Based on my research, it saves time to take the pink route if the weather is good, cuts off a portage and its a relatively nice paddle. thats the route we took on the way in.
If the weather sucks, like when it was super windy for us, the green route down and around Burnt Island gives you more protection from the wind, but adds a portage. We took this route on the way back to our car.
My navigation a bit rusty since it was my first trip of the year so we went down and around burnt island on the trip in, but then got our bearings and just paddled a little further to pickup the pink route and arrive at the 140 portage into Disappointment.
Great report. Good info for me. Will be entering at Snowbank with 6 Eagle Scouts and the plan is to make to Thomas that first day. We will not go through Disappointment instead exiting Snowbank in the NE and portaging to Boot. Any thoughts on which way is preferred?
Based on all my research, and others input, I think its completely dependent on the weather. If its beautiful, I would probably consider the route you suggested. If not, you have the couple options listed in the other posts to cut your time on snowbank down. Snowbank can be a doozy.
mmarksnp: "Great report. Good info for me. Will be entering at Snowbank with 6 Eagle Scouts and the plan is to make to Thomas that first day. We will not go through Disappointment instead exiting Snowbank in the NE and portaging to Boot. Any thoughts on which way is preferred? "
Don't do it if you want to make Thomas in a Day. Snowbank to Disappointment is definitely the better route.
I went that route last year with intentions of making it to Fraser, and we had to stop at Ima because it just took too long. The amount of in/out really slows you down and gets frustrating, not to mention there isn't anything really special about that route. You paddle for 5 minutes, unload, portage, reload, paddle for 5 minutes, unload, portage, reload etc. Lots of mud, slippery rocks and narrow portage trails.
The 1 portage into Boot is actually 2 with a tiny pond. There is also another portage not shown on the maps that is a pull-over to get into Haven. In total that route has 14 portages, with Haven to Abinodji being one of the toughest I have ever taken (and i've done the back-to-back Meadows portages in the Quetico multiple times). Disappointment route has 11, with the only somewhat tough portage being the length of the portage into Disappointment, but that is flat and wide.