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Canadian Canoe Routes

Pike's Portage
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Author:  Derek123 [ October 11th, 2017, 5:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Pike's Portage

Hey all!

I did a fairly straightforward and easy trip this year from Yellowknife, about 1000km. I was going to do a long trip, but my last long trip was 2012, and I wasn't really up for more this year. It was 33 days. It was fun, and not taxing for the most part. I wore my GoPro when I carried my gear through the first 2.5+ mile portage at Pike's Portage. If anyone is interested in seeing what that chunk looks like, let me know and I can post links to video (it took me about 1h 25m to hump everything but my boat across. The GoPro broke it into 5 videos). I haven't watched it, and guarantee I gasp and puff and swear a lot. Anyhow, if anyone wants to see the route, let me know, and I'll post it) to my embarrassment!). That portage was effing hard, BTW, but I returned the same route, and coming back was very easy, since it was mostly descent.


Author:  Paddle Power [ October 11th, 2017, 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Yes you should post more information including your route.

Author:  Derek123 [ December 14th, 2017, 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Took me a while to figure out how to transcode these down.... Iswear a lot, and I'm huffing and puffing a lot. I can't inagine these are at all interesting to most people (especially since I talk to myself quite a bit), but here is my first of two transits of Pike's Portage.... ... GdZcHhfdE0 ... zkySGJ5eU0 ... kptS0FhREk ... 1NvT0RaazQ ... WgwODROREU ... XBmMXlxUjA

Looking at it, I'm terribly out of shape. I suppose I don't feel too bad since I hadn't eaten since breakfast the day before, I was 15 days into my trip, it was very hot, and I was carrying 80+lbs., but still. I watched this, and I'm not impressed with how out of shape I am.

I wouldn't even bother watching it unless you want a feel of that particular portage. I'm pretty boring.

Anyhow, that's me upselling myself!

Author:  Derek123 [ December 14th, 2017, 12:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

It was a pretty straightforward trip. I don't even think I would have needed maps at all. When I left Yellowknife, I planned on something different, but I got kind of lazy, and about a week into it, decided to do the trip I did. It was about 1000km, 33 days. I had originally brought enough food to last me about 55 days, planning on the trip being about 65, but I wasn't feeling it. It was basically just Yellowknife to McLeod Bay, to Pikes, up to the north end of Artillery, then I turned around and paddled back to Yellowknife.

Author:  Ralph [ December 15th, 2017, 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Made me tired just watching. You might be out of shape but you did it! Well done.

Author:  Gerald Guay [ December 15th, 2017, 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

After watching that I need to go back to bed and rest. Thanks for sharing.


Author:  Neil Fitzpatrick [ December 15th, 2017, 1:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

I find that the more flatwater leading up to a portage, the harder it is to stand up and carry. On the Hayes River, we didn't portage at all for the first 100km of the trip until we hit the 1.3km Robinson Portage at the end of a hot day and it just about killed me. It's an extremely easy portage too.

I hope you gave yourself a big pat on the back after that one, or had a beer that was hidden away in that pack!

Author:  recped [ December 15th, 2017, 11:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

That was great! I suffered (and laughed) along with you for the entire carry, wish there had been another minute or two at the end.

I especially liked the not so subtle difference between "a break" and "a real break"!

I was very concerned about you at 16:12 of part 5, I was very afraid you would forget your smokes!

Speaking of smokes....very impressive that you could squeeze 55 days of smokes (and food) in that 'yak.

As for the huffing and puffing, didn't seem too bad to me, your breathing seemed to return to "normal" pretty quick when you stopped for breaks.

Author:  jmc [ December 15th, 2017, 11:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

It is a long walk. But it used to be a very pretty one as well. It's sad to see the post-fire desolation.


Author:  Derek123 [ December 17th, 2017, 11:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Yeah. I was thinking how great that would have looked before the fire. Especially the first half. Was that the same year as fire hit the north side of McLeod Bay? It seemed older, but I couldn't tell for sure. It was early enough that stuff hadn't really sprung up, and it had been gruelingly hot for days. Everything was wilted. I came back the same way, and it was really easy. I didn't even rest once. That uphill climbing wasn't good for a guy from Winnipeg. If it was flat (ish) I wouldn't have had a problem, but there were a lot of steep bits and significant ups and downs along the way.

I talked to Dave Olesen on my way back. He said most people do four or five carries for that portage. I did two, which was a mistake. I should have done three. Granted, I travel way lighter than most people. I don't even bring a pot or pan. I ran into a couple of very experienced paddlers from Europe just past Kipling Lake. They did 5.5 carries over two days on that 3 mile stretch. I was demoralized as hell that the whole 3 (really 2.5 miles plus) took me 5 hours. After that first port, even Harry lake wasn't bad for a burn, but there were places all the way to Artillery that were burnt. French wasn't badly burnt at all, but Acres was pretty bad. The north east end of Kipling was very green, and Toure on was mostly unburnt in the last few years.

Author:  jmc [ December 18th, 2017, 7:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

I believe most of that area burned in 2014. This post - ... 23&t=43348

has a sat photo of the 2014 burns.


Author:  Derek123 [ December 19th, 2017, 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Ah, Ok. It looked similar to the north side of McLeod Bay, but I wasn't sure. They looked similar, but if had been a year or two earlier, I wouldn't be able to tell.

The Sat image really shows it. Wow. The south/east sides of French, Harry, and Acres looked good. I was paddling the south shore of GSL in 2015, and it was a bad year in northern BC, Fort Smith area, and SW of GSL. I could smell smoke constantly.

It was good to see ffdjm's comment on that thread. I usually pick one portage to clean up every year, so it's nice to see others doing the same. When I go through one of the Little Lakes Portages from the Cochrane to the Thlewiaza, I've always cleaned up one of the portages. (I kind of "Adopted" the one at 59 08'N 101 40' 30''W.) In 2016, that's were I had my only real significant bear encounter, which I posted about here when I returned.

Author:  Derek123 [ December 19th, 2017, 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

recpd: I realize that living in winnipeg makes my legs kind of weak for that amount of climbing. I really wasn't used to it. I was much worse carrying the boat. My thighs seized up shortly before the end and I took a "real break" then.

I actually brought more than I needed for clothes and that sort of thing. But you can't really predict the weather, so I was prepared to last a few days without caring if it freakishly stayed below zero. I normally bring 1/3 lbs. of flour per day, a 500 ml of peanut butter per 2 weeks, a Mountain House meal per every five or six days, an energy bar per every second day, lots of tea (3-4 bags per day), and sometimes a litre bottle crammed with hot chocolate. I like feeling hungry, and normally only eat once a day. I try to get fat before every trip and usually put on at least 10lbs. of fat before any trip, but ideally 20 lbs. I also usually start out with a half dozen chocolate bars, a couple of dozen slices of processed cheese, and a couple of cans of Stagg Chili. Those usually disappear over the first few days, though.

I can' really see how I could get much lighter for how I travel, without completely relying on fish and berries etc..

I quit smoking a couple of years ago, and just started a couple of months before this trip. I only brought enough to last a couple of weeks. I ended up buying a couple of packs from one of the guys at Plummer's ($20 a pack), and then 2 cartons at Ft. Relance ($25 a pack.... Yeesh... $400). I got a free meal this year at Great Slave Adventures (Tent lodge a day before Plummers, they fed me both ways), Plummer's on the way back, Olesen's both ways, and Ft. Reliance on the way back. It felt like luxury!

Every year, I fine tune things a bit, and this year, I'm bringing a bunch of brown sugar instead of either energy bars or hot chocolate.

Author:  raven4 [ December 19th, 2017, 11:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

enjoyed the video, thanks for can come train where I live on the Methye Portage if you would time made a similar video on the up hill stretch from the Clearwater want to talk about cursing!

Author:  hectop [ July 18th, 2018, 10:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Pike's Portage

Unfortunately the videos are no longer available and I wanted to view them. I am starting to lay plans for a Pike's Portage as part of a longer trip.

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