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06/06/2010 09:32AM  
from 8 nights/9 days in Quetico. We had Kashahpiwi to ourselves for 4 days, warm, sunny weather, no bugs and shoot-the-lights-out walleye and largemouth bass fishing. Smallies were a little harder to find--not on the nests. Lakers still shallow although water so warm we swam everyday. We went in through Shade/Grey/Yum Yum/Shan Walsh and McNiece, out the SW bog portage. Some tough portaging for four oldsters but well worth it. Photos coming soon.
 
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06/06/2010 09:47AM  
Can't wait for the pics. Sounds like a great trip.

T
 
PineKnot
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06/06/2010 10:13AM  
Sounds like you had a good time. Hope to be heading that way late-July. Was wondering which portage you found the most challenging...No-name into Grey, McNiece to Kash, or Kash to Side?
 
Jackfish
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06/06/2010 11:04AM  
Did you camp on Yum Yum? We stayed at the site up on high cliff a few years ago. Pretty lake.
 
06/06/2010 11:56AM  
I would say McNiece to Kash was the most challenging--long, two steep staircase "goat" hills and a ~30 yard cliff face to climb going to Kash. It was hot and the mosquitoes were out in force for that one also. It would be more challenging wet though--we had it dry. I actually thought the Kash to Side portage was beautiful--the first half a smooth, level walk
through beautiful majestic pines. There is a new trail cutting off to the left about 50 yards before you come to the bog on the old trail. It is a little hard to see. It will take you around the east side of the bog but you will get your feet wet. The new trail hits dry ground about halfway across the bog and there is a rocky outcrop and a path goes up into the woods--don't take it! It peters out. Keep skirting the east side of the bog and you will eventually hit dry ground/bedrock. It was my first time on the portage and the cliffs and rock slide on the west side of the bog/former beaver pond are as spectacular as anything I've seen in Quetico.

We camped on the Yum Yum hilltop--it was really beautiful, although we got caught in an intense thunder storm there with torrential rain and lightning strikes all around. A couple days later we began to smell smoke and later heard there was a fire east of us on Agnes at the time. We fished Yum Yum early in the morning before decamping and caught a few nice smallmouth and one big lake trout. In the morning light the bay of the infamous Yum Yum portage was gorgeous. We saw a group of two or three canoes coming from the portage later that day (May 26) so someone out there's got some cojones, as they say.
 
billconner
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06/06/2010 12:55PM  
I would have said Kash to side but I've always done east side of bog and it can suck. Yum Yum is long but pretty and McNiece to Kash is arduous but not swampy. Any of these three are ones I would much prefer to do early in the day.

They were all great trips but haven't been on one yet that wasn't!
 
h20man
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06/06/2010 04:56PM  
Springer2

What days were you on Kash? My son and I spent a day on the northern part of the lake via Burt Lake and exited on the morning of the 28th. to Side Lake. It is a beautiful lake. We hope to get back some time.

We did get wet feet on the portage! We nicknamed the portage Jurassic Park due to the fabulous cliffs.

 
06/06/2010 08:03PM  
We were on Kash from May 27 through May 31. We spent 3 days camped on the north end and one on the south end. We only saw one solo canoe heading for the Keefer portage the whole time. The cliffs on the south end and on the portage were quite amazing.
 
06/06/2010 08:09PM  
The portage from the south end of Side heading for Isabella was pretty outrageous also--straight up for a good 50 yards I would guess. Reminded me of the goat portage from Sarah to McIntyre, only about 3 times as long. I just kept my head down and prayed that my knees wouldn't blow out before my heart did.
 
billconner
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06/07/2010 06:08AM  
quote Springer2: "The portage from the south end of Side heading for Isabella was pretty outrageous also--straight up for a good 50 yards I would guess. Reminded me of the goat portage from Sarah to McIntyre, only about 3 times as long. I just kept my head down and prayed that my knees wouldn't blow out before my heart did. "


Side to Isabella - isn't that the one labeled heart attack hill on some maps? Going straight south sort of towards Point, not to eastern no-name (albeit with great cliff jumping), is in my opinion a little easier and you can bushwhack - paddling and pulling all be a few yards - from there to Isabella.
 
06/07/2010 08:27AM  
Where were you when we were trying to decide which fork to take???? Live and learn.
 
06/07/2010 01:48PM  
Good to hear you are back! want to see pictures! sounds like a wonderful trip!
Guts
 
billconner
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06/07/2010 03:36PM  
quote Springer2: "Where were you when we were trying to decide which fork to take???? Live and learn."


Done that too.
 
h20man
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06/07/2010 06:47PM  
We ended up taking the same portage off of side (both ways). We looked for the other portage in the small bay to take the more westerly route we could not find it. I guess we needed to pull over a couple of beaver dams to find it. That was a nasty hill to climb. We double portaged so we got to do it twice. Yee haa!
 
PineKnot
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06/07/2010 11:40PM  
I'm confused...wouldn't be the first time.
Last year, my son and I hit the south shore of Side, portaged to the fork and took a left to the eastern no-name lake...I recall we did go uphill quite a ways and then downhill to the no-name...after paddling through that lake and another we ended up at Isabella....did we just take "heart attack hill"?
I was told prior to our trip that this way was easier than simply heading southerly toward Point...all in all, taking the fork to the left didn't seem that bad as long we took a couple of 30-second pit stops on the way up the hill.
 
billconner
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06/08/2010 07:11AM  
Pine Knot - that is what I belie some maps labeled heart attack hill. May depend on water level but having done both routes several times, I prefer going through the south west no-name as opposed to the north east between Isabella and Side - except the north east has great cliff jumping so with Scouts, maybe. Lower water levels might also make the south west route less desirable.

It's not the worst portage by any means but last time it was late in day and I was (trying to) single portage - 50+ pounds and a canoe - so its all pretty subjective.
 
06/09/2010 09:32PM  
For those of you who don't know the story, the "meadow" in the foreground (actually a bottomless bog) used to be a paddleable beaver pond. Several years ago the dam blew out and since then it's been a major obstacle/nightmare until portagers began establishing a new path around the eastern edge of the bog. This panorama was taken at the point the path emerges from the bog and follows a line along the shelf-rock on the left side of the photo.
 
06/09/2010 10:21PM  
Cool photo! Thanks! Can't wait to see more....I haven't been through that Side to Kash portage since 1992
 
billconner
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06/10/2010 07:36AM  
Springer - same portage out of Kash and then across north end of bog or is there a whole new route out of Kash?
 
06/10/2010 08:50AM  
Same portage but coming from Kash there's a new cutoff trail going east around the north end of the bog. It starts about 150' before you get to the old bog landing. If you take the trail from Kash all the way to the old bog landing you have gone too far and will have to cut across the bog.
 
billconner
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06/10/2010 04:23PM  
quote Springer2: "Same portage but coming from Kash there's a new cutoff trail going east around the north end of the bog. It starts about 150' before you get to the old bog landing. If you take the trail from Kash all the way to the old bog landing you have gone too far and will have to cut across the bog."


Tell me about it. Last time it sucked my boot off when I sunk in thigh high. Glad to hear about eastern passage - I might go back that way!
 
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