View topic - paddling the lower churchill (to hudsons bay)

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2009, 2:58 pm 

Joined: December 24th, 2008, 8:35 pm
Posts: 1
I've found lots of info in paddling the upper churchill, but nothing past frog (?) portage. Anyone know of sources that talk about the river all the way to hudson's bay?


PostPosted: January 15th, 2009, 1:39 pm 

Joined: March 19th, 2008, 3:44 pm
Posts: 2
In 1997 we where 6 people from Norway who paddled the
Churchill river from Patuanak to Churchill. It took us 60 days
to reach Hudson Bay. It was a wonderful trip whith many big
lakes and heavy rapids and falls. At Southern Indian Lake there
is a dam, and there can be very low waterlevel below if it is a
dry summer.


PostPosted: January 15th, 2009, 1:48 pm 

Joined: September 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
Posts: 621
Hi Brian -

I think if you look through the Manitoba routes forum for posts about the Churchill you will find some more information. Maybe copy your post there as well?

The North River outfitter's website that had a report on this reach now seems to have been taken down.

I know that "Paddlenorth" a poster in these forums, has paddled the lower Churchill. If you do not see a response from him in a couple of days, you could send him a PM.


PostPosted: January 17th, 2009, 4:51 pm 
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Joined: August 7th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 1018
Location: Duluth, MN USA
Canoeing the Churchill goes below the Frog Portage a little ways. This is one of those books all canoeists should own just on principle because it's such a great historical resource.

Berard's Land of Little Sticks map has notes all the way to Southern Indian Lake. Look in the Manitoba forum under resources and updates for ordering info.

There is a routes book that has some descriptions of circle routes in the Pukatawagan area - I'll look for the title at home.

Sig Olson has a chapter about the Rat Portage from the Churchill which is now flooded. Can't remember which book, but you should read them all.

Bill Rom has a chapter about the Lower Churchill before the diversion in Canoe Country Wilderness.

I don't think there's anything really difficult about the route until below Missi falls, and then water levels can make the river have a many different characters. There's some trip reports about this section of the river on this forum I believe.

I've been down the river all the way to Reindeer River - and then down to the Bay from the Little Churchill confluence. People can get in trouble on the most benign rivers - but the Churchill (should be) well traveled down to Southern Indian, so you can find the portages.

Sounds like Arild can answer any questions you have.

-Andy Breckenridge

PostPosted: March 3rd, 2009, 10:12 am 

Joined: October 14th, 2007, 12:08 pm
Posts: 76
we´ve done the little churchill and lower Churchill last August, great trip. Lots of rapids, most runnable but on the main Churchill it will depend on the outflow from Missi Falls!Posted at the Manitoba Forum.Also paddled the upper Churchill from Knee Lake to Leaf Rapids. The stretch from Frog to Sandy Bay is very pretty and less traveled.

PostPosted: March 24th, 2009, 10:54 pm 
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Joined: April 25th, 2007, 1:16 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Alberta
In 2006 we paddled the Churchill from Ile a la Crosse to Churchill as part of a summer long project that started in Jasper N.P. Of the entire trip, the lower Churchill, from Missi Falls onwards, was our very favorite part of the trip.

We have put together a trip report that describes the route and our experiences. We had an unusual trip in that water levels were incredibly high. Normal August flows below Missi are 3,000 - 8,000cfs, we experienced 60,000cfs. Levels that would likely be similar to pre-dam runoff.

As a result our descriptions reflect conditions that most people will never experience. Despite these challenges, this is the portion of river that I dream of returning to paddle. Any questions that people have I would be happy to answer.

Arild, I would be very interested to communicate with you about your experiences in 2007 and to compare notes, and see photos of some key rapids at lower water levels. We had to cut many portage trails due to the high water and would be curious to know if you encountered any of the same trails that we experienced/created.

Canoe, Kayak, Bushcraft and Traditional Wilderness Living Skills

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