Box 1320, Kuujjuaq, Nunavik (QC), J0M 1C0, Canada
Phone: +608-370-5071 / Email
: tundra@thelon.com


A Family Heritage...

Let a 'Good Spirit' Guide You


Tom showing off again


Tom in Nunavik in 2015 - still guiding and organizing expeditions in his 60's


Tundra Tom leading a photo hike on the Upper Thelon River, NWT in 2006

Tundra Tom - photo by James Raffan
Tundra Tom at Baker Lake in 1991 - photo by James Raffan

Hank & Marcy Faess
Mom & Pop: Hank & Marcella / 1994

Father & Son at the Whitefish camp beach, NWT - on Dad's last trip to the tundra
Tom & Hank on Thelon - 1995 

Echo Lake Lodge: photo of oil painting by Spencer Anderson

Tundra Tom is a second generation Canadian wilderness guide who was raised in the bush of NW Ontario. Tom, along with sisters Jeanie & Bonnie, were raised at Echo Lake Lodge, a fly-in fishing camp.  Under the tutor of his father Hank, Tom learned the craft of guiding in the North at a early age - he began in Ontario at age 9!

 

Little Tom in front of cabin 6 - Echo Lake Lodge

 

Hank & Marcy cuddling on log couch in the Lodge at Echo Lake - in front of the fieldstone fireplace Dad took two years to build!

 

Echo Lake in the autumn - 1981

 

Hank Faess

Tom Faess

Hank exploring Lynx Lake -Thelon River, NWT 1983
Tom - "chip off the old block" - guiding Echo Lake 1963

Windows to the Past . . .

Tom wishing to become a pilot on steps of a Nordyn Norseman at Echo Lake in 1959

Tom at second rapids on the Maginnis River below bearberry - 1975

Tom's hippie days with dog Salvation - and a Kurt Vonnegut book at Bearberry - 1973

Bearbery outpost as seen from the lake-

Tom & friend Tom Shabacker at Hidden Valley - 1974

Inside the guest cabin at Bearberry

 

Tom and Hank spent several years on the Maginnis River system from the late 1960's to the late 1970's at Bearberry outpost, which Tom managed for his family in the mid-70's.  During those years, Tom also built his own cabin at Hidden Valley - further upriver. 

Tom's Hidden Valley cabin - Mcginnis River, Ontario

Tom at age 15 in the foreground, with grandfather Carl in the background left, & father Hank on the background right - fishing for pickeral below Lorrie Falls on Copper Lake near Bearberry, 1970
Three generations - Carl, Tom & Hank Faess fishing below Lori Falls on Copper Lake in NW Ontario


Tom & Hank made their first exp
loratory trip to the Canadian Arctic in 1972, and it was from that trip that the idea for operating tourism in the Arctic was borne - and Tom's course in life set.


Tom during his first time on the barrenlands at Whitefish Lake - upper Thelon River NWT in the early 1970's

  • Tom, along with his Mom & Dad, Hank & Marcy, spent the next four years exploring the tundra of the upper Thelon River on the Arctic barrenlands.

Tom & Dave Sweiger building first tent frame on Lynx Lake - 1974

In 1975, Tom & Hank began construction of their first cabin out in this remote country - which  under Tom's  & Andrea Cooper's efforts,  later became Lynx Tundra Lodge.  

Andrea Cooper - Tom's first tundra woman


Marcella in the first Lynx Tundra kitchen - 1978

Lynx Tundra Lodge the way Tom left it in 1989 - before the nerds took over

Early Lynx Tundra during the tent-frame phase in the mid 1970's.

Hank chowing down on Lynx Lake - 1984

Marcella chowing down on Lynx Lake - 1984

Andrea Cooper - Tom's Sweetie - at the lodge door in 1984.  Andrea came back to the barrens again in 1993 for a visit after 18 years absence - she cried on the flight out...


Tom and his first 'Tundra Woman' Andrea Cooper at Lynx Tundra Lodge in 1981

 

Tundra Tom and beaver C-FZVR in 1997

Tom obtained his Pilots License in 1978, and has since logged over 14,000 hours flying float planes throughout the mainland Arctic & sub-Arctic while supporting remote expeditions. Tom moved from Ontario to the NWT in 1979, and lived in the towns of Hay River and Pine Point, Northwest Territories before moving to Yellowknife in 1984, where he lived until 1992. Tom moved back to Yellowknife after a few winters on Vancouver Island  in 1996. Iin 2006, spent the winter in the remote settlement of Lutsel K'e on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake.

Tom during his flight training phase, along with flight instructor and friend Robert Briggs, with Carl Parker's Seabee aircraft at Echo Lake Lodge - 1977.

Click here to learn more about Tom's Aviation history in the North


Tundra Tom with Cessna Turbine 207 C-FYBZ on the Thelon River in 2005

Tom flying the barrenlands in C-YBZ

During his career Tom has organized and operated several hundred remote adventure & wildlife expeditions for over 3700 travelers in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, Ungava, & Labrador. Tom's uncanny ability to find animals and remote spiritual / historical sites in remote areas has led him to guiding many prestigious writer/photographer and cinematographer clients over the past four decades. Here are a few examples:  

- BBC: Caribou & Wolves - The Endless Dance

- Conde Nast Traveler - Diamonds in the Wild

- Winnipeg Free Press - 'Dancing with Caribou ...

- Photolife Magazine - Journey into the Thelon

- Nature Canada - Autumn on the Barren Grounds

 Click here or on photo to see a full list of our most notable accomplishments.

 

 

Tom on the Canadian barrenlands near Chesterfield Inlet, Nunavut in September, 2009 - just after a 600 mile boat trip across Hudson Bay from Churchill in a 25' boat loaded with two tons of outfitting equipment!

 

Tom on the Nunavut barrenlands near Chesterfield Inlet in September, 2009 / photo copyright David C. Olson - all rights reserved

t: Left: Tom & Girly in Labrador City, Labrador in the summer of 2011.



Above: Tom heading out on the lake in northern Labrador is search of caribou in the autumn of 2012.

 

In Loving Memory of 

Hank & Marcella

Both at age 82, Hank & Marcella Faess: the father & mother of Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures -  passed away in Milwaukee and Stevens Point, Wisconsin in January and February 2000 - one month to the day apart. Hank & Marcy are survived by daughters Nancy Czarnecki, Sally Uselding, Bonnie Rutta, Jeanie Cutts, and son Thomas.  Hank had made it back North again in 1999 on his last trip to the tundra that he loved so deeply. We miss you both so much - miss your love, and your never-ending support through all.  

Hank & Marcella Faess - Red Lake, Ontario - 1994

 

Hank Faess's ashes on the landmark boulder at Faess Creek, Whitefish lake, Upper Thelon River, Northwest Territories, Canada

 

Faess family gathers at head of Faess Creek, NWT to build / photo by Robert Rutta

Family together for the boat trip to the boulder

tundra Tom resting on his father's burial monument on the upper Thelon - read below about the special burial ceromony of Tom's Dad - and the Faess family tundra gathering in 2002

Far out on the remote Thelon Barrenlands....

  of the NWT mainland Arctic flows 'Faess Creek' -  a small branch of the Zucker River.  In August  2002, nine people gathered at the Great Canadian camp on Whitefish Lake - mostly relatives of  the Faess family - to prepare the burial cairn for father (& grandfather) Henry's ashes on a huge landmark boulder at the entrance to 'Faess Creek' - one of Hank's favorite places.  the photos above are all part of that family gathering.  A bronze-like plaque was then installed at the site by Tom commemorating Hank in September, 2003.

 

May you rest in peace, Dad.

 

Hank Faess's plaque - Upper Thelon River, NWT

Tom with sisters Jeanie Cutts & Bonnie Rutta - dancing for caribou on the barrens - and just being generally weird...
Tom with sisters Jeanie Cutts & Bonnie Rutta - dancing for caribou on the barrens - and just being generally weird...


Tom 'dancing' in caribou for Ted Kerosote and Sports Afield magazine - 1996

Tom's care & concern for the last wilderness has seen him involved with many conservation projects, many of which he has spearheaded. See the current Thelon Wildlife Sanctuary issue.

 

 

We are very proud to announce that in 2002, 'Tundra Tom' and Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures were nominated by year 2000 client & fellow Yukon Northerner Dr. Dave Simonson for the World Wildlife Fund International Arctic Programme Arctic Award for Linking Tourism and Conservation.  The first nomination was then backed up by other client nomination letters from author Alan Weisman and photographer Lonnie Brock.  Click  logo at right to read these very special nomination letters:

 

Tom's first dog 'Salvation' waiting at camp beach - 1976

Click here to read more about Tom's feelings about the land & his work.

a more recent picture of Tundra Tom - just seconds before a flying trout snuck up and bit off the side of his head.

 

TOM tom tom tom - TOM tom tom tom

 

 

Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Click here to download our current trip calendars in PDF

 

Still undecided? Click on any of the faces below, and let our past clients & leaders tell you about their experiences with us to the Canadian Far North!

Dominique Braud


Thomas Groening

Stephen Fielding

Beth Davidow

Rachel Kobernic

Stuart Bell

David Olson
Lee Mann - photo copyright Annika Broden
Lee Mann

The Baenders

Jay Dickman

Wendy Broekx
Photo copyright Art Wolfe Inc.
Art Wolfe


Barry Girard


George Nagel
Photo copyright Mountain Light Photography
Galen Rowell

Steve Lybeck

Ron Burmeister
Photo copyright Art Wolfe Inc.
Alan Weisman

Steve Barger

Courtney Milne

Andy Kammer
Martin Haefele


Dr. Ella Trussell


Brad Armstrong

Rita Marett

George Archibald

Chris Crowley
Andrew Macrae
Andrew Macrae
Bill Mullins a-smiling on the tundra - photo courtesy Beverley & Allan Morris
Bill Mullins

Julie Yamaguchi

Glen Grambo
Photo copyright Charlotte Richardson
Steve Maka

Adele Curtis

Eric Peterson

Lonnie Brock

Photo copyright Art Wolfe Inc.
Dennis Fast
Scott Schrader
Scott Schrader
Photo copyright Annika Brodén
Annika Brodén
Photo copyright Art Wolfe Inc.
Christian Heeb
Photo copyright of Bill Silliker, Jr.
Bill Silliker Jr.


Martin Zeilig

Dr. David Mech - photo copyright IWC
 Dave Mech

Bob Gainer

Tundra Tom

Terry Elliott

Noelle Tufts
Allicia Kelly

A. MacPherson

 

Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures, Inc. is proud to be affiliated with:


Turismo Responsable

 

 

Come warm yourself by our fire.
Great Canadian Wildlife Adventures

Phone: +608-370-5071
Email:
tundra@thelon.com
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