View topic - Wallace Lake to Poplar River?

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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2016, 9:31 am 
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Anyone travelled via Wallace Lake-Obukowin portage through Family Lake to the Poplar River? Thinking about this as a trip from Wallace to Norway House. Any info would be appreciated.


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2016, 12:34 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
Poplar River? That's ambitious!

Wallace to Family I've looked over many times. I hope to paddle the Berens or Pigeon from Wallace or Bloodvein Village.

Upstream on the Leyond if you want to start in Bloodvein or Wallace to Aikens via Broadleaf or Obukowin then up Sasaginnigak and Atik Rivers.

Info here:
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 13&t=43715
http://www.myccr.com/phpbbforum/viewtop ... 13&t=44635

JMC has some really good info in those posts. You might have to hit Jeff's Topos and try to piece together a route from Family to Poplar River.

If you find some info elsewhere please post it here.

Are you planning on paddling Lake Winnipeg from Poplar to Norway House?


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2016, 12:52 pm 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
I just followed the topos from Family Lake to Wrong Lake on Poplar River. If the Assinika River is navigable (it looks good on the maps) then it looks like an easily doable route. Family Lake to Fishing Lake, a short portage to Assinika Lake then the Assinika River to Wrong Lake.

I'm jealous!


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PostPosted: October 23rd, 2016, 10:46 pm 
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Hi Andrew -

I did travel long ago from Wallace to Family Lake and on to Berens River - Berard's "Kautunigan route". I haven't personally traveled north from Little Grand Rapids.

However, I have a copy of Real Berard's "Little Grand Rapids" canoe route map.
It does indicate a portage "700 paces, good trail" from the narrow bay in the northwest end of Fishing Lake to Assinika Lake. I see the 53 D/3 topo also shows this trail, as well as a more easterly route. The trail Berard cites is clearly evident on Google Earth.

Berard's map also includes detailed notes on the Assinika / Poplar route to Lake Winnipeg. While his maps are obviously dated now, and wind and fire may have changed things substantially, I think this map is probably your best place to start. Notes on the map describe the Little Grand Rapids to Poplar River settlement route, via the Assinika and Poplar rivers, as a 266 kilometer route, taking 8-10 days. "The Assinika - Poplar route offers the most diversity of the region, including Indian rock paintings and extensive wild rice fields." Rapids, and portages, appear to be frequent, but short.

You can order the map on line from canadamapsales.com : just go to the "canoe route map index" section. Berard's maps are $5.95 each. The Kautunigan and Sasaginnigak maps lay out a number of options to reach Family Lake from Wallace.

Hope this is of some use. Let me know if you have trouble accessing the map site, I could probably do a scan if needed.

-jmc


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PostPosted: October 24th, 2016, 2:29 pm 
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In 2012 I flew into Little Grand Rapids. I portaged in the Assinika, then Poplar, down to Winnipeg and up the Berens. Flew out from Little Grand. Had a solo pakboat so it was easy. Portages at that time were in good, though by no means great shape. Not much in the way of good camping on the Assinika.


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PostPosted: October 24th, 2016, 9:16 pm 
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Quote:
I portaged in the Assinika, then Poplar, down to Winnipeg and up the Berens. Flew out from Little Grand. Had a solo pakboat so it was easy.


Sorry to drag this off topic but I'm curious to hear how the pakboat handled upstream travel. I like paddling upstream and have contemplated a solo pakboat to simplify ingress/egress at some locations but was worried it would be a such a pig that upstream travel would be very difficult.

Alan


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PostPosted: October 25th, 2016, 5:48 am 
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Thanks everyone for weighing in for the helpful information and links. John, I should have known that you are familiar with this country.

Neil: yes, the plan is that we paddle north from the Poplar to Norway House. The trip this year is a bit of a logistical challenge as we have two criteria, one being to minimize costs and two (and related to some degree), that we have a place partway along the trip where a couple of members can fly out....obviously avoiding a charter is preferable, hence the attraction of paddling through a community like Little Grand or Pauingassi that have scheduled flights.

We will have at least two small children as well as a couple of other kids along, by the looks of it, and I have found frequent portages are actually preferable for this demographic since it relieves the boredom and provides time to explore while the adults do the grunt work.

Any further info would be greatly appreciated but this all looks very promising. Thanks again.


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PostPosted: October 25th, 2016, 7:45 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB
Depending on when members of your groups are coming and going, you could have them drive out on Rice River Rd to reduce costs. Starting at Wallace, depending on your groups travel speed, I'd expect it to take 10-15 days to get to where the road crosses the Bloodvein. That would cause your group to split early if the rest of you head up the Sasaginnigak though.

You could also consider routes that bring you back down to Wallace from Family Lake instead of heading up to Norway House. I like to plan a backup route just in case anything major changes before your trip.

There are ways out of Berens River too. The fellow that runs the store runs a barge to Pine Dock.


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PostPosted: October 25th, 2016, 11:36 am 
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Overall the pakboat did very well. I try to avoid situations with the pakboat that create lots of abrasion, so there were a few spots that a hard shell would've been drug up a rapid and instead with the pakboat I portaged.

The most comical experience was paddling Winnipeg. The 15ft is a high volume solo and so when I got on Winnipeg I put 40lb of rocks in the bow and another 40 in the stern to sink it a bit. The whole time tt seemed like I was paddling a barge, but I ignored it. Got to the Berens and took the rocks out. All of a sudden the boat paddled well again. The light bulb went on and I realized I'd hogged the boat.


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PostPosted: October 27th, 2016, 10:04 am 
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http://www.myccr.com/canoeroutes/wallace-lake-bloodvein-river-tea-pail-portage Here is a report I did this summer that gives you details about using the Broadleaf option to Aikens Lake. All the portages were clear as were the portages around each side of Aikens Lake on the Gammon River. Common knowledge is that if its a really wet year use the Broadleaf route but if extremely dry use the Obukowin route. Normal years I think the Broadleaf is the better route. Two days to Aikens for the Broadleaf but maybe one more using the Obukowin. So much depends on water levels.

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