The Yukon 360, A Two or Three Day Race
Explore Yukon's Rivers One Race at a Time
Discovery day Weekend, 16th - 18th August, 2014
The Yukon 360 is a canoe race designed to fit in a three day weekend. It is structured much like its big brother race, the Yukon 1000, but with some significant differences
- The race is shorter, about a quarter of the distance
- the required overnight stops are longer
- It does not take all your vacation allowance to enter
- Faster boats are permitted, including solos
This race takes place about a month later than the Yukon 1000. this means that the nights are longer. That means that to avoid paddling in the dark, paddlers have to stop for longer each night. Does that make this an easier race? Well yes and no. Yes, because you are not going to be so short of sleep. No, because the paddling is going to be that much more intense if you are going to be competitive. The rules have remained unchanged since 2010.
In 2014, we will be returning to the Nitsutlin as in 2012. This was a good river to race, easy to get to, easy put in, and convenient take out. And not too long and not too short. It will be fun to revisit this river.
In 2013 this race was on the Dezadeash River. This was a little longer than the 2012 race, shorter than in previous years, but still a long race. As Dezadeash Lake was not cooperating, we put in at Champaign. This shortened the race, but it was still very challenging. The dezadeash is a chalenging river that is twisty and has log jams. The Teams ver very glad to get to Haines Junction. Possibly the most chanlenging aspect was that with the late start there was real danger of being benighted is unfriendly beaver swamp where there was no where to camp.
This race showed a conflict in the definbition of the race: we want it to be a qualifying race for the 1000 with open entry, but we want to showcase the Yukon's rivers. Not all rivers are suitable.
In 2012 the race was on the Nusutlin River. That time we had almost perfect paddling weather, although there was an overnight frost on the Saturday night when the paddlers were camped out on the river. for a writeup see The Story of the 2011 Yukon 360
In 2011, the race was on the Stewart River (about 250Km) and the Yukon River (another 110Km). It was a very wet race and tested the fortitude of the paddlers, and how good their equipment and perparation was.
In 2009, the race ran from Johnson Crossing to Carmacks down the Teslin and Yukon Rivers. In 2010, the Yukon 360 ran from Faro to Pelly Crossing down the Pelly river. It was a bit of a scramble to arrange transport for paddlers and boats.
In 2011, the race will be on the Stewart River (about 250Km) and the Yukon River (another 110Km). The Stewart will be faster than the Pelly was in 2010, and the Yukon River still moves along quite quickly in this section even in August, so the race is not really any longer than previous Yukon 360s. But the travel distances are a bit longer. This means that there will be either a late night on the Friday before the race, or an early start on the Saturday, and it will mean we get back to Whitehorse quite late on Monday night.
The 2009 Yukon 360
The inaugural running of the Yukon 360 was on the Teslin and Yukon Rivers. We had information about the water levels on the Teslin from 10 days before the race, and water levels had been quite hight for the time of year so we expected teams to get into Carmacks on the Sunday evening. But in the intervening time, the water levels dropped considerably, so the Teslin was slow. Teams also had to contend with quite heroic head winds on the Yukon. The result was that noone reached Carmacks on the Sunday. We also had to modify the overnight stop rule a little to give more flexibility. This was because there had been a serious forest fire both sides of the Teslin River and while the fire was now out, the gound was charred, hot and unsuitable for camping.
Read more about the 2009 Yukon 360 here.
The 2010 Yukon 360
In 2010, the Yukon 360 was on the Pelly River from Faro to Pelly Crossing. The water levels were not just low, but rediculously low. This meant that mavigation was a constant challenge as boats looked for the deep water channels. It also changed the character of the four modest rapids on the river. These are Big Fishhook, Little Fishhook, a new and as yet unnamed one, and Granite Canyon. All the named rapids were reduced to rock gardens, only the new rapids having anything like any standing waves, and they were small and unthreatening. Despite the slow water, over half the field came into Pelly Crossing on the Sunday evening. The main pack was very tight, with boats from 2nd to 7th being in sight of each other all of Saturday and much of Sunday. There was no chance to relax: this was a race the whole time.
Read more about the 2010 Yukon 360 here.
Teams must stop each night they are on the river for at least 8 hours. They must stop before 11pm, and must not start until after 5am. This we check using the Spot™ tracking. This means that paddlers will have between nine and eleven hours of paddling on the Saturday. and a full day's paddling on the Sunday. It is only 125Km paddling distance for 2013. This means you will probably be camping the one night and finishing on the Sunday
Racers will be required to carry Spot devices, and will be required to "check-in" frequently during the day (or better yet, use the Tracking feature). They are also required to check-in in the evening between before 23:00, and again at least 8 hours later and after 05:00 from the same location.
The Finish line will be open in time for the first boat and close at 23:00 on the Sunday evening (after which time boats are not allowed to move), and will open again at 05:00 on Monday. We do not anticipate that this year's race will entend into Monday, but that will depend on the conditions at the time. The Race will finish at Noon on Tuesday. Teams arriving after noon on Tuesday may not receive an official time, and risk missing the transport back to Whitehorse.
Boats that fail to stop before 23:00, and boats that stop for less than 8 hours will receive a time penalty of four times the infraction. Boats arriving at the finish line after 23:00 will have to check in late for their required overnight stop, and will be deemed to have arrived at the finish eight hours after their actual arrival time. So if you finish at 23:30, you will receive a finishing time of 07:30, and receive a 2 hour penalty.
Registration is open. The entry fee is $100 Canadian per paddler at the moment. We think that is sufficient, but we may have to increase that if the insurance costs more than we expect. Enter early to get the low entry fee for sure.
The rivers we have lined up for this race are:
- Teslin/Yukon, Johnsons Crossing to Carmacks 360km (Did this one in 2009)
- Pelly River, Faro to Pelly Crossing, 298km (Did that one in 2010)
- Stewart/Yukon River, Mayo to Dawson, 400km (2011)
- Nusutlin River, Rose River or Cottonwood Creek to Teslin, 188km or 138km, (this river is Slow) (2012)
- Dezadeash River, Dezadeash Lake to Haines Junction, (another slow very twisty river) (2013)
- Back to the Nusutlin River, Rose River or Cottonwood Creek to Teslin, 188km or 138km, (this river is Slow) (2014)
- ... and were open to other suggestions