Over Eagle Summit

The Expedition accomplished another milestone today by making it over the high and steep Eagle Summit. They are now out of the steep hills and have entered what is known as the Yukon Flats region. Near midday they passed through the small mining community of Central and purchased fuel before continuing on. The trail now follows the winding course of Birch Creek where they have made a comfortable camp for the night along the river. They report everyone happy to be over the summit and in great spirits. A trouble-free day of travel in beautful weather. They should pass through Circle City tomorow and begin their travel on the Yukon River. Here is the dispatch recieved today by email and satellite phone:

18 March 2007            Birch Creek

Camp 3

65º 39'N, 144º 24'W

Kids:  What would you do if you had a sled that you DID NOT want to slide
down a hill fast?  That was our problem today as we came over Eagle Summit,
a mountain pass with a very steep hill we had to go down.  Heavy sleds can
start sliding fast and roll a snow-mobile, possibly even injuring the

What you do is ROUGH LOCK the sled.  This was a technique invented a long
time ago. It consists of wrapping the runners or bottom of the sled with
something rough.  In the old days they wrapped the runners with ropes.  We
had brought small lengths of chains we hooked under the sleds (see picture
1).  The chains dragged on the snow and the sleds stayed behind the snow
mobiles nicely. We got down safely (see picture 2).

After dropping off of Eagle Summit, we continued down Miller Creek through
the Central Gold Mining District.  Gold mining has been going on here since
about 1870. There was a lot of evidence of mining past and present, from
small cabins and big pieces of machinery, to the piles of rock and gravel
the miners had moved to find gold. We were also set off course temporarily
by another activity that has been going on here for a long, long
time-trapping. We missed the right trail and followed the tracks of a
muskrat trapper. Interesting to see, but unfortunately not on the way we
wanted to go.

The day was beautiful. Sunny, cold and windless. We are now camped on Birch
Creek, a popular boating river and also known as a cold place. It is
now -14ºF, and likely to cool off further during the night. But we are warm
in our tent, with the woodstove going and the lantern on as we write and




Copyright © SnowSTAR.