Finding Solitude and Wilderness in the Canadian Yukon
Ever since Swiss photographer Bruno Augsburger discovered the Canadian Yukon Territory in 2000, he’s made it his goal to spend as much time there as possible. Augsburger will spend weeks alone in the wilderness, relying on bushcraft skills to survive. His new book, Out There, is a visual collection of those solo months as he travels through the often untouched Yukon.
Photo: This is one of my simple snow shelters. It protected me from a cold wind during a sled dog-expedition. But if the conditions are better, I prefer to sleep under open skies as I don’t mind the cold.
The Chilkat Tlingit traders and later the prospectors of the Klondike gold rush used the Haines Highway to Alaska as a trail. Today, it’s probably one of the few highways you could still use as a trail because it gets so little traffic. Bears often take advantage of the empty road, feeding on the roots and plants along the highway.
This is some of the summer and autumn equipment I store in my cabin in the Yukon. From there I head out on foot or with the canoe to set up camp in the woods or the mountains. Everything is more intense in the bush.
Peaceful and surreal at the same time. Twenty minutes after I took this shot, a storm hit my camp. It snowed all night and I had to keep shoveling the tent free.
When the birds begin to migrate, the first snow cannot be far away. These Canada geese will spend the winter in the southern United States or Mexico.
I believe hunting is the most honest way of consuming meat. In September, the moose come out in the open and we head out with a canoe and set up a bush camp. For one to two weeks, we only whisper, experiencing every sound and every movement. This intensity is what draws me to the Yukon.
When the beautiful creature finally lies beneath me, I feel humble.
Two men need around six hours to gut, skin, and cut a full-grown moose. It’s a risky period as the scent can attract grizzlies and other predators. Most incidents between humans and bears in the Yukon happen on the hunt.
Lots of water and willows make for ideal moose habitat. In the fall, I often come here to hear the cows calling the bulls. Imitating their sounds is essential for the hunt.
Fish is one of my favorite protein sources when I’m out—they’re easy to catch and they don’t have to be gutted and skinned. You can buy the most expensive rod, find the perfect place, choose the perfect time—and yet there’s no guarantee that you’ll come away successful. This uncertainty mesmerizes me.