New BC Adventure Cruises Introduce Inside Passage Legends, Including Mysteriously Disappearing Pole of the Kitlope
Maple Leaf Adventures announces new private tours of the protected 140-year-old G’psgolox pole – one benefit of the local companies’ connections
Victoria, BC – This summer, it will be possible for a visitor to the Inside Passage to see a historic monument that has memorialized the dead, as well as inspired a mysterious theft, a quest, and a triumphant 10,000-mile journey from Europe to the Pacific Northwest rainforest.
The Canadian adventure cruise company Maple Leaf Adventures has arranged special visits for its guests to the historic, 140-year-old G’psgolox pole on its summer Great Bear Rainforest trips, June 5-12 and June 12-21. The storied pole is not yet accessible to the general public.
Authentic and unique experiences like this are what differentiate the trips of boutique adventure companies like Maple Leaf from other trips through the Inside Passage. Local companies’ passion for the coast and personal relationships there provide interest at every turn on their tours. Despite being small they are well regarded: Maple Leaf is rated one of the best adventure travel companies on earth by National Geographic Adventure editors.
At the site where the pole is kept, a Henaaksiala guide will tell Maple Leaf guests its epic story, one that was made into a movie by the National Film Board of Canada.
Also on Maple Leaf’s adventure cruises, aboard a 92-foot, classic schooner, guests will sail the coastal fjords, walk the rainforest with an expert naturalist, view wildlife, including bears, and soak in natural hot springs. Gourmet food and camaraderie between guests and crew round out the trips.
“The Inside Passage is full of incredible stories from millennia of human inhabitance,” said Kevin Smith, president of Maple Leaf Adventures. “We have been fortunate that Henaaksiala friends of ours have for years taken us and our guests down the longest fjord on the coast to the place where the replica G’psgolox pole stands. So we are thrilled to now be able to bring our guests to see the original pole – the original, that had mysteriously disappeared almost a hundred years ago.”
Commissioned by chief G’psgolox in 1872 as a memorial to the people in his village who had died of introduced smallpox, the pole stood for decades until early one year, while the people still lived at their winter village, a Swedish consul living in Prince Rupert had the pole cut down and questionably exported. The Kitlope people were devastated and had no idea where it had gone. They passed down the story and encouraged family members to be vigilant about finding it. Then, in the 1980s, they found it. The only problem? It was a centerpiece of Sweden’s Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm.
The rest of the story, and how the pole came to be returned to the village in 2006, is the subject of two films by the National Film Board of Canada. The pole is currently in storage while the descendents of chief G’psgolox plan for its future.
“We feel that the return of the pole has created a relationship not just with Sweden, but also possibly a tool to bring back our culture, and to forge new relationships within our own country, with non-native people,” said Gerald Amos, councillor of the Haisla Nation at Kitamaat, who helped facilitate the pole’s return.
Maple Leaf Adventures has been operating eco-adventure cruises in BC and Alaska since 1986. A local company, they donate to coastal conservation and inject virtually all of the money the cruises earn into the coastal economy.
Great Bear Rainforest (Inside Passage) dates and prices:
– Featuring the G’psgolox pole:
- Kitlope Summer (Great Bear Rainforest) June 5-12 (7 nights, 8 days) $3880
- Great Bear Rainforest Summer, June 12-21 (9 nights, 10 days) $4990
– Other Great Bear Rainforest trips:
- Spring & Summer: Apr. 26-May 4 (8 nights, 9 days) $3600; Jun. 23-Jul. 1 (8 nights, 9 days) $4470
- Autumn: Sep. 4-11 (7 nights, 8 days) $4300; Sep 12-20 & Sep 22-30 (8 nights, 9 days) $4900
These per-person (d.o.) prices are in Canadian dollars and include all accommodations, meals beverages, shore excursions and use of gear on board including optional kayaks.
Other local legends on Great Bear Rainforest trips: the rare white Spirit Bear, the researchers who documented the area’s genetically distinct, salmon-eating wolves; other First Nations cultural sites.
About Maple Leaf Adventures
Maple Leaf Adventures has been offering eco-adventure cruises in B.C. and Alaska since 1986. Our trips are multi-day expeditions aboard the 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf in the coast’s spectacular fjords and archipelagos, most inaccessible except by water. Destinations include Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest, southeast Alaska and Vancouver Island/Gulf Islands. Maple Leaf Adventures has been rated one of the top adventure travel companies on earth by National Geographic Adventure, and its trips listed as a “Best Travel Experience” by Frommer’s, and one of Canada’s top 5 guided trips by Explore. Maple Leaf Adventures is an ecotourism company and donates at least 1% of all trip sales to conservation. For more information please visit www.MapleLeafAdventures.com
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