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Labrador Voyageur

11 day strenuous white water camping trip. A challenging adventure in one of the last great wildernesses. Labrador Voyageurs meet in Goose Bay Labrador Canada and are offered on:

 

Canoe Rental: included in trip price


Questions
jim@battenkill.com

 

Lure of Labrador Itinerary 

A spellbinding river surrounded by vast tundra, majestic
mountains and rugged coastlines.

A challenging adventure in one of
the last great wildernesses.

Vast, wild, and unpopulated, Labrador is a rugged and remote wilderness -- consummate Canada on a grandiose scale. From start to finish, canoeing in Labrador is a challenging adventure. Labrador is naturally striking and culturally intriguing. This is the land of stark, rugged scenery, from deep forests to treeless tundra, majestic mountains to rugged coastline.
It is home to the Inuit peoples, whose cultures and history are especially unique. Labrador is also home to black bears, eagles, osprey, terns and puffins, as well Arctic fox and the largest caribou herd in the world. In the sea, the whales continue their ageless migration while the seals play among the icebergs on their journey south. Timeless Labrador. We have come to experience the vastness by canoe on an extended wilderness white water canoe trip.

Our trip focuses on the north central part of the province, its most remote, wild and scenic section. Paddling the Ugjoktok River -- the "River of Bearded Seals" in Inuit is our mission.
We meet in Goose Bay/Happy Valley and spend our first evening at the Blake House. We are immediately immersed in the history of Labrador as the Blake House located in Northwest River is where the Hubbard expedition started their journey. In fact George Blake of Blake House, is the grandson of Blake who rescued the ill?fated Hubbard expedition.
The next morning after breakfast we are off to meet our float plane and begin our journey into the Ugjoktok river. We fly into Harp Lake and set up our first evenings camp on an isolated sandbar beneath the canyon walled lake. As we explore the lake in the afternoon the majesty and size of Labrador begins to sink in. A fitting introduction to vast, unspoiled Labrador. If time permits, the short hike to Leila Falls makes real the landscape of our adventure.
The river's current is a mix of challenges and quiet sections giving us time to take in all that we can see. Mammoth sand and gravel banks line the river corridor, giving the power of the ice age a new reality. As we travel down the river we become a part of it nurturing and soothing the spirit and body.
The river keeps us spellbound on our float east to the icebergs of the Labrador Sea. Black Spruce, huge sand bars, and stark bluffs reinforce the sensation that Mina Hubbard wrote about years earlier of being on top of the world. It would seem that we are absolutely the first people to set footprints on the sand. Campsites are unlike any others... either vast sand bars, or protected interior sites carpeted with caribou moss. Wood is plentiful so the evening fire lasts far into the night, after the bugs have gone to rest.
Our first portage is an immense waterfall with a sneak route through Owls Cove. Sunset Point is a remarkable campsite with nearly 360 degree views of the canyon from Harp Lake. Rapids continue, with names like Fire Rapid, Boulder Dash, Paddle Right or Die, Ray's Run for Home and more. We will take the time for side hikes, and maybe wet a line or two as well.

When our river journey ends in Hopedale. We choose our return to Goose Bay/Happy Valley by charter plane or coastal ferry, but first we want to share some time with Inuit peoples. We will meet friendly and resourceful people, learn of their life and art, and explore the costal environment that has sustained them for thousands of years. Labrador is the land of the imagination, and imagination knows no boundaries, where the morning sky is an invitation to adventure and the night sky is the backdrop for the Northern Lights. Paddling in Labrador is an opportunity to awaken your heart and soul.
The Lure of Labrador is a moderate to strenuous camping trip in the wilderness, so that some experience is necessary as well and being comfortable in the wilderness.

 

Labrador Voyageur Itinerary
Where and when to go...and how to get there

Meeting Location
Blake Bed and Breakfast
Northwest River
Phone 709.497.8348

The Blake B&B is located just over the river about 20 miles from Goose Bay. Lodging and meals for this evening are not included in the overall trip price. We can choose from cooking in or going out to one of the many local restaurants.

Geting to Goose Bay and Northwest River
Driving -- Driving to Goose Bay is not for the timid. One can either take the ferry from Lewisport Newfoundland or drive the Trans Labrador Highway a class VI road from Labrador City.

Flying -- Our gateway airport is the Goose Bay Airport in Goose Bay/Happy Valley. Goose Bay is served by Nova Air, the Air Canada connector, and Air Atlantic, Canadian Airlines partner. Flight connections are via Deer Lake, St Johns NFLD, or Halifax NS. Return flights should be made after 9:00pm on the day after the trip ends. This will allow enough time for travel back to Goose Bay from Hopedale where the trip ends. Please check flight arrangements with us prior to confirmation and confirm with our office again 10 days prior to the trip.

Trip Logistics and Gear

BATTENKILL CANOE will provide all community camping equipment including cooking gear and tents. Participants are expected to furnish their own sleeping bag and pad, although rentals are available.
All meals are included beginning with lunch on Day 2 after flying into Harp Lake, and end with lunch on Day 10. Lodging and meals in Goose Bay and Hopedale are not included in the overall trip price. In addition travel from Hopedale to Goose bay is on your own. We can help you with travel arrangements on the coastal ferry or Lab Air, depending on your time schedule.
We will furnish dry bags for your personal gear as well. One dry bag will be given to each two people. The dimensions of the bag are approximately 17"x32". Thinks of is as the size of being able to fit your personal gear (clothing etc) in a small carry on bag that will fit under the seat of an airplane not including your sleeping bag and pad. Regarding sleeping bags, it is most important that we utilize modern compressible sleeping bags to economize on space.
A packing hint that our guides use is to use small stuff sacks to help organize gear inside the dry bags making it easier to find individual items. We will have an assortment of colored (organize by person by color) stuff sacks for use, as well as some compression sacks for compressing sleeping bags.
The trip price includes canoe rental. We have an assortment of canoes, usually Dagger Dimensions, and Legends along with Mad River Revelations and Explorers that are fully outfitted for whitewater paddling, with knee pads, thigh straps, tie downs and supplemental floatation. . If you would like to bring your own canoe please give us a call to make sure it is appropriate for this river
The float plane space is limited and restricted by weight. Our trip prices are based on tandem canoes, and because of logistics, space and weight restrictions involved in flying in solo canoes a surcharge must be assessed for solo paddlers.

The Trip
Our pace will be leisurely, to enjoy the wilderness and spectacular scenery. We will have free time for photography, fishing, swimming, sunning and relaxing, or for day hikes to cliffs and waterfalls along our route. We'll make camp at isolated wilderness sites fully immersed in Labrador=s natural beauty. Meals will be special affairs featuring fresh food and dutch oven delights, served around the crackling campfire.
The trip is participatory in that your assistance is welcome and encouraged. While our guides will organize and provide direction, many hands help make short work.
As with all our trips, we incorporate instruction including paddling strokes, river reading and scouting techniques, as well as responsible camping practices.
The suggested itinerary is subject to revision due to campsite availability, trip logistics, weather, and other circumstances outside of our control.
This trip entails several portages ranging in length from 50 yards to 1500 yards. Portage trails are primitive, rough and rugged. Guests will need to assist in each portage to the best of their ability.

Day 1

Travel to Goose Bay/Happy Valley. We will meet folks at the airport and transfer to the Blake House. In the evening we will conduct an orientation and repack for the trip. Welcome.

Day 2
Our flight is planned for about mid day, but we need to be flexible since bush pilot schedules are always subject to change. Our day is filled with exploring Harp Lake, and perhaps catching some fresh fish for dinner.

Day 3
This will be a casual day allowing time for further instruction and exploration. We will be paddling Harp River as it runs out of Harp Lake, mostly class I water today with a few swifts and fastwater sections thrown in. Camp tonight will be on the Ugjokotok, near the mouth of the Harp river.

Day 4
After a hearty breakfast we leave the cliffs surrounding Harp Lake behind, and begin our descent of the Ugjokotok River to the Labrador Sea. We will work through our first portage, and once complete we will look forward to a day of moving water and exciting rapids.

Day 5
After running several rapids, our goal for the day is to reach Copter bay, aptly named for our first trip when a helicopter landed in our campsite to warn us of nearby forest fires.

Day 6
We typically choose to have a layover day today. This enables us to settle into our camp sight, have a leisurely brunch, try our luck fishing, or play in the rapids. All in all a relaxing day letting ourselves be pulled deeper into the fabric of the river.

Day 7
Today will probably be our longest day of rapids. Fire rapid and two kilometers of class II/III rapids will provide the spice to life. Boulder Dash is a run for our life, and if there is time, a side hike to Shapio Lake will be our dessert.

Day 8
Swifts and sand bars make our day, while no rapids, the current continues our reach for the sea. We will find camp on one of the many sand bars or perhaps up from the river a bit in the forest blanketed with Caribou Moss.

Day 9
Our last portage is Falls Portage, and perhaps we will linger in camp a little longer this morning, not quite ready to get back into the real world. Our last two kilometers is on Ray's Run for Home, great fun and a fitting end to a spectacular trip. Finally we find ourselves in the saltwater of the sea, and Fred will meet us with his magnificent motoring machine for our last shuttle to Hopedale.
While officially our role as canoe outfitters and guides ends at Hopedale, we need to take time to explore the village. There are local craftspeople and cravers offering wonderful handmade crafts from soapstone and wood. The restored Moravian church is also well worth a visit.
Our evening will be at Hopedale Lodge, a modern hostelry with hot showers and cold beer. Lodging and meals for this evening are not included in the trip price.

Day 10
Travel back to Goose Bay, our first step back to the world awaiting us. You can choose from the coastal ferry or an Air Lab flight depending on your time frame. We will coordinate your plans with the ferry or Lab Air. Travel from Hopedale to Goose Bay along with tonights lodging and meal is not included in the trip price. Departures from Goose Bay should be planned for the following morning.
It must be understood that the schedule outlined is tentative at best, and always subject to change. Travel to Labrador is subject to many delays, not limited to weather and logistics so additional time must be allowed. Additional time is mandatory if excursion non-refundable, no change tickets are purchased.

Day 11
Depart from Goose Bay to home.

Trip Notes Supplement

General Information
If you have any questions or need special arrangements please call our office. Regular office hours are 9:00 am to 5:30 pm Monday to Friday in season. We are open Saturday and Sunday for day trip rentals, but our office staff is limited on weekends. We are generally closed Saturday through Tuesday November through April, although you may catch us in by chance other times.
Trip prices include lodging, and meals (except when noted) guide services and accompanying support van. Trips generally meet mid to late afternoon of the first day, and disband mid to late afternoon of the last day. We may be compelled to increase or decrease trip prices on trips due to matters beyond our control, such as currency exchange, airfare, taxes or price increases. Gratuities for BattenKill guides and other staff are appreciated, but are left entirely to your discretion.
Reservations and Confirmation
Often it is easier to call our office to check for availability and to make reservations. We request a deposit of $250.00 per person for the two to four day trips, $500.00 per person for five day trips and longer trips. Immediate confirmation is possible using your credit card for the deposit.
On receipt of your deposit we prepare a complete confirmation packet, including a full itinerary,personal equipment list, meeting location with directions, and application for short?term trip cancellation insurance. Your confirmation letter will outline the balance which is due at the trip meeting for domestic trips, and 60 days prior for Canadian and other International trips. We strongly recommend that you obtain this cancellation insurance, which reimburses you for nonrefundable costs and deposits should you have to cancel your trip due to a personal emergency.
Cancellation and Refunds
Notification must be received by BATTENKILL CANOE LTD. (BCL) in writing. If you must cancel, but wish to reschedule for another trip, we will do our best to accommodate you. If you must cancel more than 45 days prior to departure, a refund of 50% of the per person deposit, OR a 100% credit valid for another trip. There are no refunds possible with less than 45 days notice or for leaving a trip early or arriving late.

Final Payment
Final payment is due 60 days prior to the departure date and can be paid by credit card or personal check. Please refer to your confirmation letter for amount due.

Tips and Gratuities
Gratuities for the inn and food portion of your trip are paid by BCL. Gratuities for BATTENKILL guides are appreciated, but are left to your discretion. Each year the guide staff of BATTENKILL CANOE pledge to pool a portion of their tips and donate them to an outreach program. Over the past several years these outreach programs have included a scholarship program for a high school student in the remote village of Yorkin in Talamanca, Costa Rica, supporting the Ninos in la Calle program (alternative education program for the street kids) in Somotillo Nicaragua, financial and educational support to the BattenKill Watershed Council and an annual donation to the Vermont ACLU.
If you would like to find out more about these projects or have suggestions for other projects your guides would be happy to visit with you. This is just one of the ways we are able to reach out to the greater community and practice socially responsible travel.

Airline Reservations
Our airline desk is able to assist you in making our airline reservations, and we are pleased to do so. We can book with all the major carriers and would be happy to assist you with your travel plans.

Non-Performance
We almost always follow through with our entire trip schedule. However, we must reserve the right to cancel a trip or to make changes to the itinerary if necessary due to weather and/or water conditions, insufficient reservations or other factors outside of our control. Although it is unlikely, if we must cancel your trip, you may choose between: 1. A 100% refund of all monies paid, or 2. A 150% credit of your original deposit for a future trip with BATTENKILL. This constitutes full settlement, and BATTENKILL can not be held responsible for other costs incurred.

Guaranteed Dates & Small Trip Charge
Since you plan your vacation around our trip, it is our responsibility to run every trip scheduled if four or more persons are on the roster. A number of fixed costs make it more expensive to operate a trip with six members than one with 12. We budget our trips with a nearly full sign up, to enable us to price them at the lowest possible cost.
We will still run your trip if four or more guests are on the roster. However, we will be obliged to add a small trip surcharge if there is a low sign up of between four (4) and seven (7) participants. The small trip surcharge is ten (10) percent of the published price.
If you make your reservations 6 months prior to departure, you will qualify for our Earlybird Discount which guarantees your departure regardless of the number of people on the roster.
the number of people on the roster.

Accommodations & Meals
Our standard accommodation is two per room, generally with a private bath. Usually singles and triples are available. BCL provides three meals per day, beginning with dinner on the first evening and ending with lunch on the last day (except where noted).
On our Voyageurs we provide top quality tents along with all other group camping gear. You are requested to bring only a sleeping bag and pad, as well as your personal gear. If you choose not to bring your own sleeping bag, you may rent one of ours which includes a cotton liner and foam pad.

Bringing the Kids
We believe that sharing an adventure with your kids or grandkids is a life-enhancing experience. Children twelve years of age or older are welcomed on all trips. Special arrangements must be made for all children 7-12. Regular discount is 25% off the trip price for folks under 18 years old.

Guest Responsibility
You must understand that river trips involve some risk. Guests are responsible for: choosing a trip that suits their abilities, level of fitness and state of health; arriving at the trip start with the clothing and gear recommended in the confirmation packet; respecting the laws and customs of the countries visited; following environmental guidelines and regulations while on the trip in accordance with guides direction; and respecting the rights and privacy of other trip members. You will be asked to sign a Hold Harmless and Release of Liability form prior to your trip.
BATTENKILL CANOE reserves the right to substitute lodges, leaders and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary or advisable. BCL shall not be liable, directly or indirectly for any delay, cancellation, mishap, inconvenience, expense, personal injury or death, or damage of property for any reason whatsoever, including acts of God. BATTENKILL reserves the right to decline to accept, retain, or ask to leave any person whose actions or deportment impede trip operation, or rights, welfare and enjoyment of other trip members. No refund is possible under these circumstances. Payment of deposit, and release of credit card number represents your acceptance of these terms and conditions. All disputes shall be settled by binding arbitration in Bennington County Vermont.

About BattenKill Trip Guides
We are proud of the folks who lead our trips, and help make an extra special adventure for you. Each recognizes, welcomes and encourages the varying skills and interests of each guest.
On the first evening of our get-together, we will conduct a simple orientation of the trip to come, and go over safety regulations. You will be asked to sign a liability of release form, and we will collect your final payment then.

A Word About Equipment
The trip price includes canoe rental. We have an assortment of canoes, usually Dagger Dimensions, and Legends along with Mad River Revelations and Explorers that are fully outfitted for whitewater paddling, with knee pads, thigh straps, tie downs and supplemental floatation. . If you would like to bring your own canoe please give us a call to make sure it is appropriate for this river

And So On...
Also, enclosed is our suggested personal equipment checklist. Little things like lip balm, sun blocks and dry socks make a big difference, so check it over carefully.

 

 

 

 

 



Contact Us
BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.
800.421.5268 or 802.362.2800 fax--802.362.0159

©2002 BattenKill Canoe, Ltd.. All rights reserved