Finally, we reached the top of the Chilkoot Pass
and saw a Canadian flag flapping in the heavy wind.
The first white miners crossed Chilkoot Pass
the next spring, producing gold and rumor enough to eventually lead to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898 and an attendant Tlingit cultural upheaval.
This is also the same route early gold miners traveled to reach the Klondike fields; it was called the "poor man's" trail--from Seattle to Skagway or Dyea by boat, then up and over the Chilkoot Pass
and beyond by pack animal and on foot--as opposed to the all-water route that took miners from Seattle to Nome and then up the Yukon River by boat.
The American portion of the trail climbs 16 miles to Chilkoot Pass
, where it crosses the Canadian border and descends into the Yukon.
These prospectors have been immortalized by pictures of their ascent of the Chilkoot Pass
in a seemingly endless single file and by books like The Call of the Wild.
My challenge is that dozens of the stampeders published memoirs about crawling up the brutally steep Chilkoot Pass
, and suffering through bitter winters on the creeks in lonely ice-lined tents and cabins.
In the third book, Crazy for Gold, the friends meet a girl named Isabel and travel with her family along the Chilkoot Pass
to Dawson City, as they search for gold during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898.
Her journey will start at Seattle's Klondike Museum Library and she will sail to the original gold rush town of Skagway in Alaska before walking the 53km Chilkoot Pass
, with its 1,200ft-high Golden Staircase, into Canada.
Prior to the railroad, the prospectors climbed the Chilkoot Pass
on foot, some with pack mules or horses, thousands of others carrying their gear on their own backs.