View topic - Back river: short route to Chantrey Inlet?

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PostPosted: September 14th, 2005, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
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Location: Toronto
All Back trips I know of exited Franklin Lake to the east, toward Franklin Falls.
Back paddlers heading for Gjoa Haven might wish to consider continuing to the north end of the lake; from there it's about 20 km (maybe 4 km on foot) to Chantrey.
Has anyone gone this way?
If you try it, could you please let me know how it is?
Thanks for the idea to Hans Baumgartner (met him him the Back this summer); his map was wrong but the idea worth looking at.
Yours in paddling, Allan


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PostPosted: September 15th, 2005, 1:38 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Hi Allan,

Do you know of the Japanese gentleman who spent many summers paddling northern Canadian rivers? I believe he did exactly what you wrote about. I know of no one else but there must be others out there.

A related story. Several years ago we looked into departing from Baker Lake and travelling up the Prince River and portaging over the height of land into the Meadowbank River. We could find no one that had done it. We did find information on travelling up theThelon and working up a creek into the Meadowbank as well as other routes into the Back River. Well, we never did get that trip off because of the lack of charter aircraft in Baker Lake that summer but this summer, with maps in hand, two of us did in fact connect the two rivers. I'm always impressed with how easy it is to find your way on the tundra and connect bodies of water. Even with our less than perfect weather, we could clearly see through the heavy rain our route from the first rise albeit took most of a day, including a lunch stop and at times our canoe was more like a kite than a canoe. I'm very glad we revisited our old plan and made good use of Boris' new plane.

Cheers,
Brian


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 Post subject: Akitoshi Nishimura
PostPosted: September 18th, 2005, 10:12 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2003, 1:28 pm
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Location: Baker Lake, Nunavut
I think the guy you're asking about is Akitoshi Nishimura. I remember his passing through here in 1994(?) after getting windbound on Schultz Lake and becoming the target of a Canadian Forces SAR Herc C-130 search when he triggered an ELT. Big no-no and $60k Canadian taxpayer bill. However, he certainly was the penultimate long-distance solo kayaker. I've been trying to track him down in Japan for years, and have heard rumours he's passed away. He did nine seasons in the NWT/Nunavut in a FeatherCraft. I think he appeared once at the Wilderness Canoe Symposium. He once paddled all the way from Yellowknife to the mouth of the Thelon River, did not enter the village of Baker Lake, continued on to the mouth of the Kazan River, went up the Kazan to the seven-mile portage into Parker Lake, then continued on to Arviat. What a tripper!!

That creek/portage about 67kms upstream on the Thelon is also reachable by hiring somebody in town to take you upriver by boat. The creek valley is full of inuksuit--a sure sign it's a 1000-year-old Inuit summer route to the Back River country and Gjoa Haven.

From the Meadowbank you can portage into Tehek Lake and down the Quoich River and back to the village on Baker Lake proper. Nice trip, lots of wildlife, no cost except airfare to and from Baker Lake.

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Paddle up the Thelon to the Thelon Game Sanctuary, 150 miles west of Baker Lake


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2005, 10:23 pm 
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Thanks to Brian and Thelon for the information. You guys sure know your way around the north. Yes, the Japanese solo paddler did speak at the WCA symposium several years ago.

I got that the shortcut through the north end of Franklin Lake is 57 km shorter than going to the mouth (assuming that those going the long way go to the west side of Chantrey as early as possible).

This year's Back party of Levi Waldron and Drew Gulyas had also considered the shortcut to Chantrey. They decided to go to the mouth and were glad they did; Levi writes me that Chantrey is spectacular.

There's another shortcut. Exit the lake to the east, but instead of turning south-east to go down by the falls, turn north and head into the bay. This route, which looks to require fewer than 5 km of portaging, is about 30 km shorter than going to the mouth. I haven't heard of anyone trying it.

Yours in paddling, Allan


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PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 8:58 pm 
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Last edited by david demello on February 19th, 2006, 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 11th, 2005, 9:11 pm 
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Some people we know did a "substantial" portage from the Back to the Ellice, and eventually ended their trip, alive, in Cambridge Bay. If you'd like, I can put you in touch with them, because I know they'd like to do the whole of the Back sometime.

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PostPosted: October 13th, 2005, 7:35 pm 
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Last edited by david demello on February 19th, 2006, 11:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: October 13th, 2005, 10:03 pm 
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Joined: January 22nd, 2005, 12:16 pm
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Location: Toronto
Thanks to david and SGrant.
You guys and your friends do incredible trips; they make ours look like a Sunday-school outing. I've decided that my main accomplishment on this forum is to entice paddlers like you to let the rest of us know the variety of trips that can be made.
Yes I'm interested in more information on Back trips. I'm compiling a large (way too large) report on the Back, with lots about logistics and I'd like to list other routes. This is why I made the first post.
Does anyone know more about the two paddlers who had to be evacuated this year from the Back? One was injured by a grizzly, as I mentioned in the thread "Tough summer on the Back".
If you like the Back, George Luste is thinking of a Back session at the next Wilderness Canoe Association symposium; it may be held on 3 and 4 February (dates are uncertain at the moment). The programme won't be ready for many weeks, but you can check on how things are going at
http://wildernesscanoe.ca
Yours in paddling, Allan


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PostPosted: October 14th, 2005, 2:56 pm 
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Last edited by david demello on February 19th, 2006, 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 15th, 2005, 10:13 pm 
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Allan Jacobs wrote:
Thanks to david and SGrant.
You guys and your friends do incredible trips; they make ours look like a Sunday-school outing. I've decided that my main accomplishment on this forum is to entice paddlers like you to let the rest of us know the variety of trips that can be made. ...


Just to be clear, I wasn't on the Back/Ellice trip, and although I'd like to, haven't done a trip anything like that.

I have seen a book that lists major canoe trips in northern Canada since the Europeans arrived. I think I posted the name of it on CCR a couple of years ago. The trip my friends did is not in the book, however.

They rented a hall here in Vancouver and put on a very entertaining slide show about their trip. One canoe started the trip as a wreck, and required continual fibreglass repairs, stuck through a tent to keep it warm enough for the resin to set. On the portage between the Back and the Ellice, one energetic participant just rushed off with one of the canoes, and got lost on the tundra for a while. Their sail-assisted crossing of Queen Maude Gulf required two attempts, the first one almost costing their lives in a multi-day storm.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2005, 10:40 pm 
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