Nahanni advice - Mountain Buzz

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Old 10-29-2016   #1
tetoncounty's Avatar
wilson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 68
Nahanni advice

My wife and I are planning to spend a month late next summer up north. FYI, I've paddled and rafted up north going back to the seventies, but I haven't been up there in about ten years. I've done a lot of fly-in rafting and canoeing in B.C., the Yukon, and the NWT.
I've got my eye on the Nahanni. I've just started planning, but figured I'd ask advice here. Specifically: dealing with the Park, lead times, air shuttle operators that folks have used.
I'm also looking at the Gataga-Kechika. I'm more familiar with this area- I lived for some years in northern B.C on Stuart Lake south of there.
Any help from folks with experience on these rivers would be appreciated.

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Old 10-29-2016   #2
rivh2o's Avatar
p.c., confused
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 191
Yea, did the Nahanni a few years back from the Moose Ponds to Nahanni Butte. We flew in with DelCho >the native service out of Fort Laird.Had to bust our way out of the moose ponds and beaver dams but soon enough with side streams every little ways there was finally enough water to get along alright Also had a two week side trip into the Cirque of the Unclimbables. We flew a cache into Glacier Lake and then after leaving our rafting gear back down at the confluence of Glacier Creek and the So Nahanni hiked up to our cache and spent two weeks climbing and exploring the Cirque and surrounding area. All told spent two months up there about 350 miles on the river and lots of great climbing and not to forget a two day portage at Virginia Falls. Yipee Ki-Yay!
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Old 11-01-2016   #3
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 130
Did Nahanni this year. Did not deal with the logistics.

The park is pretty good about permits. And you will probably not see many people, especially in the upper section above the falls.
We charted air out of Ft Simpson. However, we saw MANY different commercial air carriers up there servicing the falls. I think air will be your biggest lead item.

One thing to note, its going to be cold. Like all day in your drysuit cold.
And make sure you are canoeing, or have 2 small oar rigs. When the wind comes up on the flat goosenecks above the falls its sucks.

Also, consider a water taxi out from Nahanni Butte if the wind comes up. Once you are on the Liard, its a whole different ball game.

Note that hiking up there is bushwacking. There are only established trails near the falls. And even those are dicey / hard.
I would plan to take a day or 2 and backpack up to the Cirqueof the Unclimbables. We didn't have the ability / time to do that and it would have been cool. Take canoe paddles on the hike so you can borrow one of the canoes that are stashed at the out flow of the lake and paddle across it.
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