Remote and Wild with South Nahanni Outfitters
There are not many places left in the world like Canada’s Northwestern Territories. Comprised of mostly uninhabited terrain, with rugged mountains to the west, barren tundra to the east, and woodlands in the south, it’s one of the world’s most remote regions.
Located in the southwestern part of this 442,000 square mile territory is Nahanni Outfitters, where Werner and Sunny Aschbacher have organised big game hunting trips for over 15 years.
Instead of backpacking into these prime hunting areas, Nahanni Outfitters flies customers in instead. Customers are flown from Nahanni’s remote base in the lowlands of the MacKenzie River into the unexplored ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains. It’s a hunting area larger than Slovenia, at 8,500 square miles.
When it takes a plane to get you to base and another to get you to the hunting spots, you know you’re heading into the wild.
“There is not a single road, powerline, pipeline, village, hamlet, etc., in our entire area of 12,000 square miles,” says Werner, “It’s one of the last remote corners of operation.”
Because Werner and Sunny make a living from taking people into the wilderness, reliability and consistency are essential when it comes to tracking their operations. When weather and flight plans can change rapidly, a technology that ensures that someone knows where you are at all times is crucial.
Werner first heard about Spidertracks through the charter companies that work with him, calling it ‘a must-have for his operation.’
“They told me it would eliminate a massive search and rescue mission if I were to go down in our vast, remote area. In the case of an emergency, it could save my life because people would be able to find me in a short period of time,” Werner explains.
It was enough to convince him.
“The most important thing to me is that every minute, [Spidertracks] records where I am. Anyone with access to my account can find me in no time.”
To this day, Werner says one of the biggest strengths of the Spidertracks system is that it is always on and always reliable.
“I’ve never been cut off from the system,” he says.
During the hunting trips, customers fly into a hunting area in the Mackenzie Mountains to set up camp. From here, Werner and his team guide customers into the wilderness to find Dall Sheep, Mountain Goats, Mountain Caribou, Alaska-Yukon Moose, and more. Because it’s a concession area, customers get full access. It also means that flight paths can change.
“If I get side-tracked on my hunting trips and don’t fly according to the flight plan I’ve left at camp, I can still be at ease knowing my followers can track me at all times,” Werner says.
Spidertracks has helped Werner and his team fly safer and smarter, which also helps the business.
“Clients appreciate the fact that we know where they are at all times once they’re in an aircraft and flying in our area,” he explains.
With the Northwestern Territory’s varying and rugged terrain and sudden weather changes, a lot can happen in flight. When you add in how isolated the area is, and how big it is, nothing is more important than safety.
When accidents can happen, it pays to have something looking after you. It’s so crucial that Canadian aircraft operators are required to meet ELT [Emergency Locator Transmitters] requirements. ELT’s send out a distress signal, and if the aircraft is fitted with a GPS, pilots are more likely to be found.
However, Werner says he is happy to have a product that can do it all in real-time.
“Spidertracks is a great system, and it’s easy to use for everyone involved. I think this tracking system should be mandatory for all licensed planes versus the ELT we need to have here in Canada.”
Reliable and consistent tracking is crucial when it comes to keeping pilots and their customers safe. For everything you need to stay safe, and no matter where you are, there’s Spidertracks.