This week we came together for our annual training expedition. As much as we worked through rescues scenarios, first aid and camp management we also built relationships. The teamwork, camaraderie and respect that our team shows each other, acknowledging areas of strength in each other and collectively is the core of Nahanni Wild. Through the course of your expedition you will see their skills on the water, around the campfire in the field as they share their love of wilderness.
As I come to understand what the body is really capable of undertaking, this was an important learning experience. The day’s heat was unexpected and intense. A winter of training in Vancouver Island’s dark forests was unfortunately poor preparation for the realities of the day. The left side of my body now carries a darker hue, having experimented with being a human sundial once our tracks turned due North, and the lingering effects of electrolyte imbalances are still lurking. It is hard not to immediately look to the future in this fast paced world but the recovery process is providing some much needed space for reflection.
In the Mackenzie mountains this awakening of life is still a month away but these first inklings in the south tell me it won’t be long until all the wild lands of Canada erupts into life. To see an ecosystem come alive with the strengthening sun is a profound experience. Contemplating the continuity of life while sitting back and admiring the river banks blushing with willowherb puts the rush of life in perspective.
Along with the skills I impart to these young women I share my belief that the river is there for them as a place of respite, sanctuary and inspiration. That they too can walk down and sit by its edge, splash cold water on their faces and feel their place ‘in the family of things’. This is something I wish for everyone, especially women, for as Mary Oliver reminds us:
With the expedition season fast approaching excitement levels are rising. As is often the case added interest means more departures being offered and we are very excited to be headed to the Broken Skull River this summer. This rarely paddled tributary of the Nahanni starts in the high mountains of Canada’s newest national park, Nááts’ihch’oh National Park Reserve.
With thoughts of warm summer winds and the Arctic sun in on our minds the Nahanni Wild team is hitting the road! With stops across Canada we are looking forward to sharing stories, photos and inspiration for incredible summer adventures.Visit with your outfitters and guides, ask those burning questions and share your own tales with us on of our many stops.
2017 saw Nahanni Wild accomplish a great deal as a business, growing our operation and increasing our contributions to conservation initiatives. But in light of the revelations across industries in 2017 it was time to make sure our own house was in order. Ensuring a safe, respectful work environment is essential if we are to realize our vision as a progressive business affecting positive change.