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60230 Wokkpash Backpacking - 1993 | by wild prairie man
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60230 Wokkpash Backpacking - 1993

Following a request - or challenge? - from Patricia Bauchman to post a selfie from my 1993 backpacking trip in the northern Rockies, I am going two steps further and posting a triptych. Three shots that give a few hints about the trip...

 

Left: here I am on Day 3, August 8, tentbound in mixed rain and snow. Wokkpash Gorge lies ahead, a few km up the valley; and I've already done the most difficult creek crossing, hiked up a boring old mining road, camped in a beautiful mossy pine forest, and pushed up a broad, rock-strewn valley to this point. I spent two nights here, waiting for the weather to clear.

 

Right: Day 6, August 11, at the edge of Forlorn Gorge. This was a side trip, and well worth the effort. Only 50 ft wide, this canyon was nearly 500 ft deep, as if a giant knife had sliced through the ancient bedrock. Nimble as a goat in those days, I thought nothing of setting the timer - yes, I packed a big tripod along on the trip - bounding down to the edge, and scanning the terrain ahead with binoculars. Anything for a photo...

 

Middle: Day 11, August 16. Having explored Wokkpash Gorge (see yesterday's upload), Forlorn Gorge, Forlorn Creek, Wokkpash Lake and Plug Creek, I had worked my way around Whitestone Ridge to Last Call Lake, where I camped and counted caribou for several days. This was an alpine area, not a tree in sight. From there, I did a day hike to an even higher ridge, and my reward was an overview of Wokkpash Valley and Gorge - where I had hiked and camped the previous week. Really splendid. Sun beating down. I broke camp the next day and followed a racing creek down long valley, back to civilization and all that entails. On my final two nights, the Northern Lights put on a fabulous show.

 

It was one of my favourite backpacking trips in 24 years of slogging through mountains. I was a lot tougher in those days than I am now, LOL. If you click on the map, btw, and select satellite, you'll be treated to an amazing and detailed view of the terrain. The Wokkpash is west of the Alaska Highway, in northeastern British Columbia (Canada).

 

All photos were shot on Fujichrome Velvia (ISO 50) and scanned from the original slides. Don't use this image on websites, blogs, or other media without explicit permission © 1993 James R. Page - all rights reserved.

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Taken in August 1993