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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 12:22 pm 
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Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
Posts: 553
Location: Burlington On.
I did a similar trip using the train to Flindt Landing and went up the Flindt R which was thoroughly enjoyable. At the end we were picked up by train at a predetermined location and all went well it was just a bit late-90 mins.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 1:41 pm 
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Joined: August 29th, 2006, 7:57 pm
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Location: Toronto
Jonny, you guys went down the Flindt River to Heathcote Lake and then on to Tew L. and Wabakimi L. We also got off that VIA train from Toronto around midnight after a 24-hour ride. We had a cabin waiting for us at the lodge located there. Is that what you did?

These days - thanks to the new VIA schedule - paddlers get to Flindt Landing in the morning (assuming the train is on time!) and could put in right away.

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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 2:17 pm 
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Joined: May 11th, 2003, 2:57 am
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Location: Burlington On.
Yes True North that’s exactly what we did. I wouldn’t do it the same again as the sleeper car was beyond our budget- $300pp and I felt like hell after trying to sleep in my seat. Meals were good though. It took 7 hours to get to Sudbury which I can drive in 4-that was puzzling.

Flindt landing was a godsend, no problem arriving at midnight, and a great place to reorganize the gear before heading off.

I did two two week trips with Uncle Phil previously ‘06 and ‘08 and had intense heat waves both times so I was shocked how cool it was in 2013. Speaking to locals it hadn’t been much above 50 F until we got there so we had a couple of windbound days on icy cold lakes-in Aug !


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 5:18 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
Posts: 17
I remember 2013 when I was up there with Phil on the Attwood River. We started at the south end of Attwood Lake and paddled down the Attwood to the east end of Guerin Lake. It was the first week in July and we had four days in the high 30s... 38C, 38C, 37C and 36.5C. Oppressively hot. After a thunderstorm on Guerin Lake we got an 8C morning followed by 3 days in the 12-14C range. Returned to the Attwood late this summer with another group, 14-16C for a week then 18-21C for 3 days. The only problem in 2019 was the wind for several days and swells on the lakes. On the way out we had to paddle straight into 35 knots winds with gusts of 40 to reach the drifting and bobbing Beavers. That was some paddling I won't forget soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 13th, 2020, 10:00 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2006, 8:47 pm
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Location: Rattlesnake Pond ME
It has been so long and I am so out of touch. I traveled with Jonny a couple of times but in old age my memory fades. What I take with a grain of salt from my feeble memories is the VIA schedule. It comes through but you must be amenable to adapt.
Oh yea Wabakimi can fry or freeze you.

The knowledge that Uncle Phil had.. it merits a book.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 19th, 2020, 4:21 pm 
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Joined: February 10th, 2005, 2:36 pm
Posts: 214
Location: Southwest Michigan
In 2010, it took two of us 7.5 days to get from Allenwater Bridge to Whitewater Lake. We took the Grayson river route. We camped on the far northwest end of Whitewater Lake because the wind would not let us go any further. Due to wind we had to spend two nights right there. We finally left camp very early on the 2nd morning. Even then the wind was strong. We made it to Best Island through the Secret Lake/Rainbow lake route.

You didn’t say but I assume you want to see the buildings on Best Island. Whitewater Lake is a big lake. We were pinned down by her wind and waves for several hours again when we came through there in 2017. That said, something to consider would be to take Lower Wabakimi lake - through the top of Smoothrock lake and head up through Lonebreast and finally McKinely Lake to Whitewater Lake. This route has the possibly perceived negative connotation of coming back through part of that way when you leave Whitewater Lake. However, entering there, you would enter Whitewater Lake in view of Best Island and have a lot less paddling to do on that very large lake.

Paddlers coming up Granite Lake who want to go to Lower Wabakimi Lake can choose to paddle all the way up Granite to Wabakimi Lake and head southeast. Or they could exit Granite Lake and take the McWade Lake route to the Lower Wabakimi. From there they could follow the route I mentioned above.

The pictures on the CCR post “Wabakimi 2018 14 day trip” demonstrate that the Lower Wabakimi is beautiful. The author’s YouTube video entitled “Wabakimi 2018 Part 3 Days 11 to 14” also has some beautiful video of that route. Taking the McWade Lake route has the advantage of avoiding some possible strong winds on large Wabakimi lake.

One more piece of information of the route I have discussed here is that the top of Smoothrock lake also has the potential of wind being a problem. But most of that section has protecting islands.

In any case, if you choose to enter Whitewater Lake on the west end you may want to be familiar with the Secret Lake/Rainbow lake route I mentioned above. I found it in volume 1 of the Wabakimi project maps. It could be very helpful if you have wind. With the route you show you would be entering Whitewater Lake on the the southwest it would be easier for you to get to the secret lake route in wind than it was for us.


Last edited by Ipaddle on January 19th, 2020, 8:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 19th, 2020, 7:30 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
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We did the Scrag-Arill-Grayson river route to Whitewater Lake in 2006 with the Wabakimi Project. The paddle across the top of Whitewater from the mouth of Grayson River was beautiful on calm, flat water as we wove our way through the myriad of islands up there. We hung a right to go into the bay past Ogoki Lodge, cleared a portage or two and popped back out on Whitewater into a stiff breeze from the southwest. The trip down the bay was 45 minutes into a 1-1.5 foot chop. We took shelter on the west side of the bay behind the large island and camped on the beach there. Next day we headed into the small bay NW of the island and cleared a 538m portage back into the lakes in there to provide an alternative to coming around the corner towards Best Island from the top.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi 2020
PostPosted: January 21st, 2020, 4:56 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2019, 4:55 pm
Posts: 15
You'll get a lot of users on here talking about how great the train was in 2010 or 2012 or maybe 2014. I'm not saying they're wrong, but check in on the trains every now and then to see how they're running in 2020.

I went up in July 2018, westbound train was about 20 hours delayed and the eastbound train was about 8 hours delayed. I believe they made a schedule change later in 2018 that was supposed to improve things, not sure how that went.

Think of it like the weather: you could get lucky or very unlucky so prepare yourself for either situation.


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