DSC08222
Yellowknife to Łutselkʼe.
DSC08230
Yellowknife
DSC08231 DSC08235
Pethei Peninsula with its precipitous western shore. Taltheilei Narrows and McLeod Bay in the distance.
DSC08239
Redcliff Island's western shore.
DSC08240
Redcliff Island's eastern shore.
DSC08245
Łutselkʼe
DSC08246
Dave Olesen's (new) Bush Hawk.
DSC08247
Stark Lake Channel.
DSC08252 DSC08254 DSC08255 DSC08257 Douglas and Kahochella Peninsula s
Douglas and Kahochella Peninsulas.
DSC08259
Across Douglas Peninsula (1).
DSC08261
Still Douglas P. (2)
DSC08263
McLeod Bay with Kahochella Peninsula shore line (3).
DSC08265
Homing in on the Hoarfrost River homestead where I would reunite with most of my outfit stored at the Olesen's the year before.
DSC08270
On my way again after a fleeting visit. Barely enough time to sort things out.
DSC08273
Rotting ice on Aylmer Lake.
DSC08284 DSC08286
The Back River's headwaters. The trickle out of Sussex Lake (to the right).
DSC08287
Looking as shallow and bony as the year before in September.
DSC08289
Muskox Lake
DSC08290
The connection to Jim Magrum Lake. Likely shallow also. I was not keen to start my trip needlessly trying.
DSC08291
Jim Magrum Lake in the distance to the right.
DSC08297
Pretty nice plane!
DSC08301
This is it. My entire outfit. Canoe, food for 60 days, odds and ends.
DSC08303
I call this picture "Blue Seat on Tundra". Offers welcome.
DSC08304
Had to coat the primer I applied last year. One of the tasks I planned on doing at the Olesen's. But - they had different plans.
DSC08305
First camp. With the lens protection lamellae not fully receded. That was a pain to deal with on the entire trip.
DSC08306
Trying to get some order into that jumble of stuff.
DSC08307
The spirits being good-tempered.
DSC08310
Firewood. Willows were available for quite some time.
DSC08315
At the very start - upon leaving Jim Magrum Lake.
DSC08316 DSC08317
And soon the first obstacle.
DSC08318
Necessitating a short lift-over.
DSC08319 DSC08321
Remains of a former prospecting site. Drill cores galore.
DSC08323
The sail prooved to be helpfull again.
DSC08324
Odd shore line.
DSC08329 DSC08331
A more serious challenge.
DSC08333
The same as before viewed upstream.
DSC08339 DSC08345 DSC08347 DSC08357 DSC08363 DSC08365 DSC08374 DSC08412
Arriving on Beechey Lake.
DSC08420 DSC08431
The sun can become quite bothersome. No shade whatsoever. And in July the sun is barely setting. This aluminized Tyvek (as a makeshift) brought true shade and made it bearable inside the tent.
DSC08432 DSC08437 DSC08438
Solid willows growing along a tiny rivulet close to Beechey Lake (in the distance).
DSC08439
Beechey Lake take-out before being swept into the Cascades.
DSC08447
Bad, bad news on a windless day. Black flies galore.
DSC08449
Beechey Lake Cascades.
DSC08450 DSC08955
To whom it may concern: Please take your trash back home! Found at the end of Beechey Cascades portage.
DSC08465
A small Pingo on river left - only a few minutes further on the water. Not visible unless you get out of the canoe.
DSC08538
Pingo Camp - windbound.
DSC08563 DSC08565 view back to R19n20
Look for the tiny red canoe at approx. 20:00 hours.
DSC08591 DSC08598 DSC08606
This one almost lead to calamity.
DSC08605
I decided to run the centre channel on the very right.
DSC08607
What a bad idea!
DSC08611
I was turned sideways and ended up in the frothing water. One mighty close call.
DSC08614
The Back River sports an extensive sandy section.
DSC08618 DSC08621 DSC08622 DSC08627 DSC08628 DSC08700
Willows growing horizontally. Everything that is sticking its head out has to cope with relentless wind.
DSC08803 DSC08812 DSC08815 DSC08817 DSC08820 DSC08825 DSC08827 DSC08830 DSC08831 DSC08837 DSC08843 DSC08862 DSC08951
Pelly Lake Camp.
DSC08958
Looking towards the southwest on Pelly Lake - the direction ahead.
DSC09033 DSC09035
Pelly-family memorial site. Refer to David F. Pelly's book "Expedition: An Arctic journey through history on George Back's River."
DSC09036 Pelly Lake cairn 2002
Same place in 2002: Eric Ayalik Okalitana Pelly with his father. To learn more about Eric and his fate visit the Ayalik Fund website. By the time he was 12 years old, Eric had paddled on six Barrenlands rivers: Thelon (three times), Clarke, Consul, Back, Simpson, Elk.
DSC09038 DSC09039 DSC09043
Mission Island
DSC09138 DSC09146 DSC09147
Remains of Father Buliard's cabin on Mission Island.
DSC09148 DSC09152
Remains of Robert Perkins' "library"project.
DSC09154 DSC09155 DSC09161
Still on Mission Island.
DSC09235 DSC09238
Solid driftwood (willows) can be gathered on Mission Island.
DSC09252
Along the shore receiving the Northwesterlies.
DSC08417
I can't help to get excited about that wood-gas-stove.
DSC09240
The stove as an insert reduces the burning chamber of my tent stove. And thus goes a long way with only a few sticks.
DSC09241
Filled up and lit as an upside-down-fire.
DSC09243
It becomes the most charming wood-stove.
DSC09244 DSC09245
Red hot embers will ignite almost anything you throw in to resume cooking.
DSC09246
With hot water (fire wood) galore I decided in favour of a lay over day to wash my clothes and explore the island.
DSC09247 DSC09250
Earlier visitors on Mission Island.
DSC09266 DSC09269 DSC09273
Forced ashore by too much wind.
DSC09274 DSC09285
Skidmarks from boulders being pushed ashore by storm-driven ice.
DSC09293
Lots of space.
DSC09296 DSC09375 DSC09388 DSC09392 DSC09483
Aligned by eons of ice-action(?)
DSC09487 DSC09488
Narrows on Buliard Lake. Note the stone wall.
DSC09489 DSC09493
Wind is the master out on the Barren Lands. He dictates everything: who is traveling, when, into which direction - if at all. Commanding bugs, caribou and the weary canoeist.
DSC09495 DSC09499
I smartened up on this one.
DSC09501 DSC09503
And portaged.
DSC09504
Under the strict supervision of the local warden.
DSC09508
Late in the day with the ultra low light.
DSC09516
Lower MacDougal Lake ahead.
DSC09518
The main island at the beginning of Rock Rapids.
DSC09595
The continuation of Rock Rapids past the island.
DSC09596 DSC09694
The turn-off to the east when leaving MacDougal Lake (in the distance) and part of a recommended portage across the island - in the foreground.
DSC09773
Looking south towards the middle section of Rock Rapids.
DSC09774
The boulder fan to deal with when choosing to run the western turn-off around the island.
DSC09776
Portage time on the middle section of Rock Rapids.
DSC09938
Sinclair Falls
DSC09937
A short portage on river left.
DSC09859 DSC09946 DSC00048
I am sold on gas catridges. Clean combustion (particularly nice inside a tent), straight forward, no spills, no leakages. While there was wood available during the first 4 weeks (I flew some in also) I consumed about 450g. The 3 weeks afterwards (cooking mainly on gas) I ran through another 900g. Empty catridges were punctured, crushed flat and taken to Gjoa Haven.
DSC00109
Escape Rapids. The middle section and the dramtic final in the far distance.
DSC00114
The ferry in the middle section to the gravel-island in midstream and beyond to river left.
DSC00116
The final with a short portage on the rocks on river left (dead centre of this picture).
DSC00164 DSC00170
The final drop of Escape Rapids looking back up stream.
DSC00177 DSC00180 DSC00191
Plenty of Birch Boletus on the Tundra.
DSC00192
The pressure cooker as fry pan. Works like charm on the gas stove too.
DSC00194 DSC00198 DSC00203
Again - a lot of wind to cope with. Even tailwinds in combination with a long catch and resulting waves were a challenge.
DSC00216
The night before reaching Sandhill Rapids.
DSC00298
Wolf Rapids
DSC00344
Still willows of a useful size around.
DSC00462
Looking further ahead from Wolf Rapids.
DSC00466
Looking back on Wolf Rapids.
DSC00585 DSC00678
Mount Meadowbank in the distance.
DSC00686 DSC00687
Looking down from Mt. Meadowbank.
DSC00970 DSC00984 DSC00989 DSC01038
Hermann River. Windy and flat.
DSC01041 DSC01054 DSC01055 DSC01097 DSC01099 DSC01200
Convinient kitchen table.
DSC01433
Darn good swimmers.
DSC01585 DSC01586
A variable tent floor keeps things clean. And Tyvek is nice and lightweight.
DSC01878
A food cache? A fox trap?
DSC01880
Manna proverbially falling from heavens. This goose was taken out of the air by a falcon. To his annoyance it dropped quite close to my tent. Presumably too close for the falcon to enjoy his meal.
DSC01882
Friends and family were waiting in the distance and would not leave until I made an approach.
DSC01884
A classic windfall meal.
DSC01898 DSC01902
The night before reaching Whirlpool Rapids. McKay Peak in the distance to the left.
DSC02266
Same place from above.
DSC02721
Emergency camp - windbound once again.
DSC02724 DSC02731
The final set of rapids.
DSC02734
Now within reach by motor boat from Gjoa Haven.
DSC02835 DSC02840 DSC02917 DSC03025
Upon reaching salt: Chantrey Inlet with Victoria Headland in the distance.
DSC03027 DSC03028 DSC03031 DSC03037
Busted by the tide.
DSC03046
At the foot of Victoria Headland.
DSC03048
With visitors way before my time.
DSC03051
George Back's "picturesque" water fall.
DSC03137
Cockburn Bay (to the left) and Chantrey Inlet. Looking back towards the mouth of the Back River.
DSC03150 DSC03157
Packing up for pick up.
DSC03173
The benefits of a fully collapsible canoe.
DSC03345 DSC03338
Victoria Headland's hinterland. Rocks as far as the eye can see.
DSC03349
At last the pick-up-party arrived.
DSC03351
And when an Inuk dons a thermal suit you know you are in for a cold ride.
DSC03353
Unaccustomed speed. 60 horses making quite a difference.
DSC03354
Bare rocks on the eastern shore for many miles.
DSC03367 DSC03373
Late in the evening with the light fading it was wise to set up camp on Montreal Island.
DSC03389
The west coast of Chantrey Inlet: featureless and ultra flat.
DSC03390
Announcing our arrival.
DSC03393
Final stop on one of the Hoovgard Islands.
DSC03401
Dead calm - Gjoa Haven ahead.
DSC03402
Local art.
DSC03407 DSC03404
Local ingenuity.
DSC03409
Gjoa Haven city centre.
DSC03410 DSC03503
About the only vegetaition I saw.
DSC03412 DSC03416 DSC03419 DSC03508
Supper is ready.
DSC03523