31 July 2009

Canoeing the Takhini / Wind / Peel Rivers, YT, CANADA: McClusky Creek > Taco Bar

Helen's Choice for BEST River Trip EVER

Van Shuttle: Whitehorse > Mayo
Air Charter: With pilot Ernie of Black Sheep Aviation from Mayo > McClusky Lake
Guide: Georg Saure
Mandatory Portage: McClusky Lk. > put-in on McClusky Creek
Tandem Canoe: McClusky Creek, WIND R.  > Taco Bar, PEEL R. - CII+, 16 days, 270 kms
Air Charter: With pilot Ernie of Blacksheep Airways from Taco Bar > Mayo 
Van Shuttle: Mayo > Whitehorse
DVD Available: Get copy from Store

View Takhini / WIND / PEEL in a larger map

We warmed up on the Takhini, paddled the WIND from its' source at McClusky Lake to the confluence with the PEEL and finished with a few days on the PEEL. We chose this river primarily for the hiking opportunities ... they occur almost everywhere along the WIND's length, some minor bushwhacking, only moderate hiking grades, easy access to the alpine, superb views. Also, runnable rapids, easy white-water.

The Wind River has its beginnings in the magnificent Wernecke Mountains, about 135 kilometres northeast of the small village of Mayo in the centre of the Yukon’s Boreal Forest. It drains into the Peel River, 200 kms to the north, which in turn carries on to the mighty Mackenzie and finally out to the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Ocean. It share’s this area with several other sister rivers from the Peel River watershed, the Ogilvie, Blackstone, Hart, Bonnet Plume and Snake and a number of other smaller rivers and creeks.

In 2003, CPAWS undertook to bring public awareness to the area by embarking on trips down the 3 most prominent rivers in the group; the Wind, Snake and Bonnet Plume.

Richard Nelson, an award winning Alaskan author made the following observation after participating in the Three Rivers CPAWS initiative as a paddler. The Wind, along with the Snake and the Bonnet Plume are those three rivers ……..

‘Even after 40 years of travel into the remotest parts of Alaska, I was astounded by the magnitude of wildness and beauty. This journey took us into one of the largest, most spectacular, pristine wild lands remaining on earth – the Boreal Forest of Canada. For most Americans, Alaska is the purest icon of wilderness. What they know of Canada is shaped almost entirely by the narrow sliver of tamed, cultivated and urbanized land just above the Canadian border. Even in these days of growing environmental awareness, few Americans have any comprehension that they live adjacent to the largest expanse of untrodden, uncut, undiminished forest anywhere on Earth.

I gradually came to realize that the Canadian Boreal is to Alaska what Alaska is to New Jersey.




Takhini / WIND / PEEL Photography

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