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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Winter Camping and Activities
      Alder, Canoe, Crystal, Pierz     
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ILcdr
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/20/2018 10:50PM
Has anyone been to these lakes this winter. Mostly wondering about the ice conditions. Also wondering about the ice near the portages, since the portages are near creeks. I'm entering on Clearwater on Thurs. and planning to do some fishing down there. Thanks.
 
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Mocha
distinguished member(7206)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/21/2018 09:14AM
those lakes are quite the trek from clearwater. bearskin lodge has a musher that has a trail heading east on east bearskin to alder so that would be easy traveling. perhaps bearskin lodge would have the info you seek.
OldFingers57
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01/21/2018 11:55AM
No matter what the ice conditions are you always need to be careful around any spot where water is either entering or leaving a lake. This ice will be weaker due to the current.
ILcdr
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2018 10:25AM
Mocha: "those lakes are quite the trek from clearwater. bearskin lodge has a musher that has a trail heading east on east bearskin to alder so that would be easy traveling. perhaps bearskin lodge would have the info you seek."

Thanks for the tip. I'll probably just stop there, since its on the way. I sent them an email a while back about access, but didn't hear anything. From my other reading it seemed like the only access to E. Bearskin was via the ski trails.
Bearskin Lodge
member (36)member
 
01/22/2018 02:22PM

You can park at the lodge. We have a somewhat meandering path down the lake to the BWCA line.

The worst spots for ice in that area are:

Right before the E.Bearskin to Alder portage. Just stay on the south shore and cross over once you are east of the port.

The channel between Little Alder and Alder. Easy to walk around on the N.Side

Sometimes to the east of the Canoe lake side of to Alder to Canoe port.

I might try to go down there and look at it tomorrow.

Quinn
FinnOnTheRiver
Guest Paddler
 
01/22/2018 10:26PM
The last time I was there in the winter, I parked where the plowed road ended. The folks at Bearskin said it was okay to snowshoe/pull my toboggan on the side of the ski trail to the lake, accessing the ice near the east end of the campground. Is this still considered to be acceptable? Thanks for any and all information!

Al
Bearskin Lodge
member (36)member
 
01/23/2018 04:55PM

I skied down and looked at Alder, Canoe, Pierz, and Crystal. Good crusty snow, and only a little bit of slush. There was open water between E.Bearskin and Alder, Little Alder and Alder, on Canoe where the stream comes in, and going into Paddle. Outside of one deadfall on the Crystal portage travel was easy.

It's best to start at the lodge and take our foot path down to the lake. It's the most direct way, and avoids the ski trails.

Quinn
FinnOnTheRiver
 
01/23/2018 06:01PM
Thanks for the info., Quinn. It never felt quite right using the ski trails, even with permission. I’ll heed your advice in a few weeks when I head in. Beautiful day for a ski, did you encounter any campers on your jaunt? Thanks again, and have a good day.

Al
Pinetree
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01/23/2018 08:32PM
Good info
Bearskin Lodge
member (36)member
 
01/24/2018 08:37AM
Al,
I didn't see anyone while I was out. This year there was a group that went into Alder, and a group that I'm pretty sure went into Pierz.

Quinn
ILcdr
distinguished member (150)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/24/2018 01:28PM
Thanks for taking the time to do that Quinn. Will probably by tomorrow. Thanks again.
Gadfly
distinguished member (262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/15/2018 02:33PM
Just curious if this trip was every made and how it went. This one of the trip ideas I have for next year. It seems like all of the portages should be fairly flat at least.
ILcdr
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02/15/2018 10:11PM
We got a day late start so we just camped on the east end of E. Bearskin for two days. We didn't see anyone else while we were there. We did go over to Alder. There was some slush on the west end, so we didn't go too far. Sorry for the lack of info. It was our first winter trip, we have a bit of tweaking to do.
The folks at Bearskin Lodge let us park in their staff housing area and access the lake from there. A big thanks to them.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12665)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/15/2018 10:33PM
ILcdr: "We got a day late start so we just camped on the east end of E. Bearskin for two days. We didn't see anyone else while we were there. We did go over to Alder. There was some slush on the west end, so we didn't go too far. Sorry for the lack of info. It was our first winter trip, we have a bit of tweaking to do.
The folks at Bearskin Lodge let us park in their staff housing area and access the lake from there. A big thanks to them.
"


The first winter trip and thereafter a person learns there is more tweaking to do in the winter than summer trips.
Gadfly
distinguished member (262)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2018 08:54AM
Thanks for the reply! Yeah we learned a lot on our first few trips, I think the biggest things we learned had to do with what to bring and what not to bring and the weight of the sled. Sometimes conditions will keep you from getting where you want to go, we have had it happen a couple of times. We don't consider it a busted trip because it is still nice to just get out there and away from everything.
Laketrout58
distinguished member (444)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/17/2018 04:24PM
This area is familiar to be regarding winter camping. I am retired from winter camping but we had quite a few excursions here. We camped right on the ice in March mostly. Froze our butts off sometimes but scored on lakers,splake and that was exciting. Peaceful setting and stars were awesome. If I wasn't a snowbird I would consider a trek to this area again! Marc
 
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