Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel guide to the world.

Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Ontario , CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | Destinations | Travel Guide to the World By.
Photos by The Expeditioners Roberto & Bella
Writing by Roberto

WHERE: Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park, Canada Situated
Located in the heart of the Temagami region and centre of a 2400km interconnected canoeing network, thousands of years old
A spectacular wilderness park that has a beautiful rugged topography, crystal clear lakes and rivers galore.
The Lady Evelyn River is the centerpiece of the park, surrounded by some of the highest points in Ontario, with stands of towering pine and numerous waterfalls
The park forms the headwaters for a number of rivers in the Temagami area and is connected to four waterway parks
The park protects some of Temagami’s famous old growth White and Red pine ecosystems– which are blissful to camp around. This is indeed a canoe-camper’s paradise!

WHEN WE WENT: We were there this past end of July/ Beginning of Aug. We received our gorgeous Bluewater canoe from our amazing sponsor’s (Impex Kayaks,Scott Canoes and Bluewater Canoes) warehouse in New Liskeard, Ontario- and proceeded to head out for some canoe camping on Smoothwater Lake.

WHAT WE DID: We canoe camped for a week, searching little inlets, enjoying beach campsites, and as always, photographing everything! The bugs weren’t too bad at all and the landscape was phenomenal.

WHERE WE STAYED: All canoe campers know that packing up for a multi-day paddling adventure can be a toilsome task. Luckily, We had the Edgewater Motel and campground that sponsored us for over a week in New Liskeard. A delightful place to stay on the shore of Temiskaming Lake, the jovial banter from the owners is warming indeed. Take a stroll along the water to watch perfect orange sunsets. We stayed here both before our canoe camping adventure, as well as after! The shower and bed was delightful after being out in Lady Evelyne Smoothwater Provincial Park
Learn More about the Edgewater Motel and Campground at http://www.edgewatermotel.ca/

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARK: Experience the rugged terrain marked by clear lakes and rushing rivers. Hike the Ishpatina Ridge or Maple Mountain and marvel at the stunning panoramas of the landscape below. Photograph the plentiful wildlife and explore the many deep lakes and fast flowing streams that are ideal for Lake and Brook trout. Learn about the parks significant geological, biological and cultural features that are unique to one of North America’s premier canoeing destinations.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Canoe Camping – Lady Evelyne RIver, the Makobe River, Smoothwater to Scarecrow Lake
2. Canoe Day Trips
3. Fishing: ngling is primarily for Brook trout and Lake trout in many of the lakes and streams in the park. Sucker Gut Lake contains warm-water species such as Walleye and Small-mouth bass. Ontario provincial fishing regulations apply.
4. Swimming: There are endless opportunities in the backcountry for swimming including both shallow and deeper water entries along rocky headlands.
5. Birding
6. Boating
7. Hiking: Maple Mountain Trail: 3.2km or Ishpatina Ridge Trail: 3.2 km
8. You can also take a quick hike up Devil’s Rock (just a few km’s from Edgwater Motel) and get some amazing views of Temiscaming Lake

OPERATING DATES:
Camping Dates
April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013
Opening and Closing (Day Use)

April 26, 2013 to October 27, 2013

GETTING HERE: Easy Drive from Montreal, Toronto or Ottawa

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Yellowknife, NWT, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Yellowknife, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | Destinations | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and time-laspe by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Yellowknife (and surrounding area), Northwest Territories, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: It was this past end of August, and we stayed in the area for almost 3 weeks. The end of August is a particularly nice time to go because you are able to see the Northern Lights dance across the sky on every evening that there are no clouds. We captured nightly time-lapse after time-lapse, and can difinitively say that these were the best lights we have ever seen! Secondly, for the outdoorsman, most of the bugs are gone. This is a fantastic thing for canoeists, hikers, boaters, kayakers or cottage goers.

WHAT WE DID: We explored Yellowknofe Old town, getting Bella a pair of handmade Mukluks. We spent a week at the Willow Ridge Retreat on the outskirts of YK, photographing the Northern Lights, Mountain Biking, and took out the canoe on Prelude lake for some mind-boggling sunsets. We also headed out on a spectacular 10 day expedition on Great Slave Lake–exploring nameless islands, feeling the expanse of this enormous body of water, and capturing skies like we have never seen before

WHERE WE STAYED: The Willow Ridge Retreat is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for the Northern Lights. Being about 25km from town, there is no light pollution here, and you can sit on their idyllic viewing deck all night watching the starry skies be painted in swirls of green, white and purple. We camped in Prelude Lake Territorial Park as well.
Learn More about the Willow Ridge at www.willowridgeretreat.ca

HISTORY: Yellowknife’s name originates from a Chipewyan tribe who used weapons and tools made of copper that appeared yellow in colour. This tribe battled the Dogrib of the area for many years but the Dogrib Dene re-claimed the area in the 1820s. The Yellowknives Dene of today are the descendents of the Chipewyan tribe. In 1825 Chief Akaitcho became a peacemaker when, at Mesa Lake, he participated in a famous peace treaty with Dogrib Chief Edzo, ending the long period of hostility and warfare between the Chipewyan and Dogrib. The city is also known as Sombe K’e, which means “place of money” in the Tlicho language.In the 1930s gold was found on the shores of Yellowknife Bay. It changed Yellowknife forever. By 1936 it was a boomtown to which southerners, often plagued financially by the Great Depression, flocked for work and adventure.

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Visit Old Town
2. Stay at the Aurora Village
3. Stay in a B&B Boat House
4. Canoe the Tibbit Lake Circuit
5. Mountain Bike on the Tundra
6. Explore the Gallery of the Midnight Sun & Weaver- & Devore for arts crafts and all your camping needs.
7. Cameron Fals Hiking Trail

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Jets connect Edmonton and Calgary to Yellowknife 6 times per day. Fly with Air Canada, Canadian North, First Air and WestJet

Three highways link the North to Yukon, British Columbia and Alberta. Drive up the Alaska Highway through Yukon to link to the NWT’s Dempster Highway. Follow Alberta Highway 35 north to connect to NWT Highway 1, the Mackenzie Highway. British Columbia Highway 77 connects to NWT Highway 7, the Liard Highway.

There’s scheduled bus service on the Mackenzie Highway, and seasonal bus service on the Dempster Highway. Vehicle and RV rentals are available for the Mackenzie Highway from Edmonton, Alberta, and for the Dempster Highway from Whitehorse, Yukon.

Road Distances: From Yellowknife to:
Miles KM
Vancouver, BC 1613 2595
Edmonton, AB 937 1508
Calgary, AB 1110 1789
Winnipeg, MB 1773 2853
Toronto, ON 2824 4544
Whitehorse, YT 1180 1900
Chicago, IL 3078 4953
Dallas, TX 3150 5069
Salt Lake City, UT 2036 3278
Denver, CO 2391 3848

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Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

Jasper, Alberta, CANADA | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and time-laspe by Roberto & Bella

WHERE: Jasper, Alberta, Canada

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I experienced the Jasper area twice this year. Our first pass through was the first week of October. The second was again for a week in mid-November.

WHAT WE DID: We went hiking along the trails behind the Jasper town. We bouldered at their municipal wall. We went for a few 2km swim sessions. We sea-kayaked on Maligne Lake. We walked the whole town, several times. We used it as a base for a winter trekking trip. We hiked through knee deep powder. Around stunning Waterfalss and hoarfrost. Until finally, at Berg Lake we experienced a magical night by a glacier..with stunning Northern Lights above. We stayed up all night staring at the sparkling sky. (See the timelapse we took below!)

WHERE WE STAYED: The Whistler’s Inn – Centrally located–just across the street from the train station and in the heart of it all. A lively bar downstairs with plenty of friendly locals. Elk grazing almost every evening in the parc across the street. Super comfortable rooms with ample space. Rooftop jaccuzi. And an uber kind and attentive staff!
Website: www.whistlersinn.com

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Check out Maligne Canyon & Maligne Lake
2. Visit the Athabasca Falls
3. Explore the Columbia Icefield
4. Take the Jasper Tramway to the top of Mount WHistler
5. Mountain Biking what some call the best trails in the world.
6. Ski at Marmot Bason
7. Hike the Bald Hills
8. Of Golf at the Jasper Golf Course…if you;re so inclined:)

HOW TO GET HERE:
A. Drive from Calgary: 5 hours (some of the most stunningly beautiful driving you have ever seen..trust me–we’ve dona lot of driving all over the world, and this drive is the most stunning .. ever! | Drive from Edmonton: 3 Hours and 45min

Jasper National Park is situated 370 kilometers (192 mi) west of Edmonton, 404 kilometers (256 mi) northwest of Calgary and 805 km (500 mi) northeast of Vancouver.

If you don’t have a car, you can take the Jasper Shuttle bus from Edmonton, Banff, Calgary and Lake Louise. Check out: www.jasperadventurecentre.com/shuttle-bus.html

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roadtothemountains

Kayaking Maligne

elktown

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Bear Bang Gear Review: Tru Flare

The Expeditioners Video Gear Review: Tru Flare

Being out in the wild requires you be conscience of the wildlife. For us Canadians that enjoy wilderness travel, there will always be Black Bears and Grizzly Bears to deal with exploring the wild!

You can startle them quite easily if you’re coming up a trail and they didn’t hear you. And your defence against these hairy canines (when you don’t have a rifle) are more intended to deter, than to stop. Enter the Tru Flare, a pen sized device that launches blanks into the air with a loud bang in the hopes of scaring them away. Be reminded that there is no guarantee that a.the bear will get scared from the noise or b. that you’ll actually have time to launch one before being charged.

This one that I demonstrate using is an aar-jarring shotgun-style bird banger that shoots 125 ft away from you. Noise level: 115 dB.

You can also use the pen-launcher for Emergency Flares. Check-out our demonstration of the Bear Bang in Willmore Wilderness, Alberta, Canada (Aka. Bear Region!)

Rock Out in the Wild

rockout

Do you listen to tunes when you’re camping or doing adventure sports in the wild? Or do you prefer nature’s sounds throughout your entire camping experience?

On our travels (and in conversations) I’ve found that there are two camps on this debate– those that love it, and those that scoff at listening to music in the bush. Personally, we love it. At the right time. Paddling across a pristine lake at night with the stars sparkling above and a little Enya or Sigur Ros on the earphones truly transports you. Trekking 15km of portages in a day can be awesome with the right tunes on–but without, it can be just grueling. The crackling campfire is wonderful– but add a little Jack Johnson to it and it is sublime.

Granted, there are times when the sounds of the loon are all we need. Like dawn.

So, it’s natural that we’ve gone through all sorts of earphones and speakers on our adventures– destroying many along the way. But through trial and error we eventually found the perfect little sound system for the bush. Enter Goal Zero Canada’s “Rock-Out” Speaker. The magic in this little fella’s great acoustics lie in the fact that the speaker is in a wood box inside of it’s casing–creating rich and great sound. What about batteries? No problem, plug the speaker into your solar panel and charge it up! Or you can simply charge it via USB. Still, neither of these things is what impresses me the most.

What has never ceased to amaze us is how indestructible the Rock-Out is. We’ve filled them with sand on the beach, got them wet kayaking, covered them with snow while winter camping, and dropped them an innumerable amount of times. They really have gone through The Expeditioners test…and somehow…they still manage to rock on.

Funk Factor: Purported to run up to 20 hours on a 2 hour charge–we’ve reached 15 hours!

Learn more about them at www.goalzero.ca

Photo by The Expeditioners Magazine Roberto
In photo you have the Goal Zero Nomad 13.5 charging my ipod mini and the “Rock-Out” Speaker on the left.

The Rock-Out Speaker

The Kruger Feline

The Cheetah

Photo by The Expeditioners Bella

South Africa’s Kruger National Park is renowned for having a stunning array of wildlife. But it is the “Big Five” that most visitors hope to see on their visit. The “Big Five” is a term originally used by hunters in reference to 5 of Africa’s most dangerous animals to hunt: The Leopard, The Lion, The Elephant, The White Rhino, and The Buffalo.

There are few places in the world where one has the opportunity to see all of these in their natural and wild habitat.

For of the “Big Five” are usually easy to spot in Kruger. Elephants and Rhinos are huge, and make them easy to spot. The Buffalos are often in a herd, making them again easy to see. Even Lions tend to be in a group, lazily resting in the daytime, to conserve energy for their evening hunt. The leopard though, is something else.

Known to be Africa’s most efficient hunter, the Leopard is a solitary animal that usually hunts at night. Weighing between 100 and 200lbs, it has been known to pull-up a full-sized Impala up a tree.

Our wonderfully knowledgeable safari guide (Debbie) from Outlook Lodge and Safaris explained the above and more to us about Kruger’s Leopards. She even found us a Leopard Den where we got a quick glimpse at the mother’s tail. Alas, the den was too far away for a good photo—and for our own protection, as well as Kruger’s wildlife, nobody is allowed to exit a vehicle while on safari.

A couple of days later, Bella and I picked up our car compliments of Budget Car Rentals South Africa at Kruger Airport, only a skip away from the park. We b-lined for the Numbi Gate to the park, and began our self-drive safari adventure.

We quickly spotted Rhinos, Impalas, Buffalo, Wild Dogs, Zebras, Elephants, Giraffs and more. But it was the morning after, as we drove along the S36 dirt road near Lugmag that the climax to our photo safari came. We were putting along, eyes peeled to our respective sides of the road , when suddenly a Leopard ambled non-chalantly onto the road in front of us!

“Love! It’s a Leopard!!!” I exclaimed. (Little did we know it was actually a Cheetah)

We fumbled with our cameras and watched it walk in front of us, completely aware of our presence, yet unperturbed by it. Understandable, as when you’re at the top of the food chain, not much worries you.

We followed.

For over 100 meters, the feline stayed in front of us, periodically glancing back at us. At one point, it was only a few meters away from us. Bella’s camera snapped photo after photo while I figured out how to drive standard with my left hand while simultaneously taking photos.

A moment later, the cheetah stopped one last time to look at Bella before disappearing into the tall grass. At the time we thought it was a leopard, but after doing some research, we believe it was a Cheetah.

Does it make our encounter any less special? No! We will indeed be talking of that day for a long time to come!

Gear: Bella had her Kenko Polarising filter on her lens, removing the sun’s glare on the photo and creating a crystal clear image.

South Africa Adventure Sponsored by: Outlook Safaris, Budget Car Rentals South Africa, LowePro Canada, Daymen Canada

You can watch the fastest animal in the world..in slow motion here! It’s spectacular to watch!

Back-Country BC

Back-Country BC

I’ve been skiing since I was 5 years old. Every weekend, my parents would drop me off with the YMCA ski school which would take us to a different mountain for the day. The surrounding area of Montreal has the highest concentration of ski hills in the world. Mont Saint Sauveur, Owl’s Head, Orford, Tremblant, Mont Blanc, Sutton, Jay Peak, Bromont, Chanteclair and many more. While these hills are nowhere near the majesty of Canada’s West Coast Mountains, they sufficed for my adolescent and teenage years.

About 6 years ago, I went to ski Whistler and Blackcomb in Canada’s West– and learned what a true ski mountain consists of. Extremely long runs, inspiring views, and powder… lots of powder! Yet this was not to be the final step in the evolution of my skiing, for indeed it was only a few years ago that Bella and I got into the world of back-country skiing and touring.

Exponentially harder, back-country skiing consists of heading into remote regions with a special ski binding that allows your heel to lift. By donning ‘skins’ (fuzzy mohair strips that attach with glue to the bottom of your skis) you are able to literally ski uphill. You begin below the tree line and wind your way through pine trees, across avalanche chutes, and up into the alpine.

It can take hours to reach your destination– always heading higher and higher. The exertion is exhausting, as you carry your gear/food/water in backpack. But it is well worth it. For once you reach the top, you get to lay fresh tracks in knee deep powder, with not a soul in sight except for your ski partner. It’s liberating and extremely rewarding.

In this photo you see Bella after an awesome descent in British Columbia’s Marriot Basin.

Where to stay while you ski: Canada’s back-country has a network of huts up in the mountains, so that you can leave all your camping gear in the hut while you run epic powdery run after epic run.

It took us 5- hours to reach the Wendy Thompson Hut in Marriot Basin which is owned and operated by the Alpine Club of Canada. We did it in a snowstorm and late in the day and without knowing the route. You can easily shave off a couple of hours if you know the way.

Required Equipment:
1. Back-Country Skis, or Snowboard
2. Avalanche Transceivers
3. Shovel
4. Backpack
5. Skins
6. Ski Poles
7. Gloves/ Tuque/ Wool Socks
8. Shell Jacket
9. Down Jacket
10. GPS (not necessary, but good to have in the back-country)