View topic - Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

Canadian Canoe Routes

Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba
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Author:  alexKleider [ January 6th, 2008, 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

I believe people have gotten to the Kazan from either Wollaston Lake or Brochet at the mouth of the Cochrane on Reindeer Lake. I would appreciate any leads in my efforts to find out just how arduous this is likely to be and how long it might take.

Author:  Allan Jacobs [ January 7th, 2008, 6:51 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Alex.
Long time!
The Little Partridge is a beast.
George Luste and paddlenorth at CCR have been that way and may respond here; for the latter's report, see Che-Mun, Outfit 130, Fall 2007, pp 8, 9 & 12.
Both of them will be at this year's WC Symposium, 8 & 9 February.
Hope to see you there. Allan

Author:  paddlenorth [ January 7th, 2008, 11:53 am ]
Post subject: 

From Wollaston, you're probably better off taking a more direct route than the Little Partridge. David Demello has done the route (and I've heard of a couple others)

"all my trips to the thlewiaza have started either on wollaston lake or reindeer lake. road access. ... once i made to to kasba via cochrane river to bannock lake and then to kohn and numin lakes and many island lakes etc. at least 34 carries in 4 days of punishment." ... sc&start=0

Apparently people from Stony Rapids snowmobile to Kasba - I'd be curious to know their route.

I think you'd be better off with this more direct route David describes if traveling from Wollaston, and taking the Little Partridge if traveling from Reindeer Lake. Neither route is easy.


You can see my map of the Little Partridge in Che-mun. The Little Partridge Route took us 5 days from Kasmere to Kasba. I think if you look, it was about 20 portages, plus almost as many bad drags up bouldery rapids.

We took 9 days to go from northern Reindeer Lake to Kasmere, one of those days was spent stormbound. We have traditionally used a 30km day average to trip plan (inc. layovers). If I look at the numbers, we average 27.4 km/day between Reindeer Lake and Kasba Lake - which is damn good in my opinion (upstream and often difficult travel the whole way).


Author:  jmc [ January 7th, 2008, 12:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

An interesting alternative Route for Wollaston to Kasba was posted (some time back) by Rick Sanderson in this thread: ... c&start=30

It was described as follows:

"Our route was Wollaston to Hatchet, upstream to Thrift Lake, portage to Williams, upstream to Bentley, portage to Merritt, portage to Obst, portage to Babiche, portage to Nordbye, upstream to Phelps, portage to MacDonald, several short carries out of the north end of MacDonald over the height of land and then downstream via Pewapisk, Hutcherson, Naosap, Pimutik, Apipuyew, portage to Dutton, eight carries from Dutton to Many Islands, on to Archibald Lake and down an unnamed river that empties into the south end of Hasbala.

We were definitely off the beaten path as we saw few signs of any previous trips and just a few abandoned trapping sites. We did, however, see shore lunch sites and hear floatplanes moving fishing camp guests around on several of the larger lakes. The 350 km over 13 days included 25 portages - the shortest about 100 meters and the longest about 500.

As Hasbala Lake drains into Kasba via a short stretch of river this route proved to be an interesting and affordable way to reach Nunavut and could easily be extended to access some of the routes mentioned in this thread."


Edit: I should have noted that from Apipuyew it is quite straightforward to continue downstream all the way to Kasba - you end up on the Schwandt river - rather than crossing to Dutton. I went this way in 1984.

Author:  George Luste [ January 8th, 2008, 5:56 pm ]
Post subject: 

I've gone from Wollaston or Reindeer to Kasba twice.

The first time, in 1974, was following J B Tyrrell's route - from Reindeer Lake up the Cochrane etc to the Little Patridge. It was great fun. But then as I was only 34 at the time. Not sure I could manage it today. (End point of the whole trip was Baker Lake)

The second time was more recently from Wollaston to Black Lake and then solo north to Selwyn Lake, to Wholdaia, then cross country to Snowbird Lake and down Snowbird River to Kasba. The Chipman Portage from Black Lake would be the tough part here. (End point of the long trip was Eskimo Point or Arviat)

It's all doable and enjoyable if you leave enough time and don't run out of food. :o

Author:  turbo [ March 23rd, 2011, 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

Hi George,

Can you tell me how you got from Kasba to Arviat?

Author:  alexKleider [ March 24th, 2011, 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

Having begun this topic more than 3 years ago I should report what has transpired.

I made contact with Rick Sanderson and chose a modification of his route. Rather than going over to Dutton, the plan was to continue on the Schwandt into Kasba.

My grand daughter and I made a first attempt in 08 but only got as far as Merritt.

In 09 a larger group of us got as far as Nordbye where we left the canoes under the cabin there owned by the Hatchet Lake Lodge people. We owe Harvey a debt of gratitude for letting us do that.

Last year, this time Rick was with us, we continued from Nordbye and got to Kasba Lake Lodge in 10 days. It was a very difficult trip but this was mainly due to unprecedentedly low water levels in Northern Saskatchewan while the South was flooding. (Climate change I suppose!) Another challenge we faced was the discovery at Nordbye that a bear had tasted the bow of one of the canoes leaving puncture wounds that were discovered when the canoe began to leak as soon as we set off. The other canoe had cracking of the Royalex, believed to be due to a combination of cold and wooden trim that had not been loosened.

Mention should also be made of the great kindness extended to us by the owner of Phelps Lake Lodge where we went after loosing our duct tape in the Lake (still at Nordbye!)

This year our plans are to begin a descent of the Kazan. This time we are using PackCanoes. No more plans to leave canoes to over winter in the North.

ps some photos can be found at

Author:  Paddle Power [ March 24th, 2011, 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

AK, thanks for the update.
Given the bear damaged canoe it reminds us that blue barrels are not bear proof.
Taking a pakcanoe, it to would not be bear proof.

Great photos. I assume you know the green wannigan is designed be used standing upright on top of the overturned lying down lid, instead of lying down the bottom.

Happy Travels down the Kazan, which should be easier than the last several years of getting to Kasba.

turbo, there are several routes from kasba to arviat:
(going from memory)
From the kazan at dimma lake head east to Hicks L, Kognak, Tha-Anne, Arviat.
Or Henik Lake, Maguse River, Arviat.
Likewise but try the mcconnell river near the end to arviat.
Likewise but from Henik Lake, Tha-Anne to Thlewiaza River, Arviat.
Stay on the kazan till below Angikuni L, Kazan R, Lake Eight Four, Nowyak L, Henik L (see above routes).
Stay on the kazan till yathyed, Tyrrell arm south, Kogtok River, Maguse R, Arviat.
Stay on the kazan till yathyed, Tyrrell arm east, Ferguson L, Ferguson R,...Joseph Burr Tyrrell used this route.

Plus there must be a route to Nueltin L, Kognak, Tha-Anne, Arviat.
Or Nueltin L, Thlewiaza River, Arviat.
Could use the putahow river or the windy river to get to Neultin???

Author:  alexKleider [ March 24th, 2011, 5:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

I did NOT know about the wannagan's design feature you mentioned. Can you elaborate?
I mention this rather shamefacedly since mine is nearing if not surpassing 20 years of age! I'd also like to know from where I bought it because it might need replacing before I'm ready to give up tripping. I've been unable to find the makers. Google hasn't been as much of a friend as it often is.
I'm also curious about your singling out "blue barrels" as not being bear proof. Are blue ones any different than yellow or green ones? (Those are the colours I've got; perhaps there are others as well.)
?perhaps this should be posted elsewhere?

Author:  Paddle Power [ April 4th, 2011, 4:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

I'll email a photo.

Author:  turbo [ April 19th, 2011, 5:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

Paddle Power,

Can you give me a rough estimate for how long it would take for me to paddle from Wollaston Lake to Kasba, down the Kazan and take Tyrell's route to Arviat?

Author:  alexKleider [ April 19th, 2011, 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

My experience so far has been Wollaston (Kewen on Collins Creek, to be exact) to Kasba Lake Lodge. Our descent of the Kazan is to begin this summer.

The Wollaston to Kasba leg is arduous. High water levels would make it a lot easier. In 2009 water was high because of a very late spring which held us up for several days on an island in Wollaston because the ice got blown across our path during the night and we were stuck for 3 days! We only got to Nordbye- I think that was 10 days but we were moving very slowly. Last year we got from Nordbye to KLL in 10 days: a very difficult trip because of unprecidentedly low water levels.

If you want our exact route, maps, photos, etc, let me know. (

Author:  turbo [ April 19th, 2011, 8:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

paddlenorth wrote:
I should have noted that from Apipuyew it is quite straightforward to continue downstream all the way to Kasba - you end up on the Schwandt river - rather than crossing to Dutton. I went this way in 1984.

Jmc, did you find this route quicker/easier?

Author:  jmc [ April 19th, 2011, 10:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba

Hi Turbo -

I can't say "easier" because that is the only way I have gone.

This was long ago now (1984). My notes indicate that it was, in a year where water flows on the Kazan were fairly normal, a 2.5 day stretch from Apipuyew Lake to Kasba.

We had lunch at the entry to Apipuyew on July 1st, and camped where the Schwandt enters Kasba on the evening of July 3rd.

My notes indicate that we were able to run a number of Gr. 1 - 2 rapids along this stretch, and only portaged once, around a larger rapids on the Schwandt below Patterson Lake. The carry was not long but awkward - bush, boulders, and old burn.

Above Apipuyew (we began in Pimutik Lake) we had had to wade and drag a few lengthy stretches of shallow, stony rapids.

Hope this helps.


Author:  Paddle Power [ April 20th, 2011, 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wollaston Lake to Lake Kasba


Just from looking at the maps, from kasba lake to arviat is a long way, expect at least 4 weeks if you are moving. I'm guess it's a 1000 km.

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