Weekend Warm-Up: Coppermine River Expedition 2012

The team’s route. Photo: Royal Canadian Geographical Society

How would you spend a getaway with the boys? Fishing? Watching sports with lots of junk food? Canoeing maniacs Max Florence, Jesse Coleman, Seth Wotten, Stef Superina, Andrew Stachiw and Jon Metcalfe kicked things up a notch in that department and decided to embark on a 50-day, 2,000km expedition to the Arctic Ocean for the ultimate guys’ trip through the Canadian wilderness.

They set off from Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories, prepared to navigate the great and minor lakes, unpredictable rapids and barren landscape to Kugluktuk, formerly Coppermine. They tried keep a steady pace of eight hours paddling a day (roughly 50km).

They paddled the north shore of Great Slave Lake into its scenic East Arm. As the tenth largest lake in the world, Great Slave can build up quite a fetch, but their journey blessed them with calm waters and pleasant weather. As canoeists often do, they indulged in elaborate cooking and camp life. Fresh fish and bannock featured often on the menu.

The Coppermine River. Photo: RiverSport Adventures

They then followed a chain of lakes into the Coppermine River, portaging between water bodies where necessary. On arriving at the Coppermine River, things got a bit more exciting. The encountered grizzlies, including a rare white individual, and arctic foxes. They dealt cautiously with the rapids: Some historic expeditions had failed spectacularly on the Coppermine. Always, calmer waters followed the rapids and provided a more meditative travel experience.

So if you’re looking for the ultimate recipe to a perfect guys’ trip, see the following: a map of a 50-day Arctic expedition, friendship, stale jokes and, of course, bannock.

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About the Author

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu is a writer (and occasional photographer) based in sunny Trinidad and Tobago.

Since graduating from the University of Leicester with a BA in English and History, she has pursued a full-time writing career, exploring multiple niches before settling on travel and exploration. While studying for an additional diploma in travel journalism with the British College of Journalism, she began writing for ExWeb.

Currently, she works at a travel magazine in Trinidad as an editorial assistant and is also ExWeb's Weird Wonder Woman, reporting on the world's natural oddities as well as general stories from the world of exploration.

Although she isn't a climber (yet!), she hikes in the bush, has been known to make friends with iguanas and quote the Lord of the Rings trilogy from start to finish.

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