View topic - The Canoeheads head to Troitsa Lk Canoe Route

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PostPosted: September 12th, 2009, 9:31 pm 
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Joined: March 23rd, 2006, 11:21 pm
Posts: 1074
Location: Burns Lake, BC
We finally made it out to Troitsa Lake Canoe Route. Troitsa is accessible from Tahtsa Reach via a 5km portage on an old access road that is in pretty good shape thanks to the outfitter that has a cabin on the lake. After the 17km Troitsa, you can portage on a trail to Blanket Lks, and then again to Seel Lk. At the end you are pretty much at treeline with beautiful blue glaciers and peaks surrounding you. Heaven.

After a 3hr drive (with 120-130kms of it down a dirt road!), very close to Huckleberry Mine, we launch our canoe into the East end of Tahtsa Lk. and the West end of Tahtsa Reach. Another family had started the day before us and we were thinking that we would meet up with them somewhere on Troitsa. Immediately we're paddling in an eerie silver white forest of long dead standing trees. The Reach is quite narrow and has quite a current flowing West to the Kemano intake at the West end of Tahtsa Lk.

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We paddled for 11kms East down the Reach and reached the portage just in time for lunch. There is a large steep landing with a small dock. There are a couple trapper cabins and a couple rusting Toyotas here. The landing is also directly South of Huckleberry Mine. You can actually see the huge Tonka dump trucks driving along the rim. Pretty weird to see it out here!

After lunch we tackle the 5km portage with our secret weapons...full bellies and our canoe cart.

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The portage has steep sections in the beginning and it has quite a bit of large loose rocks and gravel to deal with. After about 2kms the uphills start to taper out and the road stays fairly level and is in great shape. The last 2kms have several longer downhill sections that feel great on the way in. Two hours later, and a lot of huckleberry breaks, we arrive at the end of the lake.

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At the end of the lake we met up with the other family who had camped along the portage. They had just come back from a day paddle on Troitsa and decided to have supper and then portage back to their tents. We hung out for a couple of hours and yacked while the rain came and went. We ended up having a small salad before heading off to find a nice beach somewhere up the lake.

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Somewhere around 4kms up the lake there are 4-5 small islands. We ended up on the North shore with a small sandy point beside the islands.

Tonight is quesidillas by moonlight with the wind slowly building throughout the night. Our tent is out in the semi-open, but we tuck in the forest with our tarp and firebox and set up a nice little camp. The night turns out to be very windy but we sleep like logs.

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Having a great sleep in till 9:00, we wake up to a wind shuddering tent. After fueling up with the standard bacon and eggs, we're off to do a little wave bucking and lake exploring. Because of the wind though, we decide not to kill ourselves with a 3hr paddle into a huge headwind. Instead we hop accross to have a look at the islands and head to the South shore to make our way up the lake.

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It's not long before we discover a great beach and camp that looks like it's a fall camp for hunters possibly. Lots of level ground and lots of beach. Definitely the place to shoot for next trip! Again another ziplock baggie starts getting filled by the Super Berry Picker Annamarie! This place is just full of blueberries and several types of Huckleberries. Our hands and lips are always blue!

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While heading around several larger points we get to enjoy a lot of wave action and a chance to try out our new waterproof camera.

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After a lot of rubbernecking and a lazy lunch, we cross to the North shore again and ride the surf back to camp. One surf got us up to 12.2km/h. Woo Hoo!!!

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Back at camp for steak dinner and several strong coffees. The wind is actually getting worse throughout the day and now night. The tent had to have reinforcements for the guy lines to hold in the sand. We also had a large visitor in our camp. We got to watch a young bull from 100' for a while, but the large violently shaking dome thing on the beach freaked him out and he decided to head off around the corner.

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Again, tucked in the forest with the firebox under the edge of the tarp, we were warm and cozy. The wind was tolerable in the woods, but could make for a tough paddle back on the Reach tomorrow because of the headwind possibility. The evening brought a lot more wind but the tent held!

We break camp early to get off the super windy lake and have breakfast at the beginning of the portage. While cooking breakfast, Annamarie spots a large black bear crossing the river directly in front of us. Since we each carry a bear spray can, We always have a can on the table in camp, but I also keep another in my pocket just in case I needed to protect my bacon. As usual, no problems.

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The portage only takes us 1hr40min this time. We only picked berries when we were sucking wind this time around.

Loss of power for some reason...:D

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Back on Tahtsa for a snack and were off down the Reach again.

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We see this fella crossing slightly behind us. He was very large and almost looked like a small calf moose at times. We're guessing this might be a grizzly because of the large hump and his shear size. Just the dark color of him threw us off, but maybe it's just because he was wet. Either way, it was cool.

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This time we follow the North shore to keep the mine out of site and the mountains in full view!

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Taking a last lunch break on a small pebbly island in the drowned forest.

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Poking our nose out into Tahtsa Lk to have a look at another future trip. After paddling 30kms down Tahtsa, you can portage 4-5kms to Sandifer Lk. Sandifer has a beautiful cabin that Alcan(?) provides for the public. This road is the 50km portage from Kemano on the Pacific Ocean.

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On the way back, we shave the drive down to 2 1/2hrs.

If you were allowed, you could get permission from the mine and launch directly across from the portage. This would save about 9-10kms of paddling if preferred.
Just past the islands on the South shore is an awesome camp that would be worth getting to.
I've heard (but not seen!) of large beaches at the West end of the lake.
Wheels are worth it here.
The outflow of the river is worth looking at (we didn't!) because of the aqua blue water coming out.
The flooded forests, while they can be a hazard, are incredible to paddle through. They also can help out with breaking up the wind and waves when conditions are right.

Until next trip...Canoeheadted.


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PostPosted: September 19th, 2009, 12:08 pm 
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Joined: August 4th, 2006, 2:00 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Vancouver
Awesome trip report! Those water level shots of your canoe pounding through the waves are really good, particularly the two that show your bow wake clearly with the lake and mountains in the background: Clipper might want those for advertising.

I have got to get me one of those spraydecks for my Tripper.

Regards,
Andrew


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PostPosted: September 23rd, 2009, 5:52 am 
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Calgary
:clap: :clap: Thanks for sharing. Great report and pics. Wildlife galore. :clap: :clap:


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PostPosted: September 24th, 2009, 2:15 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 575
Location: Surrey, BC
Lots of wildlife, eh?

That always makes for a good trip, I find.

I've never had problems with bears, either. All the ones I've met have run away in terror or totally ignored me, like I was rock or something.

I think for the most part, people and bears can coexist as long as nobody does smt stupid like start feeding them.

I need one of those waterproof cameras - I've lost two Canon powershots to seawater, sigh.

Thanks for sharing - keep those TR's coming!
;)

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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


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