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DISCOVER

Northwest Territories – Canada

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Mackenzie Expedition 2022

THE MIGHTY MACKENZIE IS CANADA’S COOLEST WATERWAY.

It’s the King of Rivers that surges through centuries and courses through a culture. It links mountain and sea. Past and future. Man and beast. And when you gaze upon it, or ride its mighty currents, its spirit will flow through you, too. Up here, it is called the Deh Cho – the great river. For the Dene of the Northwest Territories, since time immemorial, it has been a superhighway, grocery store, and church. Even today, this is the river that weaves the North together. It is the longest waterway in Canada, at the heart of an ecosystem and world-view. Hunters and fishermen still travel its channels. Fish throng its depths. Moose and musk oxen tread its banks. Villages flank its shores. And cargo-barges and ice-roads traverse it, bridging vast distances and different worlds.

The aim of the Project:

We undertake this venture to explore the rugged beauty and unforgiving terrain of the Canadian North, a journey which relatively few people ever experience during their lifetimes. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that offers the potential to travel through and cover vast distances of wilderness North, East, South and West via canoe. Our aim for the expedition is to capture the Canadian spirit of tradition and modernity. We shall travel by means of boats – the traditional method – used for thousands of years to navigate the waterways, whilst utilizing the modern equipment available to us.

North West Territories, Canada:

The word evokes images of awful cold, and a trackless wilderness lying mysterious and silent, north of the Arctic Ocean and east to the Pacific.
The Northwest Territories is a land that has never been tamed. It’s where Canada’s biggest river weaves through an empire of peaks. It’s where herds of caribou darken the horizon. Where Grizzly bears roar and great whales spout.

Kms

Days

Navigating through history:

Back in 1798, Alexander Mackenzie came down the river the Dene called Deh Cho “Mighty River” in a small flotilla of birchbark canoes.
Natives had warned the young, curly haired Scot about the dangers of the river and the monsters to be found farther north, but he pressed on, insisting that such a huge river could only lead to the fabled Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean. When the river turned north at the Camsell Range, however, he knew he was wrong, for him, it was the “River of Disappointment; The river was headed for the Arctic Ocean, not the Pacific.

More than history:

Nature  thrives along this river. Watch the shores for wolves, moose, and bears. Watch the skies for eagles, falcons and hawks.
Migratory birds, including snow geese, tundra swans and sandhill cranes, use the Mackenzie River as a migration route and spend the summer months in the delta. In the spring, the delta is also a calving ground for beluga whales. The maze of channels, cut-off lakes and circular ponds that make up the delta are also home to a thriving muskrat population that has long sustained a fur-harvesting industry.

Schedule and Route: 15. July to 06. August 2022

 

Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Sea, 22 days, 2000 km.
The main headwaters are the Peace and Athabasca rivers, while the main stem (1,738 km long) issues from the west arm of Great Slave Lake, near Fort Providence (Zhahti Koe). About 300 km further downstream, the Liard River reaches the south bank of the Mackenzie. Soon thereafter, near the North Nahanni River, the Mackenzie trends west–north-west through a rolling plain and deflects north past an escarpment of the Mackenzie Mountains, which lie parallel to the river. Past Norman Wells the Mackenzie continues through weedy channels and beneath ribbed cliffs, widening to 5 km, its path braided among countless islands. At Sans Sault Rapids, a rocky promontory juts into midstream and rough water endangers navigation. A few kilometres above Fort Good Hope the river widens and constricts again (between limestone cliffs called The Ramparts), then resumes its meandering north-west, its channels clogged with islands and shifting sandbars. The Arctic Red River (Tsiigèhnjik or the “iron river”) enters 270 km from the sea, and the Mackenzie Delta begins at Point Separation.Mackenzie River Delta.

DELTA 

Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Sea, 22 days, 2000 km.
The main headwaters are the Peace and Athabasca rivers, while the main stem (1,738 km long) issues from the west arm of Great Slave Lake, near Fort Providence (Zhahti Koe). About 300 km further downstream, the Liard River reaches the south bank of the Mackenzie. Soon thereafter, near the North Nahanni River, the Mackenzie trends west–north-west through a rolling plain and deflects north past an escarpment of the Mackenzie Mountains, which lie parallel to the river. Past Norman Wells the Mackenzie continues through weedy channels and beneath ribbed cliffs, widening to 5 km, its path braided among countless islands. At Sans Sault Rapids, a rocky promontory juts into midstream and rough water endangers navigation. A few kilometres above Fort Good Hope the river widens and constricts again (between limestone cliffs called The Ramparts), then resumes its meandering north-west, its channels clogged with islands and shifting sandbars. The Arctic Red River (Tsiigèhnjik or the “iron river”) enters 270 km from the sea, and the Mackenzie Delta begins at Point Separation.Mackenzie River Delta.