|Hard to say, what makes the Wind
River so special. Is it the canoeing, the mountain hikes,
wildlife viewing, incredible campsites ?
Or is it the dramatic sunsets on the mountains ? No, its the
combination of all that
only accessible by floatplane, starts
in the Wernecke Mountains, and drains
through the Peel and Mackenzie River
eventually into the arctic ocean. Being close
to the arctic circle, it never gets
dark in the summer. That allows for ample time
to explore. In the beginning of the trip, the tundra
starts at the river's edge. This allows for
easy access to the rugged mountains.
Huge alluvial fans lead us away from the water
and up the steep slopes.
On the first
part of the trip, while we are in the
mountains, we have shorter paddling days which
allows more time for exploration
On layover days we follow small streams
up the valleys to canyons and waterfalls,
or hike up mountain ridges to reach spectacular
viewpoints over the vast Wind River valley
The crystal clear
water of the Wind River maintains a good pace
all the way down to the confluence with the Peel
River. Often, the Wind braids
substantially in many channels, that makes
route finding interesting. With appropriate paddling
skills, it's fun to switch channels and maneuver
through turbulent water. Some tight
corners, enlivened with sweepers add spice to it.
July 27. - August 10, 2014
$ 4.895 + 5 % GST
out of Whitehorse
3 hotel nights in Whitehorse. 2 person tents
during the canoe trip ( double occupancy, single occupancy
upon request), all activities according to the itinerary,
2 flights by floatplane, to and from the river, all required
shuttles, canoes with spraydecks, complete cooking and camp
gear, all meals during the canoe trip, experienced licensed
guide (Rainer Russmann), satellite phone for your safety.
to and from Whitehorse, alcoholic beverages, meals during
Ability to paddle in fast moving water with obstructions ( WW class 2) We consider the Wind River
than the Big Salmon River.
Hiking requires good footing
and fitness. There are no trails, and steep and
slippery sections are common.
is one short portage ( 200 m) to the river. After that, some lining
might be required, depending on water levels
We stop numerous times
to enjoy the mountains and the river valley. Sometimes the
river requires our whole attention and moves us
forward too fast, to allow us to lean back and just admire the beauty
The Peel River is impressive with steep canyon walls, almost
all the way down to the pick up point. In the Lower Peel Canyon the river
becomes extremely narrow and the sedimentary rock formations are one of the highlights of the trip.
in Whitehorse, pick up at the airport.
Transfer to your hotel, meeting the group and talking about
the upcoming days .Later, time
for last minute shopping before the trip.
a small river nearby we oil rusty canoeing skills and
learn new tricks.
In the morning we pick you up at the hotel and have a whole
day to play on the swift clear waters of a mountain
river. Negotiating some rocks in the current, eddy turns
and other helpful maneuvers give us a feel for the canoe in moving
water. With the empty canoe, you can feel out your
boundaries and those of the canoe.
This is a great introduction to
prepare for the Wind River itself.
At the end of the day we will drop you of at the hotel.
drive up the Klondike Highway to Mayo. From here we
fly appr. 45 min. with a floatplane from the Stewart
River to Mc Clusky Lake
On the approach we will see the upper reaches of the Wind
and the creek we will follow to begin our journey. In no time, canoes
and gear are lying on the lakeshore, and the
plane has left. In peace and quiet we set up our first wilderness
camp. The small mountain lake invites us for a leisure evening
trip starts with a short portage ( 200m) from McClusky Lake to a small mountain creek,
the Wind River. Depending on the water level we may have to line
the canoes from time to time
200 km of Wind River are ahead of us.
At the beginning, the Wind River is quite small and shallow.
There are some tight corners with sweepers to
navigate, and the current is fast. The valley becomes
and open, allowing for distant views.
5 - 9
attention is drawn by the turquoise color of the
river, the rugged Wernecke Mountains, and the
surrounding tundra. Gravel bars alternate with the
grassy tundra . Each draw in the mountains calls for
exploration. On a shorter paddling day, we hike up to
a waterfall in a canyon, look for reflections
in some tundra lakes, or climb up a ridge for far reaching vistas.
At certain spots we stay an extra day for additional excursions
Dall sheep, caribou and grizzly bears are
quite common in that area. Because of the low vegetation it
is easy to spot them in the distance. Around Bond
Creek and Bear River we have extra time to relax in the
midst of those colorful mountains
10 - 11
the river leaves the mountains past Royal Creek, we
take another day off to go on a ridge hike above the
Wind. The river picks up more speed as it races
towards the Peel. We navigate through a maze of river
braids and shallows. Some turbulences and
choppy sections make this part very enjoyable. Just before
the Little Wind joins in, some standing waves present a class
Mount Deception , an island peak above the
tundra of the Peel River Plateau, is our last chance for a day
From up top, we see all the way to the Richardson Mountains
and down the network of channels from the previous day's
journey to the end of the next paddling day.
On gravel bars we find coal deposits, washed out of
Just before we reach the Peel River, the wide gravel bed of
the river changes into a narrow colorful canyon.
The Wind stays spectacular to the very last meter. Each bend
asks for a photo stop before we finally set up camp at the
confluence within the canyon section
12 - 13
leave the Wind River behind. For a while the Peel
changes into a wide shallow river, before narrowing down
to a bottleneck in the Lower Peel Canyon.
The folded sedimentary layers of rock of the black steep
canyon walls catch our attention at the same
time, as the standing waves are approaching in the
gravel bar on the Peel River will be our last Camp on
the river. From here we will be picked up by the floatplane.
Yes, on this trip we will fly twice. With the tundra
and parts of the wind river valley below, we will enjoy a spectacular
overview of the area we discovered over the last couple of
Back in Mayo we will start our journey back to Whitehorse
by Van. Our last night will be in the hotel in Whitehorse
personal Gear you should bring
Sleeping bag, suitable for
light frost, down or synthetic
Sleeping pad, preferred Therm A
Waterproof bag ( Seabag) for
your personal gear during canoe trip, min. 70 Liters
repellant ( best, bought in Whitehorse)
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Soap (
biodegradable), Kleenex, Toilet paper ( 1 Roll), Towel,
Sunscreen, Personal Medication
broken in hiking boots
Rain jacket - best bet : Gore
Neoprene Booties with
very firm sole for the canoe trip
personal gear you might bring
Foto - think about waterproof
storage ( best bet : Pelican Case)
3 pair of socks
2 long pants, fast drying
2 T- Shirts
1 long sleeve T- Shirt
1 Long sleeve shirt, light one
Fleece Jacket, or sweater
light gloves for paddling
This list contains the basic
equipment required to complete the trip comfortably. According to
your personal preference, you can certainly substitute items,
or add necessary things. But - please try to keep the amount of gear
as small as possible. The tendency to bring too much is very
Weight and volume are also a
consideration because we fly with a small plane