North of Sixty Rockhunting trip

August 6th to 27th, 2005

In the spring, a friend of ours, Win Robinson, invited us to join her and a few other rockhounds on a trip to the Yukon. We were supposed to join them in Prince George on Sunday morning, but as we were attending a wedding in Kamloops Saturday evening, that was impossible and we managed to catch up with them on Sunday afternoon in Kitwanga, which is about sixty-five miles east of Smithers.

Fishing - Moricetown

Between Smithers and Kitwanga is a narrow gorge in the Bulkley RIver at Moricetown where the natives use dip nets to catch salmon.

Fishing with dipnet, Moricetown

It takes a lot of skill and daring to scoop up a salmon as it tries to leap up this waterfall.


Kitwanga is a small town with a great view of the mountains.

Totem pole - Kitwanga

In Kitwanga there is a wonderful display of standing totem poles.

Totem pole - Kitwanga

Not all of the totem poles are standing though.

Church window - Kitwanga

The mountains relected behind the flowers in the church window in Kitwanga.

Cablecar - Cassiar

Win, who is also known as the “Jade Queen” arranged a tour of the Cassiar Asbestos Mine, which has been closed for many years. The cable car was used to transport the asbestos down from the mine area at the mountain top. There were about fifteen trucks in our procession up the road to the top.

Now the tailings piles are being mined for jade which was simply discarded in the years of asbestos mining.

Cassiar Asbestos Mine

The walls of the Cassiar Asbestos Mine are very steep and dangerous, which was one of the reasons it was shut down.

Mountain sheep - Cassiar

There were a few Mountain Sheep up at the top near the mine buildings.

Rockhunter - Cassiar Asbestos Mine

This rockhound is more interested in the rocks than the magnificent view.

Rockhunters - Cassiar Asbestos Mine

People picked up all sorts of samples of serpentine, some of which had asbestos veins running through.

Viewing jade - Cassiar

Back down at the bottom, the company was sawing up boulders of jade and some of the rockhounds managed to purchase some.

Viewing jade - Cassiar Asbestos Mine

Some of the jade pieces were still pretty large even after being sawn.

Miles Canyon - Whitehorse

From Jade CIty we headed up to Whitehorse. This view is Miles Canyon and as you can see, the whole Whitehorse was covered with smoke from a series of forsest fires both in Alaska and the Yukon.

Malachite - Whitehorse

There are many abandoned copper mines in the Whitehorse area. These are a couple of samples of Malachite from one of them.