View topic - Are You Going to Wabakimi this summer (2017)?

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PostPosted: May 9th, 2017, 11:10 pm 
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Now entering its 14th consecutive year of operation, the Wabakimi Project and its not-for-profit parent organization, Friends of Wabakimi (FOW), is interested in connecting with paddlers planning to visit what we define as the "Wabakimi Area" this summer. See our website [http://friendsofwabakimi.org] for more information about the largest virtually-roadless wilderness canoeing area in North America south of the tree line.

FOW is keen to collect first-hand information about the current condition of canoe routes in the Wabakimi Area in order to maintain and update its series of Wabakimi Canoe Route Maps booklets. Paddlers planning to visit the Wabakimi Area this summer are invited to use our simple trip report form to help us monitor the portages and campsites they encounter during their travels.

Interested? PM me ('Uncle' Phil aka 'Voyageur') here on CCR for more information.

FOW offers unlimited, complementary trip advice and canoe route orientation to its members. Need help in planning your trip? Contact me!

Have a safe and successful paddling season!


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PostPosted: May 10th, 2017, 12:13 pm 
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I'm planning a trip along the Kopka River for the end of July. My friend Erik and I have been in touch with you via email about route and schedule planning. I think this may be one of the more well-traveled areas of the park, but we're most certainly able to help document the state of affairs if it will be of use to the FOW.

Cheers,
Lachlan

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PostPosted: May 11th, 2017, 7:43 am 
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Im planning on going through Wabakimi this summer a loop heading north from Caribou Lake.

I would be interested in purchasing a map book if I had a better Idea of what I would be buying. Im unclear from your website what the maps look like.


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PostPosted: May 11th, 2017, 8:05 am 
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I agree with gnatwest- on the website it appears that there are four volumes now published, but I was unable to tell what areas of the park which volume covered. There is a small single-page sample of a map on the website, but that's all I could see.

Is there some way to know what areas of the park which of the volumes cover? And does anyone know of free resources detailing portages/sites in this park? (Like Jeffs maps?) It seems strange that the park is being promoted by Voyageur through the Wabakimi project, but to get full coverage maps of the parks it's necessary to buy five volumes and spend at least $125 if you are a FOW member.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that people are doing what they're doing in Wabakimi, and I get that there are costs involved; but when compared to freely-available information about other areas, it is really strange. And I appreciate that FOW offers advice to members, but do I really need to become a member of an organization (or spend $120 to $150) to have access to information about a provincial park in the internet age?

Any leads would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: May 11th, 2017, 12:00 pm 
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Brad, all the info that you mention is readily available on this webpage -

http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/routemap.html

For example, here is the Volume 1 webpage with a complete list of the nineteen pages of maps and what each covers.

http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/volumeone.html

To make it even more clear, there is a coverage map available for each volume. The volume 1 map is a 1.6 Mb file; the coverage maps for volumes 2, 3, and 4 are all larger at 4.6 Mb or more.

Coverage Maps: just click on the links to access


volume I http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/f ... Map_v3.pdf

volume 2 http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/f ... Map_v2.pdf

volume 3 http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/f ... Map_v3.pdf

volume 4 http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/f ... Map_v1.pdf

I’ve bought all four over the years and have found the detail very useful in planning and in having a great canoe trip. Yes, it would be nice if they were all free – but given the on-the-ground work the Project map crews do to maintain – and sometimes create – the portage trails and campsites, as well as the printing costs involved in producing the maps - $30. is what it costs. And even if it only costs $15. (which it doesn’t) it means you are making a $15. donation to a very worthwhile not-for-profit venture.

There is another map service run by Laurence Mills that will provide you with Wabakimi maps but you’ll have to pay for that info too, some of which probably comes from the Project maps. His maps are a larger scale and do come plasticized – I have bought one or two of these map sets.

http://wabakimimaps.com

I recently wrote the Wabakimi Park office for a copy of their canoeing map. I was under the impression that they now have available a sizeable large-scale paddler’s map of the park and its canoe routes. I was quite excited when they said they would send me a copy for free! I got a four-page newsletter which seemed about a year or two old that had a map of the park that fit on an 8 x 11 page – not what I was hoping for! If there is a better official Wabakimi Provincial Park Canoe Tripping map available, it is certainly not clear to me where it can be found.

The lack of interest shown by Park managers over the years may well explain why Phil made the park – and specifically canoe routes – his retirement project - and obsession! - some 13 years ago. The Wabakimi Project is definitely not the problem here!

If you want free, there are some trip reports out there with a good degree of specific info. Check out myccr member turtl's pdf map sets on the Albany and on the Allan Water to Caribou trips.

http://kokanie.ca/canoe-trip-reports

Over the years I have also posted a few Wabakimi trip reports that might do the trick.

Wabakimi is a great paddling destination. $30. for one of the map booklets divided over ten days is $3. a day.

Whatever costs are incurred to get the portage rapid, and campsite information paddlers need, it is pretty minuscule compared to the total cost of the trip.

Full disclosure! Both my brother - and fellow paddler - and I felt strongly enough about the work that the Wabakimi Project was doing that when it morphed into the Friends of Wabakimi, we took out five-year memberships.

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PostPosted: May 12th, 2017, 8:00 am 
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I think what Brad and I would love to see is the FoW publishing their canoe route planning map online similar to Jeffs Maps. The sample map of heathcote route for example show a 4 lake chain but doesnt show anything but those three lakes. Im picturing a map of algonquin where the from canoe lake to sunbeam lake doesnt show tom thompson, but only the eastern side. As I mentioned I have no issue buying the printed book but would like to see what Im getting in terms of the area Im looking to travel in.

The statement above about giving advice to members of FoW leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why not provide advice to the general public, especially since the opening statement is asking the general public to offer information to FoW for future publication.


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PostPosted: May 12th, 2017, 12:35 pm 
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If you're too cheap or indifferent to spend $30-$150 on maps, a trip into the heart of Wabakimi P.P. is probably not for you anyway. It's super remote and can be very costly to access - the price to buy these maps will be one of your smallest (yet arguably most valuable) expenses in such a venture. And if you just don't want to pay, there's always high-level government maps, or even google maps. You're going to be "on your own" with them however, and will certainly be wishing you'd just spent the cash as you spend hours lost in the middle of nowhere, searching for portages which may or may not exist.

Sure it would be cool if there were free crowd-sourced maps for WPP like there are for Algonquin and Temagami, but those are massively popular and easily accessible parks in southern Ontario - it's not a fair comparison. The number of people traveling through those areas in a month is dramatically larger than what WPP sees in a whole year. Plus there were existing mapsets, established routes and much experiential knowledge to be used as a baseline, which simply does not exist for Wabakimi. Ontario Parks isn't providing the data, and neither is park management. It's up to generous volunteers to go out and collect that info themselves - that's the difference.

I'm sure if Phil had hundreds of active contributors feeding him information on a near-constant basis he'd be happy to provide the information for free, but he doesn't, so it isn't.

What I can say about Phil is that he's a wonderfully generous, enthusiastic and knowledgeable guy who loves the park and will go out of his way to ensure anyone who asks for help is taken care of. He'll bend over backwards to make sure you have a safe and successful time exploring the park, and that alone is worth the cost, to me anyway.

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PostPosted: May 12th, 2017, 6:52 pm 
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As I mentioned I have no issue buying the maps. I bought all of jeffs maps. I have lots of maps. However I dont want to buy something that is not relevant to the area I want to travel. I paddled 200km through WCPP last summer I understand what Im getting into with Wabakimi. As for expensive to access. Park fees are all Im counting on and maybe parking. My plan is to loop from Caribou lake. If I knew that the Wabakimi project maps covered that I would buy them, however I have no way of knowing.

Plainly I think Phil's printed maps are worth the money because they are printed on waterproof etc. I simply think publishing them online would further promote his cause of promoting Wabakimi.


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PostPosted: May 12th, 2017, 7:03 pm 
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gnatwest, you need volume 3 in the collection! Click on this link -

http://www.friendsofwabakimi.org/maps/f ... Map_v3.pdf

There are a half-dozen great canoe trips you could do based on Volume 3. By loop do you mean end up at the railway tracks for a ride back to Armstrong or do you want to end up back at Caribou lake?

BTW Little Caribou Lake makes for a better entry - it is not as wide and windy as it can get on the more open Caribou Lake.

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PostPosted: May 13th, 2017, 8:06 pm 
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We are not taking the train back, because they no longer take dogs so in and out of caribou/little caribou. Otherwise I would be going from allenwater bridge to caribou lake. Maybe up through the crown land to whitewater then to wabakimi lake and back some how. I want to keep it around 150km


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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 9:43 am 
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I may go to Wabakimi again this summer.

A "not-for-profit" organization is not the same as a "non-profit" organization. The notion that someone who balks at buying "Wabakimi Project" maps must be "too cheap or indifferent" is offensive and erroneous.

"The Wabakimi Project" is no longer leading trips _inside_ the park, and that is part of the reason the request for updated information from current paddlers, for their database & maps.

The assertion that Wabakimi is "very costly to access" is also incorrect. Access to the park can be had by train, or simply by paddling in from Caribou Lake (from Armstrong, ON).

Ontario Provincial Parks publishes a "Wabakimi Canoe Trip Planning Map" (ISBN# 978-1-4606-0758-9) for $18.95CAD. I bought mine through World of Maps, in Ottawa. This is a 1:150,000 scale map of the park which shows routes, portages, and campsites. It also shows the location of some of the numerous outposts that commercial lodges have within the park. This is a good complement to the usual 1:50,000 scale Canadian topo maps that canoeists either download and print for free, or order on line.

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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 5:45 pm 
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Thanks Steve you echo my sentiment exactly. My brother lives in Ottawa with any luck he will be bringing me the map you suggest this week and I will order some Topos to go with it.


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PostPosted: May 14th, 2017, 8:20 pm 
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Hello Steve. Thanks for the lead regarding the World of Maps map. I agree with your "offensive and erroneous" sentiments. But I also get that I may be a bit spoiled by the good work being done by others - like those at Jeffs Maps or at Ottertooth.com or at explorethebackcountry.com or by Rob Haslam.

Probably someday someone (or some group of people) will make similar-quality information about Wabakimi freely available. (Or available in a form that could likely be acquired at a public library.)

true_north has posted an excellent trip report of a loop in Wabakimi with links to very good maps; I'm considering that loop, but I'm also interested in knowing what other options might be available into other nearby lakes. If I had unlimited time and could just poke around when out on a trip, that would be ideal. Unfortunately I don't, so planning is necessary.

Kevin Callan has also produced at least one article on a route in Wabakimi that I can access at the public library.

Likely the Wabakimi Project more-or-less knows the status of the portages on the loop done by true_north - the less-used portages/routes/lakes (which I can't easily and freely get information for) would probably be the ones they'd most appreciate updates on.


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PostPosted: May 15th, 2017, 7:00 pm 
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SteveBoal wrote:
I may go to Wabakimi again this summer.
"The Wabakimi Project" is no longer leading trips _inside_ the park, and that is part of the reason the request for updated information from current paddlers, for their database & maps.


I'm not sure where you're getting your information from. FOW volunteers perform a number of exploratory / maintenance related outings annually - It's their 14th year of doing so, and there are several trips planned this summer. I'm sure they'd love to have you along if you wanted to see the area, avoid paying for maps and help contribute to the cause.

My initial post was not meant to be offensive, and I'm sorry if you took it that way, but I'm firm in my belief that questioning the small mandatory contribution to this volunteer-led organization in exchange for their work is in very poor taste. We obviously assign differing values to the tangible efforts of dedicated wilderness stewards like the FOW, and that's fine.

$0.02

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PostPosted: May 15th, 2017, 7:03 pm 
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http://friendsofwabakimi.org/project/wb_trips.html

Here's a full list of trips for 2017

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