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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through July 31, 2011 * Help required for summer trip to Ishpatina < Previous Next >

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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 6:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hey, im thinking of going on a Canoe trip to Ishpatina this summer, either July or August. (what's better). 2or 3 guys novice but certified flatwater canoers(mostly). Brainstorming best route. Max time 7 days. Thought of starting at Beauty Lake Road at the Montreal River. Going into Smoothwater lake, and down to the Ridge. Stay at Ridge for day. Then return back, BUT along a different route. How does going through Sunnywater Lake and up to Kaa Lake via Wabun Lake and Barr Lake sound? Get picked up at Kaa Lake off of the Acces road(is this also Beauty Lake Road?)
Would really appreciate help.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1334
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 9:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Interesting route alternate through Sunnywater. Beautiful lake. But do you want to do that much portaging?
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 3
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 1:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

That was a bit of a problem, but I'll be honest I would love a route that is "Isolated." The portaging would be something that would have to be come over. I've read several trip logs of the MTL river, to Ishpatina and back, and they didnt seem tooooo bad. Any other ideas?
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 301
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

approach the ridge from the south... Twinkle Lake access

http://www.ottertooth.com/Temagami/Maps/heartland0 1.htm
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 2:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

wouldnt going through twinkle lake take longer? looks like there are more portages too... Whats the accesss road to twinkle like?
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 302
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 3:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Longer than 7 days? I would think it could be done. In regards to... more portages... one would have to weight it up against heading up the Wabun route. I am not sure of your starting point but the Twinkle access could save some time and distance if your heading up from southern Ontario. The road is quite good with the exception of the last 3-4 km. (check out the access tab on the map).
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 71
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, May 18, 2011 - 11:11 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

i'd say its very doable in your time frame provided you are experienced portagers, as brian has hinted.
cannot comment on twinkle as i've never done it.
you could also do a loop via gervais road such as sturgeon r. down to pilgrim triangle, up to yorston, bluesucker, solace, regan, up to scarecrow, then back down to the sturgeon and out.
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 2:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks for the info im wondering if anyone knows about the Sunnywater-Wabun-Kaa Lake route?
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 304
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 7:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It is documented as the Wabun Highway in Hap's latest guide. You also have the option of the 4 km portage straight into Gamble.

I would be interested to learn of the viability of either of these alternates.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 72
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 - 1:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

alscool, the portage to gamble is a b----, especially the bottom part near gamble where depending on water levels you could have hundreds of yards of knee-deep swamp. in high water it floats a canoe and substantially shortens the portage. the top part is hundreds of yards of 30-70% grades, criscrossing a stream. somewhere in between there is an incredible blueberry patch sporting the largest blueberries i've ever seen in temagami. in short, this portage is one of the top-five must-do portages in the district.
i've not done the wabun stretch though.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 305
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 - 8:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

thx. I'll be sure to pass that detail on to the Friends of Temagami and their map project. It will make for great annotation.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1336
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, May 20, 2011 - 9:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I heard complaints last summer that portages out of Gamble are not well looked after by MNR crews. Nonetheless it is viable and, as grncnu hinted, no longer one long 4-klik length, but rather two portages at 300 m. and 2 kliks, give or take on the water level.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 73
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2011 - 1:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

an aside: a few days before the first time we did that portage (1994) we went through a terrifying storm in the middle of the night on scarecrow, so bad that for a few years it completely put us off camping on islands.
we didn't realize how lucky we'd been until a few days later when we got to gamble and found the (westernmost) campsite had been narrowly missed by a tornado, which crossed the tip of the peninsula a few feet south of the campsite itself. it was truly eerie because the ground on the site had been swept absolutely clean by the suction- not a particle of leaf litter, not a single twig, the fireplace without a single charcoal or ash. never seen anything like it. a few feet south, 10 or 20 big pines and spruce had been snapped off and shredded. where the tornado hit the opposite (east) shore the ground had been peeled back, trees, roots and all, a good 10 feet from the shoreline...
we were kept company that night by a pair of clearly traumatized saw-whet owls who kept landing on our stuff and wanting to hang out.

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gunney
Member

Post Number: 14
Registered: 08-2008


Posted on Sunday, May 22, 2011 - 6:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Since you describe yourselves as novices I would plan on taking it easy and using this trip as a learning experience. There are 8 portages along the route to Ishpatina with the longest being 1285m. Portages always look easier when viewing a map, but in reality are often time consuming and physically demanding. It's easy to underestimate the time required in traveling on a canoe trip; instead plan on shorter travel days and enjoy yourselves.

Day 1: Put-in at Montreal River and paddle to Smoothwater Lake to enjoy the beach.
Day 2: Camp at the site between McCulloch and Mihell Lake.
Day 3: Stay on Scarecrow Lake and climb Ishpatina.
Day 4: Stull Lake camping at one of the beaches.
Days 5-7 Return at your leisure or skip Stull Lake and plan on spending extra days at Smoothwater.

This schedule would allow you to be flexible in the event of inclement weather and take in the sights.

After the trip is over then you can evaluate yourselves to make improvements, especially in the areas of lighter and smaller gear, tents, bags, food, etc. Then start planning the next outing.
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 7
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2011 - 2:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

thanks for the info so, would you say its not the best idea to go through sunnywater,etc?
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 75
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 10:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

onr, it's hard to answer your question. to repeat what's already been said, your proposed route via sunnywater is doable in seven days provided that a) you are able to do long and strenuous portages, and b) you don't want to "take it easy" and have extra time for hanging about at the beach or whatever.
oh yeah, and august is preferable if you don't like skeeters.
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 8
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 - 2:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

when would u recommend going in August? I cant at the end though
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 77
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 - 8:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

every year is different so can't say.

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