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Ottertooth Forums * Temagami canoe routes & backcountry travel * Archive through June 27, 2013 * Sturgeon - Solace Trip Video < Previous Next >

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stajanleafs
Member

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2013
Posted on Sunday, January 13, 2013 - 5:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I've been heading to Temagami for years as part of my summer tripping experience. This year, we return to Temagami and canoe the remote North-Western part of the region. Our Trip saw us paddle down the Sturgeon River, up the Yorston River and into the Solace Wildlands. This trip took us through 2 provincial parks (Sturgeon River and Solace) and interconnecting crown land. Highlights include running rapids, numerous waterfalls, clear lakes, snorkeling on a plane wreck, old growth and native pictographs, all of which can be seen in the trip video I've assembled in the link below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUZ8N_4TCw8

We put in at the Gervais road access point. The road is in great shape, but after following a logging truck and being dusted out for 30+km we made a wrong turn and had to backtrack. We ventured down the sturgeon and stayed one night at Kettle Falls and the next at the Pilgrim Triangle. We then traveled up a series of very rough portages into Yorston Lake and traveled upriver to make camp at Talking Falls. We then paddled through Solace Provincial park over steep portages through Pilgrim, Maggie and Bill Lakes. We made camp at the south end of Selkirk Lake. The lakes to the east (Between Selkirk and Solace) are very swampy and the water levels were extremely low. Solace lake is extremely beautiful, wished we had camped here, though Selkirk was extremely quite and tranquil. Looped back by paddling upriver to where we parked the van.

We accomplished 5 Days, 100km, 33 lakes, 2 rivers, and 42 rough portages totaling 14.2km (excluding some double carries). The route should be done in 7 days to have a more enjoyable experience as we found ourselves paddling from mostly early morning to the evening. The route is rougher than the topos would lead one to believe, with many short portages (daily average was 10, and winding rivers, where low water levels meant we were constantly lining, wading or scouting rapids.



Cheers,
Brad
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brian
Moderator

Post Number: 1503
Registered: 02-2004


Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 - 8:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

What was the condition of the Witch's portages? A few years some sections were badly grown over and needed work. MNR is supposed to maintain them and wondering if they stayed on top of them.
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pierre19
Member

Post Number: 54
Registered: 07-2007


Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 - 3:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

Nice video, really enjoyed that. We've tried to find that plane wreckage twice now to no avail. We will use your video to help us find it on the spring fishing trip.

PT
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scottb
Member

Post Number: 15
Registered: 01-2013
Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 - 7:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I really enjoyed your film! Looks like a beaver made your portage trail a little more difficult! We brought my 70 year old uncle Jim over from Scotland a few years ago and camped at the Pilgrim Triangle. He couldn't believe that we were allowed to camp in such a beautiful, large area. He was shaving at the rapids one morning when all of a sudden a crew of about 8 canoes with beautiful women ages 21-25 comes down the portage trail, and their one male tour guide. Needless to say, he was sold on Canada, and Temagami!
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 253
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 1:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

hey, very nicely shot video! and i feel for you, 5 days for that route is short especially with low water on the sturgeon.
the campsite on selkirk is one of my favourite campsites in all of temagami.
hey brian, i assume the witches portages have always been terrible- wouldn't be the same if they got cleared (just joking)!
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stajanleafs
Member

Post Number: 2
Registered: 01-2013
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 10:47 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

The Witchs portages we're still really overgrown, though the odd portage sign and flagging tape helped at junctions. Lots of blowdowns, and the difference between trail and bush was extremely minimal. Definitely a slog and the hardest portages enroute. GPS and a bit of patience went a long way when the trail disappeared.
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bryan
Member

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 11:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

MNR only likes cutting live trees, preferably Old Growth.
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grncnu
Member

Post Number: 255
Registered: 08-2010
Posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 10:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

...as befits its name, the ministry of natural resources isn't interested in trees but in lumber. possibly we need a ministry of natural heritage, a ministry of nastawgan, or something like that but last time i looked there was no such thing.
actually i have to admit i don't even LIKE the idea of the government maintaining portages on non-park i.e. crown land, anymore than i want them to take over maintenance of my own property. These non-park crown lands actually belong collectively to the people of canada, which is why the canoe routes should properly be maintained by the people who use them, canoeists. i make the distinction "non-park" because parks are a separate category of lands for which the government has been granted extra jurisdiction by the public which in fact owns them; of course the government "owns" none of these lands...
with freedom (in this case the freedom to travel by canoe on pulicly-owned lands) comes responsibility, the responsibility of maintaining the routes.
in my opinion we need to renew and reaffirm the old ethic (which with first nations goes back thousands of years) that the users alone have the responsibility to maintain the routes.
canoeists: the routes are not government-owned facilities like community centres, nor are they all on government-maintained lands like parks.
we need to budget sufficient time on our trips to keep portages, landings, creek routes, campsites, etc. usable. we cannot (and should not WANT to) expect anyone else to do it for us...
end of rant.
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bryan
Member

Post Number: 5
Registered: 09-2012
Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 6:52 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

I do agree that people using the portages need to be thinking about how to give back and contribute to their ongoing maintenance. Traveling with an "Ethic of Care" not an "Ethic of Expectation". Most of us would move something in front of us, others would trip over it and look to blame someone else. It would be nice to see young people hired still to do this work, giving them the opportunity to develop a connection to the land. They are the next generation that needs to value N'Daki Menan.
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scottb
Member

Post Number: 22
Registered: 01-2013


Posted on Saturday, January 19, 2013 - 12:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post

I have to agree with you guys. The less the government gets involved up there, the less they muck things up. I would be happy to clear out that trail this spring. We are going up to basin the weekend of May 24.

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