The Barren Lands Expedition, August 26-September 2, 2005
Evan and Kiva at an Inukshuk near Whitefish Lake
On August 24, 2005, Jeff, Candis, Evan and Kiva Waugh drove from Banff to Calgary to overnight at the airport hotel. Very early the next morning we flew via Edmonton to Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. From Yellowknife, we traveled 45 minutes by air to the dirt strip at Lutsel K'e (the most northern Dene community) and another 45 minutes by float plane to our base camp at Whitefish Lake.
As we flew from Lutsel K'e, we passed over the proposed East Arm of Great Slave Lake National Park. Whitefish Lake is in the Barren Lands at the headwaters of the Thelon River (a Canadian Heritage River) near the divide separating the Arctic and Atlantic watersheds and not far from the Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary. The Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest protected areas in North America and is the calving grounds for the Beverly and Qamanirjuaq caribou. It is also home to the musk ox and many other arctic species.
We were based at Whitefish Lake from August 26th to September 2nd, 2005. During those eight days, we camped, hiked, fished for lake trout, grayling and northern pike, observed merlins, peregrine falcons, bald eagles, caribou, grizzly bear, wolf and muskox.
We like to extend a very special thanks to our outfitter and expert bush pilot Tundra Tom Faess, our guide Sebastian Matton, our base camp cook Bonnie (Tom's sister) and volunteer camp assistant Noel for all of their efforts to help make this such a wonderful trip. We would also like to thank our fellow travelers Greg, Cecil, Mattie, Donna, Tom and Jim for being such happy campers. Special thanks to Tom and Jim for letting Kiva and Evan use their "magic" fishing lures.
See the link at the bottom of this page for our photographs of this incredible family adventure.
The Northwest Territories
The Proposed East Arm of Great Slave Lake National Park
Beverly and Qamanirjuaq Caribou Range