Road to Ram II Getting closer

My plans for a hike to the Ram Plateau have progressed slowly but surely. A bit like I expect the hike itself to be. After somewhat hesitant initial contacts with the Nahanni National Park Reserve they are now firmly established. I have sent my application and have received a confirmation. More about the trip and the area here.

By Jörgen Johansson

Chilly morning on the Nahanni River in 2011.
It is always interesting to contemplate why the initial information about the Ram Plateau said: "You can only get there by helicopter". Alas, walking seems to be a forgotten means of transportation.

Even more interesting, if you are a bit weird like me, is the scarcity of information available on an obviously spectacular area within a Park Reserve. Nobody seems to know much about the area except that you usually fly in, take a look around, say "Wow" and then perhaps camp for a night or take the helicopter towards Virginia Falls (another "Wow").

Can't wait to go there.

I know the area and the logistics fairly well since my packrafting trip down the Nahanni River in 2011. On June 27 I am booked on a flight to Calgary, where I will stay with friends and do some shopping. Most important is renting a satellite phone. On June 29 I fly via Yellowknife to Fort Simpson on the Mackenzie River. Here I will buy most of my supplies for about 15-16 days and on July 1 I leave for Nahanni Butte, the native village on the river with the same name. I will hire someone to ferry me across the river and then it is only me and a lot of bushwhacking in wild and desolate country for the next couple of weeks.

Bushwhacking camp on the way to Nahanni River in 2011.
I am pretty certain about what gear I will use. The three big ones will be my HMG 4400 Porter Pack, used a lot on longer trips in later years, mainly in the Brooks Range of Alaska and in the Sierras. Weight 1060 grams.
The Porter Pack with additional pockets in Brooks Range 2015.
My shelter will be my homemade "Drytent". I call it that because it handles condensation better than any shelter I have ever used. It is also perfect for sheltered campsites i e forests. Weight 600 grams including pegs.
"Drytent" with semi-low pitch in the Sierras.
The sleeping pads will be my Laufbursche UL Mat, a closed cell foam pad, topped at nights with an Exped Synmat Hyperlight. The sleeping bag (not 100 percent certain) will either be a Haglöfs LIM Down or my ancient Marmot Hydrogen. I do not expect nights to be very cold, but this is the Northwest Territories... Weight 460-680 grams.
Haglöfs LIM Down. You can walk around in it, can't say I have used that feature except in my garden....
No matter what, these big ones will be within my rule of thumb, 343 or "three kilos for the three big ones". I will get back with some postings on the rest of my gear choices later.


  1. Hej Jörgen!
    Av och till brukar jag besöka din hemsida och blir alltid lika imponerad av dina vandringsvägar, bilder och berättarstil. Din tur in till South Nahanni River och modet att sedan i en liten packraft paddla nerför älven förstummade mig. Att du söker dig tillbaka till området kan jag väl förstå. Jag och en kompis vandrade sommaren 1980 från CanTung mine till Nahanni River (något uppströms Moore´s cabin). Byggde en flotte och tog oss nedströms till Rabbitkettle River och vandrade sedan tillbaka uppför Hole in the Wall Creek, åter till CanTung. Gruvsamhället hade då namnet Tungsten. Fortfarande känns det som om delar av mitt hjärta blev kvar i den fantastiska naturen.
    Lycka till med besöket till ”the Ram Plateau”. Jag ser fram emot din reseberättelse.


  2. Tack Billy, 1980 var väl Moore's Cabin fortfarande i bra skick? Besökte ni den? Tungsten var en möjlig anmarschväg som jag funderade över, när jag började kika på Nahanni i slutet av 90-talet. Hade inledningvis några tankar om att vandra uppströms Flat River, lite i spåren av Patersons bok Dangerous River. Har du läst den?

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  4. Hey there Jörgen, I'm actually planning something similar to this, along with other areas of the park this summer. Do you have a method that I can contact you? Maybe an email? Just so that I can ask you some questions as there isn't much information around; of course only if you want to!

    Thank you.

    1. No problem, I would be happy to help if I can. Write me at

  5. Hi, I'm planning to do this hike someday as well and there is no information on it! Please keep us updated if you end up attempting the hike... Thanks!

    1. Hi,

      I'm actually heading there in June 4th! I'll let you know how it goes.

    2. Ok, I'll check back here later then, or I could email you if that's easier. Good luck on your trip!


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