Canadian Rockies Trip
From: Eric G
Subject: Northern Rockies Update
Don... Thanks for the system... It was received and sent with crew on time.
Our team of three youths and two adults left Lower Post BC on the Yukon/BC border on August 20th with 7 packhorses. They were to catch up with the two person-three horse advance party with the collective goal of doing a lot of restoration to the ancient "Davie Trail" which the Kaska First Nation is sponsoring as part of a heritage trail system. Weather was uncooperative being unseasonably wet. The crew accomplished the 50-mile trek to Aeroplane Lake arriving on August 28. There were several delays for equipment and the crew slept in fly-camps (not tents, but tarps) Overall the participants walked most of the 50 mile route to enter the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area of the Northern Canadian Rockies "from the north". They will be out there for two months with bi-weekly crew changes. The Globalstar system worked fairly well. We were able to provide position reports and estimate arrival time for the first crew change. Weather messed up floatplane availability but the phone helped everyone keep on top the changes, and order critical replacement supplies. The real reason we need the sat-phone is employer 'due-diligence' specifically for worker health and safety. We are operating in an area known for forest fires, many bears (3 incidents in Canadian Rockies in past 2 weeks) and of course around horses and trail tools there are many prospects for minor injury.
The phone worked fairly well but we noted that many of our use locations are under tree canopy. We found that many calls were disconnected. All outside contacts seemed to take 2 attempts to complete. The solar charger is great as it will allow extended periods in the bush and permit more than just emergency calls.