Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The best possible explanation about the land, the animals, the camps and level of service that Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures provides is best described by our valued customers who have undergone their own journeys to the Arctic with us. The following testimonials are for real. If you are seriously considering joining us on our trips, please feel free to contact us, and we will be pleased to put you directly in touch with those who have attended our trips over the past few seasons - and then let THEM tell you about the wonderful experiences that Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures has to offer you...
- 1997-1995 Kudos
"Thank you for the wonderful experience in the upper Thelon! I thoroughly enjoyed observing the wolves, musk-oxen, caribou, and other wildlife in the area. The beauty and solitude of the barrens and the eskers are unmatched. And in the middle of it all, it was great that your camp was so comfortable and your staff so accommodating. I can't wait to return next summer!"
Dr. L. David Mech (1997 & 1998)
"While at the Upper Thelon Basecamp, fall color reached its peak and the esker and tundra became covered with mesmerizing tapestry of red, green and gold. With a mixture of hues and textures, the carpets of leaves, mosses and lichens provided me with an endless supply of macro photography subjects. It was a perfect backdrop against which to photograph the caribou, musk-ox & other tundra wildlife"
(1997 & 1998)
"Many thanks for the wonderful trip you ran for us! We had a great experience and were able to capture some exciting Arctic images on film. I think you run one of the best wilderness camps I've seen. Filming is an extremely demanding enterprise and your understanding of that process is greatly appreciated. Also it is a pleasure to work who cares so deeply about the land and the native people. When someone has such a deep respect for the Arctic environment it makes all the difference. I enjoyed your extensive knowledge of geology and natural history. I wish you all the best in the future!
Howe / Senior Producer
"One of the last great adventures, a remote outpost in the wild, far from civilization. Tom is a barrel of laughs and a dedicated guide. This is a rare opportunity to see the Arctic wolves up close.."
Bill Volkmann /
"Tom, Thanks for the fantastic time on the barrens! I have now spent some time in various parts of the "barren ground", and have seen more wildlife with you than anywhere else. Wolves, musk oxen and caribou in one too-short stay, as well as grizzly sign and more birds than I can remember made it an incredible experience. In addition, your knowledge of the human history and pre-history of the area gave it all a context that went well beyond the ' been there, done that, got the T-shirt' mentality that seems to be the current wave. I appreciate your involvement in and love for this unique environment, as well as your inexhaustible store of knowledge about it. I'll see you back in the north next year - Cheers!"
Ken Brunton (1996
"Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the 'Dance with the Wolves' trips that I was on this past summer. After several days of photographing the wolves, I still remember the first wolf I saw up there. The other wildlife that was up there was also a plus. The food and accommodations were outstanding, especially when you take into account the logistics of where you are when you're in the NWT. I also enjoyed the time I spent at the upper Thelon. The barrenlands have a sense of beauty and history, and I enjoyed you sharing them with us. I must marvel again how you can supply the food, lodging and hot showers in such a remote area of the north truly amazes me. I thank you for a very enjoyable trip!"
Matt Patterson /
"Our third trip for my father and I, a first for my wife, was as exciting as our first trip. back in 1989! Our hike back to Steele Lake was one we will not forget. Picking blueberries at sunset for pancakes in the morning, and an 'Arctic' pizza- what a treat! The eagles and falcons were more abundant than previous trips and the walks out on the tundra were exciting and provided many new photographic experiences and challenges. The quiet of an Arctic night is something you never forget. Dickson Canyon '98??!!"
Lou & Barbara Gardella
"Helen and I want to thank you for the unforgettable experience we had in 'caribou country' . Thousands of square miles of tundra, lakes and rivers untouched by neither a village, a road or a powerline. For Europeans - and especially for us - the vastness is incredible. The silence was stupendous! I most enjoyed the sound of silence from the top of the hill [behind camp] during sunrise or sunset. We most enjoyed the remoteness of the camp and the stark beauty of the area. The walks on the tundra with Terry, the stalks of musk-ox with you and Joan - great! The photo sessions with Galen Rowell were once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Galen was a great photo guide. We learned so much - not just about the photography but also his life's' philosophy. The brilliant colors of the tundra by day and the northern lights by night painted impressions that we will long remember. Thank you Tom, for your stories of old - hearing the history of the Northwest Territories - learning about the upper Thelon and the native persons was truly a spiritual experience for us. The basecamp was comfortable, food was great - (but the next time I want the cookies for breakfast)! We both hope to explore the Arctic with you and your staff again in the near future."
Elena & Ervin
"We're in the process of getting "back into the rat race" and we don't like it. We'd rather be stalking wild animals...they are more predictable than some of the people we're dealing with! We think back fondly on our recent trip. It was a great experience and we would recommend it to others. We have a lot of good memories, supplemented by about 20 rolls of film! Considering we were "roughing it" in tundra 200+ miles from civilization, we were very comfortable. It was great to be able to take hot showers, a luxury not always available in some of our past adventure travel experiences. The food was surprisingly good with lots of variety and fresh ingredients. We felt a sense of camaraderie with you and your staff. Miles and Dorothy were friendly and helpful throughout our stay. Terry was a good leader, cook and companion. We can understand why you love the upper Thelon so much. We feel fortunate to have been there during fall foliage with truly magnificent colors. We don't often have the opportunity to view wildlife in its natural habitat so the musk ox stalk was one of the highlights. Michael especially liked being told to "get on your knees and crawl!" We also enjoyed getting close-up to caribou and sik-siks. Your knowledge of the area helped us to really appreciate the history and culture of the native people. You and Terry reading from the local history books and our final visit to the Etthen Eldehi chief's gravesite were very moving. Feel free to incorporate any of the above comments as a testimonial. Here's hoping our paths will cross again!"
Paula Sonnino & Michael
"Just a short 'thank you' and let you know how much I enjoyed "dancing with the Caribou" - the barrenlands is an experience in itself! As promised, many excellent photographic opportunities presented themselves, and there were also numerous other events and happenings that leave lasting images and delightful memories. The evolution and resulting geography of the sand eskers, the multitude of lakes, the northern location which resists growth; yet life merrily increases its pace to accommodate itself to the seasons. The summer colors and shades of green that suddenly changed the landscape to crimson reds and yellows to complete a magnificent autumn picture. The archaeology that provided clues to the history of the Inuit and Dene' and later - the Etthen-Eldehi people; all whom once lived here on this land - their home. The tent rings - the diggings; ceremonial gathering sites, ancient graves to more recent Chipeweyan trapper cabins. The mornings with the sun rays penetrating the morning mist on the lake - the sky crossed by magnificent billowing clouds passing on and by - often leaving the entire huge sky a clear, azure blue. The setting sunsets unpredictable in color, ranging from pale yellow to brilliant reds. Then from the heavens, putting on their nightly display of stars and constellations. More often than not the northern lights capped off the displays of night. The caribou energetically feed on mosses as they cross the tundra in their magnificent winter coats and huge racks! Two curious yearling caribou racing, gracefully and swiftly over the hummocks past us to get down wind - much to the concern and consternation of the mother! The musk-ox having a nap, lazily chewing his cud; basking in the noonday sun. The white wolf loping up the slope - pausing on the ridge for a last look back before disappearing over the horizon. And the birds. Raptors rising in the thermals, tundra swans on the azure waters; ptarmigan with her brood of six young creeping among the yellow foliage' the geese honking late in the dark of night passing high overhead on their long journey south. So many adjectives come to mind - Colorful, magnificent, beautiful, awesome, incredible, mysterious, romantic, adventurous, solitude and silence. All found in this vast wilderness - and all this with hot & cold running water! Much success Tom, may your passion and love for this land prevail and never diminish.."
"A total escape from civilization, Canada geese and brant flocks flying overhead and resting along the shores, magnificently racked caribou near camp, and occasionally, passing through it; the tremulous magic of loons calling in the dark of night before falling asleep; the intense anticipation of knowing the musk oxen herd is just over the top of the ridge; Arctic hares surprise springing out of nowhere, blueberries, blueberries and still more blueberries to satisfy rapacious appetites; the howling of wolves both during the day or night; being unfortunate enough while out fishing for lake trout to see a barrens grizzly run down and actually catch a Canada goose! It's feathers went flying everywhere while we watched from the safety of the boat only some forty yards away.; A fully racked bull caribou etched ink-black against the full moon silvered lake behind it; two spectacular northern light displays; the first with the three adulating and wavering bands of northern lights overhead and firing down shafts of light of varying brightness into our midst. A many 'wow's' experience if there ever was one! Want to get away from it all and have great stories to relate about it, then Tundra Tom's base camp on the upper Thelon River should be on your travel and must visit - agenda."
Ann & Ken Shesne
"It can truly be said that the experience of being on the 'Dance with the Caribou' trip was a life-changing adventure. It certainly was much more than a trip or a vacation! To be able to live in the barren lands for a week, with the environment, the animals, the history and the archaeology and the other people was something I'll not only remember for a very long time, but has modified my thinking about ecology and the environment. The goal was to obtain photographs of caribou and musk-ox. This goal was accomplished - in spades! This goal however, was overshadowed by the total experience of the barren lands and what it offers the visitor. The accommodations were much more than I anticipated, fun meals and even hot showers. Thank you all for the truly memorable time!"
Bob Kegel / Photographer
"Ever since I was a little boy I had been dreaming about the great Canadian wilderness. As a Norwegian who spends most of my spare time in the woods or mountains, after years of dreaming it finally was time to make my dream come true. A good fiend of mine who has done several trips to the NWT told me about Ecoventures. Tundra Tom then told me that the Thelon River would be the answer to my dreams, and helped me to set up the trip. I must say that the Thelon River was the answer to my dreams! It was truly a strange land, where you can travel for weeks without traces of other people. This is a country so beautiful that it is almost impossible to describe it. The eskers, and the area around the river and lakes, and huge groups of animals without fear of man. During our trip down the Thelon, we met hundreds of musk ox, caribou, and a accountable number of different birds. We also met moose, white wolves, and the funny but angry squirrels. Fishing was like I had dreamed about, and I don't think there is anyplace like it in the world. The most fantastic thing about this land I think, is the colors. Sitting by the campfire after a long day in the canoe, and just watching the sky with millions of changing colors gives a peace that only true wilderness can give. The barren lands makes impressions that will last a lifetime! Before I left Canada, someone told me that the Barrens is a land that you will either love or hate. I truly loved it, and recommend Great Canadian Ecoventures to anyone who has a wilderness dream to make true. I had to travel half way around the world to get there, but I will definitely be back."
Truls R. Johansen
"Well Tom, what do you have in store for me this coming summer? Does it get better every visit? I can't imagine! To tell you the truth, when I booked your trip to see the white musk-ox I did not expect we would actually find one. How could we find an animal so rare? I thought it would be like searching for the Holy Grail! I did however, have such an exciting trip with you the previous year [Dance with Caribou] that I figured that it would not matter - I knew the experience would be sensational regardless! It still amazes me whenever I think about it that we actually found a white musk ox in that massive expanse of land!. Then to land the airplane and to slowly stalk up within 100 feet of the herd - wow! Tom, that animal was special. I knew it when it stood proud ahead of the herd: a white musk-ox leading twenty black ones?! Lets go back and see that animal again!"
Brian Jones / Photographer
"Our paddling trip through the heart of the Thelon country of the central barren lands re-defined 'wild' for me: 300,000 square miles of tundra, lakes, and rivers untouched by by neither a village, a road or a power line. The silence was stupendous, the vastness inspiring. I have watched wildlife from Greenland to Siberia, and from East Africa to the Himalayas, but had never seen nature in such an innocent state - almost totally free of the influences of both civilization and aboriginal people. It was a journey back to the time when wolves, bears, caribou and musk ox owned the earth."
Author & Journalist
"A heartfelt thank you for a wonderful week! I loved the trip from the moment we left Yellowknife. I couldn't believe how beautiful the ice looked from the air - that was the first time that I had seen the big lakes with the ice in. From the ground looking at the ice up close I was struck how each crystal shimmered and shone. There was so much that I enjoyed! I especially loved the 'ladies' trip with Joan looking for musk-ox. It was so much fun being dropped off with the plane, and then scouting stalking, and scrambling along on our tummies to get above them; then to look right down at them from a high bank! We couldn't have been more than 15 feet from the three of them - what a privilege! Thank goodness the wind held and we could observe them for more than an hour, munching, rolling, butting heads, and drinking from the creek. Michael Francis was a great photo guide. I learned so much, not just about photography, but also about the birds. He was so patient and helpful, and made the scouting so interesting. It seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have access to Michael; get pointers, and photograph the gyrfalcon coming and going from her nest. Another great day trip was the one I did with Joan down to the next esker. Joan made the hike fun and interesting, by pointing out the chipping stations, and how the natives would herd the caribou into the narrows for a successful hunt. I felt that we were lucky to find the merlin and see her on the nest, plus the Arctic hares and the Ptarmigan! Tom, you are a very special guy. The rambles in the evening under the midnight sun, hearing the history of the Northwest Territories, Whitefish Lake and the native peoples were truly a spiritual experience for me. One has to be there to understand. The base camp was comfortable, food & fishing were great - what more could one ask? Thank You, Thank You!"
Judy Harrison / Publisher
"Thank you Tom, for your humor, stories of old, and especially for sharing your special place on this earth; Joan, for a thrilling boat ride, your enthusiasm, and your warm love of rabbits; Terry - for the most delicious cup of hot cocoa on a cold and rainy hike; and Lloyd - for surrounding me with the spine-shivering primitive sound of musk oxen. It's a rare privilege to experience a land so remote and harsh that humans no longer exist there. Being with the animals in their natural world brings a renewed respect for life and helps me to fins a bit of peace within - thank you for that..."
"Thank you again for the superb trip! I am still dreaming of it (Search for the Legendary White Musk-ox) After my third trip with you, it was one of my most impressive trips! And there is another reason to thank you - my trousers are moving slowly to the south! But that has nothing to do with you food - which was excellent - the reason may be the missing German beer (which we call liquid food - but that is not the reason why I like it) Thank you for the loss of 2 kg.!"
(The late) Wolfgang
Franzen (1995, 1996, 1997)
"Our thanks to all of you for making our tundra time really wonderful ('Tundra Eskers Leisure Basecamp')! Don't know which part we liked the most - way too many superlatives come to mind to describe the clean air, water, reindeer moss, the lichens in my boots, the great company. Tom, the quiet magic of the Barrens did settle in - and for that I am most grateful. Even after a quick drive back to Minneapolis (we arrived Sunday evening at 6:00) the calm is still with me. Ahhhh. I know that everyone asks you to stop by while your in their city, but we really do expect you to come over to Minneapolis when your visiting family and have dinner or whatever with us. You may not recognize us in our city clothes, but we'll wear name tags. Warn us in advance and we'll not wash our hair for two or three days. Again, our thanks to each of you. The experience was very, very unique and satisfying."
Bonnie & Gary
"We are not quite sure what it is that continues to lure Jean & I back to the barren lands. Is it the animals - the caribou, the grizzlies, the musk-oxen, the fish, the birds, Or is it the people? Or is it the real beauty and color of the land? Or is it really just the entire being of the North? Whatever it is - and it must be some of all of these things to every visitor - it really got to us this summer when we spent two delightful weeks with Tundra Tom's Great Canadian Ecoventures on the 'Dance with the Caribou' . We had visited the barrens before and wanted to return, but the first time we did not appreciate it's depth and background. It took Tom's efforts to do that. He runs a fine camp! We 'tented' in a wood floored roomy structure with beds and a rug on the floor! We ate well, and enjoyed salads, steak, roast chicken, freshly-caught lake trout, just-picked blueberries, cranberries and mushrooms. Many meals and walks were accompanied by Tom's readings of local history. In the way we became not only aware of what we saw around us; but what had taken place years before. And we loved it! We enjoyed Andy's early morning photo sessions, we enjoyed Terry's fishing trips; we enjoyed Lloyd's musk-ox stalk; we enjoyed talking with the other guests; we enjoyed exploring an old abandoned trappers cabin with Joan; we enjoyed our solitary walks, we enjoyed the beautiful plants, we enjoyed the northern lights and the violent displays of weather. we recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in the beautiful eskers of the barren lands."
Robert & Jean Sollmann
"Just a note to let you know our group had an incredible visit to your upper Thelon base camp on the 'Dance with the Caribou' trip! The tundra was in full autumn color and it was remarkable to have big bull caribou grazing and sleeping only yards from camp! Plus, we had never seen northern lights of such intensity! The memory of watching (and photographing) their brilliant display while wolves howled in the esker hills behind us will stay with us forever! Your camp operations were exemplary - every bit as good as the fabled safari camps of Africa. Having propane heaters in each large, floored tent and a hot shower in the bath house were unexpected pluses. And we certainly didn't go hungry - the food was great and in sufficient quantities to stuff a musk ox! Speaking of muskox, stalking those Pleistocene relics was a high point of the trip. Your knowledge of their habits was what made our close approach possible. Probably most importantly, your love and dedication to this, one of the last and greatest wild areas of the planet was appreciated by all on the trip and made the difference between a good trip and a truly unforgettable one! Keep up the good work!"
Randy Green / President
International Wildlife Adventures
"Being my first time in North America was for two weeks with Tundra Tom in the Northwest Territories. It was an unforgettable experience! My primary reason for going was to see and photograph the white tundra wolf. I was not disappointed. In one evening we saw eight white wolves - four adults and four pups at a fairly close distance. Fantastic! In my county - Norway - the wolf is highly endangered - only 5-10 individuals left. After being one week in the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, we moved to the open tundra, the Whitefish Lake area, a beautiful esker with lots of wildlife. More wolves, a single grizzly track, ducks in every pond, and nesting white gyrfalcons in the spruces. In Norway the gyrfalcons would leave the nest and fly around alarmed when we approach a nest; but here they ignored our presence. Why this difference? I think in contradiction to the Norwegian falcons, the birds out here on the Canadian tundra have maybe not seen humans before. So why should they fear us? It was thrilling to know that I was 400 kilometers from the nearest town, that trout were just waiting for me in the many lakes. I guarantee that I will return to this wilderness one day!"
Tom Schandy / Photographer
"After six trips with you, I'm beginning to feel like a veteran! Each trip has given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for what true wilderness really is. Every adventure has provided me with new opportunities and bushel baskets full of great memories. Last August was the best, as I was able to accompany a young twenty-year old man who i am fortunate enough to call my son. Seeing his eyes when he caught sight of his first musk-ox; catching huge lake trout or just sharing a laugh with me made me realize just how blessed I really am. The memories from that week will always be treasured. Thanks for playing a part on our journey - we'll be back!"
(1985, 86, 87, 89, 90, 1996)
"What a great week - ( 'Dance with Wolves) ! Great adventures of the midnight sun. Hiking all night, Arctic wolf across the gully, a fox walking us from 20' away, raptors galore - canoe trips and flights by day - a trip not to be missed!"
"Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful trip Mike
and I had this past summer at Whitefish Lake. It is the first time I can
honestly say that as much as I love fishing, the other parts of the trip
were just as impressive. Seeing musk-ox, caribou and eagles, etc. will
stay with me for the rest of my life. Having you take our group out to the
tundra that first night and explain it's history made me appreciate being
there even more. To fish in this pristine wilderness with all the comforts
of home (nothing better than a hot shower) and catching that 40 lb lake
trout and catching grayling in the Thelon river made this a very special
experience that I will never forget. I have enclosed two color photos of
the big one that died not get away. Again, thank you for everything, it
was a wonderful experience."
Gary W. Gross
"I want to thank you for your support on my Thelon river trip this summer. I was impressed by your logistical services, but even more by your personal involvement and advice. Your knowledge of the land, it's history and pre-history is probably unparalleled. Even more impressive was your obvious love and appreciation for this unique environment. Your enthusiasm and your willingness to share your knowledge made a big contribution to my personal enjoyment, and to the safety and smooth logistics of my own trip. As for the trip itself - I was overwhelmed. The esker country around Whitefish Lake, the oasis of the Thelon valley, the open tundra of the big lakes; each had their own character and their own logistics and their own fascination. There was always wildlife: caribou, musk-ox, moose, wolves, swans, geese, ducks, cranes, loons, huge lake trout, pike and grayling; and too much more to list them all. There was human history: sometimes incredibly wrenching such as the Hornby cabin; and the constant silent witness of the original peoples, their camps and their hunting stations. What stays with me most though is the land itself. There is a scope and a feel to it; a freedom like no place else that I know. I'm already planning my next trip(s) back to the tundra, and I'll count on your support. I'll stay in touch!"
Ken Brunton (1996 & 1998)
Morgan Hill, CA
"Just wanted to thank you again for having me on another trip to the Northwest Territories with Great Canadian Ecoventures. The 'Dance with the Wolves' trips for which I was the photographer / trip leader went without a hitch. Not only did we see all of the animals as advertised, but many others as well, with many great opportunities to get nice close-up photos. In my many years of photographing 'wild' wolves, this was without doubt the best opportunity I've had to get photos of wolves in both taiga and tundra. I can still remember the thrill for us all when we got our first look at the four young wolf pups out playing in the open! What a sight! I can't wait to go back. Oh yes, I shouldn't fail to mention that once again I'm amazed at how you can manage so far from anywhere to supply such good food, comfortable beds, and a hot shower! See you again in 1997..."
Michael Francis / Photographer
Billings, MT (1995 & 1996)
"In 1984 I was looking for an extended class II canoe trip or backpacking expedition to satisfy a need for remote adventure, when thumbing through a guidebook on rivers of North America I read a brief description of the Thelon. It intrigued me, but the expense seemed overwhelming. Eleven years later I was again looking fore a soul-satisfying trip, and this time the Thelon pulled me so hard I gave in. I was thoroughly delighted at how well the 265 miles of pristine canoeing exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with the caliber of the guides. To Karen Pick (guide #1) thanks for your trust in me, your sensitivity to group dynamics, your hard work, your phenomenal meals. To Cindy Maki (guide #2) I was uplifted by your encouragement, trust, consistently cheery demeanor, keen intuition, and spirited friendship. The Clarke / Thelon holds many pleasant surprises that pictures cannot convey - surprises in the form of mosaic patterns in the rocks, the heavenly clouds that almost touch the earth; the strikingly clear water; the south Pacific beaches; the monster grayling; the sensuous tundra swans; the prehistoric musk-oxen; and the limitless terrain expanding the limitless spirit. I have traveled to the world's most remote corners; and was more connected to the Clarke / Thelon than to any other location. The ecosystem is so unlike anything I have ever encountered including the Alaska tundra. I feel eternally blessed for the experience."
"I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the canoe trip and the week at your base camp. The amount of wildlife that we saw was unbelievable! The high point for me was when we observed two wolves for almost an hour during our lunch time. There was always the feeling of being in true wilderness, where the presence of man has not left its mark. I feel like I will be friends for the rest of my life with the other clients and the two guides on our trip. Steve at the base camp was also great. It was almost worth the while just to meet him. Thank you for a memorable experience! I think all of us will be heading to the Arctic again."
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