Experience one of the largest bodies of water in North America on our 5-day Spectacular Northwest Territories Paddle trip. This adventure is a once in a lifetime experience for stand up paddlers with a passion for epic exploration, beautiful scenery and remote big lake paddling ! Guests on this trip will be the FIRST guided SUP group on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, Dene First Nation traditional territory and will have an opportunity to navigate point to point along beautiful Blanchet Island, explore the small islands of Shelter Bay, and experience the magic of our midnight sun. Great Slave Lake is known for it’s world class fishing and a unique opportunity you will have on this trip is the chance to catch your own shore lunch from the deck of your paddle board if you so desire.
An experience in itself, guests will fly in a de Havilland DHC-6 Twin Otter float plane (the workhorse of the Arctic) approximately 120km from Yellowknife to the East Arm of Great Slave Lake. After the breathtaking flight, we will land on floats at our dropping point where guests will then pack up their inflatable touring boards and navigate along the north shore of Blanchet Island. Over a day and a half, we will explore, paddle, hike, fish and navigate approximately 25kms of shore line until reaching the beautiful calm waters of Shelter Bay. Here, time is spent exploring the amazing terrain and numerous islands and inlets while eating fully catered shore lunches by our experience local camp cooks. At the end of our four days, the float plane will arrive and take us back to Yellowknife where time can be spent exploring the historic sites that make this gold rush town a tourism hot spot in the summer months.
Norm Hann Expeditions is excited to partner with the Guides from Old Town Paddle & Co. Benji and Ivan are life-long northerners, well trained and with years of experience on Great Slave Lake, both navigating its waters and fishing for its trophies. This trip is guaranteed to provide the highest level of SUP expertise available, lots of fun and the unique opportunity of paddling the remote corners of Great Slave Lake!
Join us for this spectacular adventure in the land of the midnight sun, the NorthWest Territories.
Date: July 14-18, 2017
Price: $1899 + gst
Location: Yellowknife, NT / Great Slave Lake
Guides: Norm Hann, Benji Straker, Ivan Gloeden
Pre Requisites: Stand Up Paddle experience is recommended
Cost Includes the Following
- Airport pickup/drop off
- Meals: Starting breakfast on July 15th and through lunch on day 5 July 18th .
- SUP touring and SUP-fishing clinic on Back Bay of Great Slave Lake in Yellowknife on July 14th
- All local protocol fees and fishing licenses
- Aegir SUP inflatable stand up paddleboards, paddles and all safety gear
- All necessary fishing equipment and tackle
- Boat support throughout expedition
- Float plane fly-in costs
- 1:3 guide to client ratio
Price Does Not Include the Following
- Transportation between your home and Yellowknife return
- Personal belongings and equipment (see equipment and packing list)
- Accommodation in Yellowknife prior to trip and prior to departure home
- Excess baggage charges
- Any extra expenses incurred because of weather, logistical delays, or delayed departures of scheduled orchartered aircraft
A $500 deposit is required at the time of booking to secure your place on the expedition with the balance to be paid 60 days prior to trip departure. Payments by cheque to Old Town Paddle Co or email transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org are preferred. You can also pay via credit card but a 3% service charged will be applied to your invoice.
Cancellation 60 days prior to trip start date will result in a refund of deposit less $200. Cancellation within 59-30 days prior to trip start date will result in a refund of 50% of the total cost of the trip. There is no refund for trips cancelled within 30 days of trip departure.
How long are the paddling days?
The first two days after our float plane drop will require us to paddle approximately 24km. While not a significant distance, weather is ever-changing and we want to make sure we can reach our destination points within a reasonable time. Participants can expect approximately 5 hours of paddling per day.
What type of experience and fitness is required?
Guests will need to have some experience paddling a stand up paddleboard in order to enjoy the trip and allow the group to travel at a practical pace. We recommend having a really good lesson to start with in order to develop an efficient forward stroke and then spending weekly time standup paddle boarding in your local area. Ask us about a proper paddling program for multi day expeditions.
Practice on a SUP while loaded with multi-day camping gear (or equivalent dry bag weight) is recommended as paddling with a loaded vessel is quite different than paddling with no load.
What are the lake conditions like?
The weather forecast is never a guarantee so we can expect anything from warm, sunny and +30c to cool, extremely windy and +10c. We try our best to avoid windy and wavy conditions, but the first point to point portion of this trip requires us to paddle along an exposed portion of the lake while carrying all of our gear. Once we reach Shelter Bay, there are many areas that are protected from wind of all directions.
The East Arm of Great Slave Lake does not thaw until mid to late June so water temperatures can still be easily under 10c at this time of year.
Do I need to know how to fish on a paddleboard?
Absolutely not! One of the fun parts of this trip is learning the skill of SUP fishing. We will be both casting and trolling from our boards (and from shore) and our experienced guides are happy to spend as much time with our guests to make sure they are comfortable with the skill. We are also going to run a practice clinic prior to our trip on July 14th.
What if I don’t want to fish?
No problem! This trip will provide an amazing opportunity just to explore and experience the Spectacular NWT from your Stand Up Paddleboard without having to sink a line! With a high guide to client ratio, we can be sure to tailor this trip to your needs.
How bad are the bugs/mosquitos?
While the bugs won’t be a problem while paddling on the water (especially if we have a breeze and its warm and sunny), they are the worst in wooded areas and in the early evening and night. However for those who aren’t used to mosquitos, they are potentially too much for some people to handle. We feel that with the proper clothing and bug repellent, those little critters won’t affect your enjoyment on this trip!
This itinerary may be altered due to factors such as weather, and group interest, with guides working within the parameters of safety, time, and area highlights. This standup paddleboard (SUP) trip will be mainly self-supported with some boat support.
*All guests must arrive in Yellowknife prior to 10am on July 14, 2017. There are evening flights into Yellowknife on July 13th from Edmonton and Calgary on both Air Canada and Westjet. There are also direct flights from Ottawa on Air North on July 12th*
Day 1 – July 14, 2017
10am – Breakfast meet and greet – Location TBD
SUP & SUP Fishing Clinic on Back Bay, Great Slave Lake Trip Overview, Gear Check & Safety Orientation Group meal
Day 2 – July 15, 2017
Flight from Yellowknife to Blanchet Island Unload, orientation
Paddle, explore, fish
Overnight at Dragonfly Bay
Day 3 – July 16, 2017
Paddle, explore, fish Arrive at Shelter Bay Overnight at Shelter Bay
Day 4 – July 17, 2017
Explore Shelter Bay
Hike into remote lake Fish, paddle, explore Overnight at Shelter Bay
Day 5 – July 18, 2017
Morning fish, paddle
After lunch flight pick-up
Flight back to Yellowknife
Evening flights home or overnight in Yellowknife
Provided by Old Town Paddle Co
Inflatable Standup Paddleboard
Participant to Bring
neoprene booties or water shoes for paddling and walking the rocky shore (5mm recommended)
2 pair of socks
Long Sleeve synthetic top
Synthetic T Shirt
Synthetic or down jacket
Long Underwear/synthetic tights or neoprene leggings (for paddling)
Head & Hands
Sun Hat/Ball Cap
Camping and Paddling Gear
Dry bags for everything list above plus tent
Life Straw water bottle or compact water filtration system
Water bottle/hyrdration pack if no Life Straw bottle
Headlamp w batteries
snacks/individual nutrition requirements
** While air temperatures can reach up to the high 20c’s this time of the year, water temp in the east arm can still be close to freezing. Winds off the lake can affect the air temp dramatically. Please prepare accordingly.
Benji Straker: was born and raised on the shores of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. Surrounded by water his entire life, he has spent most of his existence exploring the unlimited number of waterways close to home, fishing one of the largest lakes in the world and enjoying all that the outdoors offers in the Spectacular NWT.
Stepping onto a paddleboard for the first time in 2001, it quickly became a passion which soon after turned into the need to share the sport with others. From providing paddle training to beginners, to regular race and fitness training on his race-board, to fishing for trophy Northern Pike and Lake Trout, there isn’t much that Benji hasn’t done in his back yard on a board.
He is a Paddle Canada Advanced SUP and Touring Instructor and has his River 2 and Surf 2 SUP certifications. Benji and his business partner Ivan have been running Old Town Paddle & Co. in Yellowknife since, NT since 2003, offering training and tours/expeditions in northern Canada.
Norm Hann: Norm has been coastal adventure guiding for 17 years as a sea kayak, salmon fishing, wilderness and wildlife guide. Norm is a Paddle Canada Instructor Trainer for Flatwater, Surf, River and Touring and has been instructing and leading multi day sup expeditions for 10 years. He is also trained in Wilderness First Aid, Swiftwater Rescue and is a qualified High School and college teacher and instructor.
Getting to Yellowknife
You must arrive in Yellowknife the day before our breakfast meeting on July 14t h in preparation for trip planning and clinics.
Air North offers direct flights to Yellowknife three times a week from Whitehorse and Ottawa.
The drive from Edmonton (the nearest largest center) to Yellowknife is approximately 1400kms and has many points of interest along the way. The Northwest Territories’ Parks system offers beautiful camping on your trip north. For more information, visit www.nwtparks.ca where you can download the NWT Road & Campground Guide.
For more information on Yellowknife and tourism in the Northwest Territories, visit:
Accommodations in Yellowknife
Yellowknife has a large selection of hotels, B&B’s, guest lodges and camping. For information on where to stay, you can visit visityellowknife.com or any accommodation website.