Buckley Lake Evacuation

There were a total of 9 hikers out in the Mt Edziza Park which were evacuated with help from Silverking Helicopters and GT Gold Corp. 4 Tahltans, 2 UBC Geering up students, 2 SFU Film students and 1 UBC Professor that participated in the hike.

August 3rd, Curtis Rattray flew into Buckley Lake to lead the hikers to Eves cone.  Expected return date to Buckley lake was the 6th.  The original plan was for the hikers to carry on from Buckley Lake to Telegraph Creek and finish the hike on August 8th. Telegraph Creek was given the evacuation order which made hiking to Telegraph Creek ultimately not an option.

Visibility in Dease Lake was very bad due to the smoke produced from the three fires to the west near Telegraph Creek on August 5th. Justin Waite at BC Yukon Air’s float plane base recommended we find an alternative to using the float plane to pick up the hikers on August 6th.

Charlie Greig at GT Gold Corp had mentioned a few days earlier, when the hiking crew toured their camp, that the helicopter was available in case of an emergency.  Working between GT Gold Corp and BC Yukon Air, a plan was made to use the Silverking Helicopter stationed at GT Gold’s Saddle Camp. Silverking made two trips to Buckley Lake to pick up the hikers and bring them to the Bear Paw Ranch near Iskut.

Bo Dean Williams and Kitty Asp from Tahltan Nation Development Corporation (TNDC) picked up the hikers from Bear Paw Ranch and brought them back to safety in Dease Lake.

Meduh (thank you) to everyone that played a part in bringing the hikers home safe. Meduh to our sponsors of Tene Mehodihi that allowed us to start this program. I specifically want to thank Charlie Greig and Justin Waite for implementing the evacuation plan.  I also want to thank TNDC for supplying the Satellite Phone as part of their Sponsorship of the program as well as sending the shuttle to bring everyone home.

-Nathan Skubovius (Horse Guide, Sponsorship Manager)

Photo taken by Tsēma Igharas from Camel Back Cone. Mt Edziza is south (left) and Telegraph Creek is north-west (right)

Photo taken by Tsēma Igharas from Camel Back Cone. Mt Edziza is south (left) and Telegraph Creek is north-west (right)

2018 plans

Tene mehodihi will have two adventures for summer 2018 to continue building infrastructure for future hikes. We will also be hosting a first aid course before hand for students to attend.

Hike 1 – A 3-week hike utilizing the trail between Iskut and Telegraph Creek, cleared from last year’s crew. Plans include visits to an active exploration drill site, which was offered to the group last year as well as conducting a plant sampling program.  Students will also get the opportunity to hike into Mount Edziza provincial park accompanied by UBC professor who will teach how to perform a baseline study.

Hike 2 – We need to prepare a new hike that will be ready for 2019. This will involve clearing trails, finding good camping locations and determining the future education program. This year we will hike into the Klappan and then raft down the Klappan River to the Stikine River and end at Stikine Landing.