Apart from flyovers by park staff and the pursuits of first ascent climbers in the 1960’s there has been virtually no previous recreational activity in the area of the Britnell Icefield. Nahanni Wild is the only company offering adventure experiences in the Ragged Range apart hiking into the Cirque of the Unclimbables above Glacier lake to the east. For anyone with a passion for the alpine the Raggeds offer the most fulfilling experience. A short helicopter flight provides swift access to camp one at a small unnamed lake at the foot of Mount Sydney Dobson. (4th highest peak in the NWT at 8629’/2630m).
Camp one is perfectly located for a host of pursuits and experiences. Binoculars offers a close up view of the wildlife who frequent the broad meadow circling the lake. Mountain goats are commonly sited along with woodland caribou. The environs of Mount Sydney Dobson are accessible to anyone with the energy carry a pack and a week of hiking/camping in the mountains. That afternoon our ramble though the meadow will bring us face to face with inquisitive hoary marmots. Streatching our legs will take us through meadows of wild flowers, over glacial morraines and within view of the Britnell Glacier - named after legendary bush pilot Leigh Britnell who serviced the North in the 1930/40’s.
The highlight of the trek will be exploring the rocky moraines recently released from the icy grip of the glacier and then hiking over the massive Brtinell icefiled. Before going far on the ice our mountain guide will introduce everyone to walking with crampons, glacier travel and general safety when exploring this dynamic terrain. The lead mountain guide/instructor for our Ragged Range programs is well qualified. As required by Parks Canada they are certified by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. The immediate area has a number of walk up peaks available for those interested in the challenge of ‘topping out’ and collecting images of the broader area. While the Britnell Glacier is remarkably large its terminal points have melted away significantly in recent years. Our groups will have the opportunity to witness one of the greater concerns caused by ongoing climate change.
Our day one camp at the base of Mount Sydney Dobson will be accessed by helicopter from a staging area which best fits the agenda of groups arrival from points south. In 2016 - a helicopter working in the area was chartered from Glacier Lake following a fixed wing flight from Fort Simpson with Beaver aircraft. Our first camp is approximately an 8 minute flight from Glacier Lake. Access from a site close to the Tungsten Mine on the Flat River and the Nahanni Range Road is also a consideration.
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