BWCA April 2024 - car drop for Kek/Border through hike Boundary Waters Trip Planning Forum
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Daniel2024
  
12/04/2023 03:43PM  
Hi! I'm planning on driving down from Calgary, AB to hike the Kek and Border route in April of 2024. The Canadian Rockies still hold quite a bit of snow in April so a 100 mile through hike isn't practical up here and I'd like to do one in the Spring. Sure MN might still have some at that time too; I'll watch the conditions.

I'm not having much luck in finding an outfitter or other resource who would shuttle me from one end to the other even though I'm willing to pay nicely for it. I just want a reliable person; I'll go either end, and at any time.

I do have a Plan B if I cannot secure a resource...walk 3.5 days and turn around and walk back! At least I'd be self contained and would have all of Kek and a taste of Border...

If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Thank you!

 
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Guest99
Guest Paddler
  
12/04/2023 04:37PM  
Push your trip back to May and you might have a wonderful trip. Snow should be gone, the days are long, and the bugs won’t be out yet.
Daniel2024
  
12/04/2023 04:40PM  
Hi thanks all! I have looked at the conditions and should have specified late April. The problem with May is that the outfitters I have spoken to say that they are busy gearing up with Walleye season in May. They just also aren't interested in any shuttle business, April or May.

No, I might not know Northern Minn, but I have lived continuously in Canada and Alaska for the last 30 years and back-country winter camp via snowshoes and deal with spring post-holing. Again, I'd be watching conditions prior to the trip and would adjust dates as needed, and I can handle some snow.

I just need a ride.

Thanks...
12/04/2023 07:24PM  
I don't know a thing about the Border Route Trail or Kekekabic. I have hiked the Pictured Rocks Trail in Michigan's Upper Peninsula the past couple of springs and loved it. The trail runs along Lake Superior from Munising to Grand Marais, about 45 miles one way. There is a shuttle service available out of Munising.
12/04/2023 08:56PM  
Harriet Quarrles transport service. 218) 370-9164

She is a very wonderful lady and very informative of the area of northeastern mn
Daniel2024
  
12/04/2023 10:02PM  
Thank you all for your input, idea about another hike, and a lead on transport! I really appreciate it. I'm coming down there, one way or another.

Just so you know I won't get myself in trouble out there, here is a picture from a late May backcountry snowshoe to a nice lake under a beautiful Mount Storm. At night listening to the rock and ice and snow coming off the face was wonderful.

Kek and Border are a different creature but one I so much have been looking forward to doing! I take things as they are, not as I wish them to be...
Grandma L
distinguished member(5626)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
  
12/05/2023 12:06PM  
Maybe I missed it, but you need a ride from where to where and when?

For the Border Route Challenge paddle, we use Piragis in Ely. We park vehicles with them, and they drop paddlers at the start and pick them up at the finish. Challengers paddle from International Falls (Voyageur National Park) to Grand Portage Casino. Give them a call - talk to Adam or Drew in Outfitting. They might support hikers too.
1lookout
distinguished member (147)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/05/2023 12:25PM  
Give me a call 1-218 365-3286,
gravelroad
distinguished member(981)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/05/2023 12:50PM  
Daniel2024: "Hi thanks all! I have looked at the conditions and should have specified late April. The problem with May is that the outfitters I have spoken to say that they are busy gearing up with Walleye season in May. They just also aren't interested in any shuttle business, April or May.


No, I might not know Northern Minn, but I have lived continuously in Canada and Alaska for the last 30 years and back-country winter camp via snowshoes and deal with spring post-holing. Again, I'd be watching conditions prior to the trip and would adjust dates as needed, and I can handle some snow.


I just need a ride.


Thanks..."


I grew up in MN, have made two winter attempts at the Kek, lived twice in AK (member of a SAR dog team the second time) and consider winter camping my favorite activity.

You are very likely to have trouble traversing the Kek in late April. Lake ice will be problematic to dangerous. Picture the conditions along the Swan Lake route at the same time and you will get the idea.

Come in May instead.
Daniel2024
  
12/05/2023 02:37PM  
Hi all - thanks for the input; very much appreciated.

I have my ride; see you in MAY if you are on the Kek or Border Route!

- Daniel
tumblehome
distinguished member(2892)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
  
12/05/2023 07:32PM  
Yes let’s talk snow.

This year we have no snow. NO snow. That doesn’t mean we will have no snow in April.

Some years ago we got 50 inches of new snow in April.
Along the MN/Canada there can be feet of snow at the end of April and into May. And it’s not hard snow. It’s wet heavy melting snow that your feet sink to the bottom. It is not possible to hike it no matter what your past experiences are.

So with that, yup plan the trip! There is a better chance this season that you can walk the trail at the end of April but most years you can’t.

Tom
12/06/2023 09:11AM  
Be aware of the flooded trail between Rose and Rove lakes-beaver work.
 
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