View topic - Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

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Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake
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Author:  jmc [ January 18th, 2008, 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

With the return of the CCR Gallery, I thought I would update the short route description I posted earlier with a map and some photos.

Last summer (2007) I had an enjoyable 18 day (16 travel day) solo trip from Whitefish Lake (the headwaters of the Thelon River) to Great Slave Lake (picked up at Pike’s Portage landing at the extreme east end of the lake).

My route was: fly from Yellowknife to Whitefish Lake; down the Thelon (2km) to Lynx Lake; by portage to Timberhill Lake, leaving the Thelon drainage. From Timberhill, south through small lakes and ponds to Sled Lake; Sled Creek to Eileen Lake; Eileen River through Tent Lake to the junction with the Snowdrift River. From here I went about 70 km down the Snowdrift before portaging north into Robert Lake; via small lakes and Dion Lake to Daisy Lake; from Daisy portaged down through a slot in the McDonald fault to a small lake adjacent to Meridian Lake; into Meridian Lake, portage into Great Slave, paddle to Pike’s portage landing. Totals were about 330 km and 35 portages.

I enjoyed the variety this route provided: some tundra, some trees; a mix of large and small lakes, rivers and streams; stretches of sand and stretches of shield. There were easy days and difficult ones, runnable rapids, wadeable rapids, and some dramatic cascades.

I’d be glad to share information with anyone else interested in visiting this area – feel free to contact me.

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Starting out at Whitefish Lake:

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Attractive esker complex, Lynx Lake:

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Portaging towards Sled lake:

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Cascades and falls - Eileen River:

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Snowdrift River - easy and sandy:

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Great Slave Lake in smoke:

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Beach, Pike's Portage landing:

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Old graveyard near the portage:

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-jmc

Author:  scouter Joe [ January 18th, 2008, 7:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks for the report . Nice pictures . Sure rekindles the desire to head north again . scouter Joe

Author:  frozentripper [ January 19th, 2008, 9:18 am ]
Post subject: 

Magnificent landscapes... from the map, all those lakes and bays look like there's a lot of opportunity to explore. Is it possible to fish these to add some variety to the meals?

Author:  Ivan_norway [ January 19th, 2008, 7:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

looks like a fantastic trip.

I am planning a trip starting from whitefish lake but going down snowdrift river and these pictures just reminded me of how much i want to get this trip going.

Did you do any fishing/hunting?

Kind regards

Ivan

Author:  jmc [ January 20th, 2008, 6:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

Re: fishing and hunting.

I'm sure the fishing would have been good for trout in the lakes, and grayling were seen in many rapids. However, I did not do any fishing.

I didn't do any hunting. I don't believe there was any game I could legally have hunted, as a non-aboriginal, at that time. BIg game hunting in the NWT always requires an outfitter unless you are a NWT resident for 2 years I believe. I t might be possible to hunt small game / birds in the fall season.

-jmc

Author:  George Luste [ January 20th, 2008, 7:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

jmc wrote:
Last summer (2007) I had an enjoyable 18 day (16 travel day) solo trip from Whitefish Lake (the headwaters of the Thelon River) to Great Slave Lake (picked up at Pike’s Portage landing at the extreme east end of the lake).
-jmc

John, those pics sure bring on nostalgia and an ache to be back in the north.

Author:  Cousin Pete [ September 23rd, 2009, 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Hello jmc: Beautiful pictures. That looks like a Hilleberg tent that you have. I have the Keron 4 model. They make great tents. I think I'll have to do a trip in the NWT at some point.

Take care,
Cousin Pete

Author:  Paddle Power [ September 24th, 2009, 12:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

WOW, the Great Slave Lake in smoke image was stunning! I like the others feel the pull of the north, your vivid photos are NOT helping...

Author:  rpg51 [ September 27th, 2009, 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Gorgeous country. Reminds me of the Thelon. Lord I would love to do that route. Tell me, what is the story on the gravesite?

Author:  andrewlodge [ September 27th, 2009, 11:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Really nice pictures...beautiful country. Is that the graveyard just off the trail at the start of Pike's Portage?

Author:  jmc [ September 28th, 2009, 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Hi-

Yes, as Andrew Lodge says, that is the old graveyard - Chipewyan, I would think - just off the trail at the start of Pike's portage.

The graveyard had really gone downhill since I last saw it in 1996. I was kind of surprised. Cleaning and renewing old grave sites is a big part of the Tlicho (Dogrib) tradition of travel on the land, and I had thought the Dene from Lutsel'ke might have fixed this one up as part of their annual "retreat" to the east end of the lake. Obviously different groups have different traditions.

Pete - the tent is a Hilleberg Nallo - I'm very happy with it.

It looks like the documentary film maker, Frank Wolf, did the Lynx - Great Slave segment of the route upstream this summer as part of his "Mammalian Expedition", so maybe there will be some video of it in the future: see here -

http://gravywolf.blogspot.com/2006/11/e ... death.html

They must have been in a hurry - I think they were the guys who went past a couple I know on the Eileen - Sled route with just a quick wave and no conversation.

Regards,

jmc

Author:  andrewlodge [ February 26th, 2014, 5:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Hi there

sorry to dredge up an old post. Just had some questions. We are thinking of going from Lutselk'e up through the Stark Lake route to Great Slave and Pike's and then up through Artillery to the Trout Creek drainage. We would then make our way over to Whitefish and then possibly back down to Lutselk'e via the route you describe here.
The route is an appealing one in that I have always wanted to explore the area south east of Artillery and specifically the route through Trout Creek to Whitefish. Obviously the idea of a loop without the need to charter a plane at any point is also a very nice element, allowing us to leave a vehicle in Yellowknife.

We won't be going until 2015 but are trying to figure out an appropriate route in advance since these days logistics seem to be the most challenging part of the trip. We will likely be a large group with several very small children, a number of whom will be under 5 and then some more between 5 and 10. What was the whitewater like on the Snowdrift portion? What about the Eileen? I see your photos show some drops but what about in general? How was the portaging down to Meridian once you got into the trees? I assume there was nothing in the way of existing trails?

Thanks in advance,
Andrew

Author:  jmc [ February 26th, 2014, 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Hi Andrew -

Sure, I can send you some information on the area. I'll take a look through my files on the weekend, and send you a PM - check your account early next week.

If you want to PM me with your e-mail or snail mail address, it might be easier to send the information like that.

If you haven't heard from me in a couple of weeks, feel free to remind me, I'm not as young as I used to be.

-jmc

Author:  Ingstadcreek [ December 16th, 2015, 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Hi, got some pics from Sled Creek and Eileen Lake. How is the Sleed Creek to Paddle...portaging etc?

Author:  jmc [ December 16th, 2015, 2:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Trip report update - Whitefish Lake to Great Slave Lake

Ingstadcreek -

Sled Creek is mostly small lake expansions. i portaged only twice, at the exit of Sled Lake and at the entrance to the larger expansion (el.378) just above Eileen Lake. The other narrow sections were passed by some combination of paddling, lining, wading, or dragging.

Your water levels may vary.

-jmc

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