Last week was very wet on the Dempster Highway, resulting in the road being closed in several spots due to flooding and a handful of helicopter evacuations occurring in Tombstone Park. We were one of the evacuations.
On August 10, 2016 we were crouched in the cook tent at Talus Lake campsite in Tombstone Park, cold, wet and uncertain if, in the inclement weather, we could manage the hike back out over Glissade Pass, past Grizzly Lake and to the trailhead on the Dempster. We agonized over the decision as to whether to push 911 on the SPOT, knowing that would inconvenience many people, even though we were currently relatively well and safe. We eventually decided that an evacuation at Talus Lake, a designated helicopter drop area, while we were in manageable physical circumstances, was preferable to an emergency evacuation attempt somewhere back along the trail. And so we pushed the button.
We were amazed to hear an approaching helicopter within 1.5 hours, and hesitantly went forward to talk with John Mitchell — “Mitch” — the Yukon Search and Rescue volunteer, to explain our circumstances. You can imagine our dismay to see two RCMP officers emerge from the Trans North helicopter. We had not contemplated disrupting so many people from their duties in order to ferry us to a dry and warm location. However, Mitch, Sgt. Dave Morin and Const. Eric Robson were very reassuring and supportive. They had been concerned that, given our ages (75 and 68), a heart attack or accident had occurred and manpower may have been required to attend to such a potentially serious situation.
We wish to express our thanks, in particular, to Sgt. Morin and Const. Robson. They acted in a very professional, efficient and thoughtful manner. They went out of their way to be personally reassuring and considerate both to ourselves and to family members. In our bedraggled state, we greatly appreciated being returned to our vehicle on the Dempster.
We feel that Dawson is very well-served by these two members and the responsiveness of Search and Rescue and express our gratitude for the way in which they dealt with us.