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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through July 31, 2011 * Scarecrow-Sturgeon R-Temagami: is it worth it? < Previous Next >

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loginthefire
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 9:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Hello all;

We are an experienced paddling family, planning a 7 - 9 day Temagami trip. We are interested in the Sturgeon River for its remoteness and moving water, but...

in all the reports I read, I don't sense excitement or passion about it. Am I wrong?

As comparison, if I recount our adventures on the Dumoine, the Missinaibi or our 2 NWT trips, the superlatives would fly! For every tough spot or gut-busting portage, there would be half a dozen references to the scenery, the moving water or the sheer pleasure of being there. But in the few Sturgeon R reports that I have found on the web, they seem matter of fact and emphasize the tough portages and hard upriver slogging, with only passing reference to the beauty or pleasure.

I realize that every trip has its tough moments and I hate asking 'is it worth it?' but any advice on how memorable the Sturgeon River or how passionately you feel about its place as a ‘must-do’ river would be appreciated.

Many thanks,

David
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yellowcanoe
Member

Post Number: 106
Registered: 01-2010


Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

David,

That fact that many of us return year after year attests to the fact, I think, that it's worth it.

Can I suggest that you read some of fireman's and shearwater's posts? I think you'll sense the passion, the reverence, and the awe. Or checkout curlys, alscool's, ed's, or brian's posts. Look deeper than their matter-of-fact expertise. Look at their exhaustive familiarity with the place, the kind of familiarity that one has for someone or, in this case, something that they love.

Finally, if you're so inclined checkout this short video clip of my boys and me flying over Temagami towards Dougherty lake (mine and my kid's favourite). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcOXilh3RQM

Hear what my boy has to say: "what an experience!"

Of course, the boys and me are returning once more in a couple of weeks. Unless someone's a masochist, they don't continue to do something that isn't worth it, or is not ultimately worthwhile.

Cheers

(Message edited by yellowcanoe on June 15, 2011)
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

There are plenty of photos on Ottertooth of Kettle, Twin and Upper Goose falls, some high points on the river. On the forums, we generally just get asked about the details of travel, not aesthetics. And, as yellowcanoe says, we have all done it multiple times so we are past the novelty excitement.

I, for one, am partial to Kettle Falls and Kettle Falls basin, my favorite spot on the river. I have lost count how many times I have been there. I never just pass through, but camp.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 315
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 12:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I was suprised at the volume of water and width of the river at Pilgrim Triangle this late May.
I suppose this was partly due too me just coming of Pilgrim Creek, but it reminded me of the magnitude of the Sturgeon River watershed.

I find the river distinct in the way it transforms itself over the landscape from head to toe. From its beginnings of little more than a creek to the many drop pool rapids and waterfalls to the transition to the snakey meadering lower section, one can get lost each day, both in time space.
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yellowcanoe
Member

Post Number: 107
Registered: 01-2010


Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 3:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I would love to travel the Sturgeon down to Pilgrim Triangle, but I don't have the correct type of canoe...Wenonah Min 2, ultra-light Kevlar. ... that is unless there are portages for every set of rapids.
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loginthefire
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 06-2011
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2011 - 3:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

You guys are good :-). Exactly what i was looking for: get beyond the details of good campsite/tough portage and into how the river makes you feel. The older I get and the more rivers i paddle, I need to know that it will touch and inspire me.

We will run the river over 7 or 8 days from about Aug 6th. Look forward to experiencing some of the good stuff you guys write about.

Cheers
David
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 88
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 1:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

alscool, did you do all of pilgrim creek from solace?
yellowcanoe, i think there are portages for anything that can't be lined.
loginthefire, i'll add my 2 cents worth of passion for the sturgeon river. it has its own personality. incredible scenery and lots of wildlife if you concentrate on being quiet.
as i'm sure you're aware, water levels could affect some of the rapids by august.
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 317
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 8:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

alscool, did you do all of pilgrim creek from solace?

We did Pilgrim Creek from Maggie Lk to Sturgeon R and bypassed Solace Cr. There is a short window of opportunity to descend this creek, you need to catch the freshet, at least the tail end of it. Remote and un-used, difficult due to lost portages and the amount of rapids and sweepers, definately need advanced river skills.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 89
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011 - 9:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

thanks alscool. would you say that the overall navigability/volume of water is about the same as the lower yorston (which i did upstream)?
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alscool
Moderator

Post Number: 319
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 - 9:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Can't say for sure as I only had the one experience on Pilgrim Cr. What I can say is Pilgrim is more linear, it doesn't reach the sandy clay and meander like the lower Yorston. In the shallow swift current, there is a greater grade on the Pilgrim and water depth to paddle is more even over a cobble/pebble bed. In late May I shredded the bottom of my paddle so there would be long sections of push and wade to travel upstream. I imagine the creek becomes un-navigable in the summer.
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yellowcanoe
Member

Post Number: 115
Registered: 01-2010


Posted on Friday, June 17, 2011 - 10:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Would anyone recommend NOT doing the Sturgeon the first week in July in an ultra-light Kevlar Wenonah Min 2? I wouldn't run anything. All would be portaged/tracked.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 94
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 12:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

yellowcanoe, i don't see a problem. many of these swifts and smaller rapids have a gravel bottom. also there are portages for upstream travellers.
alscool: thanks, i am tempted to try the creek downstream in summer... i am accustomed to difficult creek routes in low water. i don't care if it takes a few days with a lot of dragging- but do you think (in a normal to high water year) it would be actually impassable? i would not attempt it if water levels were low.

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