate Becker, Matt Emslie and David Helmer

Recommended reading:

A Land Gone Lonesome Author Dan O'Neill

Yukon Alone by John Balzar

Coming into the Country by John McPhee

Dog Driver by Miki and Juliei Collins

 

Check out dog mushing in the Yukon Charley Rivers Preserve

Dog Mushing in the Yukon Charley Rivers Preserve

 See our page on Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor

March 2013 Dog Sledding Video by Mike and Katie Rabalais

http://www.vimeo.com/185789

New videos posted on line.

http://www.vimeo.com/9585808 .

http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1112025 .

Two of our clients did a journal style review of our trip. Click on Alaska trip when the page opens.

http://www.abbucketlist.co.za.

Another journal style review.

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/trip-reports/topics/144056.html

Mallika Ranjan put together a great You Tube video of some of her tour. Click

http://youtu.be/9knhaaK160E

to see this video.

"A Quest for Adventure" and "Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon," are two videos a gifted client, Court, has put together. His videos covers so much of what happens while on tour with us and a segment of the Eagle Checkpoint during the Yukon Quest 2014 Dog Sled Race and our son, Matt Hall's race.

Twenty-four Feet Across the Yukon

A Quest for Adventure

VIEW AN 8 MINUTE VIDEO: Sierra Club member Mickey Murch made this video in Feb 2007 while on a Sierra Club Tour with us. The clip is called Metabolic Transportation and is on vimeo. To watch the video, once the page pulls up, click the starting arrow on the window.

http://www.vimeo.com/151967

VIEW A YOUTUBE VIDEO OF A 2008 EXTREME TRIP!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAqWKDkDJBI

View a video of some advanced mushing with direction from guide, Matt Emslie: Sometimes mushing can get difficult and exhilarating as this video of Louise directing her team and working her sled around a narrow ledge of ice on an exploratory trip into the headwaters of Eagle Creek. Once the page opens up, click on the starting arrow on the window.

http://www.vimeo.com/185789

View 3 clips from the 2009 Herchal Island Expedition. These clips are from areas that are within our normal routes and might be something that you would like to experience. We customize our trips and routing to what you want to experience and the difficulty level that we feel is best suited to your abilities.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhYc3yKS9P8&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVo6jWtr2Es&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sF5QChCgX2s&feature=related

MEDIA ARTICLES:

New York Times Travel Magazine "The Great White Way" by Alix Browne in the November 20, 2005 issue.

http://travel.nytimes.com//185789

http://query.nytimes.com 

USA TODAY Travel>>Destinations "Dog Sledding Keeps Gliding Along, Snow or No Snow" by Laura Bly February 14, 2008

http://www.usatoday.com

Australian Financial Review, The Sophisticated Traveler Jan 2006

http://afr.com

MUSHING The Magazine of Dog-Powered Adventure July/Augush 2008 "Bush Alaska Expeditions" by Anita C. Strindberg

http://mushing.com  

 Follow us on Facebook

CONTACT: For more information and/or questions e-mail us at bushalaskaex@gmail.com or bush_alaska_expeditions@hotmail.com or write us at:  Bush Alaska Expeditions, P O Box 161, Eagle, AK 99738.  No incoming phone calls due to the remote location but there is Internet access via satellite. Phone calls can be arranged via computer and satellite.   


 

Previous pictures

















 

 

 

 

May 23 has had the dogs very excited with 2 unusual visitors into the dog yard. On at least 5 visits that Wayne and I witnessed a lone white wolf came calling. This has had us pondering the question of is it safe to allow the beautiful animal such close proximity to the dogs? There are many stories about such visits and some have bad endings but many have interesting and wonderful endings. Ours was a good ending. The wolf meandered about showing no aggression towards the dogs or us. He has not visited in the past 3 days. Neither Wayne nor I thought to grab the camera in our excitement at getting to watch him.

Now last night and today is a different story! This bear has no problem allowing us all the time we need to practically pose him for shots. As long as he stays to the trails we are going to enjoy him.

 

 

 

 

 

 
   

 

 © 2007 Bush Alaska Expeditions. All Rights Reserved.