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PostPosted: August 29th, 2021, 12:02 pm 
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I've read assorted posts about this hike, which seems fairly quick, but doesn't seem too straightforward, and we don't want to get lost. We (two relatively experienced campers) have bushwhacked in Killarney before, but never with a destination other than that peak we can see, and never quite so far.

We have a compass, but wonder if there's a GPS app that would be useful for us to follow back in case we get lost, or better yet one that can help us stay on course to get there. Any suggestions?

—Edit:I’ve found ‘canadian topo maps’ which appears to track a route and be able to download offline maps, and Avenza which I can buy a $4 map (unsure if it suits this purpose) from BRMB.—
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We are also likely to hike to the crack, but it seems like picking up the trail will work well for this. Is this correct?

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Lastly, as of yesterday, Sandy Lake opened up for a couple of days - is it that much nicer than Norway? (We were hoping to book Ruth Roy, but it was booked even 5 months ago.)


Last edited by mikefly on August 29th, 2021, 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: August 29th, 2021, 1:26 pm 
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My first choice would be the campsite on Sandy... there isn't much room on it and it isn't the most comfortable but the view to SP isn't matched by anything on Norway.

I've climbed to SP from Norway... in a more or less straight line from where we parked the canoe on the north shore directly to the peak. It isn't the easiest route and it's a long way since Norway isn't very close to SP and the direct route will mean that several deep fissures in the quartzite will need to be crossed which makes the up-down-up bushwhacking rougher, done several times. But it does add to the scenery since the sheltered fissures support plants that don't grow on the smoother and more exposed dry quarztite where there are often a lot of stunted red oaks and pines.

It's probably a lot easier to climb up from Sandy (I haven't tried this) since it's a shorter distance and there is more exposed quartzite to stick to which reduces the thrash through vegetation. Again, this would be my first choice.

Also possible to bushwhack to the hiking trail from Amikogaming by bushwhacking a short distance... Amikogaming is an easy short port from Sandy and then take the longer and more travelled trail up on the ridge that way, either to SP or to the Crack. Or use the port that crosses the trail from Norway.

You can use your phone's GPS to track your bushwhack route on a map with an app like Avenza maps which is free... or any of the others available. Avenza's easy to use and they have the Canadian top maps downloadable free on which to keep track of the bushwhack and maybe they have other Killarney maps that they might charge for... anyway good luck, esp since you can get a campsite on Sandy.

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PostPosted: August 29th, 2021, 5:10 pm 
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frozentripper wrote:
I've climbed to SP from Norway... in a more or less straight line from where we parked the canoe on the north shore directly to the peak. It isn't the easiest route and it's a long way since Norway isn't very close to SP and the direct route will mean that several deep fissures in the quartzite will need to be crossed which makes the up-down-up bushwhacking rougher, done several times. But it does add to the scenery since the sheltered fissures support plants that don't grow on the smoother and more exposed dry quarztite where there are often a lot of stunted red oaks and pines.


Is it correct that this hike should be MUCH faster than meeting up with the actual trail? As the crow flies, there's no comparison.

I'm not sure if my camping companion is up for changing campsites (to Sandy), and it may be nice to have our tent in one place for three days vs. the usual moving around that we've done in the past.


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2021, 8:00 pm 
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Norway to Silver Peak is entirely reasonable and looks like it could be a lot of fun. In my mid-teens I hiked from the north shore of the east end of Carlyle Lake to Silver Peak (we used to spend summers at my family's camp on Carlyle). It was bushwacking in the general direction of Green Lake then to Bunnyrabbit Lake before picking up the trail and following that to Silver Peak. I was by myself with a map and a compass (no GPS at the time) and I remember it not being an overly long nor difficult hike - I was there and back in a day which was a much faster option than our usual Silver Peak route which was to camp at Clearsilver and hike up the next day.

Norway to SP would be much more direct and shorter than my start at Carlyle and I think bushwacking would be faster than meeting up with the trail. Maybe you could work your way along the north shore of Norway then along Sandy before a more or less straight shot north to the peak? Having Norway and Sandy as reference points for the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the hike would be useful but sticking to the shoreline may be more bush than if you went straight up away from Norway.

Yes, a GPS app would be a helpful backup to a paper map and compass and also a nice way to confirm your position and view your progress. I use and really like the free OsmAnd app for my backcountry, out of cell range mapping. (The app is free but I did eventually pay the $2 for the contour lines add-on - especially helpful for route-finding on scrambles out here in BC.) I've got offline maps downloaded to my phone and can get multiple days of battery life with my phone in airplane mode and turning GPS on to locate myself as needed. That said, it would be a good idea to bring along a portable power bank as backup. The nice thing about OsmAnd is that it uses the OpenStreetMap maps, so you can always preview the map on your computer at https://www.openstreetmap.org.

For route planning, I've found https://caltopo.com/ to be quite useful. You can overlay many different layers on the map (for example: contour lines, slope angle shading) and trace out a planned route. Once you have a route drawn, CalTopo can generate an elevation profile for the route and you can also export the planned route as a .gpx file to load into your OsmAnd app to follow out in the bush.

Have fun planning!


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PostPosted: August 29th, 2021, 9:19 pm 
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Thanks for all this! Caltopo looks very in depth, but perhaps too much for a trip that starts tomorrow.

I've downloaded OsmAnd and the ontario map, Avenza and the Panache Map, and Topo Maps Canada. The last one seems simplest, and it appears they can all track my route - which is all we really need - something to orient us in case we get lost.

sthwaits wrote:
Norway to Silver Peak is entirely reasonable and looks like it could be a lot of fun. In my mid-teens I hiked from the north shore of the east end of Carlyle Lake to Silver Peak (we used to spend summers at my family's camp on Carlyle). It was bushwacking in the general direction of Green Lake then to Bunnyrabbit Lake before picking up the trail and following that to Silver Peak. I was by myself with a map and a compass (no GPS at the time) and I remember it not being an overly long nor difficult hike - I was there and back in a day which was a much faster option than our usual Silver Peak route which was to camp at Clearsilver and hike up the next day.

Norway to SP would be much more direct and shorter than my start at Carlyle and I think bushwacking would be faster than meeting up with the trail. Maybe you could work your way along the north shore of Norway then along Sandy before a more or less straight shot north to the peak? Having Norway and Sandy as reference points for the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the hike would be useful but sticking to the shoreline may be more bush than if you went straight up away from Norway.

Yes, a GPS app would be a helpful backup to a paper map and compass and also a nice way to confirm your position and view your progress. I use and really like the free OsmAnd app for my backcountry, out of cell range mapping. (The app is free but I did eventually pay the $2 for the contour lines add-on - especially helpful for route-finding on scrambles out here in BC.) I've got offline maps downloaded to my phone and can get multiple days of battery life with my phone in airplane mode and turning GPS on to locate myself as needed. That said, it would be a good idea to bring along a portable power bank as backup. The nice thing about OsmAnd is that it uses the OpenStreetMap maps, so you can always preview the map on your computer at https://www.openstreetmap.org.

For route planning, I've found https://caltopo.com/ to be quite useful. You can overlay many different layers on the map (for example: contour lines, slope angle shading) and trace out a planned route. Once you have a route drawn, CalTopo can generate an elevation profile for the route and you can also export the planned route as a .gpx file to load into your OsmAnd app to follow out in the bush.

Have fun planning!


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PostPosted: August 30th, 2021, 7:41 am 
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Mikefly is probably driving now... might be worth adding that the bushwhack from the north shore of Norway to SP took about three hours there and back. It seemed longer than that because of the rough ups and downs, climbing up from a fissure onto a ridgetop and then seeing the peak still far away and more grind coming. So taking the hiking trail might be smoother or easier or more enjoyable but not necessarily faster.

There was another trip when I tried to take an indirect route to SP from Norway, a longer L route to bypass the deep fissures described earlier... the going up was smooth and unobstructed until near the top of the central ridge where things should have started to level out. I ran into a sharp vertical cliff which seemed like it would really slow down progress (it was getting late in the day) while keeping to the highest parts of the ridge going east to SP (I had been expecting the terrain to be smooth up there for faster travel). So that was the end of that... stopped, going solo and avoiding any risk of injury being caught up there.

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PostPosted: September 1st, 2021, 12:12 pm 
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I've found BRMB pretty terrible on Avenza. Much better to just use the free topographic maps available on it.

Avenza has also been really good about refunding me when I have purchased maps that are less then great or don't live up to what I feel I have been charged. They seem to understand that with no review function users can't leave feedback on the quality of maps.


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PostPosted: October 3rd, 2021, 6:22 pm 
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I've both hikes, from Norway and Sandy, both in the Fall.

From Norway, it's a long hike, but manageable. Tricky in late Fall, as the leaves fill in the crevices and one has to watch one's footing!

From Sandy, which I've done a few times, it is 'fast', but also steep enough to be a bit treacherous. I had a friend fall on the way done once, very bad knee wound, ended the trip for him, another friend had to escort him out the next day.

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