The Ultimate Canol Thread:

Discussion in 'Canada' started by windquest, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    For those that know the history of the Canol Road this may be of interest:


    Just some news regarding the area around the Canol Rd, Norman Wells and northern development:


    "The Canol’s potential may be comparable to the Bakken Shale that helped reverse oil production declines in the U.S., Brad Hayes, president of Petrol Robertson Consulting Ltd. said on March 12. It is probably the source of Canada’s most northerly producing oil field, Norman Wells, which has produced more than 265 million barrels of oil since its 1920 discovery, according to the Geologic Survey of Canada."


    Taken from here:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-...ting-on-china-cash-for-resource-projects.html
  2. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    Sounds like the MacTung project is going to happen, so that means the road from Ross River to a few km beyond the NWT border will probably get a significant upgrade - single lane but decent.
  3. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    I may be wrong, but I feel like this is good news as industry in the area usually means that the land won't be turned into a provincial park...
  4. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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  5. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    DAY 1: Ross River to Deschenla lodge
    Distance: 261km

    Fuel required:
    @25km/L ---> 10.44L
    @20km/L ---> 13.05L

    River Crossings: none, still using bridges and crossing creeks

    # of Airstrips: 3

    Elevation: 2300ft - 5381ft (up hill)

    Other Notables: Dragon lake, Sheldon lake

    DAY 1-1
    [​IMG]

    DAY 1-2
    [​IMG]

    DAY 1-3
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    DAY 1-4
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    DAY 1-5
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    DAY 1-6
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    DAY 1-7
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    DAY 1-8
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    DAY 1-9
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    DAY 1-10
    [​IMG]
  6. toddiscdn

    toddiscdn Take off, EH!

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    Road of bones Canada?, but gnarlier(word??):D
  7. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    I'll be up there sometime this summer, will see what activity is going on. The bridges pretty much all got fixed to a higher standard (abutment improvements mostly, they tended to wash out at the shoreline), see if any other work is taking place. It's too remote for casual use after about Dragon Lake, so even if the normally driven road is improved, it's not going to get much recreational use. Heh - there's even a real boat launch at Dragon Lake with concrete slabs in the water, but you'd need to prune the overhanging willows to use it! Nice stopping place, BTW.
  8. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the continual help and advice, it has been very helpful.... Definetely have to stop at dragon lake, I'll make sure to prune the willows back with the machete :wink:

    I've been thinking lately that I should write a small guidebook to the north canol for people who are interested in riding/peddling/walking the trail. It would mostly be pictures with pertinent information about navigating the trail as well as a very detailed gps route on CD for those who would want to upload into their gps using their own topo map...

    If anyone thinks this is a good idea feel free to comment...

    Jason
  9. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    I feel it would be a great idea, primarily if it is very detailed in topographic, geologic and historic data. Detailed GPS files would be of great help to the younger generation that can't read a map or dead-recon. :cry You could prolly move quite a few to the arm chair crowd, as in reality, only a small percentage can/will actually make the trip. Keep up the good work!!
  10. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Thanks MitchG, I made a few notes from your suggestions and will keep them in mind when I write the guide.

    Jason
  11. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Location:
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    Distance: 75.4km

    Fuel required:
    @25km/L ---> 3.02L
    @20km/L ---> 3.77L

    River Crossings: Intga, Ekwi

    # of Airstrips: 1

    Elevation: 5577ft - 3740ft (down hill)

    Other Notables: Ram River Outfitters, Caribou Pass

    DAY 2:
    [​IMG]

    DAY 2-1
    [​IMG]

    DAY 2-2
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    DAY 2-3
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    DAY 2-4
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    DAY 2-5
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    DAY 2-6
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    DAY 2-7
    [​IMG]
  12. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    There is a guide book to hiking the trail, which I have here somewhere....
  13. Paul C

    Paul C Adventurer

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    Gentleman
    My buddy Anthony told me of this thread, so I thought I'd post the video of our bikecycle trip up the NCHT (North Canol Heritage Trail)
    http://vimeo.com/59563106
    A picture (or a video) is worth a thousand words.
    Here's the embeded version, but it doesn't seem to be linking properly.
    Oh well, the link above works.
    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/59563106?byline=0&amp;portrait=0" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
  14. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Very nice video! Evokes lots of pleasant memories for me. Looks like you guys had fantastic weather and water conditions. Thanks for sharing it!
  15. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Is it this one? Found it in the Geology library at the U of C... It has some really good information although it was written about 30 years ago so it's a bit out of date. If I where to write a "new/updated" guide book I would include more trail details, camp spots, gps routes, more info on the history etc...
    [​IMG]
  16. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    Paul,
    Thanks for the awesome video! I will post the Link on page 1 with the rest of the videos...
  17. windquest

    windquest Been here awhile

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    DAY 3: Godlin Lakes to Twitya River
    Distance: 63.2km

    Fuel required:
    @25km/L ---> 2.53L
    @20km/L ---> 3.16L

    River Crossings: Twitya

    # of Airstrips: 1

    Elevation: 3740ft - 2100ft (down hill)

    Other Notables:

    DAY 3:
    [​IMG]

    Day 3-1
    [​IMG]

    Day 3-2
    [​IMG]

    Day 3-3
    [​IMG]

    Day 3-4
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    Day 3-5
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    Day 3-6
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    Day 3-7
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    Day 3-8
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    Day 3-9
    [​IMG]
  18. Paul C

    Paul C Adventurer

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    Glad you guys enjoyed the vid. Helps form an impression of the route.
    If you don't mind, and if it won't spoil the sense of adventure, I'm going to throw out my $.02 worth on the planning aspect, and what may/may not work in terms of gear. Stop reading right here if you want to be pure at heart when you venture forth!
    First of all, I'm not going to say its un-possible on a moto, but it will certainly be a challenge. But thats what makes it an adventure, right? If it was easy, everyone would do it. We got a lot of the negative waves before we went, and it rankled.
    If someone put a gun to my head and told me to motorbike it or else, my first choice would be something like a TW 250. Fat tires would really, really help. Too bad you couldn't get it in a 2s. The bikes going to get dumped at somepoint, and blowing out a 2-s is waaay easier than a 4-s, but you guys know that. Maybe a trials bike? Either way, whatever your ride, I'd gear that baby down. There are so many sections that just aren't rideable. Carrying our rigs was our secret weapon. Super low gearing could be the ticket so that you could walk them? Its not like the road ever gets that could that you could wind them out anyhow. A light backpack to carry the light stuff for your back, and maybe some custom bags made specifically for your rides for the heavier stuff. Porcelain Rocket in Calgary might be able to sew something up for you. Pack light and go like hell!
    Rafts. If it was me, I'd have something like an Alpacka Double Duck or Explorer. One each. You could rig a frame to join them out of Spruce or Birch poles, and throw the moto on that. You might even be able to throw one bike in each of the Double Ducks, and float on top. Guys I know have floated Moose out in Explorers, and a big Moose dresses out at more Kgs than a small moto:D The big water challenges, besides the many, many, many small boulder filled side creeks, will be the last two crossings of the Ekwi. The Twitya will be casual with the right rafts, regardless of water level. The Ekwi would be another story. Fast and deep. Too deep to ride, and floating across could get you swept further downstream than you would like. I know enough about motos to know that riding over boulders sucks. Boulders in water is sucks squared. And the Ekwi has boulders and boulders in water to spare. Maybe setting up a line across the river to set up a ferry system? Clip the raft via a pulley to the rope, which would be angled downstream to allow for the ferry action of the river. Speaking of which, I'd take something like 500' each of Dyneema rope, Amsteel, that sort of thing, carabiners and pulleys to set up z-pulleys etc.
    Assuming you get down the Ekwi and roll on down to the Godlin, you should have reasonable (in the big North Canol scheme of things) going up to the low pass to the Twitya. There are numerous nast washouts with big drops down to the Godlin, but ATVs get through. The muskeg through the low pass is pretty soft, and finding a way though could, he!! it will present a challenge. Once through there, the Twitya is a only a short, Alder infested downhill away.
    The Twitya shouldn't present much of a challenge with the right rafts, and the best takeout is at Decca creek, which is about 2-3 KM downstream.
    The next challenge, and potential deal breaker will be Trout creek. In addition to the rope, I'd bring some sort of rappel device for lowering motos down steep washouts. Trout creek is a boulder filled creek bed reminiscent of images I have seen of Dante's Inferno. We pushed and carried for what seemed years. Perhaps this is what hell would be like? Lots of Alder choked road getting down to Trout creek as well.
    After Trout creek, its cruiser all the way to mile 80 pump station. Well, sort of cruiser. As cruiser as it gets on the NCHT. Stay on the South side of Devils pass. There is a washout on the North sides road that would stop you cold, if you do find yourself there, see if you can find Anthony's Leatherman:D.
    Crossing the Carcajou should present no more problems than the myriad of other creeks you have crossed so far. Its shallow and boulder strewn, but not very fast. Once over the Plains of Abraham, the "road" (heh heh:evil) pretty much disappears into a Limestone boulder strewn gulch. This section was a serious carry-fest. I'm sure you'll figure out something to deal with that sort of stuff by this point.
    The section down the Little Keele has no road to speak of, and its essentially river bed, but it will be rideable, more or less.....
    Once you get to where the high road over Blue mountain leaves the river bottom, basicall ditch the "road" bed and follow your nose through the forest back to the river again. Its an alluvial fan that comes down, and the open river bottom resumes just past the alluvial fan, which is rather thickly forested. It will be miserable bush bashing, but buy the ticket, take the ride as they say:lol3
    DON'T even consider taking the high road!!! You have been warned.
    The low road over Blue mountain goes up the next drainage is a boulder infested, Alder choked thrash, but what else is new? You will eventually reach good road bed (with some washouts waaaay above the creek that will demand your attention). The next section is good road bed all the way to the crossing of the little Keele. The Wee Keele is fast and narrow, definately raft territory.
    Good road will take you up and over Whore hill (yep, really). Dropping down into the headwaters of Dodo creek, you will have initially decent road, then mud filled valley botto. The hill side has slumped into the valley obliterating the road. What is left is steep, hummocky Willow infested hill side thrashing, then yet more boulder filled creek bottom down to descent road bed (for a little ways) and Dodo canyon proper. Dodo will be reasonable riding for quite some time, gradually getting more and more cobbled. A major wash out from the right will make things more interesting for you, with large, irregular boulders filling the canyon bottom, and the creek.
    After that, more of the same will lead you to a short section of good road bed that takes you to Carcajou corssing # 2. This will be trivial in the NCHT scheme of things. Your river crossing skills will be seriously honed by now.
    The last 40 KM to The Big Mac will be mostly, MOSTLY good. But the bad bits are bad with a capital B. Swamp to my waste whilst carrying the hawg. Deeper on others:rofl. Fortunately, there are only a few sections like this. We made the Carc to the Big Mac in about 31/2 hours. The muskeg bogs will slow you guys down though, and there are some erosion gulleys closer to the Mac that will entertain you. Your bridging skills will be put to the test. I don't have a clue how the ATVs crossed these bad boys, the gulleys looked recent.
    Then its pretty much downhill to the Mac, and your wait for the boat to take you to well earned beers:1drink Make sure you have something lined up, the nonsense you read about "just lighting a fire" and waiting for a ride is just that.
    So, there you have some what I hope will be "usefull" intel for the route.
    Have fun.
    Cheers
    Paul
  19. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Many, many thanks for the time spent on this report Paul!! One question though, what were your trip dates YYYY/MM/DD?
  20. Paul C

    Paul C Adventurer

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    July 31st-August 8th.
    One thing I noticed on the map plates above, on day 3-8, the road/trail crosses to the north upstream of the major creek coming in from the North, the one that says "Island Wooded Area". Thats Decca creek. The NCHT then heads downstream and swings north on the very right side of 3-8. Map 3-9, the trail is shown as going up Trout creek, when it in actual fact is to the North of the hill with contour interval 3281.
    Nitpicky, I know, but there is actually a very tricky route-finding section where the road swings away from the Twitya and climbs up towards Trout creek. The road is essentially missing there, and an obvious telephone pole trail heads off towards Trout creek. More than one party has gotten way off track there and ended up at Trout creek. You end up having to follow your nose up through a muskeg meadow to pick up the roadbed (which is very good) again. Its tricky, believe me.
    You need to be looking on your left after you leave Decca creek and climb for a bit, for what looks like an old gravel pit on your left/uphill side. Thats the road. If you keep going you follow what "looks" like a road, but is actuall the telephone line, and it peters out into a game trail that heads off to the lower section of Trout creek.
    Good times!