Jonathan and Kirti Walpole's 950 km canoe journey across Northwest Territories and Nunavut in July and August of 2014

Day 7

Weather: 3 degrees C in the morning, but calm and sunny all day
Distance: 15 km paddling, plus 1 km portage (5 km walking)
Location: Latitude:63.55765, Longitude:-105.53441 at 07/19/2014 18:13:11 PDT
Map link: Click here

It was a cold night, with the temperature dropping to just 3 degrees C. The weather was calm and sunny all day though, and warm, but not too hot. We got a late start and weren't on the water until 10 am. It took us an hour to cross Hanbury Lake. Shortly after that we encountered the first part of Caribou Rapids.

We stopped to scout the first 1 km or so, but were able to run most of it and line the last part on river left. Then, after a wide pool, the main drop began and this was a definite portage on river right. This is a beautiful area with spectacular rapids and a relatively easy portage under 1 km. The portage required about 3 hours of hard labor to complete.

After the main drop there are a couple of km of easier rapids and boulder gardens that demand a certain amount of technical rock dodging, but were clearly runnable for us. Here the river is wide and very shallow, with a rocky bottom. We guessed that the caribou could probably walk across the river here.

Below the rapids there were a few km of gentle current. Later, we camped at a beautiful esker beside a lake and enjoyed a lovely late evening hike along the top of the esker. The light was gorgeous, and as usual, darkness never came.