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 Post subject: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: July 21st, 2010, 3:12 pm 
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Joined: December 28th, 2009, 8:40 pm
Posts: 4
My wife and I are traveling across North America by canoe, kayak, and dogsled. We have paddled from the Bellingham Washington up the inside passage, went over the Chilkoot Pass, and are working are way down the Yukon River Now. In a few weeks we will enter the Peel watershed, which will dump us into the MacKenzie River near Fort McPherson. For a variety of reasons we are hoping to paddle up the Mackenzie River from Arctic Red River to Fort Good Hope.

We realize this is a rather strange thing to do, and that it will be a cold and hard journey in the fall.

Does anyone have any information about the speed of the current through this section?

Is the bank conducive to lining.

Do you know what the predominate winds are like in September in this area?

We are hoping to average 10 to 15 miles per day in 8 to 10 hours of upstream paddling, does this seem reasonable?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: July 26th, 2010, 9:56 am 
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Joined: November 19th, 2008, 9:18 pm
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Hi Dave,

I paddled down the Mackenzie in the fall of 06 and by the middle of September it was getting chilly but I loved the beautiful fall days. Got some snow but most days were beautiful.

I don't think your plan to paddle upstream is going to be that difficult. The water level at that time of year is low but I was surprised at the speed of that big beautiful river. That stretch of river is littered with islands and sand bars and you can probably pick your way up along shore in most places where the current will be much less.

Great camping on the sand bars and no shortage of wood for cooking fires.

good luck!

Pv


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: August 9th, 2010, 10:42 am 
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Joined: December 28th, 2009, 8:40 pm
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Thanks for your reply Paul.

Did you encounter much wind on the MacKenzie in the Fall of 06? If so did it generally blow from a specific direction?

Thanks so responding!

Dave Freeman
www.NorthAmericanOdyssey.com


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: August 9th, 2010, 11:07 am 
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Location: Scarbados, Ontario Canada
Not that I can answer the question for certain, but one should ask: how did the traditional folks get upstream? Since it's not pool-and-drop, and you mention the strong current, I suppose poling would be on order. A bit of preparation could make that quest easier or even possible...

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 Post subject: Re: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: August 10th, 2010, 7:28 pm 
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Joined: December 28th, 2009, 8:40 pm
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That is a good suggestion. I have looked at Alexander Mackenzies journal from his journey up the river n 1789. He and his men did a combination of lining, paddling, and sailing and it seems that they averaged about 30 miles per day up river, but they were also putting in very long days.

Thanks for your suggestion.


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 Post subject: Re: Paddling up the Mackenzie River
PostPosted: August 11th, 2010, 7:01 pm 
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Location: Livingston Montana- On the Banks of the Yellowstone River
I paddled down it in 98 solo from Ft. Mcmurrry on the athabasca etc.
As i paddled down I was aware of a friend of mine who paddled its entire length UPSTREAM and made fairly good time (in fact he arrived in Ft Mcmurry after two months from the start...and that included upstream on the slave and up the athabasca too). He did have a rudder on his canoe which makes YOUR hard earned effort more efficient...why not eliminate corrective strokes? AnYWAY...there were plenty of slack current and eddies the whole way...lining seems useless....since well...think of why one would line...and for the most part those situations dont seem to apply to the MacZ etc. The river is very wide in places and i think it would be easy to find the slack current and inch your way up it.
Weather will be your factor...and short daylight hours.. I doubt you will have 10 hours of daylight that far north but im not sure.....
At 2mph you should be able to get 16 upstream a day i would think no problem....
Sounds like a great trip.. read a book about a guy who did just what you did with the paddle and dogsled across canada a few years ago....
You can do it.....one stroke at a time will get you there.

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