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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 13th, 2019, 8:25 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
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For Prospector16... Phil Cotton collected GPS data for campsites, portages and other features of interest i.e. waterfalls, gravesites, pictographs etc. However, he did not want to use GPS readings to inform anyone of the location of these features except the MNR NRVIS system. Phil felt that when he was getting a 4-5m accuracy on his GPS reading, it was not acceptable to publish these numbers. On cloudy days accurate GPS readings are even worse. Combine that with an accuracy of 2-4m when you're on a river looking for a waterfalls or portage around them, and we have a recipe for danger or disaster. Cursing the GPS reading while gripping your Garmin going over the Class 5 Savant River Falls is no substitute for the safety of accurate maps and a compass. The liabilities resulting from said vagaries of the technology preclude the handing out of coordinates.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 14th, 2019, 9:24 am 
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Joined: August 27th, 2002, 7:00 pm
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Location: Geraldton, Ontario Can
Ha ha, Wabakimi guy, you are so right about GPS use. I provide free maps for the Greenstone area. I put the GPS data on my maps, and have had people who have used it and then complained afterward. I mention in my comments that NAD 27 is my datum field, but many are using other datums, and don't know the difference, and have their heads glued to their GPS'. So their coordinates might be 200 meters different from mine, and then they complain about not finding a campsite, when in reality, if they had simply looked up and paddled a little further they would have located it. I have had several similar incidents from people using my map sets.

I have only given out my entire GPS collection to one person that I have great respect for, and also the MNR for entry in the NRVIS system. I have worked very hard to acquire all that data, and I'm not ready to just transfer it to anyone. That's what the maps are for, there has to be a little bit of effort left for someone planning a trip, lol.

Phil and I had several chats about our work, he was the master of the Orwellian MNR double speak. I thought it was super when he got the map series going, and the high quality product they developed was certainly worth the low cost.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 1:43 pm 
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Posts: 124
true_north wrote:
Just to respond to this comment -

Quote:
The one post specifically said:"I couldn't even get a straight answer on if the map book covered the area I wanted to paddle in." Spending $20 to find out that the map you bought does NOT cover the area you're heading to would pretty annoying.


Absolutely no reason to be annoyed!

There is very detailed info provided at the Project website that will tell you all you need to know. Click on this link

http://wabakimi.org/maps/coverage.shtml

Image

Click on the titles of the various volumes on the left-hand side and you will access even more specific map information, including a complete list of all of the maps included in the booklet.
[/i]

Jeffs map for example covers every lake in the parks he covers. The Wabakimi booklets are listed as route maps. Will this booklet be sufficient if I run into trouble and need to take an alternate path short? Or do I need to follow the exact prescribed route to be covered?

Last year in Quetico I had to cut my trip short and used my maps to easily reroute on the fly. Is this possible with these booklets?


Quote:
We expect free online news, download free music, free movies. Why not free maps! Gnat must have in mind the business model chosen by Jeff McMurtrie with his free digital downloads of his jeff's Maps and now Unlostify. it would be interesting for Jeff to chime in and explain how that is working.

There would be no reason to buy the Wabakimi booklets if you could just download digital copies of the maps for free and print them off yourself. The Friends of Wabakimi would lose the one source of revenue they have to fund their continuing portage trail maintenance and paying for the printing of the various volumes of maps.


I own every Jeff Map and all Unlostify Maps and the Queen Elizabeth Map because its a good product despite being able to print at home. I like to review the routes on my computer then bring the maps I need. I expect its working well for Jeff since he duplicated his policy from one business to the other.

MyCCR is a great resource for route information because it is freely shared and the community adds to the information.

TrueNorth- Ive used your trip reports in my planning they are amazing. Im certain you have used others. Im just pushing for a more open distribution of the information.


I think FoW is doing good work. Its just my opinion that showing the map freely would help them attract visitors to the park and I would bet would increase purchases of either the maps or memberships.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: September 11th, 2019, 5:54 pm
Posts: 11
gnatwest may be confusing Friends of Wabakimi with other Friends of (Name) Park groups. We are not affiliated with Parks Ontario or Wabakimi Provoncial Park. We have a relationship with the park and its superintendent and staff, but we are not beholding to anyone.

The Wabakimi Project was also independent and did not get outside funding from the government or any other organization. Phil Cotton and the participants financed the route research, the organization of trips, the equipment and canoes used, and the recruitment of participants and leaders for trips. The over 200 past participants and Phil put up over $350,000 CDN of their own money to have the Project carry on till it fulfilled on its objectives. The information gathered has been made available at a fair price, not in the hope of ever recovering those costs, but to raise funds to help the Friends of Wabakimi (not Park) carry on with its work.

There will always be canoers who will ask for (almost demand) free route information. More power to them. Ask away. But as a many time past participant who put up roughly $12,000 of his own money over the years to participate, lead, and become a player in the Project and Friends of, I am just a little more than slightly offended at their nerve.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 3:52 pm 
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Im not confused I never inferred the park or any other organization.

At $950 for a fully outfitted trip, it was a bargain for participants.

Again as pointed out by others my point is missed completely regarding buying the booklet.

I think you have some nerve thinking that because you spent 12 grand to go on trips you should think its in your best interest to charge others who ask for advice, especially to advertise it on a website devoted to giving out route advice for free.

I for one will continue to provide the knowledge I have free of charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 4:36 pm 
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Joined: June 28th, 2008, 2:06 pm
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Location: GTA
It's a bit of an echo chamber in here, but I'm mostly with gnatwest on this one.

Someday the information about Wabakimi will be freely available online or be able to be borrowed from a library or something like a library.

I have bought some maps in my time, like gnatwest, but I've also benefited from freely-shared information from members of the paddling community here and elsewhere, and from being able to borrow books written by Kevin Callan, Hap Wilson, and others from my public library.

Some of this was already discussed in this thread: https://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewto ... 07&t=45867


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 5:50 pm 
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Posts: 11
Well then, you and I agree. Some people will commit go out into the wilds, investigate, explore, measure, map, and clean up 6 million acres of northern Ontario wilderness, and others will sit at home and make their requirements known after all the work is done. But heaven help me if I get a little uppity about it. The Wabakimi Project and the FOW owe nothing to anyone. They have been generous with their information despite your protestations, and will continue to provide information to those who are willing to make an effort to investigate all the various sources. I invite you to go to HBC headquarters in Winnipeg and look through the historic maps for lost routes... to go through the Ont. Gov. libraries at the MNR and search out information, to compile it and then plan and mount expeditions and then take the information you compile and the maps you create and then distribute it freely.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 16th, 2019, 6:52 pm 
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Joined: August 13th, 2018, 8:13 am
Posts: 7
gnatwest wrote:
true_north wrote:
Just to respond to this comment -

Quote:
The one post specifically said:"I couldn't even get a straight answer on if the map book covered the area I wanted to paddle in." Spending $20 to find out that the map you bought does NOT cover the area you're heading to would pretty annoying.


Absolutely no reason to be annoyed!

There is very detailed info provided at the Project website that will tell you all you need to know. Click on this link

http://wabakimi.org/maps/coverage.shtml

Image

Click on the titles of the various volumes on the left-hand side and you will access even more specific map information, including a complete list of all of the maps included in the booklet.
[/i]

Jeffs map for example covers every lake in the parks he covers. The Wabakimi booklets are listed as route maps. Will this booklet be sufficient if I run into trouble and need to take an alternate path short? Or do I need to follow the exact prescribed route to be covered?

Last year in Quetico I had to cut my trip short and used my maps to easily reroute on the fly. Is this possible with these booklets?


Quote:
We expect free online news, download free music, free movies. Why not free maps! Gnat must have in mind the business model chosen by Jeff McMurtrie with his free digital downloads of his jeff's Maps and now Unlostify. it would be interesting for Jeff to chime in and explain how that is working.

There would be no reason to buy the Wabakimi booklets if you could just download digital copies of the maps for free and print them off yourself. The Friends of Wabakimi would lose the one source of revenue they have to fund their continuing portage trail maintenance and paying for the printing of the various volumes of maps.


I own every Jeff Map and all Unlostify Maps and the Queen Elizabeth Map because its a good product despite being able to print at home. I like to review the routes on my computer then bring the maps I need. I expect its working well for Jeff since he duplicated his policy from one business to the other.

MyCCR is a great resource for route information because it is freely shared and the community adds to the information.

TrueNorth- Ive used your trip reports in my planning they are amazing. Im certain you have used others. Im just pushing for a more open distribution of the information.


I think FoW is doing good work. Its just my opinion that showing the map freely would help them attract visitors to the park and I would bet would increase purchases of either the maps or memberships.


Just my $.02, but if you need to 'take an alternate route' and you are not seeing portage/route information in the FOW booklets, I would certainly think twice about what you are getting into. That's not to say that every portage ever made in the area exist in the booklets, but if it wasn't documented by FOW, then chances are good that the portages are in rough shape, or essentially no longer in existence. For instance, I don't believe that FOW ever documented the portage from Misehkow to Greenmantle (and downstream on the Greenmantle) however those portages did exist at one time, and likely remnants still do. I would very much like to head down the GM one day, but if I do I will be prepared for the worst.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 18th, 2019, 12:10 pm 
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user0317, you are correct. Vern Fish and his paddling buddy, Hank, spotted blazes on the Misehkow side in 2016, I think, but could not find clear trail. Last June we found old blazes on large jack pine on the Greenmantle side and followed tread going a short way west to the first pond, at which also old blaze. A classic traditional route connecting those two avenues down to the Albany, but the longer part in the middle is a mystery we did not take the time to explore on that trip... and, because it was not ground-truthed, it was not entered into Project map books, though, like you, Phil was pretty sure it was there. The park super told us that there is plenty of First Nations heritage value and traditional use in this area near the Albany River and we were appreciative and respectful of that.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 18th, 2019, 12:18 pm 
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Joined: February 28th, 2019, 4:55 pm
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gnatwest wrote:
I think FoW is doing good work. Its just my opinion that showing the map freely would help them attract visitors to the park and I would bet would increase purchases of either the maps or memberships.


There are lots of free online resources, including maps, for those who are interested in Wabakimi but not ready to spend real money yet. If they've exhausted those and aren't willing to spend $30 for more details then I don't think a free map is going to get them over the fence.

Jeff's maps are free to download because 1) he's competing with maps that offer nearly all of the same info for only $5, 2) it's a super-map combining information from already published resources, 3) Jeff doesn't have to maintain any of the sites or routes, and 4) the number of campers going to these areas every season is already so high that if you can get just a small percentage of them to pay for your product you might have a viable business. None of these things are true of Wabakimi.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2019, 1:31 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2006, 7:15 pm
Posts: 20
Location: on the Bay
regarding the Wabakimi Project, prior to his passing, Phil hadn't done any portage work within the park boundaries for many years due to conflict with the park superintendent and their portage maintenance contractor which was the local First Nation band. lots of stories about that maintenance, or lack thereof. park regulations regulating portage maintenance were written with the WP in mind.

Phil preferred UTMs, not GPS coordinates, for accuracy. you can convert, and maybe this work has been done. i used open source topo maps for the last long trip in the area, and had portages marked from reports, online maps, and various other sources, including Phil since he kept an enormous data base at his home. he also supplied a WP beta map book of areas along our route, and requested a field check of anything found since he didn't plan to be in some sections for a few more seasons. i sent him full documentation upon return, including the fact that portages he had cleared with great effort only a few years earlier were now almost closed.

the Greenmantle portage location on the Misehkow was confirmed with UTM documentation sent to Phil back in 2009. the portage lies exactly where expected when looking at the topo of that area. i probably left a hundred blazes along that river as we bushwhacked our way across the high water portages on that river on our way to the Albany.

as for Phil unerringly locating portages, i was in the boat with Phil when he guessed wrong. we were deep into a swift and had to back ferry out, then ferry RL to RR. tough on Phil who was nursing an injury, and not a strong paddler at the time. the logical location for the portage looked a lot more logical once found.

my point is this...want to canoe the park or surrounding area, everything you need to know is already out there if you're willing to do the legwork to stitch things together. snow on the ground, boats on the rack, some may find this in depth trip planning enjoyable. produce your own maps, mark the portages, swifts, campsites, and so on. alternately, you can buy the WP map books at a nominal price considering the effort that went into them. nice to have choices.

Wabakimi and the surrounding parks/crown land get little use these days, reach in the hopper, pick a reason. best guess, the negligible cost of a map is nowhere near the top.

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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2019, 2:02 pm 
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There are so many old maps out there that are free but may just get you into trouble. Five years is a long time in canoe country. Figure in a few forest fires, logging, wind storms and trappers making an easier trail in frozen conditions and money for a current map is well spent.

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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2019, 2:38 pm 
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jdrocks and I were on the same trip back in 2008, and I remember that ferry RL to RR across McCrea Creek out of Velos Lake. I remember the start of that portage was in a little notch out of the bank and the first 20 yards of the portage were under a 16" diameter poplar tree. Once we sliced that up with the Husquavarna, we hung a left and popped out back on the creek about 98m downstream. We cut another portage on RR, then headed back upstream to Velos Lake and our campsite near the bottom of Savant Falls. Another crew was going to cut the portages up from McCrea Lake. We headed off to Redmond Lake and then Takeoff Lake and ended up at Davies Lake. Not everything we did out there made sense at the time, but looking at the big picture, it all added up to something worthwhile.


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2019, 4:23 pm 
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Location: on the Bay
yeah, that's the one. once Phil nosed the boat into the alders, he had me jump out to bird dog the portage location. i crisscrossed back and forth until i found it, walked maybe 18" into the soft surface, but unused for about a century according to Phil's estimate. Phil didn't have much luck trying to cut that big tree smack in the middle of the portage, and when i looked at the chainsaw, i found that someone had installed the chain backwards.

there was a little bit of a woman on that trip, school teacher from Thunder Bay, simply an impressive performance on many levels. i went right back into the bush for another two weeks the day after the WP trip flew in from Davies, eventually flying out from Elliott's Whitewater camp. i told the guys on that trip that i didn't want to hear the first whine or sniffle regarding portage or any other conditions, i'd just seen what a 100# woman could do out there, so don't invite an unfavorable comparison.

i corresponded with Phil via email over the years, and despite being up to his ears in various other obligations, he always made the time. R.I.P.

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Wabakimi Project: Proud participant and contributor. http://wabakimi.org


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 Post subject: Re: Wabakimi Project
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2019, 7:23 am 
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All these memories of Phil Cotton - who went by the name Voyageur on this forum - have me copying and pasting a brief section of one of my Wabakimi posts dealing with a return visit to Cliff Lake we made in 2018 after Phil had passed away.

Image

A Toast To (Uncle) Phil Cotton (1940-2018)

We also returned to Cliff Lake with the bittersweet knowledge that, of all the lakes in the Wabakimi area, it was the favourite spot of the legendary Phil Cotton. Phil was born in Hamilton but his family moved to Thunder Bay when he was fifteen; he would stay in the area, working as a music teacher for forty years at various schools including Port Arthur Collegiate Institute. Summers were for his other passion – canoe trips on the region’s many lakes and rivers, often as a YMCA guide and leader.

On retirement, Phil spent his remaining years advocating for the Wabakimi area. See the map above for the mammoth task he took on through his Wabakimi Project.

It promoted wilderness canoe tripping in the area, by re-establishing historical canoe routes with portage clearing done by volunteer work crews each summer and providing canoe trippers with the necessary up-to-date maps which covered the Park and the surrounding area.

We first got to know Phil by his Canadian Canoe Routes handle of Voyageur. Back in 2010, he had made our entry into Wabakimi canoe tripping very easy with his ready advice and still unpublished copies of the first volume of the five map sets that his Wabakimi Project has since put out. We had never even heard of Wabakimi and now we were driving 1600 kilometers to Armstrong Station and the slice of paddlers’ heaven that Phil had made his retirement project!

Three more Wabakimi trips in the summers that followed – and three more occasions where we got to benefit from the maps created by Project mapmaker Barry Simon and the portage clearing done by Phil and dozens of Wabakimi Project volunteer work crews. We joked that all we had to do was find out where Uncle Phil and his work gangs had been the summer before and make that our route!

With this trip we followed after him once more – this time to Cliff Lake with an offering of a shot or two of Canadian whisky that we poured into the lake he loved most of all. We miss his keen and precise vision and direct no b.s. manner. He was an original.

Googling his name will turn up some background info on his life and legacy. In this piece – My Turn: Phil Cotton – in On Nature magazine, Phil explains the motivation behind The Wabakimi Project back in 2004 and the Friends of Wabakimi that it has morphed into.

https://onnaturemagazine.com/my-turn-phil-cotton.html

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