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 Post subject: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 15th, 2014, 11:06 am 
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Joined: December 19th, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Location: Waterloo, ON
Regarding the upcoming Saskatchewan canoe symposium, unfortunately I won't be able to attend, but am planning to do a fairly big solo trip in Saskatchewan in 2015. I'll have a lot of time off next year, so it will make the trip to Saskatchewan quite doable. Right now I'm in the process of acquiring the maps and figuring out the logistics.

Any of you who paddle in Saskatchewan, here's the route as it stands now. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Drive from Ontario to Saskatchewan. Get a shuttle from Missinipe to Ile-a-la-Crosse, returning my car to Missinipe. Paddle the Churchill to Missinipe & resupply at my car. Carry on down the Churchill and up the Reindeer River with possible resupply arranged at Southend. Explore southern portion of Reindeer Lake. Return part-way down the Reindeer River and ascend the Wapiskau River west to Brabant Lake, then connect to Otter Lake on the Churchill River via a series of smaller lakes and portages heading south-west. Finish at Missinipe.

Total paddling time = approximately 60 days.

Again, any thoughts or local knowledge would be great, and yes, I have read the comprehensive "Canoeing The Churchill", as well as Laurel Archer's guide book.

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Last edited by canoeguitar on March 15th, 2014, 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 15th, 2014, 1:40 pm 
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Hi Mike

I've split your post from http://myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=42552

That thread will be deleted, as per forum policy, once the event has passed.

So I thought your post deserved to be in a thread of its own.

Sounds like an amazing trip. Can't wait to read the trip report and see the photos.



Barbara

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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 15th, 2014, 5:23 pm 
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Wow! Sounds amazing! I have paddled parts of this and have researched a number of other parts. It seems to be quite do-able. I assume you have found the Canoe Saskatchewan website at: http://canoesaskatchewan.rkc.ca/
It should cover most, if not all, of your trip.
Going up the Reindeer might present you with some challenges in a few places paddling against the current but, when we went down the Wapiscau and up to Southend a few years ago it was OK. FYI, we were able to line and paddle up Little Devil Rapids and so avoid the portage. I'm think it would be possible to paddle down those rapids but it would probably depend on how much water is being released from the dam.
On another planned out-and-back trip, I went part way down the Wapiscau a few years ago and was able to return to Brabant Lake with little difficulty. I think the lower part (which I went down but not up) should be do-able coming upstream. It is mostly a pool and drop river and the portages were short and in good condition (when I was there).
I've done a number of sections of the trip from Missinipe to Brabant and it's all good.
Ric at CRCO is a great source of current information and will be very helpful.
If you have any questions, ask away and I'll try to help.
Have fun!


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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 15th, 2014, 9:57 pm 
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Thanks Ralph,

Another option would be to head north out of Otter Lake to Brabant, then downstream on the Wapiskau to the Reindeer River. That way I'd only be paddling upstream on the Reindeer from the Wapiskau River mouth to Southend. After decending the Reindeer I'd have to go upstream on the Churchill to Otter Lake, but my sense is the Churchill is an easy upstream paddle at this point as it is mostly flat water.

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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 16th, 2014, 4:24 pm 
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Mike,
You are correct in saying that the Churchill can be traveled in both directions. I do think that you would find it easier to travel downstream with what current there is and, normally, with the prevailing winds. When coming upstream there will be places where there is current below a rapids or fall that you will have to fight to reach the bottom of the portage. IMHO, you should stick with your initial plan to go down the Churchill and up the Reindeer, then back down the Reindeer to the Wapiscau, up the Wapiscau and via lakes back to Missinipe.
What an epic! Take lots of pictures!


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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 16th, 2014, 6:51 pm 
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I agree with Ralph - go down the Churchill and up the Reindeer. The Reindeer is really a series of lakes divided by its marked rapids. The Churchill has a few smaller rapids and swifts in that stretch that would make upstream travel a bit more challenging.

For reading, if you haven't already, I would add to Archer and "Canoeing the Churchill" Sigurd Olson's Lonely Land and the Journals of P.G. Downes.

-jmc


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 Post subject: Re: Saskatchewan 2015
PostPosted: March 16th, 2014, 7:54 pm 
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Thanks jmc -

Since you & Ralph are both in agreement on route direction, it seems like 'plan A' is the one to go with. As far as the reading recommendations go, I've read both Downes and Olson, and will probably re-read them during the trip. I recently picked up a compact, lighter copy of Sleeping Island specifically to bring along while tripping. A great book.

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