Tempting the Storm Spirits: White River to Superior

A few summers ago, Andy Christie and friends completed a harrowing descent of northern Ontario’s White River followed by a terrifying open-water journey along the exposed shoreline of Lake Superior, searching in vain for their safe harbour. Read Christie’s story in our spring issue here.

Artist Dave Barnes used Norval Morrisseau's painting of the Wendigo, a vengeful monster-spirit, as inspiration for his illustration of the Lake Superior portion of the trip.
Artist Dave Barnes took Norval Morrisseau’s painting of the Wendigo (a vengeful monster-spirit) as inspiration for his illustration of the Lake Superior portion of the trip.
Scouting Rapids on the White. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
“I pre-judged most of the rapids somewhere between screaming disaster and invitation to death. Rob thought they were all pretty much ‘doable.’ ‘Andy, I think it’s doable,’ he would encourage at each reconnaissance. My response to Rob’s enthusiasm was typical. ‘You really have no idea what the hell you’re talking about, do you?’” Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
A rare stretch of quiet water on the White. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
A rare stretch of quiet water on the White. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
One of the many non-doable rapids on the route. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
One of the many non-doable rapids on the route. “Before us was a minefield of rocks, standing waves and hydraulics that looked like a thousand cotton-topped sharks biting upward, jaws moving, waiting to smash – then swallow – naïve humans at play.” Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
Investigating another non-doable rapid on the White. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
Rob in the Valley of Gold. The mist to the right is “Doable” Falls. Photo courtesy Andy Christie.
River right or river left? Photo courtesy OTMPC.
River right or river left? Photo courtesy OTMPC.
The Lake Superior shoreline, Pukaskwa National Park. Photo courtesy OTMPC.
The Lake Superior shoreline, Pukaskwa National Park. Photo courtesy OTMPC.

 

Comments