Snake River 2012
How many snakes are there in the Yukon? One: the Snake River. (It’s true, there are no reptiles in the Yukon, though with climate change some non-reptilian species — deer, for example — have begun to appear for the first time so that could all change.)
The Snake is a river in the Peel Watershed, a massive area of unspoiled wilderness and home to a fragile, biodiverse and invaluable ecosystem. Along with concerns about what climate change will do to the Peel, the watershed is now under special threat because the new premier of the Yukon Territory has decided to ignore a land use plan hammered out over many years by all the stakeholders.
I was fortunate to paddle this river in the summer of 2012, before greed and ignorance destroy this jewel of nature. It sure didn’t disappoint as we started off high in the mountains above the tree line and dropped about 1,500 metres as we travelled 275 km through canyons, valleys and plateaus, past fireweed covered hills in the aftermath of forest fires and many other sights as the water changed from turquoise to aquamarine to brown. Along the way we saw Dall Sheep, a couple of peregrine falcons (one put on quite the show as it went turning and turning in its widening gyre) and much more. At one point, a grizzly bear sauntered down a cut and then swam across the river right in front of us (furious back ferrying at that point, needless to say).
Here are some pics: