The Nahanni was everywhere growing up. From the gear house to the office, I didn’t have to go far to find beautiful images of where my father worked. Amongst it all, The Nahanni Portfolio, a beautiful book by Paul and Rosemarie Keough was a standout, always present on the coffee table. The image on the front cover of this book, a solo canoeist paddling under the impressive and profound Mount Nááts'įhch'oh (Mt. Wilson), is forever seared in my memory. Mount Naats’ihch’oh (Mount Wilson) is an iconic landmark in the Nahanni watershed, from the quiet waters at its base stems the South Nahanni River.
This image of this mountain became so familiar that as a child I became confused whether I had been to this alluring place or whether it was the book’s cover and my father’s stories of his summers on the Nahanni that were blurring with reality. Thankfully, I had an older brother to keep my facts straight! When my turn did come to paddle the Nahanni from its headwaters it did not disappoint. As the roar of the departing float plane faded away the softer sounds of our surroundings emerged; wind rustling in the dwarf birch and the repeating call of the white crowned sparrow. I turned to the water and stood face to face with Mount Naats’ihch’oh. It was every bit as majestic as I had imagined it as a child.
From it’s start, beneath Mount Naats’ihch’oh, the Nahanni grows from a small stream to a river with consistent and thrilling whitewater. The paddling is demanding and rewarding and a clean run through the Boulder Gardens is a feather in any paddler’s cap. For paddlers looking for a true wilderness adventure we invite you to join us on our Headwaters expedition June 23-July 14, 2019. Paddling a river from its source to its mouth is a special thing, doing it in great company with our famous Nahanni Wild menu and our professional and charming guides, what more could you ask for in 2019?
For those looking for a river experience that starts high in the alpine but with less challenging white water, I cannot recommend the Broken Skull river highly enough. From its start in a clear mountain lake to where it joins the South Nahanni River the clear waters, amazing alpine views, and the intimate experience that comes from a small river all add up to make the Broken Skull the experience of a lifetime. Oh, and there are hotsprings too! Join Nahanni Wild on the Broken Skull from July 7-28, 2019.
To chat rivers, hot springs and the right expedition for you in 2019, get in touch with our office 1-888-897-5223. I look forward to hearing from you!