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      Solo from 37 - Kawashiwi Lake     
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Pilgrimpaddler
member (42)member
 
05/31/2018 09:18PM
My first solo coming up at end of June. I’ll be entering through Kawishiwi Lake and hoping to get up to Adams (possibly Boulder as well) and then down to Trail on the Louse River for a couple days. I’ll have 6-8 days to travel this area. My question for those who’ve been there is if it’s feasible to make it to Malberg on the first day if I leave fairly early and double portage. I’m early 60s and pretty fit, but I want to start off with reasonable expectations.
 
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tarnkt
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05/31/2018 09:28PM
You can do it. We made malberg in one long day. We double portaged and it was long but we didn’t kill ourselves.
zipper
Guest Paddler
 
05/31/2018 09:50PM
We made it to Malberg double portaging and as mentioned above, it's a long day but can certainly be done. the problem was really the next day when everyone was pretty wore out from the paddle in and it almost took the next day to fully recover. If you have the time, i recommend stopping on Poly and making it a much more leisurely trip.

We're all mid to late 50's and in reasonable shape.
05/31/2018 10:26PM
The trip to Trail will be the tougher part.
05/31/2018 11:32PM
Yep.
06/01/2018 05:41AM
I've been in that entry several times and IIRC, it's at least 12 miles and maybe a little more to double portage to Malberg, so it can be done. One problem then is finding a campsite on Malberg could entail a good bit of paddling around due to the configuration of Malberg with it's long, skinny arms. I usually am not in that much of a hurry and just stay on Polly, usually at the north end, which is 9 miles double portaging and usually takes me ~4 hours.

I would get a very early start and if you are not making very good time or are pretty tired you can always stop short at Koma or even Polly. If you make Malberg I would take the first open site and call it a day.
carmike
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06/01/2018 06:23AM
Yep, pretty doable. It might get you there a little late in the afternoon, so the primo campsites might be taken. I've always been able to find one on that lake, though. Good luck, and enjoy your first solo!
Guest Paddler
 
06/01/2018 07:08AM
In regards to getting to Trail from Malberg, should I plan this to be at least a 1/2 day to get in (again, double portaging)? I have no idea what water levels will be like in the Louse River in very early July, but I expect bug levels to be pretty high!
scat
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06/01/2018 07:25AM
Be doin this Sunday, leavin tomorrow. Can't wait! We are doin the Makwa to the little lakes to Boulder loop. Can't wait!
kegger70
member (7)member
 
06/01/2018 07:48AM
: "In regards to getting to Trail from Malberg, should I plan this to be at least a 1/2 day to get in (again, double portaging)? I have no idea what water levels will be like in the Louse River in very early July, but I expect bug levels to be pretty high! "

My buddy and I made it to Malberg in about 8 hours at a steady pace double portaging as well. The roughest part is getting through the burn area. Not a lot of canopy to cover makes it so much hotter. Make sure your waters are filled before that one. Its a great winding paddle to start off.

We found Polly to be a VERY popular lake. Lots of families, kids on floaty toys, my pal refers to Polly as a "resort lake", so something to keep in mind.
06/01/2018 07:57AM
8 hours is about right, we just came back from there, the portages are all easy to Malberg, the louse river is very rocky at the start of it we took a day trip that way, have fun and enjoy.
Pilgrimpaddler
member (42)member
 
06/01/2018 10:00PM
kegger70: ": "In regards to getting to Trail from Malberg, should I plan this to be at least a 1/2 day to get in (again, double portaging)? I have no idea what water levels will be like in the Louse River in very early July, but I expect bug levels to be pretty high! "


My buddy and I made it to Malberg in about 8 hours at a steady pace double portaging as well. The roughest part is getting through the burn area. Not a lot of canopy to cover makes it so much hotter. Make sure your waters are filled before that one. Its a great winding paddle to start off.


We found Polly to be a VERY popular lake. Lots of families, kids on floaty toys, my pal refers to Polly as a "resort lake", so something to keep in mind."


I’m concerned that Polly might be full if I go in on a Friday or Saturday morning, with family groups base-camping on Polly or trippers on the return and planning to go out the next day. That would force me to move on to Koma or Malberg. Maybe I should plan on getting to Koma at a minimum; even a crappy campsite on Koma would work since it’s just an overnight stop.

My primary goal is the island campsite on Adams but that might pretty selfish for a solo camper. I’m really just trying to find some measure of seclusion during what will likely be a very busy time in the bdub.
06/02/2018 08:14AM
It's a fun trip up to Malberg. I did it on my 2nd solo about 3 years ago. I pushed off from Kawishiwi at about 9:00 and pulled into my site at 4:00. About an hour of that was paddling around Malberg looking for a site. On Malberg I stayed on a site hidden back in a dead end bay which turned out to be really nice because I didn't see anyone else when I was at camp even though it was a pretty busy lake.

Polly and Malberg each only had 1 or 2 sites open that I saw and Koma was empty both times going through. I didn't think Koma was as "pretty" but it definitely offered more solitude. Also, once you get past Malberg the people thin out again. I did a daytrip up into the Kawishiwi River and River Lake and didn't see anyone there and the campsites were all open.
06/02/2018 08:46AM
I'm not exactly sure of your plan or how long/far you are willing/able to travel in a day/for the whole trip. I've been through EP #37 3X (always in Sept. though), but have done trips in different directions and areas.

If your goal is to get to Adams or Boulder for your 2nd night, Koma is about half way; if you stop on Polly - 9 mi. double portage to the northern most camp - you'll have about 13 mi. to Adams, more to Boulder. I would plan on at least getting to Koma 1st day and I'd try to start very early (as soon after sunrise as possible). I'd also choose Friday morning over Saturday morning if you have that option; even better IMO would be a weekday entry.

I'm just a little older than you, maybe not quite as fit, and double portage. I don't travel real fast, but do move through portages pretty efficiently though and would expect to be at that last camp on Polly in ~4 hrs., give or take a little. You can use that as a guide to how fast you're traveling. I'd guesstimate Koma at 3 mi. farther, so about another 1 1/2 hours.

Assuming you're on Adams or Boulder, for the 2nd night, how long do you plan to stay there? What route do you intend to take to get from there to Trail and how many days? I would think it would be more than a day's travel to get from Adams/Boulder to Trail even going back the way you came. Your other option would be to loop north and east and back down through Pan. That would be longer, but would certainly give you more solitude.



kegger70
member (7)member
 
06/02/2018 02:19PM
We went over to the pictos on Fishdance, and then spent a few days on Alice. Think we had Alice to ourselves, and that was definitely solitude. People pretty much vanished after Fishdance. Malberg is definitely doable, I can't really recall much on Koma, we weren't on it very long. Guess its all about how hard you want to push. On our last day, we left Alice hoping to stay on Polly, but when nothing was available we pushed the rest of the way out. That was a long day.
Pilgrimpaddler
member (42)member
 
06/02/2018 05:04PM
boonie: "I'm not exactly sure of your plan or how long/far you are willing/able to travel in a day/for the whole trip. I've been through EP #37 3X (always in Sept. though), but have done trips in different directions and areas.


If your goal is to get to Adams or Boulder for your 2nd night, Koma is about half way; if you stop on Polly - 9 mi. double portage to the northern most camp - you'll have about 13 mi. to Adams, more to Boulder. I would plan on at least getting to Koma 1st day and I'd try to start very early (as soon after sunrise as possible). I'd also choose Friday morning over Saturday morning if you have that option; even better IMO would be a weekday entry.


I'm just a little older than you, maybe not quite as fit, and double portage. I don't travel real fast, but do move through portages pretty efficiently though and would expect to be at that last camp on Polly in ~4 hrs., give or take a little. You can use that as a guide to how fast you're traveling. I'd guesstimate Koma at 3 mi. farther, so about another 1 1/2 hours.


Assuming you're on Adams or Boulder, for the 2nd night, how long do you plan to stay there? What route do you intend to take to get from there to Trail and how many days? I would think it would be more than a day's travel to get from Adams/Boulder to Trail even going back the way you came. Your other option would be to loop north and east and back down through Pan. That would be longer, but would certainly give you more solitude.



Thanks for your insight on time and effort I can expect to face in getting to where I want to go. I expect to spend a couple night on Adams, then backtrack to Malberg or possibly to Boze and stay the night there, then head for Trail if time permits.

I really have 2 reasons for trying to make Malberg on the first day, one reason is to get some distance behind me and the other is to make very difficult to abandon ship should I get a case of the heebie-jeebies (it will be my first solo, after all).
"
06/02/2018 08:24PM
Like kegger70, I was surprised a couple of years ago to have Alice to myself for a day. The next day I headed up to Thomas and Fraser, planning to go east through Cap to Boulder and Adams. I didn't see anybody until the last campsite on Fraser, which I was planning to camp at, so headed on to Sagus as back up - it was full! Went back to Shepo. The next day I went over and down, but had to stop on Boulder because of the wind. I didn't see anyone after Fraser/Sagus until I met a lone paddler at the Adams-Beaver portage.


Pilgrim-

Ah yes - the first solo and the heebie-jeebies. I remember it well! I've survived a lot of them since then; so will you. You should check out the "solo tripping" special interest forum. Lots of good stuff in there if you search through some threads.

I've found it useful to map out my routes with estimated time and mileages. That way I know where I should be in X amount of time. My estimates are a lot more accurate than they were at first. It was a good way to learn my own travel speed. I just map it out, add up the portage distances, and add double that to the first one since I double portage. In the beginning somebody said 2 mph was a good average to start with, which I have found to be pretty good.

Adams is nice (it's one of my favorites up there) and there's plenty to explore around there on your layover day. It's not very far from the north end of Adams up to Boulder and was a very neat paddle through there - I really enjoyed it. Adams is a big lake with plenty of paddling on it alone.


A couple of notes on portages in case you haven't come across the information yet. Yes, the portage out of Square is there, right where it says it is - just keep going around that corner. If water's high, you may be able to skip a portage if you can go over the beaver dam. On the other hand, there might be an extra one due to beaver activity (there was in 2016). The portage from Beaver to Adams runs right along that big rock wall, sometimes hard to tell it's there until you get out of the canoe.


Have a good trip!
HowardSprague
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06/04/2018 12:23PM
If I were going solo, on a hot day too,...I'd probably find an open site and call it a Day 1 at Koma.

BuckFlicks
distinguished member(575)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/07/2018 03:53PM
That's a long but doable day. My chief concern for you would be that both Polly and Mallberg can be busy.... Polly is a logical stopping point for people heading to or from EP37 (about one easy day's travel,) and Mallberg is a popular hub and sees a lot of action... and if you put in on a Friday or Saturday and don't get there until late in the day, you're taking a gamble on campsite availability.

If it were my first solo, I'd probably shoot for something at the north end of Polly and make it a short day to Mallberg on day 2 if you're planning to basecamp. Polly has a lot of campsites and If you're wanting to go somewhere else for night 2, you might have a longer day 2 ahead of you, but you're maximizing your campsite availability. But that's taking into account my slow-moving nature, and the likelihood that I'll be lazy and take my time without a partner along to motivate me.

Those two portages in to Polly can be an energy sapper, especially since the lake breaking them up isn't anything more than a popcorn fart. I'd almost rather just have one long portage than have to load and unload in rapid succession like that. I've got the mental grumbles after hitting Polly, and knowing that we're a short paddle to a campsite is nice to brighten the mood. Koma is a good compromise - but as previously mentioned, it's not as scenic as Mallberg or Polly.

That island campsite on Adams is my favorite campsite I've seen in the Bee-Dub. We only ate lunch there but it's pretty awesome.

I've never been down Louse out of Mallberg. Going east from Mallberg, we've only been to Kivaneva and Anit on up to Makwa. I don't remember a lot about that route other than it rained for 2 days straight and we didn't have any fun until the last day after we had decided to bug out a day early and were back on the Mallberg --> Kawishiwi route.
Pilgrimpaddler
member (42)member
 
06/07/2018 04:24PM
Based on your comments and those of others on this thread, I think my fist day goal will be Polly or perhaps pushing on to Koma (if I have both the time and the energy). This will give me the chance for an early morning start to Malberg and then on to Adams without risking running on empty by the time I make camp. Besides, I hear there are 'eyes in those waters and if I'm lucky I might have a better dinner than a Mountain House freeze-dried dinner.
06/08/2018 03:30AM
Pilgrimpaddler: "Based on your comments and those of others on this thread, I think my fist day goal will be Polly or perhaps pushing on to Koma (if I have both the time and the energy). r."

That was my exact plan when I did my solo to Malberg that I mentioned above.
One of the nice things about going solo is that it's only up to "you" as to how you are feeling and whether or not you want to stop and camp or push on. When I got to Polly it was noon/1:00 and I didn't feel like stopping yet. When I got to Koma... same thing, so I kept going to Malberg. My trip was early August which is typically much busier than June and there were 3 sites open on Malberg. 2 were not very nice but would have been ok solo. I love "going with the flow" when I solo.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1370)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
06/11/2018 04:10PM
We just got back from a week at Malberg. My wife and I got a very early start and were paddling Polly 3 hours later and Malberg in 5 hours. Single portaging and not in a hurry but making good time. We were eating lunch at noon in camp on Malberg. On the way out, 2.5 hours from camp on Polly to the parking lot. Both those travel days were in light rain but nothing crazy.
Pilgrimpaddler
member (42)member
 
06/12/2018 06:57AM
cyclones30: "We just got back from a week at Malberg. My wife and I got a very early start and were paddling Polly 3 hours later and Malberg in 5 hours. Single portaging and not in a hurry but making good time. We were eating lunch at noon in camp on Malberg. On the way out, 2.5 hours from camp on Polly to the parking lot. Both those travel days were in light rain but nothing crazy. "

That makes me more optimistic that I can reach Koma (and possibly Malberg) on my going-in day. With the reports of recent bear activity, I'm not sure that I want to stay on Polly if I can avoid it.
06/12/2018 09:46AM
cyclones30's single portage times are more or less equivalent to my double portage times based on the additional walking distance/time, if that helps, since you plan to double portage. It's definitely possible for you to get past Polly.
cyclones30
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06/12/2018 01:57PM
In our 2 times passing thru Koma last week we saw no one at any of the sites. That was a Sunday and Saturday. If it's after noon and you're on Koma I'd stop. Malberg was getting busier each day we were there it seemed. Only a handful of vehicles at the EP lot on June 2, lot was pretty full when we came out a week later.
 
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