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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through May 19, 2011 * Route advice - Upper Sturgeon to Matagamasi < Previous Next >

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jlockie
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 - 10:16 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I lead trips for a summer camp with a group of about ten sixteen year olds, and I was wondering about a possible route.

The route is as follows: Gervais Access Road

Paul Lake --> Solace lake --> Seagram --> Yorkston --> Doughtry --> McConnell Bay --> Wolf --> Matagamasi --> take out on Matagamasi

Its quite portage heavy, but reasonable I think. I've got 10 days and from my calculations its do-able in that amount of time...

What do you guys think? The group will be beginner - intermediate paddlers.

P.S. sometimes we use schoolbuses with canoe trailers to reach our sites - would that size truck be okay for the Gervais Access Road?
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 979
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, March 21, 2011 - 7:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

jlockie:
I am pretty sure that as a solo trip or a tandem trip with another old guy, this is possible. But with 10 kids and 35-40 portages in 10 days this will be difficult.When I have followed along with kids on a route, I notice they tend to be slow and disorganized taking a long time to get through portages.You want to provide them with a challenging experience, but you also want them to have a good time, with space for enjoyment.

But I notice that you do have some side trips built in. If you do fall behind your schedule, you can eliminate Dougherty and you don't need to go into McConnell Bay. But both of these places are nice camping spots.

Just some thoughts.

Some others here have been on the Gervais road recently and may comment on the ability of a school bus to get in there.
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jlockie
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 5:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the input Ed, that's the kind of feedback I was looking for. I've purposely built in a few short days in between the tougher ones to act as a buffer and if we fall short one day, we can make it up the next.

But you're absolutly right that these trips are about a positive wilderness experience, not a harrowing one, and a shorter trip with more time to relax and work on skills might be the way to go. I'm just really hoping to get to the Solace and Upper Yorston areas and access points are limited.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1310
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 10:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

You'll have no trouble getting your bus, or whatever you drive, to the Gervais Landing.

Since you call this a beginner-intermediate group I agree with Ed's concerns: too portage-heavy. And you won't have enough time, if you don't run out of time, for short days to have fun at Talking Falls, McConnell Bay, Wolf Lake, The Elephant or Paradise Lagoon.

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jlockie
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 03-2011
Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 - 10:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

First off, thanks for the help so far,

So I've been thinking about alternatives, and I don't want to give up on this area quite yet. How about Gamble to Twinkle Lake? I think going straight is a bit short for 10 days, but are there any side trips you could suggest? Maybe up to Ishpatina first, then across the Regan Lake crossover to Solace? Maybe a rest day on Yorkston near the plane wreckage?

Any thoughts?
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 988
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Monday, March 28, 2011 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The last little bit of road into Twinkle, ~ 500m, may not be school bus friendly. It is brushed in close with small pine trees.So you would maybe have to portage down the road a bit to meet the bus.Other than that your trip from Gamble to Twinkle might work for you.

You could also start from Beauty Lake and go south to Kaa, Barr, Wabun, Sunnywater and west to Smoothwater. Nice c/s there. Then south to Scarecrow and Isphatina and then south to exit at Gervais Landing.

Or if you went to Yorston lake and came out on the Sturgeon, most of the heavy rapids are done by then and you could travel the river to Upper Goose, then Lower Goose and take out at Lower Goose.
I think the Sturgeon below Yorston is mostly CI's and CII's except of course for Upper Goose and if you can't run them you could line or wade them in the Summer.Kids would probably like this on a hot summer day as long as they all have decent footwear for wading in the river holding onto their canoes.
Just some thoughts.

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