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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 4:48 am 
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This was 2015 where the portages were still closed in and we had to save the chain on the saw for clearing on the way out. Which means we hauled a chainsaw to this point.

We only had to drag over gravel bars and the downed tree, not any mud.

You get to this just before the first portage upstream of Leaf Lake.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 8:55 am 
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Location: Winnipeg
Yes Neil a machete would be really handy for that stuff. I have been seriously considering one to replace my axe. Yes I know, heresy. You could spend a week up there in the burn cleaning things up. These little used routes can be tricky.

The key here is that we, as paddlers, need to keep the routes open. We make it a part of our trip plans to do this, as do a few others. Some times it is the only reason for a trip. I will admit to having a love affair with my chainsaw...lol. We just cut a 150m beauty on the Maskwa. Give me another year and that will be a lovely place to go.

I have been jonesing for a Leaf Lake trip again but maybe I will wait a year.With our crazy weather patterns this may be the future though. If I had a lighter canoe and some time I would scoot up into Obukowin for some fall fishing. The up and down ports there would be a bit much for me though I think.

Christy


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 9:05 am 
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This is the video that Neil referred to from my trip up and down the Broadleaf.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhhXEoV23LA

I went in mid-July and came out a month later. There were rains while I was on the trip but the waters had dropped during the month. At 4:40 you can see the start of the rapids above leaf lake in 2016. Boulders prevented me from getting to the area that Karin's picture depicts in 2015. This helps show the wide water level swings for the Broadleaf. Add in 2017 when Neil and Erica found no water for the extreme difference.

At 5:40 the second rapids above Leaf Lake is shown. Neil noted that Berard does not mention this portage.

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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 3:18 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
Ha! Got it figured out. Assuming the portages start at your blue markers and not before, we ended up at the centre of the attached picture. The low elevation we saw to our right (river left) doesn't show well on our topos but it does on the Cal Topo image and satellite image.

We thought we were at the by-pass where the map show the river changing direction and a low elevation to our right.

It all makes sense now. At the time, my concern was either missing the by-pass and being stuck in the loop with no water or taking the bypass to find no water approaching Kosteck. Combine those concerns with one of our dogs having what looked like an infected bug bite we turned back. If it was just Erica and I we would've pushed on.

It was sure a good thing we turned around. Our dog we were concerned about got better but our big guy was compulsively licking his paws, moping around and not eating. By the time we got home he really needed to see the vet. We would've been turning around from somewhere on the Gammon anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 4:00 pm 
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Gotta love a good puzzle to solve.

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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 21st, 2017, 8:08 pm 
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Charles Simard called me this afternoon to update me on the Broadleaf problems. Neil, the people you mentioned that were due to to finish their trip down the Bloodvein did indeed report to Charles about low water conditions, but they had, nonetheless, a successful and enjoyable trip. Again, I really appreciate this discussion and a big thanks to those who have contributed.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 22nd, 2017, 8:40 pm 
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I'm looking again at the maps and I re-visited Neil's and Erica's report on their 2014 Bloodvein trip. I had to once again refresh my memory of how Obukowin connects to the Gammon and Bloodvein Rivers. We're now looking at either 1) paddling north from Obukowin through Carroll and Craven and taking the "Patty" and "Selma" portages into Artery OR 2) taking the Gammon River exit out of Carroll to Aikens Lake and the Gammon's west exit out of Aikens to the Bloodvein at "Red Rock Café". The latter route would mean avoiding the aforementioned portages, but also missing out on the Artery Lake pictographs and about 60 km. of the Bloodvein down to the Gammon/Bloodvein confluence. It looks like route #2 would be a day or two shorter. I'm sure both routes will have their treasures, but I'm wondering which would be the wisest choice.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 24th, 2017, 9:43 am 
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The maps for the Artery route should cover the Gammon route. You can't make a wrong decision here. They're both bucket list routes. Mark up your tops for both options. Once you're done the Obukowin portages you'll know whether you have the steam to do another two rough ones.

Keep in mind that if by the time you're in Obukowin/Carroll you're having late starts, you might be better off portaging. Paddling Aikens in the wind could be worse than doing another couple bad portages. If you're in a position to get to get on Aikens before the wind comes up, it would be an easy crossing.

You can cover a lot of flat water in the morning if you're on the water by 06:00 or 07:00.

Also, there may be sections of the Gammon that are "can't miss" but it's not just the pictographs on the Bloodvein. Stonehouse rapids, the split cliff and a few other sections of the Bloodvein between Artery and the Gammon junction are worth the last two portages into Artery.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 24th, 2017, 4:53 pm 
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Hi Neil, yes, we've marked the topos for those two routes as well as for the two others, i.e. the Broadleaf and the Tea Pail portage routes which will have to wait for a future opportunity. I've also got the Berard maps that you recommended. We spent the day today packing our food. We're planning to leave London on the 30th and spend 3 or 4 days getting there. Charles Simard is expecting us Aug. 2 or 3. Thanks for replying with advice. We're leaning towards going via Artery Lake, but will be prepared to alter plans en route.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 24th, 2017, 10:37 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg
That sounds like a good trip. A long first day could get you to Pancake Bay Prov Park the other side of the Sault. I have done it in a day from Niagara. Another good place to stay is the KOA campground in Thunder Bay just as you come into town on your left. They have sleeping cabins you can reserve. Showers washrooms outdoor cooking facilities. Nice spot.

Another longish day from there to MB if you push. Eight hours a day on the road is plenty for us though you may have better luck. Four hours from Wpg to Wallace Lake. Kenora to Wpg about 2.5.
Charlie is a nice guy, you can't go wrong with him.

Christine


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 7:17 am 
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Christine, thanks for that info. We're still assembling gear which we hope to get into packs today.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: July 27th, 2017, 9:55 am 
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Location: Warren, Manitoba
Bring plenty of bug spray, with the wet weather we have had recently the mosquito's will be out in force and Manitoban mozzies can carry off cows.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: August 18th, 2017, 6:48 pm 
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We just returned from our 19 day canoe trip using the Obukowin, Tea Pail and Sakakoneckum portages to access Scout, Noname and Kawaseecheewonk lakes above the Bloodvein River. I feel like adapting Karin and Christy's trip report title of a few years ago and call it " No Country for Old Men." We paced ourselves well and made a very enjoyable trip out of it. Bugs were not an issue and the wind never blew hard the whole trip and hardly at all most days. A full report will come later with the bonus of a flagged "all dry" route for the Sakakoneckum Portage from the Bloodvein to Kawaseecheewonk Lake. This dry passage will be very important to paddlers wanting a fast route up to the Leyond, Pigeon and Berens Rivers.

We had just attempted to find a water channel to the Tea Pail Portage that connects the old channel of the Gammon River to the Bloodvein River at Stonehouse Lake. We had hit dead ends of mud and grass and had retreated to a near by camp when five women were spotted coming through the wild rice. They were on a little channel with just enough water to get through that went from side to side so much that we could not see it from our end. We had taken four and a half easy days using the Obukowin portages and the main channel of the Gammon to get to that spot. In talking with them we found out they were at the end of 5 or six hard and long days from the same Wallace Lake parking spot but used the Broadleaf River route and came down the old Gammon channel from Aikens Lake. There was a lot of low water involved in their trip. They were on the way to the Pigeon River via the Sassaginnigak River .

The next day we used their path to access the start of the Tea Pail Portage. From the Bloodvein we portaged into Scout Lake and through that to Noname Lake. A few days later when we got to the Sakakoneckum Portage back to the Bloodvein. We left our gear at the end of the dry northern section and scouted to the east for a possible fix to the quagmire that makes up the middle portion of the 2K plus portage. Within a few minutes we could see that things looked promising. Soon we were spotting cairns but no sign of any usage. We were able to record a good track the first time through with the GPS. A little tweaking on the way back and we carried our gear through the new route and made the whole portage with dry feet!!! To avoid retracing too much of our entry route we paddled upstream on the Bloodvein to Artery Lake and use the Ford and Craven portages to get back to Carroll and Obukowins Lake so we could relish the Obukowin Portages one more time. A full trip report will be posted later for a great route.

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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 12:41 pm 
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Really looking forward to your report Martin! I can't believe the 5 women made it up the Broadleaf. I would think that the water dropped even more after we were there. Although maybe not since there was little to no water flowing from the Broadleaf into the Wanipigow.


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 Post subject: Re: Wallace Lake loop.
PostPosted: August 20th, 2017, 1:46 pm 
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Neil Fitzpatrick wrote:
Really looking forward to your report Martin! I can't believe the 5 women made it up the Broadleaf. I would think that the water dropped even more after we were there. Although maybe not since there was little to no water flowing from the Broadleaf into the Wanipigow.


You may have missed the fact that they were probably 6 days getting to our easy 4.5 days travel point. They mentioned getting a thunderstorm while on Leaf Lake and hoping it would help with the water levels. I assume they were dragging canoes a lot before Leaf Lake.

We had to drag our canoes over shallows to enter Siderock Lake, when we returned we had just enough to paddle through.

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