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 Post subject: Great Slave to Horton
PostPosted: September 27th, 2008, 10:27 pm 
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Anyone have any info on either the Idaa route between Great Slave and Great Bear, or the height of land between Great Bear and the Horton (or both)?


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2008, 7:52 am 
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Well ... anything is possible, but there is no easy route from Great Bear Lake to the Horton. Petitot described this as very difficult country (in his geographical explorations), and he traveled there exclusively overland and in winter. Horton Lake is the furthest south connection point, and is about 50 miles from Great Bear Lake. That's a long carry (broken up with many small and shallow lakes and lots of wetland, scrub, forest, rocky ravines, and other obstacles along way). The headwaters is actually NE of Horton Lake near the Hornaday River. I would think it would be easier to get to the Horton headwaters from Paulatuk on the coast (traveling up the Hornaday, a quick river, and portaging it's many long canyons), or certainly overland in winter. It's isolation is one of the reasons why the Horton took so long to discover/map by outsiders, it was never a major thoroughfare or transportation route.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2008, 2:10 pm 
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Can't speak to a route like this but you can find some interesting reading in Steffanson's book - "My Life with the Eskimo". He traveled this area fairly extensively. Nothing terribly specific about routes or anything - but still a good read. My sense is that as a practical matter the distance from Great Bear to Horton Lake would be one very very long portage.

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PostPosted: September 29th, 2008, 5:44 am 
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idylwyld wrote:
Well ... anything is possible, ..... Horton Lake is the furthest south connection point, and is about 50 miles from Great Bear Lake. That's a long carry ....
Yes that is the main decision. Many years I also tried to find a route looking at the topo maps - but the portage distances seemed too much. Anything is possible if you have the time. But if you take your time then you need more food. This adds weight and carries. With 2 carries you would be walking 150 miles and with 3 carries 250 miles.

As an alternative at the time I also looked at the route from the Mackenzie River to the Anderson. More doable but still with considerable uncertainty. I'm probably no longer up to it today -- getting too old for that kind of physical grunt.

A nice not too hard and doable trip is to go from Great Bear to the Dismal Lakes and then to Kugluktuk.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2008, 9:26 am 
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Hello Andrew -

Can't help with the Horton, but I have travelled the complete Idaa trail from Great Slave to Great Bear. Basically, the Marian is a small river with frequent but short portages; the "height of land" crossing to Sarah Lake from Mazenod makes use of a few small ponds not shown on the topos; there are several route possibilities between Faber and Hardisty; the route goes from Hardisty to Malfait and Beaverlodge, rather than following the Camsell river through Isabella.

Once you pass Rae Lake, it's mostly big lake paddling with infrequent portages - from Beaverlodge, there are probably just 3 portages left to Great Bear.

A couple of photos are in the "Camsell River Info" thread, NWT forum, started by Seth Wotten.

IF you want more details, send me a PM.

Regards,

-jmc


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2008, 1:42 pm 
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This may not be of interest to you but here goes anyways.

While on the Horton in 98 (about half way down the river) I recall noticing on the maps what could possibly be a fairly doable link between the Anderson and the Horton.

It is a chain of lakes somewhere at a point where the 2 rivers were the closest to one another. I don't have to my maps anymore nor do I have High speed internet at home but maybe you could download some maps and have a look.

If my memory serves me right at the point mentioned the Horton was north of the tree line and hiking was fairly easy via a network of caribou trails going in all directions.

If you could get from Slave to Bear (from which the Anderson is accessible) then start down the Anderson and then maybe work your way over to the Horton.

Good luck,

GG

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PostPosted: September 30th, 2008, 9:25 am 
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You will love the Horton. As far as food goes, the place is teaming with Grayling at every tiny little inlet. There are lake trout as well. But after the canyons the fishing does drop off quite a bit - I wouldn't want to rely on it.

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PostPosted: February 8th, 2009, 9:43 pm 
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Hello! I am also interested in finding an overland route into Horton Lake or into the Horton River. I was looking at maps the other day, and it seems that you could go up the Haldane River for quite a while (I forget the distance), but then you hit about 50km of what looks like swampy muskeg punctuated by tiny little ponds, but no real route to speak of. If someone tried to do it, they would have to be a pro with map and compass, or use a GPS, so that they didn't miss Horton Lake. It looks like it would be 50 km of dragging full boats, or doing some combination of portaging, paddling, wading and lining.

Could be fun!


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