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Introduction and History
|Iíve climbed the portage twice, the first time in 2003 with
a light load, the second time in 2004, portaging a canoe and packs requiring
five carries. The portage bypasses the fearsome rapids higher up
on the Naskaupi River, which had to be fearsome indeed to motivate the
Innu to carry heavy loads over this killer portage.
Dead falls and wind falls which had completely blocked the first stretches of the portage were cleared away by Wayne Halley and friends in 2003 in preparation for a remarkable trip by Wayne and Carl McLean in 2004 in which they retraced the whole of Dillon Wallace's 1905 trip. Wayne (from St. Johns), and Carl (from Iqaluit, Baffin Island, but who grew up in North West River where his father is a trapper), portaged and canoed from North West River to Ungava Bay in only 43 days. Their adventure merits a book to go with the book by Wallace after his trip and I hope we will soon see one.
As readers may guess, in 2004 I was attempting a solo version of the
Wallace 1905 trip, following in the footsteps of Wayne and Carl, who were
leaving markers behind to guide me through the trickiest portions.
The additional effort required in going solo, coupled, I now realize, with
an insufficient source of fat to go with my freeze-dried diet, obliged
me to give up on day 25, after losing 30 lbs. I still hope to complete
the entire trip solo, but in stages over the next two years.