Chilkoot Trail...Leadership

Ten years after the Chilkoot Trail

This year I celebrated my 10th anniversary since I climbed the Chilkoot Trail. Luckily, I was in the Yukon this past August for both personal and work reasons, and definitely on my ‘must do’ list was to go back to visit the Chilkoot Trailhead.


After a lovely visit in Skagway with my sister Lucille, and my niece Sophie, we drove off the main highway and made our way to the trailhead to where it all started.

Once there, I was surprised to see how much the area had filled in with trees and vegetation. The little registration station is now gone most likely opting for an electronic sign-in. The beautiful Taiya river, however, was flowing ever so strongly and majestically, and I felt like I was being greeted by an old friend.


My sister and I started talking about our experience on the Trail as well as what had changed in our lives since our hike. Certainly there had been a lot of changes in the past 10 years, most memorable being changes in our work life and career; the loss of so many loved ones including our parents; and health issues. But for the most part, despite heartache and losses, there was a lot of personal and professional growth as well. We both had had new wonderful and rich experiences to meet great new people and to try new things that provided us with purpose, fulfillment and happiness.

I enjoyed our little journey down memory lane and am very grateful for all of the lessons that I learned while on the Trail. I truly believe that the strength and courage that I had to find within me to complete the trek has helped me tremendously to weather life’s little storms and to come through the tough situations even stronger and more resilient.

If you’re interested in finding out the life and leadership lessons I learned while on the Chilkoot Trail, I invite you to visit my six part ‘What the Chilkoot Trail Taught Me about Leadership,’ blog series.

Here is Part 1 of the series.  Enjoy.



Marielle Gauthier, owner and principal of Redworks Communications, is a certified Results coach, an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation; and soon a Certified Conversational Intelligence Coach.

To receive updates about Marielle’s coaching program, training and webinars or for more information on coaching services connect with Marielle at or visit She is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.