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 Post subject: Berens River
PostPosted: January 9th, 2016, 4:11 am 
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Hello everybody!

We are two canoeists from Russia. We are arriving in Winnipeg on 4 August 2016 and going to canoe down the Berens River from Little Grand Rapids to Berens River.

We have three main questions.

What is the cheapest way to get 2 people and about 120 lbs of baggage (2 big rucksacks) from Winnipeg to Little Grand Rapids?

Can we buy the food for the trip in Little Grand Rapids?

And the ceapest transfer back to Winnipeg.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 9th, 2016, 11:15 pm 
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Joined: December 19th, 2011, 4:44 pm
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Location: Waterloo, ON
One contact that may be helpful is Red Lake Outfitters. They can likely take care of many of your needs, or provide further information or references if need be.

http://redlakeoutfitters.com

The owner's name is Harlan Schwartz. His email address is below.

solotrip@gmail.com

Best of luck with your trip planning. The Berens is on my bucket list. Be sure to post a trip report if you are able to make it happen.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 3:12 am 
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Thank you, canoeguitar.
I'll try the contact.
And if we are there and back, the report will be published.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 3:14 am 
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Location: Toronto, Ontario Canada
What will you be using for boats?

There is daily scheduled air service from Winnipeg (St. Andrews) to Little Grand Rapids via Northway Aviation or Amik Aviation. Charters are also available from Bluewater Aviation out of Bissett. There are a few other operators in the area that have float planes but only a few can take external loads.

Getting out From Berens River Village, you can use the same air services, possibly find someone who can shuttle you by motorboat or do a very long and potential dangerous paddle down the east coast of Lake Winnipeg.

There is a Northern Store in Little Grand Rapids where you can obtain basic supplies but you would be much better doing all of that in Winnipeg for both selection and price.

For a longer trip you can access the upper Berens River by road north of Red Lake Ontario, it's about 10 days from there to Little Grand Rapids.

If you wait a few more years there will be a road to Berens River but for now the logistics for the Pigeon & Berens rivers require flights in and out. The Bloodvein has road access at the finish, air only to the upper river unless you want to take the long way in from Red Lake.

Now if you have lots of time it's possible to get to Little Grand Rapids / Family Lake by canoe starting from Wallace Lake (east Of Bissett on Hwy 304).

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 7:10 am 
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We use inflatable canoes as in the photo at the bottom. In this photo https://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/6840/62603101.45/0_126c05_62e1cf68_orig my wife is sitting on the rucksack with the canoe, the tent and other equipment inside.
We are arriving in Winnipeg on August 4 and leaving from Winnipeg on August 21. This time, 'we' are two men with two canoes.

We can't plan for a few years, because neither our health nor Russian ruble is predictable enough.

So, we should find a plane to Little Grand, paddle down to Berens River Village and either hire a motorboat or paddle to Bloodvein. And what next? What are the chances to hire a car there?

Well, thank you very much for the information you've already given. The trip looks more real now.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 11:25 am 
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Location: Toronto
Minukhin, a phone call to Northway Aviation gave me the following information on costs -

$290. CDN per person to fly from Winnipeg to Little Grand rapids with 60 lbs total luggage included. $1. a pound for anything extra.

This would be seem to be cheaper than any other plane option and you would not need a long shuttle from Winnipeg to get to the plane - as you would with Bluewater Aviation in Bissett, for example.

http://www.northwayav.com

Good luck with your plans. You have probably seen the book already, but if not, check out Hap Wilson's chapter on the Berens River in his Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba.

http://www.amazon.ca/Wilderness-Rivers- ... 155046440X

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 12:41 pm 
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Thank you, true_north!
That's a reasonable price. Especially for the overweight, which is very probable, providing we buy food in Winnipeg. Actually, it's about the same as from Moscow to Winnipeg, but that's always like this, when you are getting to the real wild.
If we find a cheaper way to get from Berens River Village to Winnipeg, we'll do.

I love this forum and I only wish I could meet all the people who answered at a campfire.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 1:10 pm 
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I figured you might be using an inflatable, they seems to be very popular for Russian paddlers.

Northway will be your cheapest option on both ends, a boat from Berens river won't be economical except if you had hard shell canoes as well. You don't have enough time to paddle south from Berens River on Lake Winnipeg. It would be 4 or 5 days minimum and it's subject to high winds that would make paddling extremely dangerous so 5 days could easily become 8 days.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 1:41 pm 
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You should plan to spend the first night or two in Winnipeg - downtown would probably be best - while you put your food pack together. Among other stores, there is a Mountain Equipment Co-Op there with all the stuff that campers and canoeists drool over. It could also be your source of dehyrated food.

http://www.mec.ca/Main/home.jsp

Grocery stores and bulk stores should have most of what you don't bring from home. It will certainly be much cheaper than buying it up in Little Grand Rapids - if they have the things you want at all. A myccr forum reader from Winnipeg will probably soon chip in with a list of recommended places that would be easily accessible to you!

St. Andrews airport is about 20 kilometers from downtown. You will need to get a taxi.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/St.+A ... 5650829202

One more thing - if you can print your own maps, take a look at this web site -

http://www.jeffstopos.com

You can download the maps you need for free and print what you need yourself.

Re: meeting fellow canoe trippers. While you will probably not see us, you'll bump into paddlers who are not that different!

удачи!

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 10th, 2016, 2:25 pm 
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Northway run a shuttle bus from Winnipeg to St. Andrews.

http://www.northwayav.com/htmlfiles/airport_info.asp

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 12:13 pm 
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For buying all your food I'd try Real Canadian Superstore on Sargent Ave, which is close to the airport, offers a large selection, and a good price.

For hotel, try the comfort inn airport, also on Sargent Ave. I'm guessing a good price, free airport shuttle, and within walking distance of the Superstore above. There are also a few other hotels in the area.

True MEC offers a place to pick up any canoeing/camping gear but it's downtown and there is little for food shopping there, and hotel maybe more costly as well.

Wilderness Supply Company is also near the airport not too far from the above Comfort Inn and another place to shop for canoeing/camping gear.

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 1:48 pm 
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Transfer, maps, food, accomodation.
There are more good people than paddlers, but I haven't met a paddler who wasn't a nice person.

We're going to spend two nights in Winnipeg to buy the food, see the city and attend a couple of musical events (some small clubs with relaxed atmosphere), then we fly to Little Grand Rapids, paddle down to Berens River Village, fly back to Winnipeg (unless something like a local track to the city appears), then spend the rest of the time, before the flight home, in Winnipeg, fly home and publish our report of the trip here. Providing we are there and back alive and well, as my friend always adds.

Good luck and a happy first paddle to everybody.
Удачи и счастливого первого гребка всем!

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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 5:23 pm 
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Location: Guelph, ON
Minukhin:

The previous posters have pretty much answered all of your questions.
Since you are using an inflatable canoe you can easily leave Berens River IR (Indian Reserve) by air using Northway or other service providers.
If you want to use freeze dried food on your trip you can purchase that and fuel for your stove at MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op in Winnipeg).

I have done this trip starting from Red Lake Ontario using a shuttle to Berens Lake and then down the Berens River to Berens River IR where I stayed for a few days before taking the boat shuttle to Matheson Island and Bloodvein River IR. I then went up the Bloodvein back to Red Lake.

If you need some help in Berens River IR you can contact Lester or Margaret Everett at 1-204-328-2016(Business) or 1-204-328-2035 (Home). Lester and his family own and operate Oshetoon Building Supplies in Berens River IR. He also operates the shuttle boat that takes canoeists from the Berens, Pigeon or Popular Rivers south along Lake Winnipeg to Matheson Island at the south end of Lake Winnipeg.
He is used to having canoeists camping in his back yard while waiting to leave Berens River. He might be willing to transport both of you and your gear to the Berens River Airport.
He is located on the south side of the Berens River a bit past the iron bridge that links the south and north side of the reserve. Look for a 40+foot aluminum fishing trawler docked by the river.

Berens River IR is very progressive and the people are friendly. Most of them speak English.

For further information on Berens River IR go here: http://www.berensriver.ca

For information on the other Berens River Community (non native) go here:

http://www.gov.mb.ca/ana/publications/c ... s_2011.pdf

There are a couple of hotels in the community in case you decide to stay in them.

Most of the stuff that comes up on Google when you search Berens River for accommodation is not relevant, as it refers to communities close by,(that would be a few hundred km away).

If you want up to date information on the settlement try also calling Christines Coffee Shop in Berens River IR at: 1-204-382-2079

As Recped has pointed out it is not a good idea to try paddling on Lake Winnipeg as the east side is shallow and can get very rough.

When travelling the Berens River, I suggest you carry an axe and a small bow saw to remove tree falls that may be in your way as you portage. Moose Falls is notorious for tree falls and you may find a bow saw hanging in a tree that you can use. The Berens River route sees very little portage maintenance. But it should all be passable for you… perhaps with a bit of work on your part if necessary.

I also suggest you get a copy of the route information that is available in Hap Wilson’s book ”Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba” that has been mentioned by “Truenorth” in his post.
Some information is also available from the Manitoba Ministry of Natural Resources. The Wilson information is the most up to date … I think.
Do you fish?
You may need to get a license from the Manitoba Ministry of Natural Resources. Lot’s of Pickerel (Walleye … to use the American terminology) can be caught on the Berens to supplement your meals along the way).

Hopefully someone from the Manitoba canoe community who has travelled to Berens recently will step in add more information for you.
My trip on this part of the Berens was in 2007.
Have a safe trip.
Mac


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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 8:40 pm 
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I think I still have two copies of Hap Wilson’s book ”Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba" and I can send you one if you would like. I'll have to check to make sure I still have both copies I bought several years ago. I've never mailed anything to Russia, lol.

Karin


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 Post subject: Re: Berens River
PostPosted: January 11th, 2016, 9:08 pm 
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Mihun09 wrote:
I think I still have two copies of Hap Wilson’s book ”Wilderness Rivers of Manitoba" and I can send you one if you would like. I'll have to check to make sure I still have both copies I bought several years ago. I've never mailed anything to Russia, lol.

Karin



Not sure you would actually want to do that, shipping that book to Russia will cost you at least $45 via Canada Post ($20 by surface which could take 3 - 4 months if it gets there at all!)

Better to scan the relevant pages and email them.

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