24-Sep-2005 -- We had been planning this visit for the past few months and thought from careful examination of our topo maps that we would be able to get within 150 m by water. The greater than average precipitation this year would perhaps be to our advantage since previously swampy areas might be passable by boat.
We drove the approximately 600km from Winnipeg to The Pas on Friday and stayed the night with plans to get the confluence on Saturday (approximately 200 km) and stay overnight at the Wekusko Falls Lodge.
We arrived at the lodge and told the owner, Tony, of our plans. My first inkling that this would be a bit tougher than I thought came when Tony's reaction to our plan and map was the comment "All the way up there?”.
We arrived at Herblet Lake off PR 393 by noon and set about getting the Zodiac and our gear ready. Safety was our number one priority so we had a satellite phone along with survival gear should an overnight stay be required.
We set out but almost immediately encountered some engine trouble. The motor was new and had been tested just days before and we couldn't easily determine the cause of the trouble. We plodded along at 10 km/hr toward our point. The weather wasn't ideal and we fought against the winds. After traveling approximately 12 km up the lake and having some careful discussions about the chances of us being able to make the confluence and still have enough fuel to return, we turned back. At the point of "failure" we were stil 8.8km from the confluence.
Although we failed to reach our goal, we felt that choosing to turn back was the only choice considering the mechanical issues. This area of the province, although not what I would consider remote, is still relatively untouched. While on the lake, we saw no other boats and little evidence of humans save the many bleach containers and flagged buoys floating on the surface of the lake which act as markers for fishing nets.
When we returned to the lodge, we discussed our failure with Tony. He made some suggestions for reaching the point by other means including snowmobile in February. After learning much more about both the location and the terrain, we plan to attempt this point again within the year.