PUBLISHED: 10:26 AM on Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Local Boy Scout troop takes on Chilkoot Trail

Courtesy photo
  Boy Scout Troop 700 embarking on the Chilkoot Trail.
Following in the footsteps of the stampeders, Juneau Boy Scout Troop 700 embarked on the 33-mile Chilkoot Trail in July.

With planning for the hike in the works for a year, four scouts, ages 12-16, three leaders and a gust from Wisconsin made the trip. Scoutmaster Phillip Martin said this is the first time the troop has attempted the Chilkoot and he hopes to do it again in two years.

"It's an Alaskan trail and world-class trail," Martin said. "We made sure the boys did a lot of hiking last summer and that they were physically ready to go."

Next year's excursion is planned to paddle the Yukon.

Martin said a challenge of the hike was that each person carried a pack equivalent to 25 percent of his body weight.

"When you go you have to take everything with you. There are no rest stops or stores," Martin said. "They did great though. If I was at all worried about it, they wouldn't have even gone."

Courtesy photo
  Boy Scout Keith A., 12 and the youngest hiker in the group, poses with a sawmill that made boats for further travel down the lakes enroute to the Klondike.
Martin said the boys got a sense of history on the trail, and were impressed to discover author Jack London had once made the same trip.

Completing the trail took the troop five days. The first night's camp was made in Canyon City, not far from the ruins of the original site.

"A few of the scouts made their way to the ruins finding a rusted stove and boiler," Martin said.

Martin said with regulations about the number of people allowed to cross the pass per day, pre-planning is a must.

"If anyone is planning on doing this, they should make a reservation in January," Martin said.