Nahanni Day 18 – Lindberg Homestead
We woke up to a miserable morning with drizzle, mist and bloody cold. Had breakfast burritos and got in the canoes pronto. Most of the current is lost in the splits so we had lost that major advantage – the current was only doing 0.5-1 kph so a 30 km day seemed like a lot of padding. We got to it, and yes it was a long paddle. But the skies cleared and the water stilled and we could see forever. The reflection of the clouds on the water made you feel that you were flying. We happened upon a water bison huge and imposing on the shore and frankly not the least bit interested in us or what we were up to.
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Nahanni Day 17 – The Splits
Distance travelled 50 km
Bug meter 1/10 (cold, cold, cold)
What a change compared to yesterday – we woke to clouds and about 15 degrees!
We started straight out with Lafferty’s rapids and as we scouted them Dale said ‘Is that it with a look like – that’s nothing?” (foreshadowing….). Perry got the Drone set up and the three boats – Rob and Dave, Mike and Sarah and Dale and I paddled back up river in the eddy and then did a forward ferry to get the line right. Perry was on Drone duty and Wendy on the camera.
We turned into the waves – needing to avoid a big rock/hole on the right, a large cliff face on the right and try to hit the waves at a perpendicular angle – i.e. head on, yet the waves were slightly angled. Just like they say loose lips sink ships – in canoeing you need to remember that loose hips, floats boats. Really important to be very flexible in the water and let your hips roll with the punches.
Once in the waves Dale got his wish – whereas the 4th canyon waves get bigger with rain (which we had a plenty in the days leading up to it – so they were HUGE); Lafferty gets bigger when the water is down a bit (and we had had three glorious sunny days…..). The waves were the highest Wendy thinks she has seen in > 10 trips – likely 7-8 feet. Holy Rollers to be sure. A once in a lifetime run. We started to lose our line and I thought we were goners, but we got it back. We caught air!!!! It was magical. And the best part is that there were no dumps, everyone stayed in their boats. The three boats then pulled over and Perry and Wendy packed up the filming gear and did the run (see photos).
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Nahanni Day 15 and 16 – Lafferty creek
Up at usual time today and did an easy hike back into the Dry Canyon – lovely walls stretching up it seemed like forever – got back to camp, packed up and then got prepared for George’s Ripples (I mean really who are we kidding, ripples? 5-6 foot standing wave is a ripple??? on what planet is a 5-6 foot standing wave a ripple?????).
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Nahanni Day 14 – Deadman’s Valley
Glorious glorious day – sun and not a cloud in the sky. Relaxed breaking down of camp and on our way at around 10. Paddled through 3rd canyon for the morning arriving at lunch break at 1230. Then we left 3rd and paddled 2nd canyon and on into Deadman’s Valley. The wind picked up, really blowing in to a headwind….. it was a lot tougher paddle.
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Nahanni Day 13 (Hells) Gate:
Maximum speed on water 19.6 kph
Distance traveled: 48 km
Altitude lost: 70m!!!!!!!
Tallest rapid 5 feet
Today was a red banner day for sure. Overcame the technical issues with the blog…..had a great breakfast and we were on our way. The canoes are set up as follows: Perry and Wendy (the Owner of BlackFeather), Dave and Rob (Guide), Mike and Sarah (apprentice guide) and Dale and myself.
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Nahanni Day 12 – 4th Canyon
Well the high point of the morning was the blueberry pancakes – Sarah cooked them up – the team had picked them over on Sunblood Mountain yesterday – they were amazing.
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Had lasagna last night- perhaps the best ever (sorry E & L), it is possible there was six pounds of cheese based on a back of the envelope calculations….enjoyed a glass of red wine too (can you believe it?)
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Nahanni Day 10 – Virginia Falls
What a gorgeous morning we woke up to – fog coming off the lake but blue blue sky above. Slower start to the day. The water had come up a full foot and we would have lost a canoe had it not been for the last person before bed moving them further up the lake bank – the implications of the lake going up a foot is that the river is now up a foot as well (oh boy rapids………rapids……), the implications of losing a boat………hard to measure.
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Nahanni Day 9 – Oxbow Lake Camp
The day dawned actually not bad – breakfast was scones and bacon, cowboy coffee and 7 grain cereal with fruit compote (OMG). It takes us about 90 minutes to get ourselves going in the morning, breaking camp, tents, rolling bags, stuffing barrels, jamming barrels into the canoes and mostly trying to figure out how the H we get everything in…….Today we played a game of catch the paddle to warm up and then the usual stretches. Then got on the water….
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