Episode 9 - The Golden Stairs
The final push over the summit, hefting a year's worth of supplies over snow and boulders on a steep slope sometimes 35 degrees or more. While watching the outfits of the rich boys fly over your head on an aerial tramway.
The Golden Stairs on the Chilkoot Pass produced some of the most epic photos of the whole gold rush. We follow Tappan Adney as he and his packers attempt the summit, trying to get over before winter comes ... and before Sheep Camp is washed away by torrential rains. Adney's team are carrying not just a year's worth of supplies, but also his camera gear and pre-cut wood for his custom boat!
Sources, maps & reading
Profile map of the Chilkoot trail showing elevations
National Parks Service photos of Sheep Camp, including the tent city and a glacier that has since disappeared, as well as a photo of a thief receiving a public whipping. Check out the slider bar so you can see a goldrush-era photo and compare it to a recent photo taken from exactly the same spot
National Parks Service photos and background on the Scales.
Map of the Chilkoot Trail and White Pass routes with photos of Dyea and Skagway from around the time Tappan Adney passed through, from the University of Washington collection
The Klondike Stampede by Tappan Adney
Photos above in the public domain from Wikipedia Commons.