View topic - From the Leyond to the Pigeon or Family Lake?

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PostPosted: January 14th, 2016, 1:02 pm 
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Does a portage exist that connects these drainages? I did a little Googling and it sounds like some maps might show a portage from the Leyond to the Pigeon, presumably just downstream of Family Lake, but I couldn't find anyone that had traveled it or confirmed its existence.

Any info? Working on potential route plans for next summer.

Thanks,

Alan


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PostPosted: January 14th, 2016, 3:32 pm 
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See jmc's post here:
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=113&t=43715

Between this information and the Hap Wilson book you should be able to figure the portages against the topos. My wife and I were planning on paddling the Berens starting from Wallace Lake last summer but we had to cancel.


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2016, 12:00 am 
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Excellent. Looks like it should be doable. Thanks for the link.

Thinking about starting at Berens Lake and taking the river to Lake Winnipeg. Then down the coast to the Bloodvein. Up the Bloodvein to the Leyond and jumping from there to Family Lake and back upstream on the Berens to Berens Lake. Or something along those lines. Need to spend a lot more time with my nose in the maps. So many options up there it starts to get overwhelming!

Alan


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2016, 2:24 pm 
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Portages in the area.

Red, from Wilson "Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba" and Berard maps.
Blue, connecting to Pigeon River (Hangar Lake) from Berard map "Kautunigan Route"

Long ago (1970!) the route from Brad Lake (bottom) to Family Lake was as shown. One confusing carry (perhaps the first one, where Wilson notes 2 trails), the rest generally ok.

By the time Wilson is in the area, mid-1990s, he reports the trails to the Leyond headwaters as overgrown and damaged by fire. What they are like now, I have no idea, but this should at least give you an idea of where to look.

Notes on Berard map regarding "blue" portages, south to north:
1. "portage, 2 miles"
2. "cross over first beaver dam, then portage on right-hand side some 50 paces"
3."portage 540 paces"

Good luck with your planning, sounds like an interesting idea.

-jmc


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PostPosted: January 15th, 2016, 5:13 pm 
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Thanks for the link and description of the portages. Very helpful. I went back and re-read the Wilson/Akroyd account as well. If I got that route it will be interesting to see what I encounter.

Ordered all my maps today. Should be much easier to plan that way rather than scrolling back and forth on a computer screen.

Alan


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 12:17 am 
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Sounds like a very challenging, yet fascinating trip. Do report back as you continue to research.

I too have all the Berard Maps and Hap's Manitoba book. I think I'll be revisiting them and looking over the route.

What sort of time-frame are you working with?

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 9:29 am 
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canoeguitar wrote:
What sort of time-frame are you working with?


Route and duration of the trip probably won't be finalized until near the departure date and could even change en-route; both depending on how I feel when the time comes (mentally, physically, and financially). Last year I spent 30 days traveling down the Bloodvein starting at the Johnson Lake access point in WCPP and then turning around and paddling back up after reaching Lake Winnipeg, catching the Gammon River on the return. I enjoyed it very much and didn't want to stop. So this year I'd like to go a little farther and a little longer. Maybe 45 days. Originally thought of just doing the Berens both ways but it would be nice to turn it into a partial loop and see some more new territory.

I like to travel later in the season to try and miss most of the heat and bugs so early/mid-August to mid/late Sept. will be the likely dates.

Alan


Last edited by Alan Gage on January 25th, 2016, 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 1:51 pm 
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Did you order all three Berard maps for the area (Sasaginnigak,Kautunigan and Little Grand Rapids)?


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 2:45 pm 
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Alan, I could only say "Holy Moly" or something to that effect as I took in your planned route. I know that my bro and I do everything possible to avoid the loop format - and here you are embracing it, all 45 days of it! Sounds like your trip down the Bloodvein and then back up and on to the Gammon left one heck of a sweet impression!

Looking forward already to an epic trip report.

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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 4:44 pm 
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Alan:
For what it is worth....
In 2011, I was sitting on a campsite, with one of my daughters, at Shining Falls just a bit down the Pigeon River from Family Lake. A group of 5 girls with 2 canoes from the YWCA in Grand Marais came up the portage. They had started their trip from Wallace Lake and were looking for a campsite for the night, before going down the Pigeon River to Lake Winnipeg.
The Grand Marais Y seems to do this same trip every year. In 2008 we picked up the Y group on Lake Winnipeg after they had been shuttled from the mouth of the Pigeon River to the shuttle boat we were on.
I don't know the condition of the crossover route from Sasaginnigak to Hangar Lake, but apparently it is still in use.
You might also look at the Canoe Atlas of the Little North (Carroll Lake 52M ) for portage information from Wallace Lake.
Ed.MacPherson


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 5:09 pm 
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Ok Alan, so this is why you are presently building that composite version of the Bloodvein stripper you used last year.

True North, Alan isn't keen on writing trip reports, but his dog Sadie wrote a good one on last years trip.

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/for ... rip-report

Video here...

http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/for ... n-and-back


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PostPosted: January 16th, 2016, 7:11 pm 
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Mihun, thanks for the links! After reading Sadie's trip report - I love her perspective on things! - I ended up watching the first five episodes of Down The Bloodvein and Back on Youtube...One of the first things that grabbed was the three minutes in Part 1 dedicated to the portage into Knox Lake. That mushy initial stretch looked almost as wet and mushy as it did when we passed through.

Alan - what a fantastic advertisement for a Bloodvein River trip. Just what paddlers need as they mull over options for this summer's grand adventure. Great scenery shots and commentary and some impressive river running.

Later tonight I'll check out the other parts as you head back upriver and on to the Gammon. Hopefully the weather on the return was better than coming down!

Re: upcoming trip report. I say - Bring Sadie along again!

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PostPosted: January 17th, 2016, 1:57 pm 
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Hi Alan,
I did the trip from Leyond to family Lake in 2002. The Portage from Leyond starts exactly how shows in the map from JMC the coordinates are - 5.737.894 - 316.532. The portage is quite long and vary bad.
It starts on a rock wall were you have to climb up. She is boggy in parts. I hope this helps you. If you would further information don`t hesitate to contact me.
regards
Franz


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2016, 3:30 pm 
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Thanks Franz and Mac for the additional information. Nice to know the portage gets some use and that it's where it's supposed to be.

Neil: I didn't order any of the Berard maps. I've seen mention of them here but am otherwise unfamiliar with them. I take it they're a larger scale map with other information including routes and portages? They look inexpensive enough and everyone seems to like them so perhaps I'll order some. So far I've ordered just the topo maps.

True_north: Yes, the Bloodvein trip was a real eye opener. Very positive experience despite the bugs and less than ideal weather. I like the paddle hard and enjoyed the challenge. It's true I'm not real big on trip reports, preferring to go into a trip without too much knowledge, but it was fun to share the Bloodvein experience with many people who will likely never take that trip. In addition to Sadie's trip report Mihun linked above I did write my own as well, though I admit Sadie's was better. http://www.canoetripping.net/forums/for ... n-and-back

She will most definitely be coming along on this trip as well and I have no doubt she'll file a trip report.

Hope to report back at the end of summer on the condition of this portage!

Alan


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PostPosted: January 18th, 2016, 4:27 pm 
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Alan, the Berard maps are more of a work of art than a navigational tool. They are sketches of routes in an area. I like them because of the route and portage information but also for little bits of history about each area. I usually start with them for information, then go to topos. Portages have of course changed since the maps were drawn in the 60s & 70s.

It might also be worth investing in the Manigotagan-Bird Berard map. It has information on some nice short routes if find yourself with time to kill on your return.


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