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 Post subject: Maligne Lake Kayak Trip
PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 11:52 pm 
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Hi, I'm planning a 3 day kayak trip on Maligne Lake in Early September. What type of outer wear would be recommended for paddling on this trip? Would I be able to get away with a good waterproof hiking shell, or would I need something more substantial like a wet suit, dry suit/or top?

Thanks,

Mike


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 7:41 am 
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We are contemplating paddling there mid-September if another trip falls through too.

Although I would be canoeing, I would never consider a wet suit myself. Heck, you could even be in a t-shirt then. I would just bring a rain layer, and a few other layers for underneath. Really, the only thing I do different in September is to maybe add one light layer to what I bring in the summer.

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 10:43 am 
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I've never paddled maligne ,but it is a glacier fed lake subject to strong winds,if you watch the weather and stay close to shore you should be ok.As with all alberta lakes or rivers I would dress for the water not the weather if theres a chance you could go for a swim


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 10:47 am 
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Whaddaya mean? We Albertans routinely bathe in glacial feed waters. Quite invigorating. ;) :lol:

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PostPosted: August 12th, 2009, 9:49 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys. Hmmm, one says T-Shirt, other says basically a dry top. Guess If I get a dry top to bring with me I won't be sorry... $$

Mike


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PostPosted: August 12th, 2009, 9:53 pm 
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I have paddled many a river, and a couple lakes in Alberta and have always dressed for the weather, not the water. And yes, I have swum in a river a few times, never on a lake thought.

Does anyone have any idea whether dogs are allowed on Maligne Lake? I would like to take mine along.

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"Paddle faster, I hear banjos!"


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PostPosted: August 14th, 2009, 12:51 pm 
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I paddled Maligne Lake years ago... we were the last off the lake at the end of the season just before the park closed. Beautiful trip... brings back many wonderful memories! As we rounded the bend just past Spirit Island, leaving the tourists behind, the first view down the lake of the lonely towering mountains gave us the feeling that we were at the end of the earth. A very spiritual moment. We had warm, sunny early autumn weather and there was no need for rain gear. Saw fresh grizzly prints on the shore at the end of the lake near our campsite. We had our final dinner on the shore of one of the lakes on the way out of the park. The sun was setting and the approaching clouds were of the winter sort, thick with a grey underlining, carrying the promise of a change in season. I will never forget that trip!

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PostPosted: August 14th, 2009, 8:41 pm 
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w'dude, given your wonderful description, how could one NOT want to go there. :)

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PostPosted: August 18th, 2009, 9:21 am 
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We paddled Maligne Lake end to end in four days at the end of July 2009. The water was like glass, and there was no wind at all. Of course, there is a real chance of wind-generated waves, so YMMV.

No-one we saw paddling had wetsuits, and many were not wearing PFDs at all. In fact, some of the anglers (typically in large freighter canoes powered by electric motors) and those in rental canoes seemed frighteningly ill-equipped.

Here's some more info in case you haven't been to Maligne Lake before:

There are two picnic sites on the N shore before Fisherman's Bay and one on the S shore near cliff bands. In case of wind, you can beach there or on one of the many small beaches along the shore and sit it out. We circumnavigated the lake clockwise so as to see as much as possible. The distance to campsites is a maximum 13 km or so (2-3 hours moderate paddling), so an early start will get you to camp by noon or so, well before the wind is likely to pick up.

Tour boats generate large wakes (up to one metre if you're close to them in the Narrows) but were very careful to slow down when approaching, so they posed no threat to safe navigation. You'll only encounter them as far as Spirit Island (which is really a spit).

Fisherman's Bay is (according to wardens) the most popular backcountry campsite in JNP, so expect it to fill up, esp. on weekends. There was a large "permanent" tarp over part of the cooking area. There are well-built elevated gravel tent pads at both campgrounds.

We found the mosquitoes and deer flies to be intolerable in the (hot) afternoons in the campsites (which are wooded), so we elected to spend the afternoons under our tarp near the water where there was a chance of a breeze. Bugs seemed to disappear towards dusk. A short dip in the frigid water after supper helped rinse off sunscreen and DEET. The only other wildlife we encountered were very habituated deer roaming both campsites. One paddler reported seeing a bobcat from his hammock early one morning.

We saw the warden and his launch almost every day. He was friendly and helpful, and seemed more intent on public safety and curtailing partying than enforcing bureaucratic rules (e.g., he wasn't interested in checking for campsite permits).

Finally, don't forget your camera: the vistas at the SE end of the lake are especially spectacular. Hope this helps!


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PostPosted: August 18th, 2009, 9:28 am 
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gbarron wrote:
Hope this helps!

It sure does, thanks.
There will be no doubt that I will take along a schwack of camera gear. ;)

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PostPosted: August 18th, 2009, 9:50 am 
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Hi gbarron

Thanks for the good intel! What were you wearing on your trip if I might ask?

We're going to rent kayaks from the boathouse on the lake and shoot for Coronett Creek the first day, hang out the 2nd and go back on the third. Probably will make for a 5-6 hour paddle, that should be doable?

Mike


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PostPosted: August 21st, 2009, 6:01 am 
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Here's what it looked like from Fishermans Cove around Aug 20 last year. That's fresh snowfall on the mtns. The winds were treacherous so we stuck close to the shore. The trip was fantastic. not sure how to post a bigger version of the pic




Image

thx muchly, Barbara! :clap:

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Last edited by wotrock on August 21st, 2009, 5:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: August 21st, 2009, 6:32 am 
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I just have to say how envious I am - I paddled there in the Fall of 1970, and the memories of it are with me still - it's one of those places that stays with you forever. :D

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PostPosted: August 24th, 2009, 12:06 pm 
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mikes8500 wrote:
Hi gbarron

Thanks for the good intel! What were you wearing on your trip if I might ask?

We're going to rent kayaks from the boathouse on the lake and shoot for Coronett Creek the first day, hang out the 2nd and go back on the third. Probably will make for a 5-6 hour paddle, that should be doable?

Mike


Hi Mike,

Sorry for the delay in replying. Just back last night from a six day trip on the N Saskatchewan (will post TR later).

I wore a ball hat, PFD, baggies, and sandals on the water. Most of the time I didn't even require a t-shirt. Soft shell for the evenings in camp. I kept the soft shell and a rain jacket handy while paddling.

Yeah, you should be able to make it to Coronet Creek in one day if wind cooperates. 5 to 6 hours would be a good time. I'd advise being at the boathouse as soon as they open (with all gear packed and ready to go) so you can as early a start as possible.

Be advised that you won't see the dock that marks the Coronet Creek Camp until you round the final pont on the S shore, almost at the end of the lake.

In the event you don't make it to Coronet, I suppose you could emergency camp at one of the picnic sites en route and I don't think the warden would give you any grief if it's a bona fide necessity. The site on S shore, about 3/4 of the way to Coronet, and just past prominent cliff bands at water's edge, would be a good candidate.

When we were at Coronet Creek, one party arrived and pitched a tent at midnight. They were still abed when we left the next morning so we didn't hear their story, but presumably either a very late start or lack of ability was the cause of their very late arrival.

If you have a day to spend at Coronet, there is a back packing trail 6 km to the Henry McLeod camp site which you could check out.

G
Have a great trip and hope this info gets to you in time!


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