Dempster road trip report circa 1979

Discussion in 'Canada' started by SnortenNorton, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. SnortenNorton

    SnortenNorton Adventurer

    Sep 10, 2006
    Cow Town
    Found this while looking up info on the Dempster. Looks like it was published in Sports Illustrated in Oct 1979. Even though its about a road trip in a truck it has some interesting info of the period.
    one sample:
    The Lost Patrol was a team of four Royal Northwest Mounties who were deputed to carry the mail from Herschel Island in the Beaufort Sea, via Fort McPherson on the Peel River, to Dawson in the winter of 1911. They didn't get far. Following a dispute with their Indian guide over wages, Inspector Francis J. Fitzgerald, the patrol's leader, decided that his team should find its own way south from Fort McPherson. The party got lost in the brutal cross-hatch of mountains near the Hart Divide on the Little Wind River, west of Eagle Plains. With temperatures ranging down to 80-below and food running out, the men ate their dog team and then resigned themselves to death. They wrote their last wills and testaments and froze, except for one man who shot himself, perhaps to resist the call of cannibalism. In late February of that year Corporal W. J. D. Dempster of the Mounties was ordered to find the lost patrol. That he did on March 22, after a feat of tracking and trailing through wicked weather that has rarely been matched. Jack Dempster lived to a ripe old age, but not long enough to see the highway named for him open to softies like us.

    Here is the link


    Edit: changed link so it starts at page 1