BWCA Trip Report: Moose Lake (Ely) - Gneiss Lake Boundary Waters Trip Reports
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      Trip Report: Moose Lake (Ely) - Gneiss Lake     



Guest Paddler
10/18/2020 07:47AM  
We ran Moose Lake to Newfound Lake up to the border lakes ending at Gneiss Lake. Water levels from Moose Lake to Knife Lake were about 18 inches lower than normal. This made some of the portages a little more challenging. However, on Saganaga Lake and east the water levels were about 36 inches lower than normal. The portage on the east side of Gneiss Lake was a 30-foot field of mud (having walked into some of this mud earlier, a guess is that it was knee to waist deep). There was no reasonable alternative approach to the portage left or right of the mud field--the mud was the suck-your-shoes-off kind. Lining up the whitewater would have been unsafe as the rocks were slippery, and poked up through the three-inch deep flow. So, we turned around.

The eight campsites we slept in were in pristine condition. Thanks to all of the users who are so thoughtful. The silence and solitude near absolute. On Little Knife Portage we passed a group of Outward Bound paddlers in two canoes, one large one that held seven canoeists and a regular two-person aluminum canoe. They were traveling to Rose Lake. We advised them of the Gneiss Lake portage difficulties. We hope they made it okay.

One last thing, as we were heading back on the last day of our trip on Moose Lake a group of three hunters in a motorboat headed right at us. We deviated to starboard, and they turned to head right at us. We made a 90-degree turn to starboard and they motored by us at full speed 20' away. Their wake was so big that had we not turned straight into it we would have capsized. It was below freezing--capsizing could have been a serious event. I report this in hopes that those who communicate with authorities about unsafe actions have a bit more information. Conversely, on the way in through Moose-Newfound-Sucker Lakes everybody who motored past maintained clear distance and slowed down when passing to minimize a wake.

It was a great trip, though we got two inches of snow on our last day. Beautiful, but chilly. Ice on the side of the canoe and our paddle stems in the last hours.
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distinguished member(4155)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
10/18/2020 09:16AM  
good to hear your campsites were in good condition. sounds like the low water has been a theme most of the year. always one motor boat to screw it up it seems...
distinguished member(7653)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
10/18/2020 11:47AM  
Paddling in the snow is beyond pretty.
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