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Backpacker Magazine – April 1995

Canada's Lewis and Clark: Alexander Mackenzie

When it came to continent crossing, the noted U.S. explorers were a step behind Canada's Alexander Mackenzie. And until you hike his namesake trail, you can't truly appreciate the toughness of his journey or the magnitude of his accomplishment.

by: Steve Howe

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Curtains of pellet snow filter through the pines as a spring squall rolls gently across British Columbia's Coast Range. Darryl Czuchra and I climb slowly up the relentless switchbacks toward Hump Lake, working our way over snowdrifts and timber deadfalls. As the snow deepens with altitude, trail markers and axe blazes disappear beneath the white. In the Bella Coola Valley 4,000 feet below us, flowers are blooming and grizzlies are foraging for fresh spring grasses, but here on the Interior Plateau, winter still reigns supreme.

In lieu of a visible trail, we follow a line of fresh wolf tracks through the primal forests, tiptoeing over the barely frozen crust. Fortunately, this lone wolf seems to know the route, so we continue on, all the while climbing toward the alpine region of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park along the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail. Considering the history that led to this trail's designation, it's entirely appropriate that we're following the tracks of another. Here, there's a long tradition of white men trailing the locals.

In July of 1793, a 29-year-old Scotsman named Alexander Mackenzie, working for the fur-trapping Northwest Company, traveled this same route through what is now British Columbia. Accompanied by seven French-Canadian voyageurs, two native porters, and a dog, he eventually reached the Pacific Ocean and became the first to cross North America, beating Lewis and Clark by a good 12 years.

As I stomp along in my high-tech apparel and dry boots, my thoughts wander back to Mackenzie and crew and their epic journey. What must it have been like for them, trotting 20 to 30 miles a day through this landscape, clad in buckskin and moccasins, carrying 90-pound sacks of pemmican on their backs? Did they, like me, gasp for air and wonder how long it was to the next ridge? Or were they so inured by years of wilderness living that it was just another daily routine?

For all their toughness and determination, neither Mackenzie nor Lewis and Clark forged their way without help through what today is often thought of as an empty, uncharted wilderness. When they wanted to know where to go, they could ask directions from the numerous natives they met along the way. In Mackenzie's case, for nearly two-thirds of his Canadian crossing he retraced already well-traveled voyageur waterways. Then, when he reached northeast Alberta, he followed native advice and paddled down winding streams and chain lakes to the Fraser River in present-day British Columbia.

It was there that the resident Nazcotins, who were part of the Southern Carrier tribe, told him of fierce rapids and hostile tribes farther downstream. The Nazcotin recommended that Mackenzie's men leave their birchbark canoes behind and continue westward on what the natives called "The Great Road," one of many "grease trails" that linked the coastal Haida peoples with the Athabascans in the vast Canadian interior. Along this webwork of paths, the Carrier middlemen hauled moose hides and obsidian they traded for seashells, otter pelts, and the rendered oil of the eulachon fish. Eulachon oil, or grease, was valued for its calories and vitamin content. This thriving native economy made for constant foot traffic, and even in 1793, Mackenzie described the Great Road as "very good and well traced."

And so would Darryl and I, although Mackenzie was smart enough to be here in July. Right now it's May, hard on the heels of a winter that saw record snowfall in British Columbia, and we're scouting the place to shoot Anyplace Wild's Season Three premiere. The Great Road won't emerge for months, and aside from the wolf who laid the tracks in front of us, the rest of the locals are in warmer locales.

This 216-mile overland portion of Mackenzie's 5,000-mile journey is known as the Alexander Mackenzie Heritage Trail, a designation that came officially in 1982. (His entire, coast-to-coast course is known as the Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route.) The trail's naming overlooked its ancient origins and understandably miffed the local Ulgatchuz and Nuxalk tribes who used it for centuries and still refer to the path as the Nuxalk-Carrier Route. But to give credit where due, the tribes undoubtedly followed even earlier inhabitants, like the caribou and wolves who still migrate through the area.

The Great Road/Carrier Route led Mackenzie westward along the West Road River, across the rambling Chilcotin Plateau, the Dean River, and the Rainbow Range to what is now the Bella Coola Valley. From there, they paddled downriver and out to the Pacific where, beset by powerful and warlike coastal tribes, the explorer scrawled a brief inscription before turning around: "Alexander Mackenzie, from Canada, by land, 22nd July, 1793." A replica of the famous words is there today.

The wolf tracks wander off among thickets and cliff bands--apparently searching for better rabbit hunting--so Darryl and I are reduced to guessing which forest hallways are the trail and which are buried streams. As we zigzag and backtrack, the dense spruce trees creak and moan in the mountain breezes, and wisps of lichen sway lazily from their branches. About the time we pass Hump Lake, the snowstorm gives way to brilliant blue sky. The warming air brings a promise of emerging spring.

To gain a view of the surrounding countryside, we climb to some bare-topped hills, where we spread our maps, eat lunch, and scout the surroundings. Twenty miles east of us, Hunlen Falls thunders 1,300 feet into its water-carved gorge; huge, even at this distance. Rugged canyons and vast plateaus roll northward to the red and ocher talus of the Rainbow Range, the peaks the natives called Tsitsutl, "the mountains that bleed." Across the deep gorge of the Bella Coola Valley, the Pacific Ranges soar upward to block the southern horizon. Stupendous Mountain, named by Mackenzie, rises in snow-clad tiers, and beyond it, layer upon layer of rugged peaks and towering spires march south toward Vancouver before disappearing. From this anonymous hilltop, it's startlingly obvious that the Mackenzie Heritage Trail is a magnificent journey in its own right, but it only scratches the surface of this immense and striking country.

As I scan the surrounding countryside, it's easy to imagine that these deep forests and precipitous gorges both frustrated and awed Mackenzie and his men as they searched for a Northwest Passage to the trade markets of China. The colors of the Rainbows and the spires of the Pacific Ranges probably elicited gasps of admiration and dread. We'll never know, though. While the ambitious young Scotsman's journals vividly describe the cultures he encountered, he barely mentions his emotional impressions of the land. Modern pilgrims must be content with speculation, or as Canadian outdoor guide Geoffrey Peake told me, "To really understand what these early explorers accomplished and the hardships they underwent, you've got to study history with your boots."

From our high point, Darryl and I have other hardships in mind: the kind our film crew will face if they try to cross the snow-choked Rainbows anytime soon. The route won't be snow-free for months, so we'll have to look for alternate locations. Even though we've just humped camping gear up 4,500 feet of mountain, we pack up and plunge-step down toward the lupine and buttercups of the Bella Coola Valley. It's tough to leave such a panorama, but we're off to discover other wonders along the "Great Road."

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Trekking in Nepal
Mar 01, 2013

Acute Trek Pvt Ltd an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements. Acute trek is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come.

Annapurna Trekking a moment for hiking acclimatizing in Manang A spiritual welcome gate in Chame, Manang Mount Dhaulagiri view from Muktinath. This is a "teahouse trek," meaning there are villages with lodges and restaurants to eat and stay in along the entire route. You are expected to eat breakfast and dinner in the same lodge where you are spending the night. Prices of rooms are seemingly inexpensive because of this (100-300Rs for a double) - lodge owners tend to make more money on the food and drinks they are selling you than on the room where you are sleeping. The amazing suspension bridge over Kali Gandaki River Enjoying the beautiful moments at Thorung La Pass at 5416mGhorepani Trek during winter Annapurna Trekking. Manang and Mustang are of the higher elevations and are predominantly Tibetan Buddhist. The Manang people are Gurung (not Tibetan descent) and are very proud of their unique cultural heritage and merging of lower land Gurung and Tibetan cultural influences. People of Mustang identify themselves a lot closer with Tibet and the Mustang region has actually been part of Tibet in history. The upper sub-alpine steppe environment harbors some of the rare snow leopards and blue sheep. Conservation area has 100 varieties of orchids and some of the richest temperate rhododendron forest in the world. For thousands of years people of diverse ethnic backgrounds have scratched a livelihood out of its steep hillsides. Other areas of the region protect bird species such as the multi-coloured Impeyan, kokla, blood pheasant amongst a multitude of other birds, butterflies, insects adventure trekking in Annapurna.

Everest Trekking offers you great chance to have unique experience. The Everest area is situated in eastern Nepal. It is protected by the Sagarmatha National Park, established in 1976 with an area of 1148 square kilometers. Mt Everest trekking route is justifiably the most famous of all trekking, mountain regions. We descend to the Imja Khola and continue to the villages of Pangboche, Pheriche before finally approaching the Khumbu Glacier. Located in eastern Nepal, the Everest region offers a wide range of trekking experiences. The park is largely composed of the rugged terrain, gorges of the high Himalayas. From the Everest Base Camp trek(listed as one of the ten best trips in the world) to treks in remote semi-wilderness areas, there is much to choose from. Khumbu is also the home of the legendary Sherpas. Altitude ranges from 2845 meters above sea level to the top of the world, Mt. Everest at 8848 meters. Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world, which is known in Nepal as "Sagarmatha" the goddess mother of the world, has long been the greatest attraction for nature lovers, trekkers alike. Solukhumbu, the heartland of the Everest Region, an integral part of the Himalayan mystique, thus provides a welcome destination for these adventurer trekking in Everest.

Langtang Trekking is closer to Kathmandu and a little less populated than other trekking destinations in Nepal. Tamang ethnic group is major pioneer in Short Langtang trekking valley region. The lake is also sacred to Buddhists. Langtang trek can be done round the year. This High and isolated region is inhabited by Tamangs whose religious practices, language and dress are much more similar to those of Tibet than to the traditions of their cousins in the Middle Hills. Nepal Langtang hiking area is protected as a National park of Nepal and it has high numbers of white Himalayan peaks.Which take you to the Langtang valley that lies just south of the Tibetan Border. Slender Nepal Langtang trek valley is has touched to Tibet but the trek area is still far away from Tibetan Plateau. In Nepal Langtang Trekking you will explore the wonderful attractiveness of the land with its hurrying rivers and lush jungles. Langtang Trekking starts from the village of Dunche, walking on the open and fertile valley. Nepal's national flower, the Rhododendron looks amazing with the backdrop of snow-capped mountains and photo opportunities on this trekking are endless. Nepal Langtang trekking or hike offers you the chance to discover the villages, hiking small peaks and explore glaciers at contentedy low altitudes.The pristine Gompa at Kyanjin is set in midst of the Himalayas and the views from all directions are phenomenal adventure trekking in Langtang.

Peak Climbing in Nepal a total of 33 peaks of up to 6600 meters elevation, have been designated as Nepal Peak Climbing. Known as the Himalayan Kingdom, Nepal has 1310 mountains which are over 5648 meters to 8848m above sea level. This makes our country very popular for mountaineers. Title may propose that these peaks are easier to attempt than expedition peaks but this is not unavoidably true. Some, in fact, are technically very challenging and have foiled the efforts of some highly knowledgeable mountaineers. We shall willingly send you the rules and system of the Nepal Mountaineering association upon appeal. If you are interested venture into the snow and ice regions of the high Himalayas, please contact us for detailed information. Since 1978, the Nepal Mountaineering Association has had the authority to issue climbing permits for peaks. Climbing in Nepal is a charming dream for many mountain climbers, as peak climbing, first, became well-liked in Nepal when Mt. Everest was scale by Late Tenzing Norgey and Sir Edmond Hillary in 1953. These peaks has been entrust to the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) who issue permits and over see the rule of peak climb as a adventure trekking in Nepal.

Everest Base Camp Trek is a classic Himalayan trek with unbelievable views and rewards. The treks to Everest base camp pass through a set of small villages, allow you to get a feel for the area and its peoples. The picturesque opportunity is limitless thus enable you to incarcerate, relive your knowledge upon your revisit home. This also includes unbelievable views of south west face of the colossal Mt. Everest. Khumbu area is the home of Mt Everest 8848m the world highest mountain, as well as several other giant. The Everest Base Camp trek is a tough defy, not to be taken lightly with commonly well grade paths but some tougher sections along the Khumbu glacier. We also have the chance to ascend Kala Pattar (5648m) from where we can get some overwhelming views of the Himalayan giants which factually numb your senses with panting respect that beholds the eye, makes up for the lung-bursting climb that took you up there. Everest Base Camp Trek, Kalapattar. Inspiring views comprise Khumbu Glacier, Everest, Nuptse, alpine scrub, junipers of the Sherpa region, the pine forests, rhododendron flowers of the valleys. We always plan our Everest Base Camp Trek to allow sufficient time to ascend Kalapattar, the main screening point for Everest. Everest is one of the world most overwhelming sights, an Everest base camp wonderful escapade. The trek also includes the wonderful hike to Khumbu Glacier, home of Everest Base Camp, the ice fall. Most of our clients would agree that this is the highlight of their knowledge, a necessary ingredient to the adventure trekking.

Annapurna Base Camp Trek is the major peaks of the western portion of the great Annapurna Himalaya, Annapurna South, Annapurna Fang, Annapurna, Ganagapurna, Annapurna 3 and Machhapuchhare and including Annapurna first 8091 meters are arranged almost exactly in a circle about 10 miles in diameter with a deep glacier enclosed field at the center. Annapurna Base Camp is a high glacial basin lying north of Pokhara. This magnificent amphitheatre is called a "sanctuary" because of its natural serenity, beauty and the divine presence of the Hindu goddesses Annapurna and Gangapurna. From this glacier basin, known as the Annapurna base camp trek (Annapurna Sanctuary Trek), the Modi Khola way south in a narrow ravine fully 12 thousand ft. deep. This isolated cirque of peaks can only be approached by one route, a deep gorge that carves into the fortress of mountains between Machhapuchhre and Hiunchuli. Many of the peaks are over 7000m, including the famous twin-peaked Machapuchare, as well as Annapurna I and lll, Annapurna South, Gangapurna and Glacier Dome. Further south, the ravine opens up into a wide and fruitful valley, the domain of the Gurungs. The center and upper portions of Modi Khola offer some of the best short routes for trekking in Nepal and the valley is situated so that these treks can be easily joint with treks into the Kali Gandaki region to the west. The majestic scenery makes the trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4130m), commonly known as Annapurna Sanctuary, one of the most popular treks in Nepal. The middle and upper portions of Modi Khola offer some of the best short trekking routes in Nepal, and the valley is located so that these treks can be easily combined with treks into the Kali Gandaki region to the west. Mt. Annapurna, one of the most magnificent peaks in the world for the adventure trekking in the beginning.

Upper Mustang Trekking conjure up images of barren ochre scenery, remote other-worldliness, trekking begins from Jomsom to Kagbeni, the entry point of upper Mustang area. Mustang region was remote, forbidden to travellers until 1991. Trek to the kingdom of Mustang, lying behind the main mountain range is in the rain shadow area, out into the plateau, north of Jomsom, Pokhara. Follow the banks of Kaligandaki upstream to get to Lo-Mangthang, the capital of the Mustang. Mustang area is also known as the Last Forbidden Kingdom, since the region was restricted for outsiders until Nepal Government announce the opening of the restricted areas in October 1991. Its a objective appreciated in the imaginations of expert travelers, who prefer to accept a trip with a difference into the kind of lands which cannot be encountered anywhere else in the world. There is also strict control in obtaining a special permit from the department of colonization to protect their tradition from external authority as well as to protect their environment. In the capital of Lo-Manthang an old walled town, the local life goes on undisturbed and untouched as it has for centuries. The numerous gompas, prayers flags perform their eternal ritual. Trip into Mustang is bound to be one of self-realization inspired by the all-encompassing teaching of Tibetan Buddhism. Mustang is or the people of Mustang call themselves Lobas, they have their own King or Tribe leader, Jigme Palbar Bista. After Nepal was declared a republic in 2007, the Nepal Government took back the official identification of the Bista as the Mustangi King. Strong cold winds sweep through its narrow canyons, over its plains, attrition has left its mark in strange, magnificent rock formations. However, the people there still respect him as their King or tribe leader. Bista also grant spectators the trekkers upon request for the adventure trekking.

Helicopter Tour in Nepal provides you a chance to relax around the magnificence of scenery and Now in Nepal offers helicopter tour service in different beautiful spots which are ever best renowned in the world and knowledge exciting flying investigations of Nepal sprinkled goals from comfort of a helicopter around Mount Everest, Annapurna and Langtang Himalayan range. Nepal Helicopter Tour is getting day by day most popular alternative means of adventure journey in mountains and other remote destinations. Helicopter Service in Nepal have excellent reputations, customers satisfaction and proven records for dependable emergency and rescue flight operations, many types, categories of helicopters. The pilots are very skill professionals with thousands of flying hours skill in Nepal. The Himalayan range in the north has more than 100 peaks that are over 6000 meters, of which 8 summits are among the world's tallest, of course, the one and only Mt. Everest is not to be missed. Helicopter Tour in Nepal is admired selection for the mountain lovers who has undersized time period but wants to observe such massive Himalaya range with Helicopter Sightseeing tour in Nepal. To add more to your itinerary, you have the Kathmandu Valley with its ancient cities, temples and monasteries, and the Pokhara valley with its beautiful lake side town nestled in the lap of the Himalayas. The Nepal Helicopter tour is single option to observe the numerous dramatic mountain including mt. Everest (8848m.) within few hours and minutes. The Everest Helicopter Sightseeing Tour in Nepal is most liked flight tour. Visit to all these areas can be managed within a couple of days with out any obstacles like adventure trekking.

Adventure Trekking in the southern part of the Asia continent there lays a tiny rectangular kingdom squeezed between two hugely populated countries, China to the north and India to the south, this country is Nepal a world of its own. Adventure Trekking is a type of tourism, involving exploration or travel to remote, exotic and possibly hostile areas. Adventure Trekking in Nepal is rapidly growing in popularity, as tourists seek different kinds of vacations. The land of contrast is presumably the exact way to define the scenery of Nepal for you will find maximum world highest peaks high high up above the clouds determined for the gods above. Straight, active, attractive learning experience adventure Trekking in Nepal that engross the whole person, have real adventure. Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Daulagiri, Annapurna and many more are there for the offering for mountain-lovers, adventurers and travelers. According to the Nepal based trekking trade Association, adventure trekking may be any tourist movement, including two of the following three gears a physical activity, a cultural share or interaction and engagement with scenery. The interest in official adventure trek has also increased as more expert trekking websites emerge offering formerly niche locations, sports. Adventure trek activities, skill, usually involving close communication, within a group of expert adventure trekking organizer setting your marvelous plan in Nepal.

Kathmandu Pokhra Tour is an exclusive tour package specially designed for all level travelers. Kathmandu Pokhara Tour package is effortless tour alternative for Nepal visitors. This tour package vacation the historically significant and ethnically rich capital (Kathmandu) of Nepal and the most stunning city of world by the nature, Pokhara. Mountain museum and world peace stupa are another charming of Pokhara tour. Package tour to Kathmandu Pokhara is design to discover highlighted areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara valley. Nepal is the country which is socially and geographically different thatís why we powerfully recommend you discover Nepal once in life time. It is hard to explore all Nepal in one Nepal tours trip in this way we design this trip to show you the highlights of Nepal especially in Kathmandu, Pokhara. Trekking to Annapurna base camp, Ghorepani, Jomsom, Mustang, Annapurna panorama, is area of starts from this city and escapade outdoor sports like paragliding, ultralight flights, boating, mountain biking, rafting begin from here. Kathmandu is city of temples, monasteries. After arrival in Nepal, Kathmandu Pokhara tour begin with sightseeing around Kathmandu valley with Kathmandu Dharbar Squire, Patan Dharbar Squire, Pashupatinath Temple, Money Temple, Boudhanath Stupa then we fly or drive to Pokhara. During this tour you will visit historical places, temples and deferential area of Kathmandu and fly or drive to Pokhara. Pokhara is believe as the paradise on earth. Attractive mountains from Pokhara city in the north side, clean, wide lakes close to hotel, green forest, welcoming, warm locals make your vacation more significant, some foreigner are adventure trekking in Annapurna.

Star Star Star Star Star
Trekking in Nepal
Mar 01, 2013

Acute Trek Pvt Ltd an indoor outdoor trekking and tours operative takes you that further way to guarantee you has an unforgettable adventure that you have been dream of. Whether you are looking for a quiet gateway, a memorable outing with a family or an exciting nature adventure. We, Acute Trek Pvt Ltd are here to offer you with the best progressive information and itinerary leading focused and modified as per your requirements. Acute trek is an attempt to encourage Nepal to the exterior world while striving to defend an aged tradition as well as conserve the surroundings for generation to come.

Star Star Star Star Star
Dec 19, 2012

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