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street
Member

Post Number: 24
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 10:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Does anyone have any current information on the rapids on the Montreal River just north of Beauty Lake access, and whether the 1895m portage is necessary (ie., can the rapids be lined) and if so, its current condition?

Curly was kind enough to do some heavy clearing work in 2013: http://www.ottertooth.com/discus/messages/3/103359 .html?1372871564

This is part of Hap Wilson's Route #18 (Smoothwater Lake to Gowganda)
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1946
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 4:49 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was back several years ago and did some additional clearing of deadfalls in Curly's aftermath.

In the spring, it can be run, but in most summers it becomes an endless series of lining and wading. Unless you have high water, take the trail.

To get to the trail, let down three short swifts where the old dam was. You will see the trail landing at a 90-degree turn to the left in the river.

When you get to the portage bottom where the poplars thicken, head through the cedars to the river. There will then be about 50 metres or less of lining down through gravel shallows till you get to the open meanders.
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street
Member

Post Number: 25
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 8:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks much, Brian. Is the total distance of the carry a little short of 2k?
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street
Member

Post Number: 26
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 9:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Also, while I am at it:

a) How are the campsites on Sunnywater? One small and rough but one near the portage on the west end of the lake that is decent? Is the traditional route to bust it all the way from Gamble to Smoothwater?

b) what do you think of the Wabun Highway alternative to the Gamble death march? Is Wabun Lake nice?

c) finally, what is it like from Gowganda to Matachewan?

The idea here would be to do some variation of Hap routes 16, 18 and/or 19. Say start at the Beauty Lake access near Kaa or just shy of Gamble and take Sunnywater-Smoothwater-Montreal River to Gowganda; or start at the main Beauty Lake access and head to Matachewan.
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 175
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Friday, May 1, 2020 - 3:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Sunnywater site, the one on ottertooth map, is good; probably too open for stormy weather. It's a good camping alternative for Smoothwater that is accessible to motor boats. Wabun Highway is a slow easy uphill, in my opinion, and the whole stretch from Smoothwater to Kaa is one of my favorites in Temagami for character and variety.
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 176
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Friday, May 1, 2020 - 3:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I should have added that if your alternative to Wabun is going from Gamble to Kaa it's also a superior canoe route.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1947
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, May 4, 2020 - 12:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Street, it is about 1.5 km.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1948
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, May 4, 2020 - 4:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I see lots of old references to the Montreal River portage being closer to 2 km. I believe that is because the current trail is shorter. It used to start at the old dam site, but now you can get through that by canoe or lining.
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street
Member
Post Number: 27
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 12:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks much, Brian and Eddy!

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