A Helicopter Tour of Whitehorse, Yukon

This past weekend was Sourdough Rendezvous in Whitehorse. This is one of the biggest events of the year in Whitehorse – the celebration of the end of Winter. Many years, we get truly awful weather for the event, but this year Mother Nature put on a wonderful show, and the combination of unique events and superb weather made it a Rendezvous to remember.

One of the highlights for me is always the air show, and I expected that we’d get a good turnout of aircraft. Unfortunately it was the smallest number of aircraft I’ve ever seen at Rendezvous – have budget cutbacks killed it? 🙁

As soon as I saw the weather forecast, though, I decided that I was going to take one of the short helicopter tours. Cathy took one in the summer of 2008 (see her photos of that flight here) but I’ve never done it.

As we neared the airport, a huge fog bank appeared, and my hopes for a great day sank 🙁 I had my aircraft radio scanner with me, though, and the conversations between the tower and pilots coming in sounded more positive than this photo taken at 11:39 looks.

We went downtown and watched a few events at Shipyards Park, and when we went back up to the airport at 2:20 it was beautiful so I got my $89.25 helicopter ticket.

While waiting for my flight, Cathy and I went through the CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue helicopter that was on display. It’s always a pleasure watching, listening to and talking with the crews of the aircraft – their pride in what they do is so refreshing compared to the way most people talk about what they do for a living.

I’d sure like to see the impressive panel of the Cormorant all lit up! 🙂

Here comes my helicopter – time to get ready!

This is an MD900 Explorer, recently brought to the Yukon by Horizon Helicopters.

At 2:50, up, up and away!

The north end of runway 31 Left, with the Alaska Highway to the left.

Looking over the clay cliffs to the residental part of downtown (“Old Town”), and beyond to the small “big-box” shopping area and the Yukon River.

The largest mall in the Yukon is at the bottom right. There’s a video at Youtube that makes fun of their claim to have “14 stores and services”.

Looking down on Shipyards Park, the site of most Rendezvous events.

The Riverdale residential area and Grey Mountain.

Looking up the Yukon River to Mount Lorne. At the lower left is the site of the Klondike gold rush town of Canyon City.

The tailings pond for the Whitehorse Copper Mine, which closed in 1982.

The Mount Sima ski hill and Golden Horn.

Looking south over Fish Lake. It’s possible to drive up Mount McIntyre to a view that’s quite similar to this.

Wilderness right at our back door, and many residents have no idea that it’s there (and don’t care either, I suppose).

Looking down McIntyre Creek. Lake Laberge can be seen in the distance.

We used to live in Granger, the residential area in the left of this photo. This is on a slope above the airport.

In the lower left is aptly-named Valleyview, a small subdivision that was developed as part of the air force base that was here in the 1960s. Range Road cuts diagonally across the main part of the photo.

Back to YXY at 3:03 – *sigh*. It was a great experience, though 🙂


A Helicopter Tour of Whitehorse, Yukon — 3 Comments

  1. The second last picture is of Valleyview. Hillcrest is a bit further to the south. It’s so easy to get Valleyview, Crestview, and Hillcrest mixed up. I live in one of them and I do it all the time.