Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email: email@example.com
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 let THEM tell you about the wonderful experiences that Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures has to offer you...
- 1999-1998 Kudos
"Great Canadian [Wildlife Adventures] has opened the gateway to the amazing and austere beauty of the boreal Thelon country. Skilled and accommodating guides provided creature comforts throughout our photographer-customized trip. The rugged landscape not only offered unparalleled natural beauty, but an incredible diversity of wildlife. I valued my time spent in Thelon country as a visit to one of the most impressive scenic locations in all of North America."
Wolfe / Photographer
"Ever since I was a lad I wanted to visit the famed Barrenlands of Canada's Northwest Territories and this past summer I had the opportunity to travel to Yellowknife then on to Tundra Tom's camp at Whitefish Lake. With 35-years experience photographing in Alaska I thought I had seen it all...but the Barrenlands are different than "our" tundra. Truly the Barrens are one of the mystic, incomparable places on earth. The crew at Whitefish was outstanding, some of the best people I have ever spent time with outdoors. The food was great and the camp comfortable. Photography resource leader Steve Maka was outstanding. Arctic hares, gyrfalcons, wolverines, white wolf, caribou, musk-ox, and foxes...all great photo subjects, indeed. However, for me, it was the land itself that was so magical. Granite outcrops piercing dry tundra...good walking to isolated eskers that offered evidence of Inuit and Dene' use going back hundreds of years. Crimson bearberry, gold willows and snapping auroras overhead...what colors!!!! I'll never forget the low mist on the tundra, the twisted spruce "forest" by camp, and the clear waters that provided us with several meals of wonderful lake trout. Thanks, Tundra Tom, for such a great trip and crew. Hopefully I'll be back soon...with some friends!"
Walker / Photographer
"Sharon and I want to thank you for a truly remarkable experience on the barrenlands." As you know, Sharon had no experience with this type of trip and arrived with some apprehension. Prior to our week with you, her outdoor adventures had been limited to a few nights of tent camping. She is now asking when we can go back up to see the caribou! The big surprise for me was the considerable value added by yourself and the guides, Bill & Dweeb. While I have been traveling the north for the past twenty years with friends, I never thought there was any reason for the added expense of a guide. The week at Whitefish showed me how wrong I have been. Your knowledge of the land, people and animals made the Thelon a place we will always remember. Tom, thank you again for a wonderful trip. We were very comfortable in your camp. The wolf, musk-oxen, the fox kits, birds and stark beauty of the barrens will certain bring us back.. I am interested in a Thelon canoe trip, and Sharon needs to 'Dance with the Caribou' - so we'll be in touch!"
Bill & Sharon
"The time I spent with you at the Whitefish lake certainly was one of the highlights of my trip around the world. The Red Beaver, the breathtaking nature, all the fish in the untouched waters, the superbly organized camp, the friendly and helpful guides, who would certainly look good in any European restaurant and last but not least you, my friend, offered an unforgettable experience in the wilderness to me (e.g. I specially remember the elegant diving from the Cessna). I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great adventure and hope to visit you and your Tundra soon again. I wish you all the best!"
"I knew it was going to be great as the pace of my life slowed immediately when I alighted from the float plane and my feet touched sand at the base camp. Incredible guides do it all, from explaining the botanical wonders to baking mouth-watering biscuits. I've never roughed it so pleasantly. They were marvelous at helping me to have the experiences I most wanted. Moments alone in the barren expanse connected me with granite intensity to the endless sky, the loping caribou, the crystal lakes, the fox kit and the smallest lichens. I was part of it all. Months later, that mellowness is still with me..." "I think I'm changed forever."
"We were among those who enjoyed time at your Whitefish Lake Camp August 27 to September 11, 1999 -- two GREAT weeks, and you have requested our evaluation of that experience. Hospitality started when we arrived at the airport. We were picked up promptly and even given a bit of a tour around town to get the lay of the land, then introduced at the office, then delivered to our lodgings, all appreciated. The staff in Yellowknife was helpful and friendly. The staff at camp was great, too--helpful, cheerful, interested, fun, knowledgeable, available, and apparently indefatigable, though I'm sure all their responsibilities must have made them plenty weary at times. But they seemed to be enjoying events and circumstances as much as we! That's good PR! Our tent living quarters in camp were comfortable, sturdy in winds, and convenient--in fact, quite grand compared to the pup tents we're used to using! I did yearn for a quick peep hole to be able to see outdoors--to check weather, sky, the scene, who's going by etc. without having to unzip the doorway. I noted that some tents had little zip windows, but when the tent is partitioned for two parties, the window can't be in both halves. Photographer Steve Maka added GREATLY to our experience. His gentle way, his eagerness to teach, his interest in people provided us photography-oriented folks with fringe benefits. I was tremendously impressed with his approach, knowledge, and generosity. Food = excellent! Did we EAT! Brigit came up with super dishes, as did the other leaders-turned-cooks. In such circumstances, food is tremendously important. To be on hand for two weeks and have poor eating would sure dampen the experience, but that was not a problem with that kitchen crew! We ate with relish. Program--Well, we've been in love with tundra life for a long time, and we fully enjoy photographing it--plants as well as animals, non-living things as well as living--so we "had a field day." The first week we mostly took in activities with the group, scouting which places we wanted to return to for more concentrated photography and study. The second week, though we did join the group some, we concentrated more on our own pursuits. Each way was absolutely delightful, and the relaxed option, the independence, of being able to do either was positive and appreciated. The beauty of the area, especially the fall tundra itself, the silence, the opportunity for solitude, the magnificence of the autumn flora, the excitement of coming across musk oxen on our own near camp, the glory of Northern Lights, the 360 degree views, the oneness with the earth--these and many other things gave me complete happiness. Several times I found myself alone, sitting on esker sand, soaking in the surroundings, watching, listening, all with a big grin of sheer pleasure and contentment on my face! The tundra does that! I concur with what Barbara has written. It was indeed a great experience."
Thomas & Barbara
"Absolutely outstanding trip down the Clarke River this year. After four great trips with you to the Barrenlands, I still can't get enough of this place. Looking forward to exploring another corner of this magnificent wilderness next year. See you again next summer Tom!"
(the late) Larry Kwincinski
"We have canoed, camped and photographed nature all 42 years of our married life. Great Canadian Ecoventures was a highlight. The "Barrens" were a beautiful carpet of many colors of miniature arctic plants, lichens and mosses. Wildlife was abundant and the solitude and isolation wonderful. Facilities 230 miles from civilization were remarkable. The tents, meals, and warm showers were a luxury. The main cabin with a library of books on the Thelon Region allowed us to absorb even more about this beautiful arctic area. The staff worked hard to provide us an outstanding time and their vast knowledge gave us an experience in the far north we will treasure."
& Joleen Clark
"It's hard to believe a few short weeks ago we were enjoying the cool end of summer temperatures of the tundra. From two of your return guests I would have to say anyone missing the late season is missing the beauty of the tundra. The "fall" colors were magnificent and added that special something to landscapes, macros, and mammal images. It put a whole new perspective on beauty, peace and serenity. The addition of being able to see the Aurora borealis was the finishing touch. I would encourage anyone having previously visited in the spring or summer season to consider a return in the fall season for this dramatic contrast."
Vance & Anita MacDonald
"Ah, tundra memories! The utter silence.. The calls of the loons. A double rainbow over camp after the rainstorm during supper one night. The red fox kits tumbling and playing with each other, running over my boots, sniffing at our tripods, even as adults smaller than my Maine coon cats back home. Dave dreaming about the grizzly bear. Bill's funny giggle. The aurora. The shadow of the floatplane skimming over the tundra polygons as we flew to where the musk oxen were. The gyrfalcon who perched on the bath house. The musk ox bull snorting as he chased off the marauding wolverine so fast that I only got two shots of the wolverine. The sun breaking through the clouds to shine for ten seconds just on the second inukshuk, the golden one, leaving the tundra expanse behind it in darkness. One wolf track on the sand not covered over by caribou tracks. Only Tom Walker saw the wolf, and even he got no pictures. Sweet blueberries. Scolding sic-sics; a fat prairie dog look-alike holding his ground for full-frame portraits even with my short lens. A hot shower during the big storm. Fresh trout for dinner. The varying hare by the bath house who only came out when it was too foggy to photograph him. Bridget finding spear points. The big wolf den, "Etthen Eldehi" graves. Soft-spoken Terry. And caribou! Caribou on the top of the ridge. Caribou swimming across the lake, the cow with her calf behind. Caribou milling around behind the ridge with only their antlers visible. Caribou charging across in front of the boat house, and charging back the other direction a few hours later. Caribou running easily over the hummocks... I want to go back..."
"I remember our week with you very fondly. Few Canadians would believe such a landscape exists unless they could see it with their own eyes. The vastness, the peace, the life! Our thanks to Bill our guide for tailoring our week to our needs so thoughtfully. He also taught us to "see" in a whole new way. A memorable time. Thanks again!"
"Well after more then 50 years of canoe tripping on my own (I'm 72 this month) I was not expecting much adventure in a guided canoe trip.. Wrong! You can't take the adventure out of the Canadian Barrenlands - especially with a guide like Dweeb. I'm a retired Fish and Game employee from California and after 35 years of traveling the back country after wildlife, I appreciate someone who has memorized the country and knows the good wildlife areas. I appreciate the trip made seeing and photographing wildlife a high priority, over trying to get so many miles in each day. You and Diana were really very well organized and thoughtful too. Even Pizza and drinks on our return ! A great job very well done. Thanks everyone for helping me keep some adventure in my life!"
"The float plane flights to and from the river are simply stunning. As a geologist, I reveled in each sighting of a different feature of tundra or continental glaciations. The Clarke River, with its variety of raptors, its moving water, and its spectacular cliffs, is a true delight. We only wish there had been more of it. We recall many wonderful things about the Thelon: the numerous wolves and Arctic hares; the Thelon Bluffs, with its fast water and incredible view; the tundra flowers and glacial geology; the archaeological sites near Beverly Lake, where the Inuit used the geology to help them harvest the caribou; and especially those marvelous prehistoric beasties, the musk oxen. These were all experiences of a lifetime. And the Prospector Inn is the absolutely perfect place to stay before and after the trip!"
& Pamela Mueller
"The Thelon is truly one of the great rivers of this fine country. The memories that flood back are many and varied and too detailed to capture in a short note. Some of the highlights - the distant white sand ridges of the Warden's Grove area shimmering in the lazy heat of an Arctic summer afternoon, clumps of simply gorgeous mauve "river beauties" decorating the gravel beaches, a golden eagle cruising by for a better look fifty meters above the canoe, the wind borne barnyard odor of the fly ravaged musk ox bedded down in the willows some 20 meters away, the flash of that first trout at the side of the canoe, fresh grizzly tracks in the damp sand, the awe inspired by presence of ancient tent rings and the flight of imagination in trying to bring their builders back to life, a wolverine checking out the intruders into his land from a convenient hole in the river bank, the stunning panoramic vista northeast of Ursus Islands, and the list goes on. It was good, and the memories are well embedded..."
"We thoroughly enjoyed our wilderness experience on the 'Dance with the Caribou' trip. It was an awesome feeling to be so isolated and at the mercy of God's nature. Your staff was great - they showed their knowledge of the plants, animals and area history. Will, our pilot actually stripped to his long johns and jumped in the lake to push the plane in so we wouldn't get wet! Brigit fixed special dishes for me that accommodated my allergies. After the trip was over, Diana even ran from the restaurant to our B&B to wake us so we could see the northern lights! We got excellent footage of musk-oxen, a wolverine, and caribou as close as the lens on our camcorder could handle! It's great to have pictures - but it's the memories of the trip of a lifetime that will last!"
Charles & Joanne
"The Clarke-Thelon river trip was one of the most interesting adventures I've ever taken!" Spending three weeks in the wilderness with people who share the same enthusiasm for the great outdoors is awesome. The natural environment is humbling. One of the main attractions in the NWT for me was the array of bird species: there were golden eagles, peregrine falcon and Lapland longspur. In addition to the native birds we were fortunate enough to see musk oxen and tundra wolves! Our activities included canoe tripping, plane trips to and from the tundra; plus fishing & dining on Arctic grayling and lake trout. The variety of outdoor entertainment allows for individuals to experience nature in its finest element. The trip challenges a person to test the limits of civilized living and 'get back to mother nature'."
"Trees, trees, more trees, and then nothing. Barren. The word describes well the view as we fly over the tundra. No houses. No buildings of any kind. And no roads, at least none made by humans. Then, what's that? A caribou migration trail! There's another. And look - there's a caribou! See it? Musk ox at 10:00. Spotting wildlife continues for an hour as we make our way to camp. No ordinary collection of tents this camp. Hot showers. Need I say more? In time one learns how well-placed, laid out, and equipped camp is. Only someone with a deep understanding and appreciation of this magical land could have set up this camp. Sunrise. A good, hot breakfast. Plans for the day: hike to a historic site, boat trip to another locale, aerial recon for musk ox. An excellent dinner with wonderful company. Sunset. The northern lights. And there's more. On some nights Tom reads from accounts of trappers and others who ventured to this region years ago. A genuine treat. This is wilderness. The real thing. We are strangers to the wildlife here. From the cover of a few spruce trees I see a caribou crossing the river. I reach for my big lens. Seconds later I realize it's my pillow. It's late at night weeks after returning home. Yes, the trips Tom offers are just as I and others describe. An experience to remember for life!"
"Our expedition was a great success with mostly beautiful weather, beautiful scenery, lots of wildlife, fabulous paddling and tough paddling when it was windy. I'm busy editing slides and writing magazine articles. Once stuff is published I'll try to remember to send you some copies. Canadian Geographic is looking at it right now and I'm sending it off to some other magazines in Europe and Asia as well. I've already got two slide shows booked and several more in the works. This was my first trip on the Barrens but it certainly will not be my last. I'm already busy planning next year's expedition, retracing another George Back route. This one he did with Franklin in 1821 but unlike Franklin, I plan on not starving. I made a deep connection with the Barrens this summer and feel the need to explore more of it. I finally understand what people have been talking about! I'm pleased with your services, your generosity and your willingness to accommodate us."
Paul Van Peenan /
"Here is what I want to tell you about our upper Thelon adventure: You run an outstanding camp. We felt very well and sheltered in the tent you provided, we enjoyed the cozy library room, the excellent food and the feeling to be surrounded by loneliness and vastness. The ramblings with Terry & Dweeb was great! Once, together with Terry, we investigated the lichens - the tundra was in colour of the fall with big tufts of gold-brown colored moss, wide patches of purple-red bearberry leaves, the bight yellow-red dwarf birches and willows; the velvet-like gray reindeer lichen, and everywhere in between the cranberries, which I gathered with pleasure. Next day we had a fancy dinner with turkey and everything else! One day, our dream came true when you took us with your plane to search for musk-oxen. And we found them! These fellows stood before us like relics from a past age, the long black winter hair shining in the sun. We strolled for hours across that esker - and words can't describe the beauty of the landscape which will always be on our mind. This day we were lucky! The trip is over and great memories remain. You delivered what you had promised and therefore we thank you. The Thelon has touched our hearts and we will return again!"
Dr. Suzanne & Franz
"..A rare opportunity to camera hunt wildlife at a truly wild place.. As photography guide, I took to the field with folks who had a variety of cameras and skill levels, from point & shoot to real professional. They all got some great pictures! And while Tom's rule - and mine - is that clients get the photo opportunity first, I still got great images. You can't miss: you're so far from "civilization" that you get to work with animals who probably never saw a human being before. While still very wary, because they share the curious nature of their white-tailed deer cousins, many of the caribou would approach you if you used Tom's 'dance with the caribou' technique, and sometimes, if you simply got low to the ground with a wind advantage. Applying other camera hunting techniques was also a lot of fun and, at times, well worth the effort. I learned some of these by reading about how the original people hunted caribou in Tom's well stocked camp library. The library and other amenities of the base camp, including some great home-cooked meals, provided us the ability to make the most of a truly one of a kind experience. Because Tundra Tom sets up his camps at strategic locations along classic caribou migration routes, we had the chance to work daily with a number and variety of caribou. That enabled us to really learn about this fabulous species. The images that we got included not only full frame portraits but also glimpses of caribou behavior not often recorded on film. Pre-migration groups of bulls came down past the camp every day. The first day they were as wary as any of their kind. The second day they visited knowing that humans occupied the site, and you could work much more closely with them. It often happened that they returned for a third day before moving on. And then, with a slow and respectful approach, you could get portraits with a wide angle lens without bothering them! Tom told me that this was not always the case, which is part of why he worked out the 'dance with the caribou' that is so effective on the open tundra. But when they wake you up gnawing on last year's dropped antler 15 feet from your tent, how hard can it be? In addition to the caribou, we photographed musk-oxen, Arctic hare and several species of birds, not to mention the Northern lights. A final comment: Tom's guides Terry and Dweeb are the best wilderness guides I've ever known. If I ever got lost in the bush, I'd want to have one of them come looking for me. nCatch them in the good light!"
(the late) Bill
"The Clarke/Thelon was my trip-of-a-lifetime! Beginning with the stunning flight to the tundra from Yellowknife, continuing with the most beautiful canoeing that I have ever done on the Clarke, and finishing with the history and wildlife of the Thelon; I am overwhelmed how lucky I was to have this adventure. Dweeb's guiding was outstanding, his commitment, expertise and hard work led to many highlights: ancestral chipping stations, tent rings, caribou fences, views of gyrfalcon and golden eagle chicks with the fresh kill in the nests; the wolf eating the still-flapping goose, heart-pounding closeness to musk-oxen; frolicking wolverine young; and of course - great cornbread fish and chocolate cake! Remoteness, 24 hours of daylight, tracks everywhere, and birds, birds, birds were all reminders that we were guests in the unspoiled natural world. Thanks Tom, for making this wonderful experience happen!"
Bill Hunter (1998)
"The camp on the Thelon headwaters was well run and the
staff worked hard to make sure that everyone was comfortable and well fed.
Opportunities for interesting excursions by plane or boat or foot were
provided, but the best part was that the wildlife and brilliant fall
colors were just steps away form the camp. Galen & Barbara were a
special bonus. 'Dance with the Caribou' was a wonderful experience which
we hope to repeat."
"What an incredible place! I have wonderful memories of the tundra, eskers, animals and northern lights. Going through my photos I thought you might enjoy these an share my memories as well. Being back a work in the 'real' world it seems so long ago that I stood upon the sand and felt the power of the place. It is beautiful and haunting - compelling. My memories are never far from my thoughts."
"That was sure great example of generous Canadian hospitality that you and your team lain on myself and son Bart during our recent participation on your 'Dance with Caribou' program. Tom, you are one fine bush pilot, a good teller of tales of the far North, and a genuine hero for having the tenacity to organize and operate these camp sites in the wilderness so that people like myself and my friends can access the remote areas. Terry & Duane are two of the finest wilderness guides with which anybody could hope to hook up with. They know the territory. They work well with people and - amazingly - they manage to cook up some fine meals! Diana, your fixed-base operator and hostess she is a sweetheart! She extends great hospitality and is most helpful to newcomers to Yellowknife. Your gust photographer, Bill Silliker, Jr. could not have been a better choice. He worked closely with me one morning and those photos that I shot that day are among the best. I started out with a desire to spend some time among migrating caribou. - a scene which I have never before experienced. Spending time at your camp on the upper Thelon River sure fulfilled that dream. Once in your camp, caribou were simply everywhere - and you and your team made it all possible. Thank you!"
"I often judge my wildlife trips by how long it takes me to step back into reality. I was stunned the first day back, depressed the second and speaking normally in a week. I loved being up at Whitefish Lake. My only regret is that I did not swim in those clear waters, but I certainly bathed my soul with the fresh air, fabulous wildlife and wondrous landscapes. I also keenly enjoyed your staff. The trip was an 'A plus'. I don't know how we could have improved it except to let me move in permanently. It was very difficult stepping into that plane and returning to Yellowknife."
"Thank you so much for the most wonderful trip of my life. I would recommend it to anyone. Exploring the tundra and eskers, observing caribou, musk-oxen, wolves and gyrfalcon was fantastic. Dave Mech and Nancy Gibson from the International Wolf Center were tireless in their efforts to make sure our group saw wolves. Your guides were also wonderful - they were very knowledgeable and knew exactly where to go to see wildlife. My only problem with the trip is its length. It should be two month instead of one week. Maybe next time I'll do just that ! I would highly recommend the IWC or any of your other trips."
"Thanks for the unforgettable experience you afforded us in your 'piece of heaven' in the Thelon River valley. My expectations were met and surpassed, as I saw Arctic wildlife in abundance. It was a special thrill for me to see wolves in the wild was a thrill beyond words. Stalking herds of musk oxen, dancing with the caribou and enjoying the Arctic ecosystem was icing on the cake. The ambience at basecamp on whitefish Lake was magical, the scenery awesome and the facilities superb. As if this were not enough, your staff was incredibly friendly, well trained / knowledgeable, and sensitive to our needs /wants (great cooks, too). All in all it was just one great time - one I'll always cherish. I'm going to hardily recommend it to all my friends. As keepers of the wilderness - keep up the good work protecting the beauty and innocent integrity of the wild, and to promote its magical spirit. The Arctic has a profound influence on those who visit it. My own Arctic experience was inspiring, humbling and motivating. Walking amongst the Arctic wildlife in their own domain is an incredible feeling. The time I spent on the Thelon lounging with the musk oxen, hanging with the wolves. dancing with the caribou is about as good as life gets."
"I went to the Arctic in search of caribou. I left with my soul recharged. There are few truly wild places left on this earth - you make it possible for all of us to have the rare experience of the wilderness in a way that is safe, comfortable, and easy. Along with photographs of caribou, musk-ox, ptarmigan, and the tundra in full fall splendor, I came away with a greater understanding of this great land and its history-- the character of the trappers and the migratory Indians, the difficulty of surviving on the "barrens" year round. This unique experience has changed me in a subtle yet significant way. I shall always treasure it. Thank-you!"
"Thank you and your wonderful staff for the friendship and expert support during my two unique wilderness adventures this year! I was on 'Wolves, Musk-ox & Gyrfalcons' in June, and 'Dance with Caribou' in September. Photographing animals in the beautiful green setting of springtime and in the orange-red colors of autumn was very productive. The different times of the year provided the opportunity to see different animals as well. The wilderness camp was very comfortable and the food was unbelievable considering the remote location. Your knowledge and respect for the barrenlands, and the native people and the stories of pioneers of the Arctic added greatly to my enjoyment of the trips. You do a wonderful job making this remote and harsh environment accessible and comfortable to adventurers like myself."
Jim DeMilita /
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