Ishpatina Adventure

In search of the rooftop of Ontario

Page 6

What to expect along the shore of Scarecrow Lake.

Once you reach the western shore of Scarecrow Lake, you may be able to walk onto the shoreline and follow this rocky path right up to the trailhead for the ridge. I emphasize the word "may" since the availability of this option is dependent upon water levels, weather conditions, wind, etc. (If you have a pair of hiking poles, now is definitely the time to use them.). If the rocks along the shoreline prove to be wet and slippery, I strongly recommend that you stick to the forest and bushwhack within 20 meter of the shoreline. The forest along the shore was relatively light and had obvious signs of animal travel - which in turn allowed for reasonable rates of travel. Once you reach the trailhead (beside the remains of the former ranger cabin), climb up the well-worn trail to the summit.

If all goes well, you should be able to hike from the Sturgeon River to the summit in approximately seven hours one way. If you decide to mountain bike from the Sturgeon River, you'll be able to ride to within one km of the bushwhack, saving yourself almost an hour of travel time in one direction. Either way, it wouldn't be out of the question to complete this entire journey in one long day during the summer.

My recommendation would be to break the trip into two days. Spend one day climbing to the ridge and spend the evening at the former ranger cabin. Spend the following day returning to your car as you enjoy the scenery and wildlife. You'll be lucky to see even the trace of a human being during this trip.

Ken Takabe

A brief note regarding the use of a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) unit

Although SA (Selective Availability) has been disabled by the US military, GPS units will still show a slight amount of deviance - even when standing in a static position. To improve your accuracy, you may want to:

  • Never depend upon your GPS unit to mark an object/location of importance. Make sure you have a wand, marker, or landmark to supplement your waypoint.
  • Try to capture as many satellites as possible. GPS units may work in the dense forest, but you'll find that you can double the number of satellites (and undoubtedly increase your accuracy), if you walk into the open.
  • Use the "average" option when marking a waypoint (to narrow down any deviances).
  • Always carry spare batteries!

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