A Trip to the Ragged Range

Gripped - - FEATURE - Story by Trevor McDon­ald Pho­tos by Jimmy Martinello

Nes­tled to­gether atop the Vam­pire Spire the four of us laid on our ropes, packs and any­thing else warmer than the gran­ite of fered to us. Hu­mour granted the only respite from the cold. With a ful l moon il lu­mi­nat­ing the great wilder ness around us, Sean, Tim and Jimmy re­counted tales of pre­vi­ous shiver biv ys from Pak­istan to Antarc­tica. Only I re­mained silent, “Hey T-mac how about you? ”

I knew it was com­ing. “Well, one night on Ton-Sai beach in Thai­land, I passed out on a lounge chair. There were mos­qui­tos though” I long sus­pected I was soft but the tr uth was ir refutable. No mat­ter, this tr ip was to be the one to set things straight.

Jimmy Martinello and I had come up with a plan to ac­cess the Vam­pire Spires and the Cirque of the Un­climbables via the Na­hanni River on standup pad­dle­boards. Leg­en­dar y bush pi­lot War­ren Lafavre would bump us from the river to the alpine at the right times. We then hoped to climb the nicest routes in each area. Tim Em­mett wanted in, he is a caul­dron of ad­ven­ture, enthusiasm and re­source­ful­ness. We rounded the team off with gran­ite tech­ni­cian and ad­ven­turer ex­traor­di­naire Sean “Stan­ley” Lear y.

We de­cided to run the Lit­tle Na­hanni River from the source to the conf lu­ence of the South Na­hanni, nwt. Lear y had been white­wa­ter kayak­ing for years which added im­por­tant knowl­edge of river travel. Lear y’s kayak bud­dies were stoked for him un­til they learned it would be on a pad­dle­board. We were stoked to show­case the ver­sa­tilit y of the pad­dle­board and this seemed l ike the per fect venue. A stand-up pad­dle­board ( sup) is great for ex­pe­di­tion travel as it is light, car r ies a large load, draws lit­tle wa­ter and can be eas­ily dis­mounted. It can also be packed away for portages. Slightly def lated

Trevor McDon­ald boul­ders in the up­per Fairy Mead­ows un­der the Lo­tus Flower Tower

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.