BWCA Trip Report - The Wabakimi Project - The Ultimate Portage Clearing Trip! Boundary Waters Trip Reports
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08/26/2010 08:37AM  
New Trip Report posted by OneMatch

Trip Name: The Wabakimi Project - The Ultimate Portage Clearing Trip!.

Entry Point: Other

Click Here to View Trip Report
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08/26/2010 08:55AM  
Nice Report! I've done several long trips in Wabakimi, starting in 1986. The great thing about that area, and many others, is even though the maps almost never show portages, they tend to be located in the logical places. I'm glad to see there is an organized effort to clear portages in the park, as many of the portages up there are pretty gnarly, and full of deadfalls. There was a big ice storm up there a few years ago that really took down some trees.

I can't say I like the idea of cataloging campsites up there, as most sites are old, traditional sites, with the potential for artifacts. That info should NEVER be placed on the internet, nor on any recreational map. Portages yes, campsites no.

I suspect that with the major expansion and promotion of the park that it is getting more use than ever by paddlers. The last time I was up there, in the 1990s, we paddled a 22-day loop and didn't see another canoe.
distinguished member(6284)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
08/26/2010 09:08AM  

Definitely a trip of a lifetime. I'm glad you were able to go and thanks for the wondeful report and perspective.

Your friend

08/26/2010 10:28AM  

I totally understand your position on the campsite inventory. I know Phil's is if you are a paddler and in trouble with weather or whatever, you would need to know where the nearest site is to find refuge.

We didn't see any other paddlers either. It is still a very little used paddling park.

Thanks for your comments.
08/26/2010 02:56PM  
Thanks OneMatch. What an adventure. Great photos. I enjoyed the report immensely. I suspect you were too busy to fish. Can't imagine the monsters that might be lurking there
08/26/2010 04:18PM  
Ray did some light fishing but came up empty. We passed 3 fishing posts during our trip and 2 of them were already closed down. Maybe it was too late in the season?
distinguished member(1775)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/26/2010 06:45PM  
Wow, very very cool. The only thing that I didnt like was when I tried to enlarge a photo, I had to sign into Photo Bucket...

Otherwise, what an amazing experience that you documented. Makes me wonder how long such remote places will be so remote. But it also makes me realize more than ever how valuable it is that they still exist.
08/26/2010 07:59PM  
Nice report. What a special place. I want to personally thank all of you for your efforts and committment. The wilderness put's me in awe of God's wonderful creation.
Itchy Menace
distinguished member (366)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/26/2010 11:21PM  
Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope to go someday.
08/27/2010 08:02AM  
Excellent report, nice of you to volunteer your time for a worthwile project.
09/03/2010 09:24AM  
Nice report. It brought back good memories of my trip 2 years ago with 3 other individuals I met on the board. One of the John Philips
worked with Phil in the past on the project.
09/03/2010 12:46PM  
That is Dave not John Phillips.
distinguished member (462)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/03/2010 01:43PM  
Wow cool trip!
distinguished member (462)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/03/2010 01:43PM  
Wow cool trip!
09/03/2010 04:25PM  
Wow cool trip!
distinguished member(2862)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/03/2010 09:36PM  
Excellent project to be involved with. I enjoyed being a part of it through your report.

Was your first "contact" with this at the presentation you mentioned in the intro or had you known about it and kicked around the idea of going on this for some time? It would be a dream trip for me and am eager to know more about what this trip involves.

Cost and logistics are big questions. Did you pick the time you went or are you assigned an opening?
09/04/2010 07:36AM  

My first contact was at Canoecopia. I just saw it in the presentation schedule and attended more out of curiosity.

I was easily able to pick the date I wanted to go in on. The earlier you sign up, the more opportunity you have to do that, so it wasn't at all a problem. Of course, there is a Saturday in, Saturday out schedule that needs to be followed which is put up on the web site once Phil is out and posting the new schedule (usually mid to end of Sept).

The cost was $800 Canadian. That included everything but your personal items.All food, gear, fuel, transportation from Thunder Bay to Armstrong and (the big one) fly-in, fly-out is a part of that. The good deal with this is that if you volunteer to drive your vehicle -hauling gear and the two others in your crew - from Thunder Bay to Armstrong (3 hours + gas) then you get something like $600 back! That makes for a very affordable trip. Outside of that it was my responsibility to get to Thunder Bay. Phil lets you stay free at his home there both on the Friday night going in and the Saturday night coming out.

Feel free to email me at I'm happy to answer any questions.

Also I know Phil (and Barry - a partner in the project) will be presenting again at virtually every paddle sports and outdoor show this year and they are very accommodating to answering any questions right away. If you go to Canoecopia, I plan on hanging around them, so flag me down!
09/04/2010 08:42AM  
I not only loved the report, I liked the way you brought the project to the conscience of fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

This story was the equivalent of an info commercial, that plants a seed of desire to follow in your footsteps and support this worthwhile endeavor. (only difference is this is worthwhile)

The only thing missing was the pitch at the end where it asks for your monetary or voluteer support. (if only I was in better shape)

Well done!

09/06/2010 04:09PM  
Nice to read a report about this. Also seems like a good opportunity for someone who is solo since he takes 3 people at a time. I might consider doing this in a couple of years.
Guest Paddler
09/11/2010 01:36PM  
Good report Jerry,

The saving to shuttle from Thunder Bat to Armstrong and back is $300 Cdn not $600. This is in case no one has a car and their daughter has to coordinate someone else to drive.

It's a great project. I am already working through the trip maps and getting Volume 3 ready.

Join us at the vaious paddling events to learn more.

distinguished member(1635)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
09/12/2010 11:09AM  
Really interesting report. Thanks for sharing it, I was unfamiliar with this project.

Beautiful area with valuable history, hopefully which, will be preserved.

member (29)member
09/14/2010 05:29PM  
WOW, awesome trip and report. thank you for the service and sharing the info. i think you have inspired some of us.
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