North of Iskut

Grizzlies, Bannock and Adventure

Tor Forsberg

In 1971 Tor Forsberg was twenty-three and her life was at a crossroads. Having returned to Watson Lake in the Yukon after five years in Montreal, she found her art career at a standstill and the party life of a small town much too alluring. One day after a particularly wild night, she bumped into Lynch Callison, the father of an old boyfriend. Lynch invited her to his lodge at the LV ranch to “get her head straight.” The next morning she found herself bumping along Highway 37 in an old pickup, heading south to Iskut. Tor soon fell in love with the bush and vowed to create a life in the wilds of Northern BC. She stayed in a cabin on the LV Ranch that summer, where she worked on paintings for an art show in Vancouver and learned about life in the bush.

The following year Tor staked some land and built a log cabin to live at year-round with a menagerie of dogs, cats, a weasel named Casper and four packhorses. In the years that followed she learned to hunt, trap, skin beaver, field dress moose, make bannock and beaver stew and scent a grizzly on the wind. She also learned to live with herself in the pure solitude of life in the wilderness. North of Iskut is a funny and heartwarming story of a young woman’s quest to discover herself, her spirit and her connection with nature.

Life in the northern forests is an acquired taste. North of Iskut: Grizzlies, Bannock, and Adventure is a collection of memoirs from Tor Forsberg as she reflects on her decision to travel into the Yukon in her twenties and why since then she hasn’t looked back, pursuing both her art and her survival skills. A fascinating and insightful read of northern life, North of Iskut is a choice pick for memoir collections.

— James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

 

 

Tor Forsberg talks to CBC North by Northwest