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longblueveil
member (14)member
 
07/19/2019 10:45AM
This may be a dumb question from a first timer/non-native, but is there going to be a preferred direction to travel for certain routes? I understand we will be portaging around any major moving water, but is there a detectable current in some of the narrow areas between lakes?

In case it does matter, the routes I'm currently thinking about include various combinations of...

Birch to Knife
Knife to Ottertrack to Oster to Hansen to Knife (loop)
Knife to Ottertrack to Gijikiki to Cherry to Amoeber to Knife (loop)
Knife to Eddy to Kekekebic to Fraser to Thomas to Ima to Jordan to Ensign
 
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07/19/2019 11:05AM
This is not a dumb question, how would you know if you've never been there before. Even most rivers in the BW don't have much of a flow that is of any difficulty, except at rapids or narrowing areas. The wind will have much more of an effect on your travels than water current 99% of the time.

The area you are going to will not contain any kind of flowage that I can think of and is a great area. As you stated you will be portaging around any place that does have a current. Your main concern will be wind which is usually out of the W, NW or SW. If you do encounter a wind out of the E keep a lookout for bad weather.

Enjoy your trip and let us know how it went.
07/19/2019 11:20AM
If you have luck like mine, the wind will be at your face the entire trip no matter which way you are traveling!! LOL....
nofish
distinguished member(2902)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2019 11:30AM
Generally you can assume some sort of westerly wind during fair weather. If it shifts to an east wind you probably have some sort of additional inclement weather to go with it.

If I have big water anywhere on my route I'd ideally like to set up the trip so that I can approach it from the west so I'd have the wind at my back most of the time. I'll also try to plan to attack that water as early in the day as possible.
07/19/2019 12:03PM
There is a slight current from Ima to Cattyman, nothing to hamper paddling. I prefer the route from Birch, Knife, Kekekabic, Ima, etc that direction. I can usually float through one of the portages along the small stream between Jordan and and Cattyman. It also gives me the wind advantage on the larger lakes as mentioned. It is a nice route with border bluffs and gentle streams, pictographs and waterfalls.
07/19/2019 04:29PM
The other thing besides wind that could be a bigger issue than current on streams would be beaver dams. Not much of a concern on your trip.
cyclones30
distinguished member(1742)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2019 06:35PM
Birch to Knife has a stream that's connecting the lakes but you portage around the current areas since they're rapids.

Hanson loop no, Cherry loop no, looks like you got an answer on the last one. Wind is a far bigger threat than current here
old_salt
distinguished member(2473)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/19/2019 10:08PM
Topo maps will show direction of water flow.
jillpine
distinguished member (127)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/20/2019 09:58PM
Wind more than water flow in this area. Kek is no playground in the wind. Be careful. Wind will blow from all directions but if directly from the east, trouble is brewing. Wind will also pick up "suddenly", as in, mid-paddle across open water. "Paddling early" means before thermal influences on the lake, which start when the sun is full up.
Gary Carstens
Guest Paddler
 
07/21/2019 12:02AM
I usually go from Birch to Knife and sometimes the north arm to Ottertrack others just to hang out on the south arm around Eddy. We have waded some portages depending on time of year. There is one I think the last one going into Knife that you will have to get out and walk to the portage as its very shallow. I agree with the other responders that wind is the biggest issue and when you come out of the shoot into Knife, it could be a bit of an issue. I also agree to go early in the morning on the Knife especially up to Thunder Point, from there paddle the leeward side depending on wind. Eddy Falls is a cool stop. Ottertrack has some pictographs and neat geology. Ps, for timing purposes, you can get through all the portages from Birch to Knife in about 2-2.5 hours. We sometimes double portage depending on how healthy our backs are...lol. Have a great trip

longblueveil
member (14)member
 
07/21/2019 06:37AM
Great info! We are likely double portagers im afraid, but looking forward to enjoying these walks since its the first time we will see them. I'm leaning towards a base camp on knife/SAR with day trips to Cherry and ottertrack for those up to it.

Where are the pictos on ottertrack?
07/21/2019 11:11AM
If you consider the Benny Ambrose plaque a pictograph, other than that I do not believe there are any.
TechnoScout
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
07/21/2019 11:13AM
longblueveil: "Great info! We are likely double portagers im afraid, but looking forward to enjoying these walks since its the first time we will see them. I'm leaning towards a base camp on knife/SAR with day trips to Cherry and ottertrack for those up to it.

Where are the pictos on ottertrack?"

I was wondering that too. There are pictographs on Kawishiwi River just north of Malberg.
07/21/2019 02:21PM
TechnoScout: "longblueveil: "Great info! We are likely double portagers im afraid, but looking forward to enjoying these walks since its the first time we will see them. I'm leaning towards a base camp on knife/SAR with day trips to Cherry and ottertrack for those up to it.


Where are the pictos on ottertrack?"

I was wondering that too. There are pictographs on Kawishiwi River just north of Malberg.
"


The only pictos in that area I know of are on Fishdance SW of Malberg . . . ?
TechnoScout
senior member (76)senior membersenior member
 
07/21/2019 06:55PM
boonie: "

The only pictos in that area I know of are on Fishdance SW of Malberg . . . ?"


Yes, you are correct. I had it on my map from 2007 but recalled it from memory and recalled incorrectly.
07/21/2019 08:05PM
Well, dang, I thought maybe I'd find some new ones to go see. Saw the ones on LLC and Rocky my first trip, and Fishdance a few years ago.
Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(12752)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/22/2019 05:13PM
Don’t ask me because I am always going against the wind and any portage is uphill. I’ve been on a lake and the wind is at my face. I’ll then turn 45 deg up a channel and the wind will be at my face. I don’t know how this is even possible.
 
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