An expanded collection of photos from our forays into Kluane National Park of the Yukon Territory in search of Dall Sheep.
In 2013 we travelled up to Sheep Mountain where the Slims River empties into Kluane Lake for our first shot at exploring the country.
A shot of three iterations of the Alaskan (Alcan) Highway. The original road, constructed in 1942 skirts the river flats on the side of the knolls to the right. Look closely you can see some traces. Carolyn is actually standing on a remnant of that original highway. Next iteration is the center road, and latest iteration shows the center line on a graded roadway next to the Lake.
We found no sheep on the knolls, and decided to walk down Sheep Creek to the river. This ended up being a beautiful walk through a fairy land of frozen forest. An unexpected reward was finding pilings that held the original bridge that connected the Alaskan (Alcan) highway across the Sims River back in 1942. Nothing left of the bridge itself, but the pilings were so rich in texture and color, I could not resist taking and sharing a variety of photos:
Having climbed the over-steepened slopes of Sheep Mountain, harems of ewes followed rams away from us. We were able to take advantage of their game trails which made traversing the high country much easier:
Thankfully, eventually, the sheep all settled down and allowed us to cautiously approach:
Having taken many insurance shots from a distance, and thereby approaching slowly, I was quite surprised by how close these rams allowed us to come. These close-ups were shot with a 500 mm lens:
Eventually, I traded out the 500 mm lens for a shorter focal length, allowing me to shoot some habitat shots of the rams above the Slims River valley:
I include this shot for visual reference and perspective. The knoll we hoped to originally work upon is down below, on the left side of the photo. The original Alaskan (Alcan) highway skirts the right side of the knoll. Look closely and you can see where the highway crossed the river on that original 1942 bridge. This shot also gives a sense of the work we had to do to reach the domain of these sheep. Their realm:
On our return down the hill we were quite happy to find a game trail which made the descent quicker and safer:
This is a zoomed-in shot that shows the collection of sheep I was photographing within the highlighted area. Can you see those little white dots?
Return to the blog:
In Search of Sheep