June 24, 2014 2:20 pm

Saskatoon tourism company uses annual fuel run to ready for summer

Watch above: getting ready for summer in cold temperatures

SASKATOON – A Saskatoon-based adventure tourism company began their summer season this June; however some preparation occurred months earlier, when the temperatures were well below zero.

Adventure Destinations is forced to transport all the fuel for its Selwyn Lake Lodge during the winter months as no roads exist to or from the lake that straddles the Saskatchewan-Northwest Territories border. The lodge needs around 25,000 litres of fuel to fully operate.

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“It was an adventure to say the least; the weather was the big challenge, the temperatures were incredibly cold at that time of year,” said Greg Sproat, manager of the Selwyn Lake Lodge.

Sproat oversaw the fuel run; he met with two guides in Stony Rapids, where the crew loaded fuel drums onto a bush plane. Due to the weight of the fuel, the plane was forced to make 14 round-trip flights between Stony Rapids and Selwyn Lake to deliver 98 barrels of fuel for the lodge.

While the plane was en-route, Sproat and the guides, a lifetime resident of Black Lake and his granddaughter, made the trip to the lodge via snowmobile. The crew travelled approximately 120 kilometres for close to five hours, before reaching their destination.

“The trails aren’t your a-typical groomed trails that you’ll find in southern Saskatchewan, its slow going,” said Sproat, who has managed the lodge for seven years.

“By the time we were getting into the final stretch, it was tough going, fingers and toes were starting to get a little blue,” he added with a laugh.

The crew unloaded the drums after they were delivered by the plane and took them one by one to the lodge by snowmobile. All the hard work was documented by a reality television production crew for a series set to air in fall 2014.

Now that the summer season is in full swing, visitors are making their way up to the lodge. On a recent morning in Saskatoon, Marc Schlossman and around a dozen of his friends were set to depart for Selwyn Lake for a return trip to the lodge.

“Last year we had an amazing trip, it was the best year of fishing I’ve ever had,” said Schlossman, who is a freelance photographer based in London, England and said that fishing on Selwyn Lake was worth the trip from overseas.

“The terrain, the geography, the wildlife, the northern lights, all those kind of go into the full experience,” said Sproat.

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