Sound tough enough? It actually was worse. At the top of the pass the Stampeders would reach the Canadian border. The Canadian government, in an attempt to keep the miners from starving in the harsh winters (and to control criminal activities), required that each person have enough supplies to last them a year. A year's supply was roughly a ton of food and goods. So each person had to haul at least a ton up the mountain before they could cross into Canada. Most carried this ton by hauling 50-60 pounds on their back, leaving it on "their" pile at the top, and going back down for the next trip.
Here is a small part of the trail they used:
When we got near the top of White Pass, we stopped on a siding to let another tour train pass on its way back down. Our guide told us to give them the "Moose Wave" -- put our thumbs on our temples, and wiggle our fingers as if we had antlers. Of course, the guide on the passing train told their riders the same thing. So, as we passed, we all "Moose Waved" each other:
When we got back, some of the cars were separated so the cruise ship people could disembark at the port. For a moment, there was this image of new and old -- the horse, which was the first transportation in the West; the train, which allowed goods and people to efficiently move into the west; and finally the cruise ships, which finally found a way to make the west profitable.