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 Post subject: Obukowin Portages...
PostPosted: July 6th, 2010, 6:51 pm 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
There has been alot said about these portages. We started our most recent trip with the concept of doing the Aikens Loop starting with these infamous walks in the woods. We aborted after 2 carries in about 700m, which is just past the little creek crossing. We had already slogged through calf deep mud, waded the creek and at the point we dropped our gear, it was knee deep water next to a large beaver pond.

At this point Christie just said "no more". So we just walked it awhile to see what was ahead of us. We walked all the way to first lake actually.

There was indeed alot of water in sections, more mud later on, plenty of rock to climb up and over, the boggy section at the end which was quite dry and at the fork near the top, the lower section was totally flooded.

We did carry our gear back to the boat and head back out to Wallace to go the long way 'round, but I have some photo's of the trail to First Lake to share.


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Last edited by Mihun09 on July 4th, 2011, 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 6th, 2010, 6:52 pm 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
further...


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 6th, 2010, 6:54 pm 
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more...


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 6th, 2010, 6:55 pm 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
and...


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 6th, 2010, 6:57 pm 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
Tis all for now.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 7th, 2010, 6:11 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2008, 6:01 pm
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Location: North Bay, Ontario
Ah, brings back the memories....

My wife and I did this series 23 years ago and it still lives on in our minds as the worst portaging ever. And we did it in a year with "normal" precipitation...

My sympathies,

Kinguq.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 10th, 2010, 9:37 pm 
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Winnipeg
I find it hard to believe that there is not a better route to take than this one. I mean, my god. The only saving grace is that it was a nice day and there were few mosquitoes as compared with other times that we have visited this section of trail.

I suppose that I could have carried on but with the other two sections to do yet after that one I just was not willing to go on. As it turned out, the Broadleaf route was no picnic either with the high water levels.

I think the key to this one is very light gear and only two carries. Any more than that is too much. I balked at carrying our 75lb canoe over and through that mess.

...Christy


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 11th, 2010, 6:57 am 
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Joined: June 22nd, 2004, 4:45 pm
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Location: Canmore AB
In spite of the accesses to Atikaki and Woodland all being hard, once you get up there you only see other hardy souls and fly in fisher folk. Perhaps not a bad thing.
Hugh

_________________
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
M.T.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 11th, 2010, 2:05 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1056
Location: Burns Lake, BC
Good try! :clap:
Just means you have to come back another time. Maybe when it's semi-frozen?

Our secret is light gear and a single carry.
Just bought a Vargo Triad alcohol stove for just these things. It weighs .8 of an ounce and boils 500ml in 6-6 1/2 minutes.

Just dropped our cookset weight an unreal amount by making lightweight windscreens/reflectors and a foil pot lid to accompany the stove. Major size reduction as well. Everything for 2-3 days and fuel (no pot) is the size of a can of pop.

We go to simple rehydrated meals for these trips. We make and stockpile many meals over the year. We don't want to deny too many luxuries out there. :D

Thanks for the report. Keep 'em coming.
Canoeheadted


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 11th, 2010, 5:20 pm 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
We will do it eventually, or at least, I will. After we walked to first lake I was keen on continueing but got veto'd since Christy is the one carrying the canoe. Heck, we would have floated it across the trench.

As we were leaving a couple arrived in a alum canoe, a 15 footer flat back. They had little gear with them and were doing a single carry. Pascal had a day pack and the canoe, Renee Claire had 3 packs situated comfortably and off they went beginning around 1:30pm.

Pascal was a guide at Aikens Lake Lodge for 7 years and had done this set of portages several times prior so knew them well. He said that if we were to contact the Lodge ahead of time, Bluewater could fly up the heavy stuff for a nominal fee ($150 to $200) and leave it at the lodge, then we just pick it up as we paddle by. That is what they had done. Bluewater flies all of Aikens guests and freight and are going there on a daily basis.

A number of the Aikens guides paddle and many have done those portages and we met 2 other guides, Kik and another young fellow, on Kosteck Lake on our way up and Gerry and Pat on Aikens Lake itself, it was Gerry who mentioned the boys call them "The 3 Mothers".

It will be much easier if we take my boat which is only 42 pounds and I can carry it.

Perhaps next year will be the charm, unless I can get a week off this autumn...


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 9:16 am 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
Update...

This past weekend we were once again up on Siderock Lake and spent Saturday taking a side trip up to First Lake and beyond. The intention was to check out the trails prior to our trip beginning July 23rd.

We had my canoe and a day pack which likely was close to 40 pounds with all my heavy fishing gear and other stuff I need.

The bush is very dry at the moment and the muddy spots on the first leg from Siderock are firm enough to walk over the top of. No standing water in those areas. Going around the beaver pond past the creek is still wet but not as much as last year.

Once at the fork in the trail the high road goes to the left. It has a log across it blocking that path but we removed the log and flagged that section to avoid further confusion. This path is heavily over grown and really needs to be cleaned up, which we may do when we walk it again. The trail seems to disappear at one point with heavy growth over the path itself but a turn to the left and up over the rocks gets one back on the path.

There was bear scat at the first clearing past the creek crossing and tracks from a small bear.

We heavily flagged the path at the creek crossing and again along the trail where we felt it needed it.

If need be, there are two clearings in the bush where camping would be nice if needed. Flat and mossy.

Once at First Lake there is a narrow channel where we needed to get out of the boat and drag it through at one spot but otherwise it is paddleable. Water levels are about normal up there at the present time.

Using my GPS we "tracked" where we went so I will add maps once I have them created.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 9:30 am 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
We paddled around First Lake exploring and fishing. Although we did see alot of Perch fry we didn't catch anything but we will try again in the middle of the lake later this month.

We did find a campspot on the rock point at the north east corner of the bay where the portage starts for going to Kidney Lake. There is an existing fire ring and spot for one tent, perhaps two. We did see other areas on the lake where you could pitch a tent if need be. There are no such thing as maintained camp sites in Atikaki, so finding a level spot might be impossible at times.

We had lunch on the point where the campsite is before proceeding down the next leg of the portage.

The start of it on the floating bog is marked by a stick which we wrapped flagging tape around on our way out. There were drag marks on the bog from travellers already but we still flagged the trees at the mainland for future paddlers.

Once on the land it goes uphill quite quickly to where the stoneman is. His dog is totally gone, it looks as though someone dismantled him to make a fire ring next to the man himself.

The trail is easy to follow and stays up high until you drop down again at Kidney Lake. There is bog and muddy sections across the top, the mud being as firm as the first section of trail but the boggy sections are still quite wet and we sank down into them. Again, it is very dry at this time in the bush which made for a pleasant walk. We can see how ugly it would be if very wet up there.

At the clearing where the old snowmobile trail comes in, we flagged the trail to take when either going west or coming back for your next load. In the photo it would be the trail on the right side. This is an area where camping would be possible if needed as well, and possibly next to the stone man.

We did not go all the way out to Kidney Lake, we stopped where it dropped down again into the bog but we could see the lake. In the one photo you can see the water in the distance. That looks to be an ugly walk even now.

We did track this section on the GPS as well and will post that map too.

When we actually do the entire set of portages in 3 weeks I will complete the thread with images and maps of them all.

Karin


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Last edited by Mihun09 on July 4th, 2011, 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 9:33 am 
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Photo's of the trail...

Of note. The photo of the fork in the trail is looking west towards First Lake. Stay to the right when walking back for another load of gear or heading in that direction on the portage.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 9:37 am 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
More photo's...

Along the trail we found wolf, grouse and caribou scat.


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 Post subject: Re: Obukowin Portage...
PostPosted: July 4th, 2011, 9:41 am 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
Photo's...

The first photo is where we stopped and you can see Kidney lake in the background through the trees. The last one is looking back from the shore over the floating bog to First Lake as we headed out.


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