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Mapping the southwest Yukon, 1935

Highlights of History from The Whitehorse Star

Arctic & Northern Maps & Mapping

The Whitehorse Star - Friday, June 14, 1935

    The work of mapping out an uncharted region of approximately one thousand miles, extending between Alsek and the U.S. boundary has been practically completed by Mr. Bradford Washburn and his party under the auspices of the National Geographic Society of America. In the course of the surveying operations over 5000 photographs and ten thousand feet of movie films were taken with the aid of a Fairchild aerial camera.

    Carcross was the base from which all the flying operations were carried out.

    The expedition started on February 26 and did not reach Yakutat until May 29. Most of the aerial photography was carried out whilst flying over the St. Elias Range. From Yakutat most of the party left for their homes in the eastern United States whilst Mr. Washburn and Mr. Dalber returned to Bates Lake. Pilot Barr of Atlin picked them up and brought them into Whitehorse by plane on Friday evening last.

    Mr. Washburn is remaining here in order to make another trip through to Kluane Lake. He is anxious to take some photographs in this region before he departs for his home in the East.

    Mr. Washburn is a graduate of Harvard University and is probably one of the youngest ever to be entrusted with the responsibility of carrying out such a survey.

    In the course of carrying out his surveying Mr. Washburn made a very interesting discovery. Underneath the moraine extending between Champagne and Mendenhall Landing large blocks of ice, evidently broken off receding glaciers, lie buried. In places where it has partly melted the water coming to the surface is of a greenish-blue colour. When these ice pits are completely melted they create those "kettle-holes" which are easily discernible because of their peculiar formation. They are usually circular in shape and somewhat unique in that there are not many known to exist. Some of these holes nay be seen in the vicinity of Whitehorse and Carcross.

The image below, showing many of the "kettle-holes" or kettle lakes described above, is from the United States Geological Survey's EarthExplorer. The image is centred at 60° 50'N, 136° 16'W, northeast of Champagne.

Kettle lakes near Champagne, Yukon