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bearfart
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010 - 2:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hi,

I was just planning my summer trip. I'm thinking of getting dropped off at Obabika Inlet, north up Obabika Lake to Diamond Lake. From here we want to do the Lady Evelyn river north/south loop My question is what is that monster 4095 M portage like from Diamond Lake north to the South channel like? Is it pure hell? Have there been any suicides as a result of attempting this portage? Any Vietnam like flashbacks years later? Or should we just paddle Willow Island lake and do the loop?

Also, we are wondering what Obabika lake is like? I know nothing about it. On the map it looks like it could get interesting in the narrows where it turns into Wakakima Lake - and then the narrows from Wakakima into Diamond.

Any help would be great.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 742
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010 - 3:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Interesting handle that you have bearfart:
It has been a while since I have done the long portage, but it is doable.The Summer would be best as it should be a bit drier in the centre part.I think it takes about an hour and a bit to do, so if you have multi-carries expect to spend the better part of a morning going though it.
If you are not into portaging then the alternate route is easier, but more total time will be required to get back onto Diamond.I am referring to the Crossover route between Willow and Lady Evelyn Lake about 3/4 of the way up the east side of Willow.
The trip from Diamond to Obabika is very popular. From Diamond to Wakimika is a bit rough as far as portages go, but not too bad. The hard part is the rocky section from Diamond to Lane Lake, the small lake, between Diamond and Wakimika.(see page 74 of Hap Wilsons book). The paddle down Pencil Lake into Wakimika will be mostly uneventful and then you travel south on Wakimika to the Wakimika River. The flow is with you, but there may be some beaver dams to negotiate before you come to the pond between the 2 lakes.Obabika is large with a predominant south wind in the Summer months, so you may have a stiff paddle... going south or camp somewhere until the wind slacks.Visit the old Growth trails while on Obabika and if you have the time visit the "place of the big rock" on Shish Kong Abikong Lake.
There is lot's of info here on ottertooth. Go to: http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Nature/og-trail 1.htm for the old Growth area.

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bearfart
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks!
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 226
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, March 1, 2010 - 3:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Bearfart asked My question is what is that monster 4095 M portage like from Diamond Lake north to the South channel like? Is it pure hell? Have there been any suicides as a result of attempting this portage? Any Vietnam like flashbacks years later?

No, but a couple of portages on the Trout Streams could enduce what you describe above.
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curly
Member

Post Number: 208
Registered: 03-2006


Posted on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - 9:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Wanapitei calls that long portage "The Barn" because there was an old horse logging barn at the north end. I've chatted with old trippers who remember bunking down at night amongst the horses, on a bed of hay.

Keewaydin calls it "The Deathmatage" for more obvious reasons.
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bearfart
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - 7:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have also heard that Diamond Lake has the meanest bears in all of Temagami. I heard this around 2002 from several people. Is this still a problem in that area?

The first time I heard it we were having lunch at the Chinese place in town before heading into the bush. Someone in my group mentioned bears and this really old guy in the corner in a cowboy hat waved his finger at us and said in a raspy voice "Stay away from Diamond Lake.....there be bears as tall as your canoe and angry as hell." It was right out of a movie. Im getting the shivers just remembering that creepy man.
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pine_sap
Member

Post Number: 42
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 7:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Bearfart,

You are funny. Bears can get close enough to you that you can smell their fart. But once they see you they will likely run, unless you have food in your tent. Been tripping up there for 25 years. Many trips on diamond. Never had a problem. The old man in the hat was just messing with you.
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shutter_speed
Member

Post Number: 50
Registered: 02-2007


Posted on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 - 8:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There was a troublesome bear around Diamond and Sharp Rock in 2001. He broke into cabins In Sharp Rock, and startled campers on Diamond that year and the next. He was hungry and in need of his roughage. He hasn't been seen since, despite being highly visable: see http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/News/newsbriefs -001.htm
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zed
Member

Post Number: 13
Registered: 04-2008


Posted on Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

A friend and I did this portage last summer at the end of July. The middle section is very muddy and the south end comes out into a giant bog. Keep in mind that last summer was a very wet one. On another note the portage measured only about 2.5 km on the GPS. Not sure why the discrepancy?

We went up the north channel and down the south. Amazing trip!!!
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 755
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 11:24 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The GPS may have lost it's sat signal when going under the trees.I have had this happen a few times. Usually they beep to let you know.
I now have a 60csx.I am hopeful it will perform better.

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zed
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 04-2008


Posted on Saturday, March 6, 2010 - 7:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I am reasonably sure that the GPS held signal all the way through (Legend HCx). Didn't find that portage all that bad except for the mud and swamp at the south end. I attached a pic. This spot was more than knee deep.....
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 758
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 6:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Zed:
I vaguely recall this portage length being discussed in the past and coming up short of the 4095m.
I went on Google Earth and did a quick measurement using the ruler function.Not real accurate but using 2 straight lines, I got ~ 2.69km. A lot closer to your GPS reading than what is posted on the MNR Trip Planning Map.
A few years ago Ontario Parks went through the area with a high end GPS and measured all the portage lengths. We haven't seen any of that information published.

Prior to about the mid 1970's,the water level in Diamond was about 4-6 feet higher than it is presently,due to a small dam between Diamond and Lady Evelyn. When the dam was taken out the water level dropped and this portage had to be lengthened to take it out to the lake proper.So now it has a significant section added to get past the bog part.

Brian may be able to add some more historical perspective.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1153
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 12:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Here's more on the dam on Diamond Lake.

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/History/ladye-l iftover.htm
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doug_2
Member

Post Number: 154
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Sunday, March 7, 2010 - 5:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

If you look at the Chrismar Map (Temagami 1) I see that it says 2420 for that portage; about the same as ZED got with his GPS. That leads me to beleive that ZEDS GPS is not at fault, at least for what a GPS would read. Also I guess it must appear to be this length from Air photo interp. For sure there can be a major extension depending on water levels on Diamond. Yes, I was in Temagami when MNR GPS'd all those portages. I'm really surprised that info has not been published. It must be available. (or maybe not?). Most of it was done by students as I recall. There were some human errors, I know that.
Maybe someone can measure it with a hip chain geology type method and get an exact reading just for interest. It "seems" longer than 2.5 km's when we atually take the portage, that is for sure. Maybe not though? Exaggeration is common with portages anyway...For instance, I have heard some canoeists call this the 4 miler when even at 4095 meters it is no where near 4 miles....no matter how it might feel...THere is a lot of mystic surrounding long portages , we all know that. Deadfall, wetland, uphill sections, muck and bugs all play a huge role in how long a potage can "seem". Right?
Who knows for sure the length of this one?

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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 760
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I asked Ontario Parks about the length of the
portage running between Willow Island Lake and Diamond Lake.
OP collected GPS data on this portage in 2009 and have advised that the length is ~2800m.

Hopefully this answers the recurring question.
One of the worst portages in Temagami is not as bad as we think it is.

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