View topic - November Killarney Trip Report

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PostPosted: November 19th, 2006, 12:05 pm 
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After almost a month of work and the hectic schedule so prevalent in the city I couldn't bear it any longer. My last trip was in APP during the first week in October and the urge to be free from the concrete, steel, and noise of the city was growing. Was another trip possible? I usually try to go to Killarney at least once a year during the shoulder season, but it was already November. My latest trip previously had been the first week in November backpacking and I dealt with snow before, so would going the 2nd week be any different? Who cares, as long as the water wasn't frozen over, I wanted to go.

My gf and I decided to go for 3 days, Nov 11-13. We figured there may be some snow but we weren't worried. (As long as it wasn't to much!) We unfortunately set out late Sat morning due to work the night before. Half way there, we started to see snow - no problem, except the amount seemed to increase rapidly. (uh, did we bring a shovel?! :o ) Here's a pic of Hwy 647 to Killarney:
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Of course, not to mention the 'looks' we got as we were driving up there. At one point at the gas station, I had to put my boots on because there was too much snow and water. (I guess our Crocs will be useless at camp - they were pulled out of the pack) When we got there, we got the same head turning reaction from a group of people and the park ranger when they saw the canoe! Like Rob's trip in APP, the Killarney parking lot was empty. We registered while talking to the ranger who was pleasantly surprised. He just made sure he knew exactly where we were going. We also made new friends with a couple from Vancouver who were there for the day. We talked way too long, but they were outdoors types like us and of course once you get talking and sharing, its hard to stop. They said they couldn't help come by and meet us. (the crazy fools paddling in snowy November) Even the OPP officier that came by was shocked!

Of course, now we were a bit nervous, but anxious to start at the same time. Our plan was to start at Johnnie Lake Access point, but since the access roads were not plowed, we decided to play it safe and start at Carlyle since it is close to the road. (even them, there was bushes and branches down with big puddles and snow) Our plan was to stay at Carlyle Lake (by Terry Lake) and then head to Ruth-Roy the second night.

Once we started, and got the butterflies out of our stomachs, we never turned back. We ended up having an awesome time. The scenery was just gorgeous. Yeah it was a little cold, but it was certainly worth it. Our first night was short of course, but it was ok since we were both tired. So an early night it was, and a lot of good catch-up sleep. The one freaky thing that had us worried was the constant loads of snow, branches, or both that was dropping through the night. The snowfall previously was of the wet heavy types so every once in a while you would hear crashing. Thank goodness nothing big hit us, although there was a branch beside our tent in the morning.

The next morning before heading out we hiked the 940m portage into Kakakise lake. Again very beautiful and a good way to warm us up. The paddle to Johnnie was nice. We saw the water icing over in the narrows before Johnnie. After the quick portage into Ruth-Roy, we were memerized by the scenery. It was out of this world. While paddling, it felt like a magical place.

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That afternoon we decided to hike up to the peak at the south end of Ruth-Roy. (what's a trip to Killarney without a climb to a peak!) The scenery was amazing. It was silent, with only the wind blowing. I could have just stayed there. There was a cairn/Inukshuk up there (any of you paddlers lay claim?), evidence of others enjoying the same view.
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On our way back down, we found lots of dry wood under the canopy, so we gathered some to have a fire. We even had enough wood to boil up water to fill our Nalgenes to keep our toes toasty. That evening it snowed but at this point there was nothing that could diminish our happiness for being out there.

The next morning, we dragged our feet as we didn't want to leave. Here's the scene from our tent:
Image

We finally got going and sadly portaged out of Ruth-Roy. (we saw wolf prints by our tracks the day before) We then paddled around Johnnie and then proceeded around the narrow bend to head down the length of the same lake. On our way back we got one more treat as we came across 4 otters as they entertained us while we paddled by them. And lastly, luck had us in the truck and on the road before the rain started coming down!

It was certainly a wonderful trip. (too short!) It was also motivation never to close the season too early. I figured this trip was going to finally quench the paddling in me with the 'cold & wet' weather, but unfortunately it hasn't! Now I may consider a closer location in early December! Hope you enjoyed story and pictures!
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PostPosted: November 19th, 2006, 12:24 pm 
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Awesome! :clap:

I stayed at Ruth Roy first weekend of May this year and it is spectacular without the snow as well.

Great report. Don't tell my wife but I am considering a December trip too.

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PostPosted: November 19th, 2006, 1:52 pm 
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Pictures aren't loading?

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PostPosted: November 19th, 2006, 2:55 pm 
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nice pics

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PostPosted: November 19th, 2006, 9:43 pm 
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Can you show us a picture of what life was like "under the tarp" on a trip this time of year?

Also, what footwear did you have on in the canoe?????


Thanks !

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 5:41 am 
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Quote:
rob in angus wrote: Don't tell my wife but I am considering a December trip too.


Thanks for the compliment Rob. Planning to head back to APP in December?

- By the way, how do you put your name where the bold "Quote:" goes?
I'm new at this and I can't figure it out?


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 5:44 am 
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Quote:
brett2240 wrote: Pictures aren't loading?


I checked where my pics are hosted and its running fine. Maybe the server was down for a bit. Try again, it seems according to the lastest post, the pics are coming up fine.


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 6:01 am 
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Watersong wrote:
Can you show us a picture of what life was like "under the tarp" on a trip this time of year?

Also, what footwear did you have on in the canoe?????


Hi Watersong,

Due to the wind/snow/chill we built an A-frame with the tarp. It really only was for cooking and eating. Other than that we hung outside. Yeah, that set-up doesn't give you a great view but we didn't stay in there very long. The A-frame not only cut out the wind but warmed up inside while cooking. Here's a few pics:
Image
Image

As to footwear, we've tried several and we found that just plain old rubber boots at Crappy Tire works the best. They are rated to -40 and work great at keeping our feet dry and warm. The only downside is that they are not the greatest for portaging heavy loads or on rough portages. We tooks Crocs for around camp but due to the amount of snow, we left them in the vehicle. Other than that, the boots were our only footwear. Here's a pic:

Image


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 8:36 am 
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Click Edit on your last post there and you can see the syntax of teh quote feature.

Youc an also just click the quote button above the person you want to quote and that should do the trick as well.

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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 9:06 am 
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Yes! I ended up spending 43$ at Canadian Tire for the -40C Camik rubber boots for my trip to APP last weekend and didn't look back!

My partner got those 200+$ hiking boots from MEC, but because they don't allow you to step in the lake, they aren't very useful when compared to the rubbers.

I agree that they aren't excellent in swampy/steep portages, but the grip is surprisingly decent. I just watched my steps and I did just fine.

Anyway, sounds like you had an excellent trip from your log. I'd love to see the pictures though, as they aren't working!


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 4:47 pm 
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To those who are having no luck with the pictures loading, here is a blog spot which you can link to. I am in the process of building on it with previous trips but for now I only have the Nov Killarney trip. The report is almost the same so you can just ignore that. The four pictures are all there. Just click on it to get a bigger view. Sorry about the problem. Enjoy!

http://www.paddlingtheredhelmet.blogspot.com/


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 4:50 pm 
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rob in angus wrote:
Click Edit on your last post there and you can see the syntax of teh quote feature.

Youc an also just click the quote button above the person you want to quote and that should do the trick as well.


Thanks Rob, as you can see!


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 5:03 pm 
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benz wrote:
Yes! I ended up spending 43$ at Canadian Tire for the -40C Camik rubber boots for my trip to APP last weekend and didn't look back!


Glad to see you and possibly others using the same boot! We love them after many trial and errors. And yes, I love the fact I can just step in the water to put the canoe down.

On another note, I've seen waterproof boots that the McGuffin's use by the brand name of Chota http://www.chotaoutdoorgear.com/CyberMerchant/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=26&section=store He told me they were even good for portaging as well as keeping their feet warm. They used them in September on the George river in Quebec. The only thing is that they are an American brand. The only place I know they have a dealer is at White Squall. I haven't seen one yet, but they may be possibly something I will look into in the future. The McGuffin's got them at Canoecopeia - an event which I hope to go to soon.


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PostPosted: November 20th, 2006, 8:07 pm 
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those are exactly the same kind of boots I use for cool water paddling. Just to head off cautionary comments, I realize there are hazards associated with using these on cold water lakes. They really come in handy getting in and out of the canoe when paddling marshy creeks in the spring.

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