A tale of ultimate adventure: Endurance, resilience, love of water and wildlife. That is the Yukon River Quest. This 444 mile journey through the Yukon Territories, via kayak, canoe, and now, standup paddleboards takes place this weekend with racers coming from all over the globe to test their mettle against the best water adventure athletes in the world. Here is Standup Journal photographer, Chris Christie’s exclusive video on his preparations for this ultimate adventure.
Yukon River Quest: a fabled ride
The Yukon River Quest, one of the most highly anticipated adventure paddles in the world, kicks off this Wednesday, June 28th and runs throughout the weekend until July 2nd. This 715 KM (444 miles) endurance paddle launches from Whitehorse and travels to Dawson City through the Yukon Territories on one of the most fabled rivers of time.
Watercraft and paddlers from around the globe to compete in this ultimate paddler’s endurance race
Paddlers come from around the world to test their strength as they race both day and night through the heart of the Klondike on one of North America’s great rivers. This race is open to solo and tandem canoes and kayaks, solo standup paddleboarders, and C4 and Voyageur Canoes. Paddlers use strategy, strength and skill to navigate the Yukon River’s waters, racing day and night to get to the final check point in Dawson City.
The Yukon River: points along the journey to Dawson City
Lake Laberge is the most dangerous point on the journey because strong wind and large waves can whip up in a matter of minutes. It is rare that the lake will be dead calm for the entire 30 miles (50 Km.) of its length. Winds can come from either direction, but usually from the south, creating steady rollers that hit a paddler at an angle, roll a kayak or knock a standup paddleboarder off his or her craft. Safety information on running this section of the race as well as safety crafts are stationed at the most hazardous areas, but paddlers must enter at their own risk.
Wildlife in the Yukon
Traveling through bear and moose territories, paddlers have to beware the fact that they are entering into a wildlife arena. Suggestions include staying away from streams where bears may stop and drink and, if one does have to pause near the woods for ANY reason, to make one’s presence known by making a lot of noise to ward off larger creatures of the Yukon. Bear spray is permitted but not encouraged, as it is after all, their territory that the paddlers have entered into.
715 KM in 4 days!
There are campgrounds and check points along the route for paddlers to stop and receive additional supplies, set up camp and get some sleep when necessary. However, the first man, woman and/or team to cross the finish line wins. So, sleep is a precious commodity and one that few travelers will partake in until their journey is complete.
Good luck to ALL the paddlers out there, launching from Whitehorse today in this iconic and incredible adventure through the great wilderness in North America for the 2017 Yukon River Quest. Stay tuned for MORE updates at Standup Journal Online as we receive photos and footage from the intrepid paddlers on their iconic river run. Paddle ON!