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Boundary Waters Quetico Forum :: Group Forum: Wabakimi :: Wabakimi West Side
 
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HighnDry
11/28/2019 11:38AM
 
Late May or mid-August. Windfall or beyond. Putting a pin in this one for the summer of 2020.
 
HighnDry
04/16/2020 07:43PM
 
I'm also considering entering at Sassenach lake (Km59) instead of Smye Lake (km43). I'm going to post coordinates for the entry that I received from jcavanaugh that was sent to him from the park office in Thunder Bay.


The entry is a bit further north but would give me an opportunity to explore a bit of the norther Flindt river system and skip a few portages (along the Smye creek entry) that I've done three times before.
 
HighnDry
04/15/2020 03:55PM
 
Well if there is any way to join that aristocracy that gets me out of paying permit fees, I'll fill out an application today!


Wabakimi is certainly worth the effort whenever you're up for the challenge. I'm just hoping that this summer there will be paddling opportunities up there!
 
HighnDry
11/28/2019 02:46PM
 
Yes.


Going up the 702rd north of the First Nations village. Put in at Smye and along the creek, lake-hopping to Wilkie. Good 4 star site (for Wab that is). On through Flindit-Gault-Stump along Allenwater to Windfall. Probably have to cut my way to Daggert if I remember correctly eventually reaching Granite...or not. Depends on the state of the portages, weather, my expectations. We'll see. Just a route I feel that I want to give one more try before moving on to others.
 
Jackfish
04/15/2020 08:23AM
 
Cool! Mike is "the man". You'll love his book.
 
deerfoot
04/11/2020 08:28AM
 
Have you tried CCR? Might be more info there.
 
deerfoot
04/13/2020 08:22AM
 
I have no personal experience in that area other than to tell you that two years ago the fishing on the south end of Granite Lk was non-existent. Which probably explains why a nicely built but starting to deteriorate outpost cabin was abandoned there. We did see fishing boats to the north on Granite each day heading toward the falls area.


Phil's comments to you are appropriate since he probably knew more about the entire Wabakimi area than anyone else. So keep tracking down any outfitters since they will know their area of operation well.


And if you do this trip please consider submitting a trip report to FOW so they can add your info to their database. Look for their trip report outline at their website.
 
sns
04/17/2020 10:48AM
 
Neat video. Reminds me strongly of bushwhacking in WCPP last year.


I thought the whole 1.7 km from the 702 Rd into Sassenach Lake was rough, not just the last bit. Perhaps I have that wrong...


May have to go check it out for myself, if they ever re-open the border.
 
Portage99
04/15/2020 03:29PM
 
HighnDry: "I'm sure Goatroti will respond but per the CA website: 6 months .


Plus however many days/nights you want to pay for permits!"



Thanks! I don't have to pay because I am the Cedar Queen. Man's laws don't apply......sorry, couldn't resist. Thanks for the info.

One more year and I have summer's off and will be teenless.
 
jcavenagh
04/17/2020 03:14PM
 
Hey, Terry - Why don't you post the photo of the track from 702 into the Sassenach entry.
I have lost that one so I can't do it.
 
jillpine
11/28/2019 12:02PM
 
Very excited for you! Hope it all comes together and produces a great trip!
Will this be a solo?
 
goatroti
04/15/2020 10:53AM
 
Wow. What a killer trip. Phil was right about it being overly ambitious. It brought back so many memories. Over a period years with The Wabakimi Project I worked on so many parts of his route, paddled many of the same rivers and creeks and slogged through the tough portages, saw in hand... but like I said, over several years. Lakes like Granite, Scrag and Arril, Dawn Creek and Dawn Lake, Slim River, Davies lake, Takeoff and the portages in between, the hellish bog mat portage from the bottom of Redmond Lake to Velos Lake. Walking on that bog mat with loaded packs, barrels and canoes, not knowing if we'd break through like Mike did. After the bog mat the portage back to Velos was through some muskeg that even in August was freezing cold and muddy and would suck your boots off of your feet. The mosquitos and deer flies swarmed overhead... that portage and the one from Dawn lake to Slim River were two from hell. Savant lake and Neverfreeze. So many great places to paddle. If anything, I would recommend paddling the crown land from the tracks near the town of Savant Lake north via Savant lake and the Savant River up to Velos Lake and then west through McCrea Lake and Pashkakogan Lake. Lot's of variety and and you'll never see anyone else. Extraordinary country.

P.S. And I can remember the red skies from the airborne ash and soot from the summer of 2011 fires. We were on the Albany River from Miminiska Lake through Petawanga Lake the same time Mike was in first to second week, and the sunsets were red and orange and gorgeous. There was a fire on the Albany between Pickle Lake and where we were paddling that consumed over 100,000 hectares.
 
jcavenagh
04/18/2020 10:20AM
 
In the photo above labeled "Gravel pit where you park:" you can see a fire pit in the background. There used to be a sort of table made of old pallets right next to the firepit.
It is gone now.
The 4 whl track into the parking area is not graded regularly, but the two tracks are well defined.
The parking area was graded by a bulldozer sometime prior to 2015.
I think Ont MNR actively maintains the gravel parking area, but I'm not sure.
Someone does maintain that area at least once a year.
I do know that the 4Whlr track into the put in is used regularly. Both times I have carried my stuff into the put in there have been fresh 4 whl ATV tracks all the way into the lake.


Looks like parking near Sassenach is more accessable than I previously thought.
 
HighnDry
11/29/2019 11:10PM
 
Would be happy to! I'm guessing I'll find some challenges locating and crossing portages on that that route. It should be an interesting trip. Fishing will probably tops on Windfall and Granite by the falls out of Brennan if I make it that far.
 
Portage99
04/15/2020 01:21PM
 
Wow! Great post, Goatroti. I almost felt like I was there.


After COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, how long could an American slog about the Canadian wilderness? What is the limit to number of days?
 
HighnDry
04/15/2020 01:27PM
 
I'm sure Goatroti will respond but per the CA website: 6 months .

Plus however many days/nights you want to pay for permits!
 
sns
04/17/2020 08:44AM
 
HighnDry: "I'm also considering entering at Sassenach lake (Km59) instead of Smye Lake (km43). I'm going to post coordinates for the entry that I received from jcavanaugh that was sent to him from the park office in Thunder Bay.


The entry is a bit further north but would give me an opportunity to explore a bit of the norther Flindt river system and skip a few portages (along the Smye creek entry) that I've done three times before."



I've not been to Wab yet but have the planning map on the wall. Will get there this year or next or both, probably solo. Would likely enter somewhere in this area as well.


Based on the daunting descriptions of the Sassenach lake 4x4 road/entry, I would think it might be worth investigating the next lake north, Valley Lake, as well...though it looks like there would be a 50m chokepoint between Valley and Sassenach to negotiate. There appears to be a logging road that runs just north of Valley, similar to the one running just north of Sassenach. Looks to connect to Valley at 50.487265, -90.220957. Who knows, could be better or could be far worse.


Would love to hear what you learn!
 
HighnDry
04/17/2020 09:21AM
 
You would be looking at a roughly 10 rod portage (50m / 5 m/rd) for Sassenach if you couldn't drive it. I've got pictures both of the turnoff and the 50 m section. It looks a lot like a section of the logging road to Lund Lake in WCPP.


For Valley, here's a link to a friend of mine's video. He and i had entered Smye for a trip and afterwards he traveled further up the 702rd to scout out a couple of places to enter.
 
HighnDry
04/21/2020 05:49PM
 
I forgot to put this one up there:





It's a shot of the 702rd looking north from the Smye entry. Most of the road is in this type of shape due to the grading done on a regular basis.
 
Jackfish
04/13/2020 12:24PM
 
Hey HnD... the guy who did the long solo in Wabikimi wouldn't happen to be Mike Kinziger, would it? He's an old college professor of mine who did a 23 day solo there and wrote a book about several of his solo trips, including WCPP, Opasquia and Quetico, besides WPP. Just wondering if you didn't hit a "4" instead of "2" in your post.
 
HighnDry
04/11/2020 03:28PM
 
Thanks Deerfoot! I have been searching through ccr and canoeing dot com as well as several others. I read a really great trip report about a gentleman from Idaho who soloed in Wabakimi for 43 days. His route was roughly from VIA at the Allanwater Bridge I think, all the up through Dagger-Change-Jeep to Brennan and further on to Wabakimi L. if I recall. From there he headed west and eventually hit the 599 north of Savant by 30km.


He successfully hitchhiked back to Savant Lake and reunited with his vehicle. There have several others skirting the area that I'm interested in but not specifically on the set of lakes that I would like to traverse.


I think Uncle Phil put it best several years ago when commenting on my intended east-west trip in that area that it's seldom traveled. He suggested getting a hold of Eco Lodge since they bought out the outfitters' fishing lodge on Windfall. That is probably my next step to see if there is/has been any maintenance on the route leading out of Windfall into Snake and further east to Granite.


Trying to track this info down is keeping me busy. There are some interesting old mining maps/surveys of that area that I've dug into. No luck yet!
 
HighnDry
04/10/2020 08:19AM
 
Would anyone have intel and/or pics of the portages and rapids along the Allanwater from Stump portage to Windfall? I've been all over several sites and haven't located anything but then again that might be because the info doesn't exist! Any information would be great. Thanks.
 
deerfoot
04/14/2020 09:18PM
 
HighnDry - Interesting and concise trip report you posted above. Brought back memories of the 2017 trip Barry Simon and I took from Allanwater Bridge south to the Brightsands Rv to the Kopka Rv and on to Lk Nipigon. We did this trip and submitted annotated maps with notes to the Wabakimi Project to help Uncle Phil in completing Volume 5 of Wabakimi map books. It was a fun trip.
 
HighnDry
04/13/2020 02:09PM
 
Hi Jackfish,


I recognize the name and I would love to read his reports! It definitely wasn't him and I wish i had saved the other trip report because I'm having a devil of a time retrieving it! I've found some interesting trip reports from another site that cover some of these portages so I'm making slow and steady progress collecting intel.


Allanwater-Lookout-Kopka route


The report covers essentially the Allanwater confluence just east of where I'd enter the river (Stump Lake) and continues through Windfall, Snake and Dagger. That's the meat of it. I think there's a long portage out of Dagger then to meet a stream that flows into Ottertail flowage towards Granite. I haven't seen anything on that but it's mostly because folks have tended to head north out of Dagger into Jeep and Brennan on their way to Wabakimi lake.


The search continues....
 
HighnDry
04/15/2020 07:36AM
 
Jackfish: "Hey HnD... the guy who did the long solo in Wabikimi wouldn't happen to be Mike Kinziger, would it? He's an old college professor of mine who did a 23 day solo there and wrote a book about several of his solo trips, including WCPP, Opasquia and Quetico, besides WPP. Just wondering if you didn't hit a "4" instead of "2" in your post."


Hey Jackfish, I stand corrected. You were right! Here's Mike K's trip report: The 23-Day Solo in Wabakimi.

This was a very powerful read. I'd like to replicate his trip report style -- not to mention his mental toughness and determination to finish his route. Some of the conditions he encountered probably would have turned me back!
 
Jackfish
04/13/2020 02:51PM
 
Alone in a Canoe by Mike Kinziger. Excellent book written by a great guy.
 
HighnDry
04/17/2020 08:20PM
 
jcavenagh: "Hey, Terry - Why don't you post the photo of the track from 702 into the Sassenach entry.
I have lost that one so I can't do it."



Absolutely! It's taken me about a week to figure out how to get the photos out of the pdf from the park that you shared with me. Let's see if these turn out....


This photo was taken off of the graded 702rd looking into the Sassenach lake entry road. This road runs for about 1.7km (1 mi+) to the last 50m shown in the photo below:



 
HighnDry
04/17/2020 08:30PM
 
While I'm at it, here's a pic of the 4-wheel drive track into the Smye lake gravel pit where you park to trek the 40 rods or so down to the lake. It's an easy walk along that path which is really a less used and more bumpy 4-wheel trek through a pretty wooded area...










Gravel pit where you park:










Smye lake put-in:



 
sns
04/18/2020 06:23AM
 
HighnDry: "jcavenagh: "Hey, Terry - Why don't you post the photo of the track from 702 into the Sassenach entry.
I have lost that one so I can't do it."




Absolutely! It's taken me about a week to figure out how to get the photos out of the pdf from the park that you shared with me. Let's see if these turn out....



This photo was taken off of the graded 702rd looking into the Sassenach lake entry road. This road runs for about 1.7km (1 mi+) to the last 50m shown in the photo below:



"



If the whole 1.7 km is like that first photo...then no worries!
 
deerfoot
11/29/2019 11:34AM
 
Sounds great. Make sure to do a trip report.
 
HighnDry
04/13/2020 03:55PM
 
Thanks! I'll check it out---always looking for great reads especially now.