Yellowknife July 27th - The Narrows - just opposite Air Tindi - ready to go.
Great Slave Lake: a lot of water dotted with islands in certain areas.
Turn of into Devil's Channel.
Old old rocks.
Huge columns of smoke in the distance.
Close to Yellowknife - within easy reach by motor boat - unfortunately more garbage dumps than one would wish for.
Campsites as nice as it may get.
A lot of stupid people leaving their embarrassing signature. Who cares about George Mandeville?
Sailing was the key on this particular trip.
Uncomfy close. What if the wind changes during the night?
A wannigan's controlled explosion.
Low sunlight late in the day.
If your tent relies on stakes into any kind of soil the Canadian Shield will be a problem. Either bare rock like this or...
... a tangle of vegetation right next to it.
Good enough for the night. But no way to set up the kitchen tent. Lucky me the weather was fine all the way through. (Night number 10)
Odd rocks along the shore.
No camping on the other shoreline either (Pethei Peninsula).
Plummer's fishing lodge at Taltheilei Narrows. The reason for may be half a dozen noisy motor boats each day. Until may be 40-50 Km's into McLeod Bay.
Again: not a great many camp grounds. (Night number 11)
Erosion at work.
McLeod Bay ahead.
Looking back. Behind the island is Taltheilei Narrows.
Perfect sailing conditions.
Coffee break and 2nd breakfast.
Barnstone River falling into Great Slave Lake.
A fearless cheeky young sea gull.
Orderliness - out there - off grid.
A very valuable and enjoyable stop. Annika, Dave, Kristen and Liv - all shared stories, laughter and yummy meals on my flying visit. I was given advice on top and was also able to leave behind some 5-10 KGs of useless equipment. No trifle with Pikes Portage looming.
A witch's kitchen ?
Heavy smoke from wild fires ways away.
Roger Catling - Fort Reliance - all year round.
Wildlife look out! Don't mess with the owner.
The island cluster on Charlton Bay half way to Old Fort Reliance.
Stilll a lot of smoke. Making me wonder how I would fare exerting myself on Pikes Portage.
Another picture of the famous (restored) chimneys at Old Fort Reliance.
A burnt forest is no pretty sight at all !
The Beach - access to famous and arduous Pikes Portage.
How many people have unloaded their gear here.
The other end of the first gruelling leg on Pikes: Harry Lake. Certainly a relieving sight but showing unbelievable amounts of garbage.
An old fiberglass canoe ?
Onwards! Getting out of that garbage pile as quickly as possible.
A perfect camp spot just half way on Harry Lake on the south shore.
Probably what Pikes Portage looked alike before the devastating 2014 fire.
The arduous parts of Pikes.
The pleasant ones.
The hunter being hunted.
There is no way around carrying.
The pretty side.
The ugly one.
One of the longer stages with my red canoe almost dead center.
Island camp on a small lake after Toura Lake. Base camp for the hike to Parry Falls.
Starting out across the land to Parry Falls.
Approximately 8 Km’s as the crow flies.
A piece of cake ?
Due to poor planning I arrived on top of the falls. The rumble was very impressive but I did not dare to walk to the very edge for a glimps.
I was happy to get through this without a sprained ankle or worse.
Conclusions at the end of the day? 8 Km’s as the crow flies can be very very long to walk across a land like that. Probably to most risky day of the entire trip with the most chances to get hurt.
The indispensable thermos bottle.
A welcome sight with a heavy load on the back. I screwd up before - following a Caribou trail into the nowhere.
Artillery Lake at last. What a relief.
And what a welcome.
Timber camp on Artillery.
Taking a rest day to reorganize for lake travel, wash clothes and pile up wood for the treeless country to come.
The best raw material I could ever wish for.
First step: removing the twigs.
Next: cut to length (stove size).
Finally: split into nice pieces.
A small pruning saw together with a thick-bladed knife such as my Ranger Falcon from the Ontario Knife Company gets done a lot.
Leather lined Kevlar gloves. Maintaining two healthy hands is indispensable for a waterwalker.
Sailing Artillery Lake from one end to the other in a mere two days. Can’t praise the sail maker enough. The little bump on the horizon to the right is the Beaver Lodge.
Another coffee break.
Now it pays to bring wood along.
The often refered to Beaver Lodge. And of course I offered some tobacco.
The land is getting exceedingly bare.
Esker camp on north-western tip of Artillery lake.
Bone fragments galore. Likely left behind by Hornby and Critchell-Bullock.
Cracked open to get the marrow out ?
Stone dug-out - of Hornby and Critchell-Bullock ?
Sloping path to the water just below the dug-out.
Beekis Pure Honey.
Hornby or Critchell-Bullock's ?
On top of the esker looking westward.
Looking at the north end of Artillery Lake.
Someone on a fruit diet. I was happy to explore the esker without his companionship.
Hawkins Contura Hard Anodised Aluminium Pressure Cooker 1.5 liters. What a splendid new item in my kitchen.
Playing around with the “Wild Woodgas Stove” as an insert to reduce the combustion chamber.
Looking out onto Artillery Lake during twilight.
Onwards - once again.
Late August - Geese - hundreds and hundreds and more on their way south. Filling the emptiness of earth and sky with their jabbering.
Same esker as before just on the Lockhart River side. Looking eastward.
Probably as old as the ones on the other end of the esker.
And also bone fragments but not nearly as many as on the other site.
Lockhart River with hunting cabins in the distance. And the continuation of that very same esker.
One of three obstacles on the way up of the Lockhart River.
Lockhart River camp.
Ptarmigan Lake. And – believe it or not: sailing again.
What a mess.
Nice to have some fire wood in store.
The Wild Woodgas Stove.
Island amidst Thanakoie Narrows.
The pressure cooker as fry pan. Just the small opening is somewhat awkward.
It is raining cats and dogs outside...
Late evening sun.
Did I mention the sail ?
Two-Lake-Island camp - just a few hours short of the northern tip of Aylmer Lake.
The smaller one of the two lakes.
Two-Lake-Island camp looking northward.
Glowing autumn colours. September 4th.
Too much wind. But I was ahead of schedule anyway.
Final camp at the northern end of Aylmer Lake - 5th of September.
View onto Sussex Lake with island (both behind the bright esker).
Georgs Back's view onto Sussex Lake on August 28th 1833. (From: Narrative Of The Arctic Land Expedition published by M.G. Hurtig Ltd.)
George Back's tentring ?
Aylmer Lake shoreline.
Late in the season trickle of the Back River.
Day hike along the north side esker.
Aylmer Lake with the appendix of Sussex Lake to the left.
Aylmer Lake and the first bothersome part of the Back River's headwaters. Wonder how navigable this is early in the season.
More trouble in store as you proceed down the Back.
Looking northward at the first notable lake. But still a long way to Muskox Lake.
Looking back along the esker towards Sussex Lake.
A collapsible canoe. Noteworthy how far a foam mattress, a few aluminium rods and some truck canvas can take you.
Seriously wind bound. No plane will pick me up today.
With gusts reaching 70 Km per hour. Still standing but likely the limit.
Time to play around with the wood gas stove and the available twigs.
It works but sure is time-consuming.
Amazing how so small a foliage yields so large berries.
The weather is calming down. May be Dave can pick me up tomorrow.
The entire outfit set up to go.
A heart-warming sight for a lonesome tourist in this bare land.
The egregious privilege of living in the age of fossil fuels.
The trickle of the headwaters of the Back River.
The esker hiked along. With the 1st notable lake (+/- 1178) in the distance.
Two-Lake-Island. Red marker is indicating the camp spot for 2 nights.
First clusters of trees as we move southward.
More and more trees.
The burnt areas.
McLeod Bay in the distance.
Just about to land at the Hoarfrost River homestead.
Lacy Falls on Hoarfrost River.
Rebuilding after the devastating wildfire.
"All my bags are packed. I'm ready to go."
Not a jet plane but what a pleasure to fly in.
Shores of McLeod Bay.
Kahochella Peninsula with Wildbread Bay.
"The Gap" between Douglas Peninsula (left) and Pethei Peninsula.
The red marker is indicating night number 10. The turquoise one night number 11. As the crow flies not even 20 KM's apart. A short day with wind and rain.