Kate and William visited the Montana Mountain in northern Canada
You just made the top of my bucket list. I’ve been following you since the days of Diana
“That is my mother,” Shane, 26, said slightly awkwardly. “I was pretty nervous but also pretty proud. She is their biggest fan,” he said after talking to the couple about a mountain bike trail scheme his family helped to set up at Montana Mountain in Carcross, Yukon, in northern Canada.
William and Kate walked across to a group of parents and grandparents involved in the project, including Mrs Wally.
They hugged her and another member of the Carcross First Nation band, Susan James.
Mrs Wally told the royal couple: “You just made the top of my bucket list. I’ve been following you since the days of Diana.”
She told Kate she had made some slippers for Prince George and Princess Charlotte but had been told she could not give then to the couple so planned to post them instead. “I’ll look out for them,” Kate said.
Kate had changed into a grey wraparound coat by Canadian brand Sentaler and earrings by a Yukon jewellery designer Shelley MacDonald.
The royal couple admired the breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks from midway up 7,234ft Montana Mountain, which was part of land returned to the 450-strong Carcross Tagish band in 2006 under a treaty with the Yukon government.
Mrs Wally’s husband Robert was among locals who came up with the idea of promoting the area as a place for mountain biking and hiking along trails used by their ancestors for thousands of years.
The royal couple are on a royal tour of Canada
The Single Track to Success scheme, set up 10 years ago, has created jobs for First Nations young people and turned the area into a Mecca for cyclists and hikers.
Derek Crowe, the project coordinator, said: “First Nations people have been using these trails for thousands of years.
The most famous here is the Chilkoot Trail to Alaska, which is less than 100 kilometres south west of here. Traditionally, it was a day and a half or two days’ walk to Alaska. Essentially, the Carcross people were doing ultra marathons before they were invented.”
William and Kate watched children as young as three-year-old Prince George cycling around a small circuit as part of their training with the Boreale Warriors club.”
The couple told their hosts George might have enjoyed it. “They said he has been bombing around on a bike lately,” Currie Dixon, sports minister for the Yukon said.
Mr Dixon and a young rider invited the royal couple to have a go on some of the mountain bikes. Declining politely, William said: “I’d love to if we had time. If we were better dressed it would be better.”
They met a group of 11 cyclists who tackled a 2km mountain bike trail and then met them down at the bottom before returning to Whitehorse.
Kate and William examine a bike during their visit
“Don’t break anything on the way down'” William told them. “It’s great scenery to be riding in,” he said. “We went to Calgary and other parts of Canada in 2011 but this is on another level. Amazing scenery.”
According to Carcross legend, the mountain, known as Tselgi Shaa – Gopher Mountain – in the local language is one of four peaks in the area from which the Game Mother hung a hammock to host a celebration for her animal creations before they spread out across the land.