Klondike – Race to the Top – February 2023

Klondike 2023 Logo - Race to the top

This year’s Klondike theme will pit your patrol against the other patrols and the elements as you race to the top of the highest mountain in North America, Denali/Mt. McKinley.

There will be snow-covered mountains, deep crevices, bitterly cold winds, blizzards, and many other hazards standing between your patrol and the summit. This will be a Race to the Top. The patrol that scores the most overall points during the day’s event will be awarded the coveted Klondike Championship Plaque. But first here is some important information your patrol needs to know and understand before beginning your journey.

The Stations:

Finding Your Destination – Your Patrol is caught in a ferocious snowstorm and darkness is approaching. Luckily for you have a map that shows a nearby food cache and a more distanced base camp where you can shelter down for the night. Your survival depends on your skill in using a compass. Your Patrol will need a 12” ruler, a pencil, and a compass (mirror type preferred).

Rescue on the Cornice – A member of your Patrol has slipped and fallen down the icy mountainside. The victim is in pain and can’t put weight on his leg (possibly broken). Your patrol will need to form a rescue unit and a support unit. You will need to lash together something to transport the victim to the top, the support unit will tie ropes to trees to assist the rescuers up the steep mountainside. Once the victim is rescued you will need to treat their injuries. You will need plenty of ropes for lashing and rescue, a blanket or tarp, and a Scouts BSA Handbook.

Injured Hiker – A member of your Patrol was injured falling down a mountainside and crashing into a boulder. You check for vital signs; the victim is unconscious but has a pulse and is breathing. You will have to do a quick assessment of the victim’s injuries such as bone fractures, bleeding could be severe, and possibly other injuries not so easy to detect. Also, it’s very cold and you should check for cold weather-related injuries including altitude sickness. Using this scenario, demonstrate how you would administer first aid to the victim. You will need a first aid kit, triangular bandages or substitutes, a blanket, and a Scouts BSA handbook.

Stranded at Dusk – You’re close but not close enough to make it to the next base camp for the night and temperatures are rapidly falling as a winter storm is rolling in. It will be dark soon so your patrol will need to make an emergency shelter immediately. Using equipment, you have in your sled and anything you can utilize from your surroundings you must build a shelter right now. With a bitterly cold wind and snow blowing from the west, arrange your shelter to offer the most protection from the wind. Once completed, place your entire patrol inside the shelter
as you would survive the night. You will need a 10’x12’ or larger tarp and perhaps some ropes for lashings and securing your shelter from the winds.

Raising your Colors – Congratulation you have almost reached the summit of Mt. McKinley. But there are other patrols reaching the summit at the same time, it’s a race to the top. Once your patrol reaches the summit, your patrol will split into two groups and will raise the American flag. A proper raising and lowering of the flag are required. This event will be judged on technique and time. Bring your own American flag.

Stacking that Firewood – Your patrol arrives at a base camp after your first day of hiking. A load of firewood has been dropped off near the site, but you will need to stack it near the camp before the ensuing snowstorm covers it. You will need to work as a team and quickly stack it as high as possible. A good pair of gloves, speed, and teamwork would be advised for success at this station.

The Maze – The sled trail crisscrosses through the trees and brush as you make your way up the mountainside. The Maze is a timed event and following the trail is not all, your patrol will have to find certain items along the trail and must complete some challenges along the way. You will need paper and a pencil for this station.

Trail Lunch – At this station, your patrol will be tasked with building a cooking fire quickly with only what you can find in the surrounding area. You may bring a fire-building kit consisting of natural tinder and kindling (sticks, leaves, or pine needles) only, no man-made materials such as fire starters, lint, or paper are allowed. Our staff will supply you with 3 matches to light your fire. Additional matches will cost your patrol points. Your task is complete when your food item (supplied by the staff) is fully cooked we will also provide your patrol with something to cook your food item in.

The Sled Race – No Klondike would be complete without a sled race. While wheels are allowed though out the day’s events, they must be removed for the race.