Skiing makes Max smile. Whether it’s the hills in Québec, New England or even in Chamonix, the Mecca of extreme skiing, winter is his time to shine. He’s worked as a patroller, represented Québec at the Black Shoes Telemark event in Tignes and survived a -29°C day in the mines Madeleine in Gaspésie. This past spring, his obsession with the never ending ski season brought him on the road to Yukon in northern Canada. Here he recounts his trip:
« I’ve known a lot of friends who have headed there for a summer or winter season and ended up never leaving. »
There’s something enchanting about the Yukon. I’ve known a lot of friends who have headed there for a summer or winter season and ended up never leaving. The way of living, the rhythm of the seasons, the vast space, and the people – everybody finds their own special reason to love it. For Julien Lévesque-Boulianne, Martin-Simon Beauséjour and I, it’s the mountains that called to us.
The southern belt of the Yukon territory, which borders Alaska, is covered in summits. The jagged peaks from 1000m to 600m on mountains of 2000m, the type of descents that seem promising on a topo map. Across the massive mountain range lies two routes and a traverse which form a triangle between Whitehorse, Yukon, as well as Skagway and Haines, both in Alaska. A playground that covers 450km embedded lines in the mountains.
« In the mountains we passed more foxes and caribou than other skiers. »
After some research on the region before heading out there, Julien Lévesque and Martin-Simon came up with the perfect mode of transportation: a 22 foot RV. A hotel, restaurant and luxury car all in one, it was the perfect vehicle to explore the roads in an area where you can count the number of houses on your fingers. The Yukon is a wild and vast territory. In the mountains we passed more foxes and caribou than other skiers. Being responsible and autonomous for everything is essential.
Over the 14 days that followed, we traveled more than 2100km in the camper. We crossed over White Pass and Haines Pass and then stopped in Skagway and Haines to refuel.
We discovered the unreal playground of terrain that the Yukon has to offer. The mountains are as diverse as they are enticing. The number of ski-able lines surpassed our expectations. Some will stay engraved in our memory, like the Paddy Peak couloir. At 15 meters tall and squished between two rock walls, we boot packed this line with our ice axes in hand, crampons on our feet ans skied down in pow at 1000m. Most skiers rappel 30m in the middle of the couloir to bypass a jutting rock, but the seasons snow pack allowed us to align ourselves and ski directly down. At the end of the day after cracking beers, Martin-Simon confessed it was one of the best descents of his life.
FILM, PHOTOS & WORDS
Maxime Letendre, Julien Lévesque-Boulianne,
SHOT ON LOCATION
Yukon, Whitehorse, 2018
PRODUCED & DIRECTED