Saturday, August 3, 2013

Lessons Learned The final dispatch from the Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition


Congrats to Pete Marshall and his trip-mates Winchell Delano, Steve Keaveny and Matt Harren from this summer’s Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition, whose video teaser above just earned an IMAX Award and a $25,000 prize, presented by IMAX, Newsweek & The Daily Beast, for exhibiting the keen “ability to take audiences on an adventure through explorations in filmmaking.” The 130-day, 2,600-mile expedition from the Pacific Ocean to Hudson Bay was documented in a four-part series on [Click to view the dispatches from STAGE 1, STAGE 2, STAGE 3, and STAGE 4].

Attendees at this weekend’s Canoecopia show in Madison, Wis., can check out Marshall’s presentation, 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the BWCA Room. In the meantime, we caught up with Marshall for a couple quick questions to talk about the film project capper to the expedition, titled, “2600 above 60″ and detailing the crew’s desire to see the world “as the first people did” by paddling through “the world’s last great wilderness.” So part of the criteria for the award was gauging the film clip’s “social resonance.” How best would you say the video, and the expedition, resonates with people?

Pete Marshall: For the general non-paddlers, I’m often asked how this expedition even began, how the idea for a 2600-mile trip ever dawned on me. A big part of the trip was about imagination, about wanting to see what the possibilities of a canoe, to see where a canoe can take you and connect rivers and lakes in a way that people had never done.

Here’s a tough one: What paddling tips did you take away from paddling all that distance?

One gear factor was the Kokatat drysuits we used to wade through water still filled with ice and not get a touch of hypothermia. Most trips you look forward to going down river, but some trips require going up 500 miles of flooded, mountainous river before you get to the good downstream portion. Here’s a good one to take away otherwise: More than physical endurance, you just have to be stubborn on a trip like this.

Check for updates on the film HERE.


An adventure of canoeing above 60º across Canada takes the win


This is the map of our route, each mark indicates where we camped. CHECK BACK SOON! THE MAP WILL BE UPDATED WITH ANECDOTES AND PICTURES FROM THE LOCATIONS WHERE WE CAMPED. 

The route of the 2012 Trans-Territorial Canoe Expedition

           A few years ago, as summer was coming to an end, I was looking over some maps, curious to see if it was possible to paddle from the Pacific Ocean, across the Territories, and into Hudson Bay. To my knowledge, no one had made such a journey by canoe. But with some hope and imagination, my curiosity was rewarded: There was a route. Once again Canada’s vast wilderness, its rivers and lakes that have for so long excited my imagination, beckoned.
            Our expedition is the first to undertake this 4000 kilometer route. Our journey will take us from one ocean to another, through mountain valleys and into barren tundra. It involves arduous upstream travel, dangerous lake crossings, and exhilarating whitewater. We begin on the Pacific Ocean, at the historic Chilkook Pass, where during the Klondike Gold Rush prospectors began to make their way into the interior. We will journey down the Yukon River then ascend the Pelly and Ross Rivers to the height of land where we portage onto the legendary splendors of the Nahani River. As the Nahani rushes into the lowlands, we resume upstream paddle on the Mackenzie River, canoe across The Great Slave Lake, and on the eastern extreme of this enormous lake portage onto the Thelon River. Now in the treeless tundra, we paddle through the traditional hunting grounds of the Caribou Inuit until our expedition ends on the shores of Hudson Bay. 

           click here for more details on the route

Crew Bios

Pete Marshall


Since he went on his first canoe trip at age sixteen, Pete has paddled over 7500 miles through Canada. In 2005 he and his brother Andrew canoed 2700 miles over the course of 122 days from their home state of Minnesota to the Arctic Ocean. He is currently working on a film and book that recounts his and the other team member's experience on the 2012 expedition.

Steve Keaveny


A lifelong believer in the healing power of wilderness, Steve has been working with troubled teenagers in the wilderness of Utah for the past five years. Steve has felt the need of the human spirit to connect with wild spaces since he was a teenager and first began to canoe through the Canadian wilderness.

His many trips include expeditions on the Kazan, Missinaibi, Moisie, and Back rivers. In addition to canoeing, Steve is an accomplished kayaker and has made runs on challenging rivers from Alaska to Terra del Fuego.

 Winchell Delano


Growing up with Minnesota’s lakes and rivers as his backyard, Winchell extended his passion and knowledge of canoeing by working as a guide for Les Voyaguers, Inc., a non-profit outdoor leadership program operating in Ontario and Manitoba. Since then he began organizing personal expeditions and has paddled numerous classic routes throughout Canada.

 Matt Harren


A passionate student of cinema and wilderness, Matt has spent many summers canoeing waterways throughout Canada, dreaming of how he could capture the experience on film. He has spent several summers guiding for Les Voyageurs, where he gained the skills and experience he now brings to his job working with troubled youth in the wilds of Utah. Matt envisions the expedition will provide, among many things, an opportunity for him to craft a film that will explore the importance of human’s impact on nature, and in turn its impact on us.

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