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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through July 31, 2011 * Backdoor access to Sturgeon < Previous Next >

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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Monday, June 20, 2011 - 9:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I had to re-route my coming Sturgeon trip for I found that the times when the Scarecrow fly-in cost could be called "reasonable" (Kevin Callan) are gone. I'll go from Matagamasi through Backdoor and down the Sturgeon to Kelly farm and back. The first 3 nights look like that
1. Dewdney or Chiniguchi
2. Dougherty
3. Kettle falls
But after counting all small portages between Dougherty and the falls I have second thoughts - am I pushing it? I will be double-carrying portages.
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1056
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I think you would need an early start to go from Matagamasi landing to Chiniguchi in 1 day.
I don't remember how many days in total you have available.

I went from Wolf to Adelaide one year, 3 carries, and that took most of the day. I try to travel for about 8 hours or less when I am by myself, so I don't get too fatigued. But if you are younger this might seem too pedestrian.

The way you have your trip laid out, you can always abort Kettle Falls via the Backdoor route when you arrive at Stouffer and decide if you should stay on Stouffer or push through to the Sturgeon.
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jonebgood
Member

Post Number: 10
Registered: 06-2010


Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 1:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

How rough or difficult are the series of portages from Stouffer Lake to Kettle Falls (via backdoor route).

If I set up a "base camp" on Dougherty Lake, is it possible to enjoy a day trip loop (single carry portages) from Dougherty, Frederick, Stouffer, "back door route", Kettle Falls, down the Sturgeon, returning to Stouffer via 680 m portage, then returning to campsite on Dougherty. My calculation is 31 km paddling and 4230 m portaging.

Or would it be better to establish my "base camp" on Federick or Stouffer before doing a day trip loop?

I would like to get up to Kettle Falls without having to carry ALL my gear with me to make the backdoor route portages a little easier.
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 1:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Thanks, Ed. The shortcut at Stouffer really might come helpful though I hate to miss Kettle falls. Originally I was planning on 7-8 days, but now it looks more like 9.
Matagamasi to Southeast bay on Chiniguchi is about 12 miles, approximately same distance as from Wolf to Adelaide. When you say it took you most of the day do you mean your regular 8hrs day or was it more like 12?

I'm 53 and 6 to 8 hours is a reasonable paddle for me. I can do more but every extra hour will be significantly slower and not much fun. My schedule is as follows

1 from Matagamasi to Dewdney or Chiniguchi L
2 Dougherty
3 Kettle falls
4 Extra day for insurance
5 and 6 Sturgeon to Pilgrim junction
7 Upper Goose falls
8 Kelly or Gamagawong
9 Kukagami - take out
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ed
Moderator

Post Number: 1058
Registered: 03-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 2:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

It was probably closer to ~ 10 hours.I can't find my trip notes from that year, so I am going from memory.The portages from the north end of Chiniguchi through the chain of small lakes are not always easy to locate so I lost some time in there.

You should be able to go from Pilgrim junction to Lower Goose Falls in a day. That would put you in a good spot to reach Kelly's Crossover or maybe into Gamagawong.
I haven't done that exactly, but I have gone from Pilgrim Junction to the Obabika River above the Falls with time to spare. From the Junction of Obabika river to Lower Goose is only about an hour or less.
From Lower Goose to Kelly will take about 6 hours.
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1348
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 7:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

The sidetrip out of Stouffer to Kettle and back via the Sturgeon is a good idea. I have done the route, though not in one day, several times. However, I would hesitate to say go for it to someone else. It really depends on your abilities. Someone doing lightweight, single-tripping, was comfortable finding portages and running a river would be okay.

Another caveat: the portages are a challenge, both Backdoor and that section of the Sturgeon, when they are wet.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 160
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 11:13 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Well, I will chime in here.
Last September (early) we put in at Matagamasi and spent our first night on Wolf. Then the alternate route into McConnell Bay for our second night. Third night Dougherty. The next day, the back door route and we camped at Kettle Falls, right at the end of the portage which is not a very nice campsite BTW. Then down to the Stouffer crossover and back to Dougherty for the fifth night. Sixth night on Evelyn Lake and down through Wessel and Flume and back into the Matagamasi.
The back door route was tough, a bit confusing for us and it was a crappy day to boot. Doing it without gear would be faster, but if you got lost you may regret not having your stuff with you.
It is a good route and worth doing. The Stouffer portage is easy and a pleasure after all the tougher stuff leading to it.
Good luck.
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 9
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 6:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

what was the price of the flight into scarecrow?
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eddy_turn
Member

Post Number: 6
Registered: 03-2011


Posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - 9:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Price to Scarecrow was around 800+tax from Temagami and 1000+tax from Maskinonge or Kukagami. One man, one canoe.

(Message edited by Eddy Turn on June 22, 2011)
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onr1737
Member

Post Number: 10
Registered: 01-2011
Posted on Thursday, June 23, 2011 - 11:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

:o
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jonebgood
Member

Post Number: 11
Registered: 06-2010


Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 - 1:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

"The back door route was tough, a bit confusing for us and it was a crappy day to boot. Doing it without gear would be faster, but if you got lost you may regret not having your stuff with you.
It is a good route and worth doing. The Stouffer portage is easy and a pleasure after all the tougher stuff leading to it. " - Fireman

Some questions:
1. Are the portages through the Backdoor route marked in any way ? signage? flagging tape ? blazes ?

2. What is the difficulty level of the Sturgeon river (current/rapids/obstructions) from Kettle Falls to the Stouffer crossover portage ? Do the river portages marked on the "Northern Tracks" map bypass all the unrunable stuff ?
3. Is it easy to find the takeout point on the Sturgeon for the start of the portage back to Stouffer ?
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 163
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 - 3:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

If I recall, the portages are taped with orange marking tape. they were obvious if one was in the right pond/small lake. we took a wrong turn at a take out and arrived at an identical body of water that lead nowhere.
As to what is runnable or not, I do not recall there being any issue. it must have been obvious, certainly no rapids or white water to contend with, unless I have blocked out some trauma in the past year.
the portage to Stouffer is obvious, a nice trail, with a flagging tape. it is a walk in the woods, literally. nice beaten path with no surprises, alhtough I seem to recall an alternate put in on the Stouffer side but I could be confusing it. Stay on the obvious path.
good luck.
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fireman
Member

Post Number: 164
Registered: 08-2009
Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 - 3:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

if you go to the archives up to Feb. 2011, look for a discussion titled wolflake/backdoor route. in it I describe that trip, including the alternate route from Wolf Lake up to McConnell Bay.
you should definitely do this route. nothing better than getting a little lost and frustrated in the woods. keeps one in line with Mother Nature. certainly beats work, too.
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jonebgood
Member

Post Number: 12
Registered: 06-2010


Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 - 4:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Fireman, thanks for your feedback. This route is definitely on by "trip to do" list. I have been up as far as McConnell Bay before and I would like to explore more of this area.

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