I haven't been on the Death March, but we took the Grand Portage from the Pigeon River to Lake Superior; other than being long (about 9 miles), the Grand Portage is easy. It is level, changing elevation only gradually. There are two creeks in shallow ravines, but those are the only up-and-down. Boardwalks cross the wet areas, and rocks and roots are not an issue. The National Park Service keeps the trail cleared of brush and downfalls. Nice grassy spots provide comfy rest stops in the shade. There are outhouses and toilets at either end. You do need to carry water for the whole route, and bugs and heat are seasonal. Other than that, I don't think there is any comparison between the two (but we won't tell anybody otherwise).
At my age (78) I would not consider doing the Death March, Memory Lane, or Yum Yum, but I am thinking of a one night backpack from Lake Superior to the Pigeon River (Fort Charlotte).
Just need to stand off the trail when the Border Challengers come jogging through.
Death March sounds like a walk in the park compared to The Grand Portage. 8 1/2 miles uphill.
I was going to do them last year. Maybe next year.
I dug up this thread (which is now 2 years old) because I had read a lot about the death march portages recently. I hadn't heard a lot about the memory lane portages although I've seen some recent trip reports on that route as well. Both would need a considerable amount of planning to accomplish along with a lot of water!
I did the Death March portage(s) in 2012 while on a 95 mile solo trip.
Everyone has a story about the portage. Mine was not a pleasant experience.
I went through in early June and the trails had not been cleared from the winter storms yet. I encountered many fallen trees big and small.
I did the portage on a very hot day which made the long double portage that much harder.
For reasons I can’t explain, I forgot to fill my water bottles and did not have sufficient water to stay hydrated. When I finally got to the end on Delehay, I stripped down to my birthday suit, jumped in the lake, and gulped water. It was a very tough experience for me.
Finally, the water was very high that year and the portage landings were under water so I could not find where to get out of my canoe. The small ponds in the middle of the portage are nasty dark tea stained and not drinkable even if filtered.
Memory Lane portages, if I'm not mistaken are the three consecutive portages from Poobah to Conmee.
My son was in the area this summer, but only did the Death March portage. He thought your idea would be doable, though tough. He said the Death March portage was long and hot for them, but surprisingly decent condition as portages go. Their biggest challenge was having enough water.
On my stay on Poohbah this year, I went over and checked out the portage. It was pretty overgrown . Thought about taking it down to William, but got discouraged looking at the first few hundred feet.
AmarilloJim: "Has anyone done these in the last few years? Doable in one day from Delahey single portaging?"
My wife and I did the Death March portage last year on day 6 of a 10-day trip. We single-walk portages, and from Delahey to Conmee took us less than 2.5 hours. We had done the portage 30 years earlier, and were very pleased with the improvements in the portage. Comments here.
We had hoped to do Memory Lane this year, but weather and BWCA.com forum comments about that portage led us to change our proposed route.
jwartman59: "Been paddling up there for fifty years. Never heard of them. Could you be more specific?"
Death march between Delahey and Conmee. Memory Lane between Poohbah and William.
Been paddling up there for fifty years. Never heard of them. Could you be more specific?
Four years ago, I did the Memory Lane portages. I found them a full days travel double portaging.
Has anyone done these in the last few years? Doable in one day from Delahey single portaging?