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Stage 518 – Squanga Lake to Brooks Brook

518’s a tough stage, particularly at the back end, but despite all the climbing, you are handsomely rewarded with fifty per cent more fun by way of descending. A couple of the hills are challenging, but overall this is a downhill stage. Leaving behind Squanga Lake, the stage makes its way to the eastern side of the Teslin River (which becomes Teslin Lake further south) in order to focus on the border between Yukon and British Columbia: but that’s still a good three stages away yet.

The rollout is initially flat but soon starts climbing as the Alaska Highway makes its way over the hill from Squanga Lake to Little Tesline Lake, a journey of around seven miles. The summit of the first climb, which is also the highest elevation of the stage, is at four miles as the road approaches Squanga Lake Airport on the left. After the airport is the lake, which is negotiated courtesy of a sweeping left/right bend around the northern side of the water. As the descent continues, the road swings left and right before eventually hanging a sweeping left hander on a steep slope to set up the crossing of the Teslin River. Once over the river, the road swings back the other way on a steep climb that then descends once more as the highway settles into a south easterly direction on the eastern bank.

The river is still relatively narrow at the crossing but once the road reaches the fifteen mile mark on the stage, the river widens out to become the sixty mile long, finger like Teslin Lake. While the stage overall is lacking in flat roads, that’s certainly very true of the last six miles. Although the road follows the line of the river, it does so by climbing up and down the hillside that runs right down to the water’s edge, and that makes for a very lumpy end to the stage. Quite apart from the climb on the bend after the river crossing, there are further climbs of varying length and gradient at fifteen, sixteen and eighteen miles: the final one at eighteen is straight after the crossing of Brook’s Brook, which flows down into the lake. That final climb is an up and down affair because with the finish being right down at the lakeside, the run in to the finish is downhill for almost a mile.

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Distance: 21 miles / 34 kilometres

Ascent: 692 feet / 211 metres

RGT Magic Road: IX7BHFGpq8Zf

Total distance: 20.46 mi
Max elevation: 2659 ft
Min elevation: 2221 ft
Total climbing: 693 ft
Total descent: -1016 ft

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