Skitour – 4 Days – Atlin, BC, Canada

We are in the year 2023 AD. All of Northwest Canada is occupied by modern southern townsfolk… All of Northwest Canada? No! A village inhabited by indomitable forest sprites does not stop resisting the invaders.

The small community of Atlin is included in the Yukon Territory but is part of British Columbia. Known as the “Canadian Switzerland” there are beautiful glaciated mountains on the picturesque Lake Atlin. Indeed, in many ways, Atlin has opted for a more tranquil way of life. The residents of Atlin have withstood the constantly advancing telecommunications providers to this day… and so, for example, at the request of the population, there is no cell phone network in the village.

We set out with two friends to explore the Atlin area on skis. Actually, a completely different tour was on the program (Cottonwood Trail in Kluane National Park), but a warm winter storm dumped 50 cm of fresh snow two days before our journey. In the course of the amount of snow, wind activity and prevailing temperatures, the avalanche danger in the region rose to its highest level. Definitely a reason to reconsider and eventually change your travel plans.

That’s how we ended up with the unruly atlinese.

We scrubbed a 70 kilometer lap in 4 days, with extremely varied terrain.

On the first day it was only a few kilometers along the lake shore. We were all still a bit muddy from the night before (the original plans were scrapped at the last moment and so there was still a lot to organize) and the journey of several hours, so we set up camp after only 6 km.

The next morning, 11 caribou appeared in the distance on the lake. Unfortunately, the animals were too far away for the camera’s eye. Only a few points can be seen in the pictures.

The lake, which we had to trek in its entirety, was 24 km long and so on the second day we mainly slipped along the frozen water. The surface varied between bare ice (shit!), hard packed snow (great!) and super soft deep sticky snow (shit too!).

It was now so warm that the stream at the end of the lake was mostly open. Unable to find a good spot to cross, we ended up shoveling enough snow into the creek to make our own snow bridge. Lasted long enough to move four people and three packs to the other side.

By the time we set up camp amongst some pine trees we had covered 20km for the day.

The third day was the toughest stage. We mostly followed an old track, which, however, always disappeared under fresh snow. Sometimes we lost the track completely and then fought our way across country through knee-deep, untracked snow, which wasn’t that thrilling, especially with the pulks. After 14 grueling kilometers it was time to set up camp again.

The last day surprised with a perfectly extended snowmobile track. After the tubing the day before, we were quite grateful for the great trail conditions and managed the remaining 30 kilometers to the car in one go.

Temperatures were generally on the mild side. At night it went down to about -10°C, but during the day it was well above zero. As a result, the snow often stuck under the skis and everything got quite damp. Actually rather unpleasant and we had preferred somewhat colder conditions. Hence the general desire to do more kilometers at the end rather than camp in the slush with damp clothes and sleeping bags again.

Overall a nice tour with great people. There were many animal tracks to see and the ubiquitous presence of caribou (albeit only seen from a distance) added another special touch. The landscape was an interesting mix of forested valleys fringed with spectacular mountains.

Unfortunately I had some problems with the camera. So many pictures are totally overexposed and there are only a few nice shots.



Trautes Heim…ein Helsport Fjellheimen 2 Camp.

caribou in the distance.





Tobogganing…skiing on bare ice.


We didn’t expect open water. Here we are looking for a way over the stream.

Finally we make a snow bridge.

Works great!


Caribou bite.