Guiding The Long Range Traverse in Gros Morne National Park - Canada

Another successful multiday trek on the Long Range Traverse. Kate and Ashlee from New York State were visiting Western Newfoundland and wanted to do the trek and have the support and knowledge of a local guide. Below is our route plan, packing list, and day by day as it happened trip report. With warm weather and great attitudes, our Long Range Traverse was a huge success!

Day 1 - Welcome to Gros Morne National park

I met Kate and Ashlee at the Visitor's Centre in Norris Point to check in for our hike. They both showed up with great big smiles, keen to hit the trail.

We had our trek orientation learning that there were a few new obstacles this season - rockslides in the gorge and flood damage at Marks Pond (no campsite). We handed in our pre-prepared route plan, paid our park fees and they each bought a copy of the topo map (12H12).

Kate and Ashlee had reserved a 2 bedroom house in Cow Head on AirBnB. We spent the evening packing, reviewing the route and getting to know each other. I know we'd make a great team out there as the girls had all the right gear, were strong and fit and ready to learn.

Day 2 - Western Brook Pond to Little Island Pond

8 am - departed Cow Head en route to Western Brook Pond

9:30 am - at the dock, check-in and pay tickets for high-speed shuttle transfer (via Out East Adventures)

10:20 am - arrival at the back of the pond, unloaded the boat and prepared to hike

10:40 am-1 pm - hiked through the gorge, following the main brook (dry in places) throughout the forest. Crossed the new landslide on the marked route. stopped at the base of the waterfall for a swim and picnic lunch. flies = maggoty!

2.00-3:30 pm - climbed the hikers right of the waterfall on somewhat of a trail up to the lookout (with the amazing view)

3:30-4:15 pm - swim and snack at the top of the waterfall

4:30-6:30 pm - hike from swimming hole to Little Island Pond (waypoint LR5). Kate and Ashlee navigated with map and compass (192 degrees) and found a route to the campsite.

6:30 pm - set up camp and dinner. all in bed by 10 pm!

  • Total Distance: 7.46 km
  • Elevation Gain: about 650 m

Day 3 - Little Island Pond to Green Island Pond

8 -10:30 am - breakfast, camp tear down and headed south to Mark's Pond

12 pm - arrival at Mark's Pond and crossed the Big Island Steadies. The followed route towards Harding's Pond.

2:30-3 pm - stop for lunch in the valley above Hardings Pond. Discussed route options and decided to try a more 'direct' route and some compass navigation (236 degrees).

3.00-6.00 pm - was spent route finding along valleys W/NW of Hardings Pond. down and across between muddpot Pond and Bakers Brook Pond.

6.00 pm - rejoined the trail at Middle Barrens. followed GPS track to within 500m of Green Island Pond when thick fog and darkness required us to wild camp at 21U 0449339 E / 21U 5495157 W at 9:30 pm

9:30 pm - set up camp and dinner. all in bed by 10:30 pm!

  • Total Distance: 18 km
  • Elevation Gain: about 100 m

Day 4 - Green Island Pond to Ferry Gulch

8.00 am - awoke to heavy fog (less than 10m visibility) and scattered showers

9.00 am - the group decided to wait out the rain (expected to stop mid-afternoon)

12pm - Katie called Will to check in (as planned) and get a weather report. Forecast: 5-10mm, winds 20km/h gusting to 40km/hr, rain ending this afternoon, and fog dissipating overnight. sunset at 9:15pm.

3.00 pm - rain stopped and visibility increased to about 40m. decided to pack up and trek to ferry gulch. hiked using GPS track to navigate. waypoints LR14A is a trail sign marking the new route down into Ferry Gulch. The new route is much safer, less steep!

9:30 pm - arrival at Ferry Gulch, set up camp, eat dinner in the dark, and sleep!

  • Total Distance: 8.8 km
  • Elevation Loss: about 200 m

Day 5 - Ferry Gulch to Gros Morne Mountain Trailhead

8.00 am - awoke to the bright sky and light winds, fog lifting but rain expected around 12 pm

8:30-9-30am - breakfast and debrief of the trip. Kate and Ashlee will hike the Gros Morne Mountain trail (clockwise summit loop) before hiking out. Katie will hike out directly.

9:30 am - kate and Ashlee hiked out for their loop and Katie followed about 10 am en route to the trailhead. smooth sailing for all.

12.00 pm Katie at the trailhead. drove to Visitors Centre to update them on Kate and Ashlee's late arrival (about 4-5 pm)

4.00 pm - Ashlee texts Katie they are out!

    • Total Distance: 6 km
    • Elevation Loss: about 400 

Kate and Ashlee's feedback to me was very positive. I am so grateful they found me and were giving me the chance to achieve something I have always dreamed about - guiding in the backcountry! I know they had an amazing trip and have many souvenirs fly bites and bruises to take home as well as amazing pictures and memories. This place is special and there is no better way to experience all that Newfoundland has to offer than trekking through it's wildest and most beautiful places!

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