Advertising

View topic - Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)

It is currently August 1st, 2014, 10:54 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2009, 12:47 am 
Offline

Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Burns Lake, BC
We finally got a chance to tackle Morice lake. This lake has been on our "to do" list for a while now.

Morice is quite large and has all the usual conditions that warrant very safety concious paddling. It has a large bay on the West side near the middle that contains a short river outflow from Atna lake. We wanted to paddle down Morice, line up the river or portage, and then camp and paddle in Atna. Very little info on the route was available, so we didn't really know what to expect.

After work on Monday, we loaded up and headed out. We had to drive 90kms of great dirt road to the put in. The only spot with drive in access is the Morice Lk. Forestry campsite, which is located in the North Eastern corner near the outflow to the Morice River. Well worth the drive.

Image

Had camp set up for 10:00 and packed and ready for our 6:00am start.

Image

Image

Did I say 6:00? I meant 7:00. :D

Image

Looks like a beautiful day for weather and paddling!

We had another camper in the campsite. Because of this, we opted to cross immediately to the West shore instead of the 4-5km detour around the North end of the lake. Only because we had someone there could we cross like this, otherwise we wouldn't do this with just one boat. We're expecting big winds, so any advantage is good.

Image

With the water being so cold and it being so remote, we paddle quite close to shore. I'm quite surprised to see so much beach at such high water on Morice. It was 2' down from high water mark.

One of the locals.

Image

Scenery along the way.

Image

Image

Image

Because of the great weather and lack of wind, we push hard and cover some distance before lunch. (not without a few stops and rest breaks! :D ) Finally making it around the corner into Atna Bay (located on Morice Lk.), now paddling into a very strong Westerly headwind.

Image

Atna Bay has many island of all shapes and sizes. Most are all rock. There are so many large cliff faces and overhangs that keep you rubbernecking till your neck hurts from looking up.

Image

I can't handle the heat too much so we decide to lay low for the heat of the day and have a long lunch in the "man made" shade.

Image

During lunch Annamarie noticed a dark object way out in the bay. After watching for a bit, we discover that it's a moose swimming across the bay! He swam for about 1 1/2kms across, turned around (we're guessing because of the large wind coming out of the deepest arm of the bay?) and swam 1km back from where he came, then finally started moose paddling toward us in the sheltered bay for another 1-2km swim. We took a few long distance pics and started on our way again to let Marty continue on his way with no disturbance.

Image

Coming around the final corner into the deepest reaches of the bay, we have the notorious headwind that we always seem to find. We're both fading fast, but as usual, with the end in sight you get another boost of energy.

Image

Image

The river flowing from Atna lk. is flowing fast. Too deep and fast for us to line up.
Just two weeks ago a fellow from Terrace lost his canoe with motor and all of his gear in this exact spot. He spent two nights with absolutely nothing till his emergency plan/rescue was fully executed. His wife sent out the SAR after one night of no contact. He was rescued tired and FULL of bug bites. Lucky guy... You couldn't even hold your arm in the water because it hurt so much it was so cold!

OK, so not up the river. Where's that portage?

After finding the portage, which just had a blaze on a tree, at the narrowest point between Morice and the first of three pools along the short Atna river, we decide to have some supper and think about staying somewhere around here or possibly pushing on to Atna.

Image

After a steak and rice dinner...we're recharged, the portage is short and clear, and we feel like pushing on to the nice beaches I saw on the Google Earth view of Atna.

Looks like the first pool and Morice are only separated by some fast grade 2. The first portage is very short (100m) and then after packing the boats to the first pool, it's just a short paddle upstream to the large falls.

Image

The second portage (300m) is just below the falls on river left. This portage starts off very steep and finishes that way as well.
Another short pond hop and you're at number three (600m). There was quite a bit more blowdown, but still in great shape. No pics on the way in.

Finally, Atna Lake!

It's starting to get late now, so off to find that beach.

Well, all that light sandy coloured stuff on Google Earth isn't sand...it's rock! :doh:

Everywhere we looked the water was so high that there were no beaches showing. After scouring the bay and rocky islands, we found a perfect site on one of the islands. It had quite a few trees and a good breeze to help with the bugs. We also brought our bug shelter to keep us sane! :D

Image

After setting up camp at 9:30 and the 32km long day of padding, I'm looking forward to trying out my new Exped 9 Dlx! :D

Sleeping in till 9:00 with this view isn't hard.

Image

Today's just a lazy day to explore Atna Lake and maybe paddle up the creek flowing from Atna Peak.

There are several other wooded islands that can easily be used for a camp. Not a lot of tent pads, but some tight spots.

ImageImage

Arriving at the SW shore, we come to a red sand beach with many prints all over. There's moose, deer, bear, and tons of birds.

The view of Atna Peak is incredible!

Image

Image

The bugs are incredible as well! Time to move on. We find a small pebbley beach to lunch on.

Image

After lunch we just have to ride the 2' chop with a perfect tailwind.

Time to try out the sail again! Ok...this might have been our max with no load. The boat is WAY more twitchy when you don't have a load to dampen the movement.

Image

Image

What took 1 and a 1/2 hrs upwind, just took about 45 min. back.

Our island camp from afar.

Image

Image

Pasta and ham sausage for supper and time to kick back by the firebox.

Image

Image

Image

We've decided to take two days to return and end up breaking camp at 9:00. Now let's get this portaging done!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Two hours later and voila...

Image

Stopping for lunch on another rocky island to rest and filter water.

Image

Image

A quick break on the beach for lunch and to smell the flowers.

Image

Image

Just as we start around the corner to enter the main lake the wind starts to pick up. After a couple of hours of 2-3' chop with another perfect tailwind (a little too big and bad for our little sail!), we decide to camp at a nice long beach with a great view down the lake.

Image

Supper tonight is baked lasagna with strawberry cheesecake for dessert. 10 out of 10 for the Alpineaire Baked Lasagna. It was fabulous and perfect for two hungry paddlers. The cheesecake (I forget the brand-maybe Backpacker's Pantry) barely earned a three. Too fakey sweet for me!

View from the bug tarp.

Image

It starts to rain off and on through the evening then starts to pour all night. Another great night to have the tarp/bug shelter up.

Another lazy sleep in followed by lots of coffee and blueberry pancakes! Another 10 out of 10 for the Alpineair Blueberry Pancakes.

Image

From this...
Image

To this...
Image

One last snack stop.

Image

With no one else around we have to follow the perimeter of the lake to get back to the other side. On the way by we have a look at the start of the Morice River at the Northernmost point of the lake. That's another "to do" trip!

Image

And of course the wind had to whip up for the last hour of our paddle. A perfect ending for a perfect trip.

Image

This is a paddle paradise for competent paddlers. It is a very big lake that can change in a second so people must not paddle carelessly.

Hope you enjoyed the trip! We did!
Canoeheadted.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2009, 2:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 25th, 2004, 9:42 pm
Posts: 1618
Location: Calgary, AB or wherever life takes me
Great trip report Ted. Looks like a beautiful place. Nice photos to go along with it as well.

What is the tarp/bug shelter you use?

_________________
-Jim-

"Paddle faster, I hear banjos!"


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2009, 8:54 am 
Offline

Joined: February 10th, 2008, 4:41 pm
Posts: 270
Thanks for a great report Ted. I checked it out on google earth. Looks like there is enough water in your area to keep you busy for a few lifetimes. Whitesail and Ootsa look very interesting from the sky.
And to quote another poster --- "Keep those trip reports coming!"
S


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2009, 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Jim, the bug tarp is a Eureka VCS Bug Tarp. The tarp has buckles which allow you to clip on the additional mesh room that has 4 walls and a roof. This is a product that I wish I had bought years ago! It doesn't weigh much and packs quite small in a compression sack. If my back allows, it comes on all bug trips!

Hey Stencil, hopefully one of those trip reports will be the roughly 300km loop from Ootsa going counterclockwise through the park and taking out exactly where you started.

Let's all keep 'em coming!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2009, 9:23 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: June 1st, 2005, 7:15 pm
Posts: 4178
Location: The Gateway to Woodland Caribou
Very nice.

_________________

Advice is a form of nostalgia; dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal--wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts, and recycling it for more than it's worth.



Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 24th, 2009, 3:08 am 
Offline

Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 573
Location: Surrey, BC
Great trip report, Ted! Awesome photos.

I'd never even heard of Morice and Atna Lakes til now. I looked them up in google earth - nice.

How were the 90km of dirt roads? I just got back from a trip to Winter Harbour on north/west Van Isle and had to drive for 4 hours each way on active logging roads but only got one flat (bald tires, lol). Did you get any flats? Some roads like the Dempster for instance, have lots of sharp shale and are well known for blowing tires.

I'm mulling over the idea of paddling some lakes in northern BC, thanks for showing me how scenic they look.

I'm thinking of doing Chilko Lake.

Have you seen my latest trip reports? http://picasaweb.google.com/cyberhun2001

_________________
aka Cyberhun, callsign VA7FAB

Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
"The Golden Spruce", John Vaillant


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Morice-Atna Lake Canoe Route (very pic heavy)
PostPosted: July 24th, 2009, 9:45 pm 
Offline

Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 831
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Thanks guys!

Tom, the road is like a highway for about 70-80kms, then it starts to get a little rougher and tighter. Still though, the road has never been is such good shape. It only took us just over and hour on gravel.

Come on up North! You'll love it! Chilko lake is on our "to do" list as well.

Thanks for the link. I have been keeping an eye out for new TR's.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group