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      Looking for trip planning advice- PP to Kahshahpiwi     

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ontrail4ever
 
08/16/2019 12:27PM
We are heading in to Quetico from Prairie Portage and are looking for route advice. We have 10 days, which would include 2-3 layover days, and would like to do a circle loop with Kahshahpiwi as the main destination. One option is to go north through Sunday Lake into Agnes, northwest to Trant and then to Kahshahpiwi. Another option is to do the S Chain instead of Agnes and still go through Trant. Coming out of Kahshahpiwi we would probably take the Yum Yum portage and then out through Shade.

How doable are these options for say, seven days of travel? Is it worth going up through Trant or is that just a long slog? Would you suggest different routes into/out of Kahshahpiwi?

This is our first trip in this area and we are looking for any route/portage/campsite suggestions you have. We are two slightly older guys and are in pretty good shape physically although the days of moving fast and furious are behind us. We will probably be double portaging, and we will not be fishing.
 
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AmarilloJim
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08/16/2019 02:36PM
Be careful on the granite slab while doing the Yum Yum portage.
Banksiana
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08/16/2019 03:26PM
If you have a Kahshahpiwi permit you can not route through Sunday and Agnes on your way to Kahshahpiwi (that routing would require a Agnes or Agnes/basecamp permit). Not sure whether routing through the S-chain is permitted on a Kahsh permit. The basic rule is that one must proceed immediately toward your permit lake; for Kahsh that means heading through Side or YumYum. From what I learned at the ranger station in July the YumYum portage is probably the "easiest" way in this year; the south Kahsh route (through Side Lake) requires a long bog crossing on dubious corduroy due to low water level in a beaver pond. Either of your trips is possible in 7 days of travel- you just need to do it in the other direction or claim an Agnes permit.

The YumYum portage is long with considerable ascent and descent and the aforementioned clamber up (or down coming from Kahshahpiwi) a steep rock slab. The portage from Trant can be a mucky nightmare depending on conditions or just a long slog. The portages between Silence and Trant are quite rugged- a beautiful section of the park.

Curious as to when you will be going. I have a Kahsh permit at the end of the month.
08/16/2019 04:26PM
I would skip Yum Yum and go through North Bay, South, and McNiece to Kahsh. That can be done in 2 days. You could then route over to Agnes from there.

But that said, I would listen to Banksiana. The dude could likely go without a map through that area so take what I say with a grain of salt. :)

Banksiana
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08/16/2019 04:52PM
I didn't recommend McNeice because I think the YumYum is considerably easier at present. I've done the McNeice the last two years (YumYum as well last year)- McNeice has gotten very difficult due to the regrowth after the burn and the number of large no-longer-standing dead white and red pines that keep falling on to the portage- the trees being so large that often times the portage crew creates detours rather than attempting to cut through them. The brush through the burn area is so thick that it's pushing against the canoe the whole transit of the burn and so little sunlight hits the trail (through the burned section which is about half) that the trail is slick and the surface nearly invisible.
Mc Neice also has a similar rock slab to clamber up.

That being said I still plan to route through McNeice at the end of the month- just so I can visit Shan Walshe and McNeice lakes.
Banksiana
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08/16/2019 04:52PM
To be concise the YumYum trail is simply in much better shape than the McNeice trail.
marsonite
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08/16/2019 07:47PM
As far as time goes, you have plenty of time...maybe more than enough. I have done the S chain to Trant to Khash and out the south portage pretty easily in 5 nights, with a tow to Prairie and paddling out. And taking the south portage was a big mistake and cost us an hour or two. Listen to Tim's advice there.

Some people aren't going to agree with me (Kevin Callan, author of a Quetico guide book for one), but I found the little lakes between Trant and Silence are not really that interesting. I guess they are small, and don't get a lot of use, so that appeals to some people, but they are not especially scenic. I remember the portages being pretty tough..lots of boulder hopping....that's where the portage is basically a line of big boulders and "walking" involves jumping from boulder to boulder. No fun with a pack or canoe! I was ten years younger when I went on that route....no interest in repeating that.

If I was you , After Khashawapiwi, I'd go up Keefer, Sark, and Cairn to Kawnipi, come down Kawnipi to Agnes and out via Sunday etc. You might think Agnes is too busy, but the whole northern half doesn't get that much use and it's so big you'll feel like you have it to yourself. It's really a beautiful lake, and coming down the Narrows of Agnes has got to be one of the prettiest paddles in the whole Quetico Superior. This option is easily done in 7 days. I did it in 6 nights with my wife and daughter, and we got a late start and didn't even make it to North Bay the first night, and got basically stopped by the wind on the last night.
ontrail4ever
 
08/17/2019 08:42AM
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Please keep 'em coming.
OldGreyGoose
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08/17/2019 09:23AM
All good ideas, but I like marsonite's best. Upper Agnes can be empty. If water levels were high enough, I'd rather exit Agnes thru East/Jeff/etc. rather than Sunday, but then I'm an old geezer. --Goose
GraniteCliffs
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08/18/2019 04:29PM
I have done Marsonites route a couple of times in the past few years, starting on Agnes. I think that route is one of the nicest in the park. You have plenty of time to do it in ten days. I am headed up weds and am likely doing this exact route in four nights. I am old but am going with my 28 year old son and his buddy in one canoe. We should move pretty well. I like starting on Agnes because you have a couple of options to cut the trip a little short and still hit Piwi if the weather is a problem.
Banksiana
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08/18/2019 04:56PM
GraniteCliffs: "starting on Agnes because you have a couple of options to cut the trip a little short and still hit Piwi if the weather is a problem."

Not to mention that the paddle north on Agnes and then the transition through the narrows is one of the most spectacular in the park.
08/19/2019 06:57AM
My wife and I did a similar route a few years back. We really enjoyed it and to be honest I don’t know why we haven’t done it again...

Start at prairie portage—-need Agenss permit—Camp near Louisa Falls first day explore it—we spent the next day lazily exploring Agnes, fishing, looking at pictos/petroglyphs—camped halfway up Agnes—-spent another day doing the same camped on the North end of Agnes—-next day went to Woodside, a lake rarely used, good walleye and smally fishing, then Trant, neat camp with big grassy area—-then onto Kashipiwi, fished for Lakers down it, camped about 3/4 way down, visited the fire tower and old ranger camper site—-then on to North Bay last camp—last day took the long way out around Canadian point (don’t do that we were an hour late for a 2 pm tow).

We had relatively short travel days, explored and fished a lot, had 7 camps. We never felt stressed or pushed to get to or find a camp, very relaxing 7 night/8 day trip. We had perfect weather though so doing this for 10 days would give you some weather leeway and even more relaxation.

T
08/19/2019 07:35AM
Here is my trip report...might help...

Agnes-woodside—Trant—Kash—North Bay trip
 
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