Soon after reaching the snowline we were faced with the crux of the trail; the Chilkoot Pass
. At an elevation of 1,067m, the final slope of the pass is so steep that the stampeders nicknamed it 'the Golden Staircase'.
Thousands of stampeders crowded into Skagway and Dyea by ship from the "lower 48 [contiguous states]" There, they began the grueling trek up the infamous White Pass from Skagway or up the shorter, but still brutal, Chilkoot Pass
from Dyea to Lake Bennett.
The shack, a temporary NWMP office, was riddled several times during Steele's brief stay as he prepared to tackle the Chilkoot Pass
The choices: 33 miles over Chilkoot Pass
, or the slightly shorter but even more difficult trail over White Pass.
A group activity requires students to work in teams to get their goods over the Chilkoot Pass
and on to Dawson City and the Klondike.
In that year, Edmund Bean led a party of 25 prospectors over Chilkoot Pass
to prospect in the Yukon basin, all of them coming out again before winter closed the pass (Gates, 1994: 9-10).
Since the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, Skagway has been the "Gateway to the Klondike." Stampeders headed up the "Golden Stairs" and over the Chilkoot Pass
or the White Pass hauling their ton of supplies to the Klondike, and came back through with their golden gains.
By far the greatest number of stampeders went instead by sea as far as Skagway on the Alaska panhandle and thence over the mountains into Canada by either the White Pass or the Chilkoot Pass
. One man who took the former route, Robert Service, who would become famous for his ballads of the gold rush, wrote: "There is no mercy, no humanity, no fellowship.
Backpackers hiking the 33-mile Chilkoot Pass
Trail from Dyea (near Skagway) no longer have to hike back out.
Tourists came to watch the 20,000 men and women tackle those infamous routes to wealth in their headlong rush to Dawson City--the Chilkoot Pass
and the White Pass trails.
Jim Binkley, 78, whose father traveled the Chilkoot Pass
and began a freight-haling business on the Stikine River in 1898.
The new design, picked by a subcommittee of the Gold Rush Centennial Task Force, features a group of miners climbing a snowy mountain slope, reminiscent of the eponymous image of a passel of sourdoughs on the high trail to Chilkoot Pass