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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 52
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Good afternoon one and all,

I am looking towards planning a 10-12 day trip in the Temagami area next summer (I know, it's a long way off but I'm just fishing for ideas right now). I was thinking about doing a trip from Matagasami, up through the series of lakes to drop into the Sturgeon River around Kettle Falls, and then traveling the river south until it is necessary to go back West to the original launch.

I have traveled the Sturgeon from Paul Lake down to the Obabika junction before, but wanted to get an idea of whether the time I have (a max of 12 days) is enough to travel down to Kelly's crossing and get back to Matagasami. I realize that some lakes are large and there is the potential for getting windbound. My wife and I are experienced canoeists, comfortable in both flat and moving water.

Any help is much appreciated!
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 674
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 3:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Should be doable in that time frame.... I am assuming you are going onto the Sturgeon from Stauffer, a bit below Kettle Falls?
The section of the Sturgeon from somewhere about 5-6 kliks above Pilgrim Creek basin to the Pilgrim Creek basin can be a long portaging day depending on what you can run when you go..From Pilgrim to Lower Goose is another day... approximately.
From Lower Goose to Kellys is about a day, with time to spare.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 53
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 3:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have been reading the sections on this website about the Chinichugi water system, and instead of accessing from Stauffer I was pondering the access directly to Kettle Falls from "Backdoor Lake", which is accessed by going north from Stauffer. I haven't read any trip reports from parties going that way, although it is my preference as I would love to start the trip down the Sturgeon from there.

Last time I was on the Sturgeon we trekked from a site between Twin Falls and Kettle Falls to a brilliant campsite (my Shangri-La) on an elbow lake on the Sturgeon. From there it was a long slog (one day) to get to Upper Goose, but below the Obabika junction I hadn't any clue about travel times. Thanks for the advice, Ed.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 676
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 4:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Somebody else lurking here might be able to answer you query about going onto the Sturgeon by Kettle Falls, if he is inclined to do so.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 17
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009 - 10:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've never done that portage but Kettle Falls is worth it for the fishing alone. You could go upstream from Stauffer for a while, it is not that strong a current. Sounds like you have done most of the Sturgeon already. Below Lower Goose is a cakewalk.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 200
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 9:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am interested in the history of this backdoor lk. route. It is not a historic Nastawgan.

This route is important in regards to the Sudbury FMP planning that is currently underway.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 54
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I figure the route would not be well used, but in previous trips through the Temagami area I have been forced to do some mild bushwacking and/or trudging through fields of labrador tea that were "portages". A couple of years back we took the road less traveled from Solace across to Ghoul Lake. The memory still haunts me. ;)

Do you think 3 days (weather permitting) would be sufficient to get to Kettle Falls (either by going through "Backdoor Lake" or paddling up the Sturgeon from the Stauffer portage) from Matagasami?
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 19
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That is do-able, depending somewhat on the flow in the Sturgeon (upstream option).
We made Dewdney Lake from the put-in on Mattagamasi. I am about to do something similar next week but have chosen the Maskinonge put-in as I have found it is a little closer getting to and a better road (my opinion), plus there is the fishing lodge where I feel my vehicle is more secure (Rolly Jonas').
After studying the maps, I am hoping the route up through Laura Lake, McConnell Bay and onto Button Lake to the Parsons crossover is no longer than the Mattagamasi route. I find that way a bit tedious although it has exceptional highpoints.
A few years ago,we started at Mattagamasi, went across at Stauffer and up through BlueSucker, Solace and into Ghoul Lake to Twin Falls and back down to Stauffer and back to Dewdney in seven nights. Two of our group made it back to the put in on the eight day.
Ten to twelve days is a lot of time. We returned to the Sturgeon and came out the Kelly Lake portage and back around to Mattagamasi in three nights. There you are. Good luck
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 56
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 3:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks fireman. It's nice for people to post their experiences here ... helps people like me from having to do 40 km of paddling on Lake Temagami in one day (which has happened to me before, I don't advise it).

I'm hoping that someone has come up through Backdoor Lake directly into the Sturgeon below Kettle Falls. If not, and I do take this route, I'll be sure to post a summary of my trip here.

Do you really think 10-12 days is too much? We don't normally travel every day (we like to schedule a day or two of rest on longer trip), and I figured that coming across at Kelly's and making the trip back to Matagasami would be another 3 days. Perhaps I'm underestimating but as I mentioned beforehand, better to have the time to explore and relax than have to hustle non-stop to stay on schedule.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 20
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 3:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I'm not quite clear as to what you are asking, but we camped on the Sturgeon River side of the Kelly Lake crossover (the two miler) and we arrived at the put-in on Lake Mattagamasi at 5:00 p.m. the same day. We simply paddled a lot but not particularly hard. We had nice weather to boot.
But from Kettle it is two reasonable days of travel to Lower Goose, albeit some steep portages, from Lower Goose it is an easy day with no portages to the Kelly Lake take out.
So if you have the time, take lots of time off.
I agree a day off is a great thing. If nothing else, it is a nice insurance policy against falling behind schedule. All depends on when you get on the water. I like to be moving but not rushing. anyway, sounds like a great route choice and I look forward to hearing about that northern access. You've been to Twin Falls so you know that the fishing is great there as well. Dinner guaranteed.
Good luck, man
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 678
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 5:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fireman:
Which route did you take from Kelly to Maskinonge to Mattagamasi take-out....?
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preacher
Member

Post Number: 63
Registered: 09-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 5:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

"
Do you really think 10-12 days is too much?
"

Fwiw, I'm planning to go up Chiniguchi & down Sturgeon next year. I've set aside 2 weeks for it. When I'm ahead of schedule, I'll just hang out for a day & relax.

How could it be possible to have too much time?
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1086
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 5:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Burt, you mentioned the Backdoor route to Kettle. I was just there clearing the trails. That last portage from Backdoor to Kettle is in bad shape and I didn't get to it. Backdoor is a stunning lake. Jackpine-covered slopes. Looks like a lake in the mountains. Unless you are prepared for a walk on the wild side or willing to clear it, be warned.

Having said that, this is a great way to do the Sturgeon as a loop (sans shuttle) and Kettle Falls is the first stop on the river.

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini10.htm

I don't know when you are planning to go, but check back here to see if it is cleared. At some point I will also be posting maps on this stretch, similar in detail to the Marjorie Lake and Kellys' Crossovers pages (the latter Ed helped with).

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini7.htm

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/kellys-routes.htm#map

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fireman
Member

Post Number: 21
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 6:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

If you folks are the guys that did those maps, I take off my hat to any and all of you. They are exellent and deeply, deeply appreciated.
Ed, we did the long portage across teh top of Kelly and then up through Edna, Karl in to Mattagamasi and down the east arm to the parking area (such as it is) at the bottom of the lake.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1087
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 6:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I did do those maps with help on the ground from Ed, Mike McIntosh, Sid Bredin and Bob Henderson, some of the area's most knowledgeable paddlers. Glad to hear back from you. Keeps us motivated.

And there are more maps coming.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 679
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, September 1, 2009 - 6:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fireman: Thanks.. I was curious to see if you had taken one of the other Nastawgan routes that crosses over Maskinonge to Kukagami and then into Mattagamasi.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 57
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 8:56 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I must also express my thanks for the route maps which have been posted on Ottertooth. I did the Solace-Hamlow crossover 3 years ago as a direct result of reading reports here. We camped on the grounds of the trapper's cabin on Regan for 2 nights, with a long day trip up to Ishpatina Ridge and back on our "rest" day. It was a beautiful trip from Solace up to Regan, with a great stop on Tooth Lake for swimming and a little cliff jumping. Oh, and that site on Regan is coated in blueberry bushes. Just saying. ;)

Brian, by "bad shape" do you mean non-existent or just thoroughly overgrown? I will not be getting there until July of next year, so perhaps the last portage will have been cleared. If not, perhaps as my thank you, I'll spend some time clearing the way for future paddlers.

One day from the Kelly's portage to the take-out, impressive. I think that my idea of the size of those lakes between the Sturgeon and Matagasami is skewed. No bother, if it's possible I have heard great things about lakes in that area so I don't mind taking the long route home.

Thanks again.
Burt
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1088
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 - 9:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Burtjames, the first part is overgrown, the second is non-existent. For anyone interested in doing some work, let me know and I will provide a detailed map and notes for it.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 22
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 7:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am curious as to why there is no scale on the Chiniguchi maps? Are they more schematic than topographical? Are the different sections, different scales? Just curious.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1089
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, September 3, 2009 - 9:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

They are not intended to be used without the federal topo maps.
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burtjames
Member

Post Number: 59
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009 - 10:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Brian,

Could you please send me an e-mail about this and we can discuss in more detail. I am interested in traveling this route, but I would like to get a better idea of what kind of work needs to be done to blaze the portage trail.

burt.james@gmail.com
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andrewh
Member

Post Number: 31
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, September 11, 2009 - 8:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I remember clearing those portages with a Wabun Section in the early nineties. It was evident at that time that no one had been through in years. I remember seeing some old blazes on the trails but I can be sure of their age now, I do remember they were barely noticeable.

It was a great experience as a young teen to be part of a group opening up an old route. I also remember bushing a campsite, although I can't be sure which lake it was on.

Take some pics if you travel through:-)
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1091
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, September 11, 2009 - 9:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There is a Wabun/Keewaydin-style three-walled fireplace on a big, open-rock site on Mudding Lake. A beautiful jack pine lake despite the name. That may have been it.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1092
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Saturday, September 12, 2009 - 3:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Andrewh, I am trying to compile some history on the route for the write-up and maps that will go on Ottertooth.

Do you remember the exact year you went through? In which direction did you travel? Did expect to find usable portages?

I saw two eras of blazes. The more recent I thought, maybe, the last 10 years but that was a wild guess. Maybe yours?
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1117
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, November 2, 2009 - 10:22 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

As promised, the Backdoor Route is now mapped in detail now that the trails have been re-cleared.

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Sites/chini11.h tm

Just click on the map to step back into a map of the larger area. These are all part of the Chiniguchi project, the most complete set of route maps that exist.

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