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10/15/2020 09:03AM  
Dates for next year's challenges are already set. I want to get it out here so that people can start thinking and planning. Next year will be an early launch- this could be good for people that can't make it because of normal start of school.

Launch date is August 28th and finishing on Labor Day weekend. This will be good for school teachers, college students, parents who want to bring their children, and those who like canoeing in warmer temperatures. This could be the only opportunity for a pre school start event year.

As usual, there are three route options available (well 4 kind of because there are 2 entry points allowed for the Voyageurs Challenge). Details are on the WaterTribe site including registration.


 
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straighthairedcurly
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10/17/2020 05:29PM  
Thanks for the update. My school happens to start before Labor Day, but if my teaching position returns to my normal specialist job next year, that week is a slow one for me so I might be able to get permission. I am still itching to try this.
skier
member (25)member
 
10/20/2020 08:06PM  
Sounds good
10/21/2020 10:19PM  
Putting a pin in this one. An earlier start date might be helpful to give this a try next year.
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
11/07/2020 10:42PM  
Can’t wait for a repeat. Looking forward to maybe it not getting down to 21 degrees. Do you think my 35 degree bag will be enough for my Florida butt?
Grandma L
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11/10/2020 01:52PM  
Next year's dates are now looking like the start will be on Saturday, August 28, 2021 with a paddler's meeting on Friday August 27, 2021 in Ely. The 8 day finish date will allow for the Labor Day Monday to travel back home and get the kids set for start of school. It should also give, hopefully, some slightly warmer temperatures, a little longer hours of daylight and the paddlers a better moon cycle for night paddling.

Plan ahead and start getting ready - it is only a little more than 9 months away.
With 6 paddlers already signed up!
01/28/2021 06:50AM  
I resurrected this post to provide the better location for discussion on the 2021 Border Route Challenges (there is an old post of mine from 2011 hanging around too).

There appears to be lots of interest and all entry permits for Little Vermillion Lake for the official start date of August 28th and the following day are gone.

skier- I see you expressed interest and also that you had to get a Friday august 27th EP. That's a good option. People do have the option of choosing their own start date other than Saturday August 28th either because of permit availability or their own preferred start date.

Post here if you were unable to get the permit you wanted, maybe there are options that can be worked out.
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
01/28/2021 07:02AM  
I got mine yesterday. Looking forward to getting back up there in August
01/28/2021 07:15AM  
Conchistador: "I got mine yesterday. Looking forward to getting back up there in August"
Some might say "no way a stand up paddle boarder can paddle and portage 240 miles across the Voyageurs National Park, BWCAW, and Grand Portage National Monument!"

They might....

But they'd be wrong!

Welcome back Conchistador!
skier
member (25)member
 
01/28/2021 09:02AM  
Yeah, I was at work and unable to be home for the big 9 am permit rush. After the permits disappeared, I figured it might be nice idea to start a day early and maybe try to catch a ride on your wakes as you guys pass by me.

I hope to do it in a solo canoe.
01/28/2021 09:12AM  
Good to know. Thanks BeaV. My teenage daughter might join me on this trip. I'm going to keep and eye out for permits around the Sat. Aug. 28 date and see what comes up. I probably should register now as well :)
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
01/28/2021 09:16AM  
skier: "Yeah, I was at work and unable to be home for the big 9 am permit rush. After the permits disappeared, I figured it might be nice idea to start a day early and maybe try to catch a ride on your wakes as you guys pass by me.


I hope to do it in a solo canoe."


there's room on my permit - just sayin. i signed up for 3 and really only have myself for now.

planning on a friday finish
afromaniac
senior member (60)senior membersenior member
 
01/29/2021 09:16AM  
I am just curious here - not going to jump in with you guys but what is the entry and exit point - and where can I find the route? I'd like to do this with my crew someday.
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
01/29/2021 12:24PM  
afromaniac: "I am just curious here - not going to jump in with you guys but what is the entry and exit point - and where can I find the route? I'd like to do this with my crew someday. "

start here: http://www.watertribe.com/Events/MinnesotaKrugerChallenge/Default.aspx
01/29/2021 03:47PM  
afromaniac: "I am just curious here - not going to jump in with you guys but what is the entry and exit point - and where can I find the route? I'd like to do this with my crew someday. "
Yes as Conchistador pointed you towards, the WaterTribe site has all the details if you know where to look. There is the event descriptions for the Minnesota events of which there are three and here is where they start-

Moose Lake Challenge- Starts at Moose Lake east of Ely
Voyageurs Challenge- Starts either at Crane Lake or Little Indian Sioux North entry point, your choice
Kruger Waddell Challenge- Starts at Dove Island located on Black Bay of Rainy Lake

They all end on Lake Superior at Grand Portage.

The route is your choice mostly. You do have to pass by some virtual checkpoints, though, and send a "i'm OK" message on a Spot or Inreach to document that. You can view previous routes taken by challengers by clicking on the "Tracking Map" feature on the WaterTribe site and selecting the appropriate event and a challenger name and choose "show tracks....." under the display detail pulldown thing. Make sure to hit the "regenerate" button after these three selections to see that information.
skier
member (25)member
 
02/17/2021 08:52AM  
Conchistador: >


there's room on my permit - just sayin. i signed up for 3 and really only have myself for now.


planning on a friday finish
"


Thanks Conchistador, I will consider it.
Happy training.
Grandma L
distinguished member(5498)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/17/2021 12:32PM  
Skier, glad to see you are considering the Challenge. Send me a message if I can help with any of the details, questions or get you in contact with any of our returning paddlers. I am the volunteer "Event Manager" which means I track the paddlers as they cross the border route, do a little shuttling of gear and host the festivities at the end. We would love to have you with us!
naturboy12
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02/17/2021 12:52PM  
BeaV:
You do have to pass by some virtual checkpoints, though, and send a "i'm OK" message on a Spot or Inreach to document that. "


Does this now mean that inReach is supported as an alternative to a Spot? I have many other hurdles to overcome to make this happen this year or sometime in the future, but this was one of the minor ones.
02/17/2021 01:17PM  
naturboy12: "BeaV:
You do have to pass by some virtual checkpoints, though, and send a "i'm OK" message on a Spot or Inreach to document that. "



Does this now mean that inReach is supported as an alternative to a Spot? I have many other hurdles to overcome to make this happen this year or sometime in the future, but this was one of the minor ones. "

yes, WaterTribe's tracking map now works with either spot or inreach

they have run one event with the inreach option and I never heard any issues
02/21/2021 04:43PM  
BeaV: "Conchistador: "I got mine yesterday. Looking forward to getting back up there in August"
Some might say "no way a stand up paddle boarder can paddle and portage 240 miles across the Voyageurs National Park, BWCAW, and Grand Portage National Monument!"


They might....


But they'd be wrong!


Welcome back Conchistador!"




I hope you bring your past team mate...
Mocha
distinguished member(7670)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
02/21/2021 07:43PM  
So how many in each category so far?
Voyager
distinguished member (333)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/21/2021 08:54PM  
As of the other day I think I counted 14 paddlers and grandma L. You can check the watertribe rosters. You'll have to scroll down through all the EC challengers and N.C. event to find the Minn. bunch. I see some familiar names on the list.
Grandma L
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02/22/2021 04:46PM  
I just did a quick count and I think at this point there are 19 or 20, counting those that are officially signed up or have contacted me directly. I expect some returning paddlers who are not committed as yet. This could be a good year with earlier dates to avoid the start of school and to have more hours of daylight.
JimmyJustice
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02/23/2021 04:20PM  
Count me as committed to participating but not signed up...yet, because I have not jumped on the WT website recently. Pot committed. Several others I know are in the same category right now.

Let's Go!!
Grandma L
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02/25/2021 02:20PM  
No worries, JJ! I already have you and the "gang" in my count but, you guys better get on the W.T. site and sign up.
Grandma L
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03/30/2021 07:52PM  
There is a BWCA permit for Sunday, August 29, Little Vermillion #12 OPEN right now if you are interested.
04/27/2021 08:18AM  
Bumping this up again as the paddling season is upon us and plans being made. Registration deadline for this is July 31st and is done at the WaterTribe site.

For people not familiar with this....this is an annual commemorative paddle adventure along the Minnesota-Canada border along the historic voyageurs route. These are "adventure" challenges due to the long distances covered in a short time period. No matter which launch location is selected, everyone has the same goal- make it to Lake Superior!

WaterTribe is a group of adventure-loving paddlers and sailors that help with organizing shuttles, tracking participants with a shared map page, and other stuff.

WaterTribe Events

realandrea
distinguished member (264)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/28/2021 09:29AM  
I’m doing the route from Little Vermillion to John Lake second week in September. Super excited, wish I had coordinated with Watertribe tho. Maybe next time!
scotttimm
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05/06/2021 02:53PM  
As I study the route over and over, dreaming about this year's challenge, I wonder if folks used Dawson's portage in the past and whether or not it will be used by participants this year? I know the border is closed...
05/06/2021 05:02PM  
dawson's port has been used in the past with proper paperwork etc. It's quicker than Loon River and was used by those whom have broken time records.
With the Border closed last year, Loon River was the only legal option.
Voyager
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05/06/2021 07:43PM  
I'd like to try the Dawson Portage some year if the border opens. I'd be reluctant to get an" entry from Canada permit" for Saturday night. I wouldn't want to use up 1 of only 3 available permits per day. I'd let those who are in a hurry use them. I'm thinking I could start on a Friday next year and do the Dawson, IF I do the Challenge again. There's also a portage on Basswood that cuts across to Big Merriam Bay that shaves off a few minutes. More importantly it can give you some temporary shelter from the wind. Of course that needs proper permits, as I don't believe it's considered to be covered by the treaty.
Nivholas
 
05/13/2021 10:07PM  
Looking to do the Border Route solo and wondering how people who have done this have coordinated transportation. Would love to do Little Vermillion to Pine / South Fowl but would coordinate anything along the Gunflint trail. Looking for Last week of May / first week of June - which is coming up... If it doesn't work now, I'm planning on possibly doing it this fall - tandem, which would be easier to coordinate.

Thanks!
05/14/2021 04:29PM  
Nivholas: "Looking to do the Border Route solo and wondering how people who have done this have coordinated transportation. "
Having a friend or family drop you off and pick you up is the cheapest way. Otherwise, you can hire a shuttle ride from an outfitter such as Piragis in Ely. Not cheap but at least they will include parking of your personal vehicle while you're out.
Grandma L
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05/29/2021 09:36PM  
Bump - The MN Border Route Challenges are happening again this year.
Three Challenges:
International Falls (Dove Point) to Lake Superior
Little Vermillion to Superior
Moose Lake to Superior.
All three start is August 27, Friday evening with a paddler's meeting in Ely. Challenge paddle starting on Saturday morning, August 28 with the finish at Grand Portage, Lake Superior on or before Saturday, September 4. If you are interested and have not made a commitment, send me message to get details. There are currently several groups, some tandem and solo paddlers.
Grandma L
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06/01/2021 09:36AM  
Currently there are 2 solo women paddlers interested in the Moose Lake Challenge. This is a first. Hoping for more adventurous paddlers!!
Voyager
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06/01/2021 02:42PM  
I see all permits are gone for Little Indian Sioux North for Fri., Sat. and Sun. Little Vermillion's are gone for Sat. and Sun. but there's 4 available for Fri. Still lots of permits for Moose.
Grandma L
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07/19/2021 04:44PM  
Well, we now have 30 paddlers and are working out the logistic and praying for rain so the Pigeon and Granite Rivers come up a little. Start is still planned for August 28, at Dove Point!
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
07/19/2021 05:46PM  
Grandma L: "Well, we now have 30 paddlers and are working out the logistic and praying for rain so the Pigeon and Granite Rivers come up a little. Start is still planned for August 28, at Dove Point!"

Might be a little extra walking this year. Looking forward to getting out there.
Mocha
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08/15/2021 07:14AM  
Is the challenge still on?
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
08/15/2021 07:38AM  
Mocha: "Is the challenge still on?" I think so. Did you not get an email with the route? I'm doing something that week anyways. Already packed and did a test paddle yesterday. Got my gear down to 30 lbs this year and all one pack for easier portaging
Mocha
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08/15/2021 09:43AM  
Oh, I'm not a part of the physical challenge, just the armchair challenge.
Wanted to be sure I had something to look forward to
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
08/15/2021 11:12AM  
Mocha: "Oh, I'm not a part of the physical challenge, just the armchair challenge.
Wanted to be sure I had something to look forward to"

Here’s route Fire Loop Plan B
https://goo.gl/maps/VTFgqeUwALBvN8Eh6
straighthairedcurly
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08/15/2021 11:15AM  
Mocha, the short answer is YES, the challenge is still on. Due to the closure of the west half of the BWCA and not knowing whether it will reopen in time, an alternative route has been selected. If still closed, then participants will choose from either the Moose Challenge or what has been dubbed the Fire Challenge will take participants partially off the border route and as far south as Little Saganaga.

Conchistador
member (29)member
 
08/21/2021 01:24PM  
this is a tough wrinkle. not sure what to do. we were going to head out on tuesday so maybe i'll have to find another place to go paddle since this one is looking pretty sketchy right now. BWCA closure notice
straighthairedcurly
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08/21/2021 02:34PM  
Yep, not looking good.
08/23/2021 09:42AM  
Because of the USFS Closure, this year's Challenge is cancelled.

Obvious statement, I know.

Till next year....
JimmyJustice
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08/23/2021 10:10AM  
Thanks to all those who planned this years event and to those who planned to attend. Lots of hours put in on both fronts. No good deed goes unpunished. Although it did not work out as plan...as Keith Nord once told me...adversity builds character. Just another character building block of life.

Best to all.
Mocha
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09/10/2021 12:42PM  
any chance this trip will still take place now that ep's are open again?
Conchistador
member (29)member
 
09/10/2021 03:52PM  
i've been mulling it over. i'd still like to do the border route but narrow window of opportunity. i could be up there on 9/21, 22, or 23 but i have to be back here on the 30th or 1st at the latest. also the pigeon is at super low level so consider royal river as a take out which should shave a day off the trip and avoid the grand portage. not a true boarder route but from what i hear the pigeon is going to add a bunch of extra portaging.

anyone interested in doing this time and route? still could start in sha sha but I'm open to suggestions

09/13/2021 08:03AM  
Mocha: "any chance this trip will still take place now that ep's are open again?"No...at least not as planned. Maybe some individuals may do trips like what Conchistador is thinking of.

A few of us did do a "fun" trip using our vacation time off that included some base camping in the Superior National Forest and then walking the Grand Portage. A complete 180 from what our normal fast paced border challenge is about.
 
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