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 Post subject: Beresford to Garner Lake
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2017, 10:47 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Recently completed the Beresford Lake to Garner Lake trip. It was rainy and cool all weekend; but on Monday as we were about to head back, the sun came out in all of its glory.

Day one was cloudy with some rainy periods. The paddle from Beresford to Garner River was easy as we had the wind at our backs. Garner River looked more like a creek, and for a moment we were not sure if we were heading in the right direction. We decided to trust my GPS and we followed it in. It was Garner River which was quite swampy and shallow in certain areas. We had no trouble paddling until we were stopped at a beaver dam about a half hour paddle from the lake itself. After maneuvering and "building" and place to get out we finally lined the canoe over the dam. The banks were soft and muddy and we had to gather branches from the dam to able to standup. Took us about 20 min to get going. Never having been there before, I was expecting a deeper river. Apparently motor boats access Garner Lake through that route. Water levels must really be low as we could not see how any motor boat could get through the marshy area. The beaver dam indicates that not may boats could get through anyway. Along the way we passed by several beaver dam remnants. When we got to the lake, the wind was nasty and it was getting dark. We stayed at the first campsite. It's a nice site with great perch and jack fishing but the mounds of garbage left behind was really something. We even saw a toilet seat in the refuse pile.

Day two was very windy, and it rained every 10 min it seemed. We went for a paddle in search of the second campsite, ( which we never found but according to the Nopiming map, exists), and encountered a family of otters. One of them came towards us, popping in and out of the water, and hissed at us until we left the vicinity. It was first for me, I had never seen otters in the wild before. We did see a couple of eagles and some other hawks flying around. The wind was pretty bad so we decided to head back to our campsite. Towards the evening, we saw another canoe come by. We figured we were the only ones insane enough to head out on a bad weekend, and expected to be out there alone. Turns out the other trippers were coming from Ontario and had been out all week. They were wind-bound on Garner on their last day, and finally made a break for it in the evening.

The next day after raining and getting all our stuff wet again, we packed up and the sun came out and the day warmed up nicely. The paddle back was easy, and the beaver dam was much easier to cross on the way back. Paddle time is about 2 hours from Beresford to the first site we stayed at.

This could easily be a day trip if you leave early enough. I'll probably revisit this route in nicer weather.


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2017, 3:01 pm 
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Joined: March 26th, 2013, 9:27 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
Thanks for the report. Any pictures? As much as I love Nopiming, I've never paddled to Garner. Mostly because of the motorboat access.


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PostPosted: September 26th, 2017, 7:59 pm 
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Hello, and thanks. I do have pics, but I'll have to upload them to Flickr to get them to show. I don't think I can attach anything.

Now would be a good time to paddle to Garner. With low water levels and beaver dams I don't think you'll encounter any motorboats. If we had better weather we would have explored the lake a bit more.


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2017, 8:49 am 
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We have used Garner as an access route to WCPP.

Likely wouldn't go that way again. Too much garbage at the camp sites and the motorboats can be real scary on the creek.

We struggled with the wind on the way out as well- last thing thing you need after ten days in the back country!

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PostPosted: September 27th, 2017, 9:37 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
Garner entry to WCPP is also in the burn area.

Confusing map as the labels for the entries (red dots) seem to be floating considerably west and south of the actual entry points.


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PostPosted: September 27th, 2017, 1:36 pm 
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Location: Manitoba
Nice report.

Also a good addition, the map that Neil posted.

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PostPosted: September 27th, 2017, 7:18 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Here are some pics. A view of the river or creek on the way to Garner, the view from the campsite (garbage not included), Otter, canoe on the last day:


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2017, 11:21 am 
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That's one good lookin boat. Tuff Stuff? I had a close look at a couple at a course and I like them. Except for the metal eye for painters that somehow hooked my painter when I was trying to ferry across current with an inexperienced paddler!


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2017, 4:21 pm 
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Neil Fitzpatrick wrote:
That's one good lookin boat. Tuff Stuff? I had a close look at a couple at a course and I like them. Except for the metal eye for painters that somehow hooked my painter when I was trying to ferry across current with an inexperienced paddler!


Yes it's a Tuff Stuff regular, 16'. I ordered an expedition; but it got smashed up during shipping. I settled on a regular one. Apparently they can survive being thrown off buildings. Semi-truck shipping across the country, not so much. I do like it though, nice and stable and I can load it right up with stuff.

Do you have a Quetico 17? I seem to recall you using it on the Black River. I might be interested in one some day. How does it handle in rapids, how much abuse can it take? I'm still a novice so I would hit every rock heading downstream.


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PostPosted: September 28th, 2017, 6:15 pm 
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Nope. I had a Skeena but sold it to buy a Pocket Canyon. I needed something I could solo paddle. The Skeena was a great tandem boat though! Probably not suited to the Black. I took it on the Black in very high water but the two trips down the Black since were not well suited to a composite.


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2017, 5:48 am 
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That's right I think I remember now reading about the Skeena. What attracted me about the Quetico 17 was the lighter weight and increased length. The weight is the major selling point for me, otherwise I would eventually get a prospector 17 in Tuff Stuff exp.

The Black is on my bucket list; but I need some actual experience. I plan on taking a moving water course in the spring. Then there is finding someone who wants to do the Black with me. Anyway, do you think the Prospector 16 is reasonably suited for the Black?


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PostPosted: September 29th, 2017, 9:14 am 
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Sure! I've been down the Black in my 17' NC Prospector before it was fully outfitted but we portaged a lot. Portaging on the Black beyond the Black River Lake is not fun. I also paddled it in an outfitted (knee pads, side wedges, thigh straps) 17' NC prospector with an experienced paddler.

Be sure to take the intro to moving water course next spring then get out on the Whitemouth to practice. Through the course and paddling places like Cooks Falls, there are lots of paddlers to meet.


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