This is Part 3, The Final Chapter, of our experience from hiking the Donjek Route in Kluane Park during a 10 day period from June 27 thru July 6, 2011.
There were 3 of us in our party (GrizzLee, Yukon Johann and Bighorn). This hike was truly the pinnacle of our experiences. It is a very rewarding experience and now a personal favorite. The scenery alone is overwhelming. Words and pictures cannot capture the emotional experience. It is a hard hike and physically challenging. But more than that, it was also a mental challenge and a real test of personal fortitude.
Note: Before attempting this kind of adventure, please read the note from the Kluane Park Service found in Part 1 of the Donjek Adventure Blog.. You could die doing this..
Read the blog and see the videos here:
We took time to stop and smell the flowers. There was interesting flora and fauna everywhere we looked. Most of it familiar...some of it very, very strange.
In Episode 2 we described the "moon-like" landscape that we hiked for miles. We ended up camping at a crossroads, so to speak, at the mouth of the Bighorn River. What you see here is a ritual trash burning on the glacier flats of the Donjek River. We had fires for two reasons; 1) To rid our garbage and lighten our load and; 2) To rid our garbage and reduce the smell of food odor.
I called it a crossroads because the route description mentions wading up the BigHorn River (which should take about 45 mins) or alternatively doing a bushwack up and over near a pass that takes 2-3 hours. We had a enough bushwacking for the time being and decided that the BigHorn River would be more palatable. It was big and cold. We explored it and found that we could cross where the river braided into several smaller "creeks" as demonstrated by "BigHorn" here in thigh deep water. Thus, we didn't have to swim. In the end, it took us over 2 hours to traverse up the river to our next challenge, Chert Creek.