This account, of the geography and history of some of the mountainous country drained by the South Nahanni River, is based on Lougheed's observations as a hiker and paddler, and on her thorough research - including interviews and correspondence with the people, and the descendants of the people, who made that history.
The journey to the abandoned mining town of Tungsten at the headwaters of the Flat River, and to the Flat Lakes just north, the headwaters of the Little Nahanni, leads to a tour of the ruins and a history of the Lakes. That history starts in the 1930s with the arrival of George Dalziel, the "flying trapper," who was in the business of dropping his "assistants" into prime martin-trapping areas. The stories of these trappers, the Cormack brothers and Nazar Zenchuk, after whom a feeder creek of the Flat Lakes is named, link to the stories of other trappers along the South Nahanni, the Flat, and Glacier Lake near the Cirque of the Unclimbables.
Raymond Patterson was the first to make these men famous. The RCMP helped too, with their accounts of looking for men who disappeared, some of them Dalziel's employees or customers.
This leads to journeys and research to the north, to the abandoned mining sites of Howard's Pass, Lened Creek and Union Carbide, all of which Lougheed passes through in numerous, Quixotic, attempts to walk to the shores of the South Nahanni.
Finally, success A trek to the Cirque of the Unclimbables and Glacier Lake, and stories of the scientists and climbers who explored those important destinations in the newly expanded Nahanni National Park.