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 Post subject: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 1:26 pm 
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Joined: October 14th, 2007, 12:08 pm
Posts: 76
Last summer we´ve did a 9 day´s trip on the Red Sucker River from Red Sucker Lake to Red Cross Lake. Using our Pakboat again, we were able to fly in right from Winnipeg with Perimeter´s scheduled flight at a very reasonable price! Flown out with Gillam Air´s Chessna and took the train back south, so logistics were quite easy. As a resource we´ve used the "Canoe Atlas of the Little North" to get some ideas of the rapids and portages etc.
After a couple of day´s we´ve found out that the information in the book is old and nowadays the route is only travelled locally as far as Sharpe Lake. Beyond, the old portages are overgrown or burnt down and we´ve found no traces of camping or recent travel. It´s nice country, pretty Lakes and mostly easy Rapids. Solitude is high as we didn´t meet anybody, although there´s an outcamp at Sharpe Lake and a Cabin just upstream of Red Cross Lake
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Day 1, July 26:
We´ve used the handcart from the airport to portage our stuff the short distance to Red Sucker Lake. Assembled our canoe and headed out right into a drizzle and heavy headwind. As it was afternoon already we´ve decided to paddle just towards the end of the lake and found a tiny campsite on a large rock at the east shore about one km from the outlet.
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Day 2, July 27:
Found the Portage (500m) around Kuchechek Rapids in the little Bay to the right, good trail but wet in places. Crossed the winterroad about halfway over. 1 km downsteam we´ve run a tight S-turn rapids with a large rock at the top and bottom. Saw no signs of the supposed Portage on river right. Afterwards was a stretch with shallow waters and little rapids and a ledge at about MGRS 61100-12700, did some wading and lining there. Followed the far left channel around the big Island and shot through another very tight S-turn at 59800-13300. Descended down the first bar on the map at 60700-18600 and found the 350m Portage to the backchannel on far RR just above the edge of the main drop. Good trail and then a short paddle to Namay Falls where the river turns to the west and not as marked on the topo farther downstream!! P300m river left, we´ve camped right at the start of the portage as there are many flat rocks and open space, nice place.
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Day 3, July 28:
Crossed Namay Portage on good trail and paddled towards Sharpe Lake. There are 3 sets of C1 Rapids in the first 3km from Namay. Found our "camp rock" at 58000-26500.
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Day 4, July 29:
Another hot day, paddled through rocky Sharpe Lake and found a very good campsite after the narrows to the north at the east side at 72600-37200.
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Day 5, July 30:
Another hot day and we´ve reached another set of Rapids at the RL channel 73800-43800. Run 1st part and lined to a flat rock on RL where we headed for shore. The supposed Portage was burned down many years ago and is totally overgrown and obstructed with deadfall now. Cut out kind of a new trail and portaged downriver to another flat rock from where we´ve decended to the bottom of the rapids. 1km downstream is the next set of raps, no portage found as well. We were able to run the first part in the RL channel to an eddy at RR, then lined RR and shot the downstream part. Run the rapids at 74600-47200 and 76200-49500. Run first part and then lined RR at 77200-51200. Lined RL at 77700-52300. Otherwise good current and a nice run to Edmund Lake! Found good Camp on RL at the start of Kitchisakik Bay.


Day 6, July 31:
Yet on another hot day we´ve paddled accross mirrorlike Edmund Lake but had to get off the Lake at Wapaminakoskak Narrows about noon time as a heavy thunderstorm went over us very close. Resumed paddling and camped at a little sandbeach at the NW end of Dyne Lake.

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Day 7, August 1:
Another nice day with many easy rapids, the task is just to avoid shallows and rocks. We also shot through one hidden ledge by surprise but all went well - the pakboat is very good in stuff like that! Arrived at the short P20m over the Isle at 04250-93900 then a very short lining RL and camped on the downstream end of the P40m RL at 94250-04500. Great place, very scenic and tons of Blueberries here.
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Day 8, August 2:
The day started with the P20m over the narrow peninsula on RL and from here we´ve followed the far RR channels all the way to Red Cross Lake as suggested in the Canoe Atlas of the little North. All easy runs to 05200-97200. No way to run or line there! Checked the Isle for a portage - not possible, alse RL is out of the question. Finaly landed at a tiny dent in the shoreline on RR and after we´ve worked our way through the willows we´ve found an ancient trail up the hill towards the right. But it was totally overgrown and obviously not in use for a very long time. My Fiskar Machete did a great job there! After that many easy runs to a ledge, there we portaged 10m over the point on RR at 07700-99400. Afterwards we´ve linded the next set and did a liftover at the major drop on RL at 06800-00200 and run the bottom from there. Was kind of tricky as the full force of the current rushes into a wall of rock at right angles there! From here it´s flatwater to Red Cross Lake, we´ve passed the Outcamp at about 09500-00800 and hit the Lake with the wind quite out from the NW. Finally found a nice sheltered sandbeach to camp at the bootlike peninsula at 12300-02300. We have picked a good place to finish our trip and got picked up by Gillam Air´s Chessna the next day. It was another great trip as we´ve enjoyed great summer weather, the solitude, great scenery, the beaver´s, otters, eagles and pelicans, also we´ve met up with friends in the train on our way out who paddled the Hayes River to York Factory. What a surprise!


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 4:18 pm 
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Joined: October 31st, 2016, 9:32 pm
Posts: 98
Location: Missoula, Montana
Sounds like a great trip in an area which doesn't see much use!

I'm a hardshell kayaker, but I can see the advantages of using an inflatable or foldable boat when flying on public airlines and on bush planes. I'm about to do a 10-day 200-mile trip on the Dolores and Colorado rivers in Western Colorado and Eastern Utah with two guys from California in inflatable kayaks, and I will be very interested to see how they work out. I may decide to add an inflatable kayak to my large arsenal of kayaks.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 11:07 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
Posts: 433
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Great report Chris! I really like how you flew commercial into Red Sucker. Great shot to end a trip report, hauling what looks like the PakBoat to the plane.

Are you going to do a PakBoat on commercial flight this year?


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 7:37 am 
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Joined: January 11th, 2005, 4:58 pm
Posts: 1881
Location: Manitoba
It's always great to follow your annual canoe trips.

Nice campsite on day four.

I concur with Neil's comments.

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http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca

 


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 8:14 am 
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Joined: May 4th, 2014, 5:34 pm
Posts: 130
Is there a link on the site that will tell us a bit about your canoe?

I'm interested in your setup there - what type of canoe? What type of cover? Was it after-market? Installation details ... thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 9:19 am 
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Joined: October 14th, 2007, 12:08 pm
Posts: 76
Neil, seems we will be on the South Seal towards the end of July. Fly in the short distance from Lynn Lake to Chiupka Lake and back from Tadoule Lake to Thompson with Perimeter scheduled.
Just have a look at Perimeters destinations map - so many possibilities!

Brian, thanks - yes this was a great place!

Alan, http://pakboats.com/
use cable ties on all joints of the frame and skistraps for the spray cover - very good to adjust. Cover opens in the middle so you can leave it on the canoe for portaging.
Used the canoe on a couple of trips now, still like new!


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 4:10 pm 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
Posts: 596
An interesting report on a seldom traveled area. Thanks for posting.

I am curious - when you fly commercial to your start point, what do you do about supplies like bear spray, stoves, stove fuel, matches, signal flares, etc. that are not usually permitted on commercial aircraft? Can you make special arrangements, acquire them at the start point, or do you just do without?

The list of proscribed items on commercial flights is one factor which has made me a little doubtful about pakboats.

jmc


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 2:40 am 
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Joined: October 14th, 2007, 12:08 pm
Posts: 76
jmc, you can bring firelighters and matches for personal use in smaller quantities. You should also have no problems with the bearspray as aerosol and hairspray etc is allowed as well. We don´t use a gas stove since 1998! Cooking is done with the Kelly Kettle, reflector oven/firebox etc.
You can ship in flares, bangers, gasoline etc with cargo! Just check if there is a cargo flight the same day you will fly in so the stuff will be picked up in time then!
Most communities have well stocked Northern Stores. You can phone them beforehand whats available.
After booking a flight you also should block a seat in advance for a party of two to get sure all packs go with you on the same flight! no extra cost.
Chris


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 10:40 am 
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Joined: September 29th, 2005, 5:57 pm
Posts: 596
Thanks for the reply, Rappi.

Perimeter seems more flexible than some of the major carriers, especially with the cargo option.

jmc


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 11:55 am 
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Joined: July 28th, 2008, 9:29 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Winnipeg
My ex used to work for Perimeter and Skyward, both as a ticket agent and in cargo. Most of the cargo is sent on the regular passenger flights as excess. They dont often lay on cargo only flights as it doesnt pay.

The majority of time they fly Fairchild Metroliners. Not a lot of capacity and they adust at the last minute to add cargo by taking out seats. It's a weight issue. A few years ago they added a couple of Dash 8 aircraft that can take a lot more passengers and cargo and I believe one of those routes is the Garden Hill / Red Sucker trip.
What this means is that it is often not possible to get you and your boat on the same plane, unless it is the Dash 8. Since a lot of the communities they go to are fly in only, there is a LOT of freight being shipped. Shipping early by priority frieght would be prudent for the boat.
I have used these small airlines often for travel for work and have thought about doing it for a trip as opposed to a charter. Good idea if you can coordinate everything.

Christy


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 Post subject: Re: Red Sucker River
PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 8:13 pm 
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Joined: June 20th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3458
Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
Quote:
They dont often lay on cargo only flights as it doesnt pay


Every remote community I've passed through had (usually) two dedicated cargo flights per week. Although Perimeter doesn't operate cargo specific aircraft, Calm Air who are owned by the same group and service mostly the same locations has a Hawker for cargo. That's the plane I've used to fly hard-shell boats in and out.

Companies using Hawkers

Calm Air for Northern Manitoba
Wasaya for NW Ontario
Air Creebec for the James/Hudson Bay coast

You can't ship pallets of groceries for hundreds of people on passenger aircraft.

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