Welcome to my blog. I document my adventures in the Canadian backcountry. 

Mt. Archibald Fail

Mt. Archibald Fail

Trip summary and what went wrong:

Mt Archibald is the tallest mountain between the Jarvis River and the Dezadeash River near Haines Junction, YT. To the top and back it’s a 29 km route and rated difficult. The total elevation gain to the summit is 6398 ft. I made an attempt on the mountain starting on Sunday, Sept. 10th to Wednesday Sept. 13th. I ultimately failed due to being unable to get through a thick section of bush. I made 5 attempts over a 2 day period but couldn’t get through it. I was wearing a large external frame backpack and it kept getting hung up in the trees. I’ll go back in a few weeks with a better game plan.

It might not be safe for me to reach the summit (due to snow and not having climbing gear), but even if I reach the 2nd summit, I’ll have a good view into the Kluane Icefields and maybe even Mt. Logan.

Below is the route I had intended to take

Here’s what I brought for gear on this trip.

In Backpack:

  • First aid/survival kit
  • Toilet paper, dehydrated wet-towels, hand sanitizer, tent peg (used as lightweight trowel)
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Silva compass
  • Leatherman multi-tool
  • Therm-a-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad
  • MEC -10C down sleeping bag
  • Eureka Alpenlite 2XL tent
  • 3L platypus soft bladder
  • Petzl Tikka headlamp
  • Cordage/zip ties
  • Bear barrel & food
  • Wallet/car keys
  • Plastic drum liner (backpack liner)
  • Electronics:
  • iPhone
  • Nikon Coolpix camera
  • Go Pro
  • Head mount
  • Small selfie stick
  • Small gorilla tripod
  • Rav power battery pack
  • Headphones
  • Small bluetooth speaker
  • Cook Kit:
  • Snow Peak titanium 700 ml mug
  • Long titanium spoon
  • DIY pop can alcohol stove
  • Windscreen
  • Soft bladder to hold alcohol for fuel
  • Spare Clothes:
  • Long johns (top and bottom)
  • 1 pair wool socks
  • Puffy jacket
  • Fleece toque
  • Balaclava
  • Insulated leather gloves
  • Gore-Tex rain jacket and pants

On Me:

  • Hiking boots
  • Gore-Tex gaiters
  • Wool socks
  • Fjallraven pants
  • Saxx underwear
  • Merino wool long-sleeve shirt
  • Fleece hoodie
  • Belt
  • Toque
  • Thin gloves
  • Hiking poles
  • Bear spray
  • Aquatabs
  • Swiss army knife
  • Personal survival kit
  • Map/small notebook/trail notes/pen/ziploc bag
  • GPS
  • Bandana
  • Pro Trek watch
  • Sunglasses and case

Backpack weight for this trip: 35.4 lbs

With water bottle and 1.5 L water: 38.8 lbs

Here’s an example of what I eat on a backpacking trip (each day is the same).


Oatmeal: ½ cup oats, 2 tb sp brown sugar, 1/3 cup raisins, ½ t sp cinnamon, ½ scoop protein powder

Coffee: 2 tb sp instant coffee, 2 tb sp sugar, 2 tb sp coffeemate


GORP: ½ cup peanuts, 1/3 cup raisins


1 cup couscous, 2 tb sp parmesan cheese, 1 tb sp Italian herbs, ½ t sp salt, 1 t sp pepper, hard salami, 4 tb sp olive oil (for calories)

Food for the day should not exceed 1.5 lbs.


  • Trailhead: 2090 ft
  • Campsite: 2838 ft

After some bushwhacking, I reached 2950 ft. The 850 ft elevation gain was easy and only a fraction of what I wanted to do.

It's disappointing having to write this up on a failed trip. However, lessons were learned and I will be back. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading, leave me a comment and happy hiking.

-Adventure Jim

Kluane National Park in the Fall

Kluane National Park in the Fall

Carcross Desert

Carcross Desert