Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dan Davidson

COLD CLUTCHES THE KLONDIKE – It was -40 in Dawson City on Jan. 7, with faintly reflected sunlight from the Moosehide Slide.

It was cold enough to freeze your blood (Uffish Thoughts)

How cold has it been in Dawson lately?

By Dan Davidson on January 17, 2022

DAWSON CITY – How cold has it been in Dawson lately?

Well, I can honestly say it was cold enough to freeze my blood.

I’ll explain later.

As I listen to news reports of the extreme cold spell of -30 currently running from Alberta to Ontario, I am reminded that it was just over a week ago that we were in the middle of a long run of -40s.

Some of my Facebook friends in those places were amazed when I posted images of my outdoor digital thermometer.

It actually won’t register much below -40, and the one in the truck, if we happen to need to go for groceries after plugging it in for four hours, stops at about -37.

The weather aps and the radio reports all collect their data from the Dawson City Airport.

It’s about 20 kilometres southeast of town and often a bit colder there than we are in the downtown core – though I’m told it’s often colder than that in Rock Creek and Henderson Corner, just a kilometre or two farther down the highway.

On several days during this latest cold snap, Dawson was in the top eight coldest places on the planet – sometimes in first place – with half of the other places also being in the Yukon.

It’s been cold enough to inspire me to wear long johns under my cords; there’s less restriction of movement than wearing ski pants over them.

I’ve also been wearing my parka with my hood up to protect my ears.

My serious winter cap does have ear flaps, but if they’re down, I can’t fit on a mask over them when I get to the post office on my daily walks.

The walks are a bit restricted by the massive snowfall which preceded the cold snap. It took a while to get the boardwalks cleared.

Mind you, the boardwalks don’t start until Fifth Avenue.

Before that, it’s walking facing oncoming traffic on the left hand side of the street, and wanting to feel a little bit of snow under your feet so you can hear it crunching and know you’re not on glare ice in the areas that have been plowed.

Add the wind chill and ice fog (or habitation fog, if you prefer that term) and it was cold enough last Sunday morning that we parishioners at St. Paul’s did a quick email and phone poll and decided that -47 with a wind chill factor of -59 was a good reason to cancel Sunday service on Jan. 9.

You’re wondering about that frozen blood, aren’t you?

I have the milder form of diabetes, controlled by medication, exercise, weight loss and diet.

The medication is generally prescribed in three-month lots, and I usually have a series of blood tests followed by a consultation with my doctor on a quarterly basis.

COVID-19 has altered this schedule a bit and most of the consultations are by phone lately, but the blood tests have to be in person.

My two vials and a urine sample were collected Jan. 6. It was -40 or so when I walked back and forth from the hospital, about half of my daily average of at least 5,000 steps. The samples were shipped off for analysis by plane later that day.

Around about last Monday, I figured it was time to schedule the consultation session.

I’d finished my morning coffee and was about to pick up the phone when it rang. The Medical Clinic informed me that we were going to need another blood sample because mine had frozen while in transit.

We took care of that last Tuesday morning, and it appears there was no freezing this time. Mind you, it was only about -20, so the odds were better.

See, I wasn’t kidding after all.

Comments (1)

Up 3 Down 2

YD on Apr 12, 2022 at 10:00 am

Good article!

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