North·Video

German kayakers capture drone footage on western river tour

Milan Seifert and Jan Zacherl spent the summer paddling from Jasper National Park to Inuvik, N.W.T., shooting video by drone along the way.

Pair spent 5 months paddling the Athabasca, Mackenzie rivers

Drone captures footage of western river tour

6 years ago
0:54
Milan Seifert and Jan Zacherl spent the summer paddling from Jasper National Park to Inuvik, N.W.T., shooting video by drone along the way. 0:54

Two friends from Kassel, Germany, are heading home with fond memories and some spectacular video footage after a summer spent paddling waterways from Jasper National Park to Inuvik, N.W.T.

"[I] had the idea when I was writing my bachelor's thesis in Germany and I asked my buddy Jan if he wanted to join me," says Milan Seifert.

Milan Seifert and Jan Zacherl spent the summer paddling the Athabasca River, the Mackenzie River and other waterways from Jasper National Park to Inuvik, N.W.T. (submitted by Milan Seifert)
Both Seifert and Jan Zacherl planned the trip as a way to get away from big city life.

"Escape the system where you've got to work all the week," Seifert says. "Just do something to free our mind a little bit. And see life from a different perspective."

The trip, which took about five months from May to September, took the pair down the Athabasca River and into the Mackenzie — a distance they calculate at about 3,500 kilometres.

Before heading to Canada, Seifert built a drone, which looks like a computer circuit board with metal legs and tiny propellers. The pair planned to use it to document their journey, and to "get over the shoreline and see what's behind," Seifert says.

The view at river level was spectacular enough, he says, but the drone gave them a view of what was up river, nearby mountain ranges and even an eagle perched in its nest.

The pair also have tales of Northern hospitality.

The pair made friends along the way, in one case, tagging along on a moose hunt near Fort Good Hope, N.W.T. (submitted by Milan Seifert)

Zacherl remembers one night near Fort Good Hope, N.W.T., when they ended up spending the night in a cabin.

"We saw the cabin and we just went there to ask for some dry wood. And they invited us to stay in the cabin for the night."

The next day, the same group invited them to go moose hunting. 

"It was nice experience."

The two plan to share the videos on a website, www.lone-river.com.

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