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  1. #101
    dant8ro's Avatar
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    Hi All,

    Despite great fun at last years event, I am not able to attend this one.

    Have fun, think warm thoughts.

    Dan.

  2. #102
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dant8ro View Post
    Hi All,

    Despite great fun at last years event, I am not able to attend this one.

    Have fun, think warm thoughts.

    Dan.
    That's too bad Dan. Hope to see you in the Spring.
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  3. #103
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    We need to start praying to the snow gods for more snow in Algonquin Park. According to webcams outside the park, there is well less than 12" of snow.

    So I'll start.

    I think I'll leave my snowshoes home and put my summer tires back on the car.

    Chard, are you planning on wearing your sandals and a pair of shorts?

    Cheers

    Brian
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  4. #104
    Chard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    Chard, are you planning on wearing your sandals and a pair of shorts?
    Way ahead of you!! Already took the long underwear out of my pack and threw in an extra pair of flip-flops!

    By the way, you can get a sense of the snow conditions around the province by checking out some of the snowmobiler's websites.. OFSC Interactive Trail Map.
    Last edited by Chard; 02-03-2013 at 19:06.
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  5. #105
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    Recon

    Hi All,

    It has taken me a little while to get back in front of a computer since my laptop gave up last week. Although I wasn't able to do any walking around with the one legged kid in tow I did make it to the park last Thursday and did a bit of questioning and some driving. There's a lot of info here so I am going with point form;

    - Some park rules (some that have already been said in this thread); You are not allowed to camp within 30m of any trail or roadway and it is considered common etiquette to avoid camping within sight of any trail being used in the winter, You need to check in at a station or gate, the west gates' hours have returned to last years not the rumoured mid week closing however the only 24 hour gate is the east gate (all the other gates and stations have a phone and you can call the east gate and arrange payment over the phone. Every vehicle needs a permit and should have a "camping location and exit date" posted in the window. Leaf lake and Fen lake trails are groomed for xcountry the Minnesing trail is not groomed but it is considered bad etiquette to snowshoe on xcountry tracks and in some places on this trail that means doing some considerable bushwhacking (few if any people snowshoe there according to Kevin the gate attendant).

    - I spoke with Kevin the gate attendant (he is always there when I go he has worked 20+ yrs at the west gate) and I spoke with the staff at AO and got the following advice (some of which is already in this thread). If you are going camp in the back country choose a south or east facing hill to avoid the wind, avoid being within 100m of any large body of water and for sure not on the south east shore of any body of water (see wind direction above). The reputation you have with the park staff matters, if we repeat this trip with respect each year our access to roads and to ploughing schedules (which apparently we can have some influence on) will improve.

    - I spoke with Craig Macdonald a hot tent maker and importer of fine egyptian cotton who is a retired 25yr+ algonquin ranger. There is a trail (unmarked on any map) that is maintained by a keen group of snowshoers including some park staff that runs to Source lake (and beyond ) from the Hwy just across the road from the Art centre (big parking lot). The reason for this trail is that to the west the Mizzy lake trail is apparently too rocky and to the east the roadway trail that Mongrel reported on is too steep. My eagle eye daughter spotted this trail and it is easily seen as far as I could see without leaving sight of the car. Craig's wife has shoed this trail a couple times this year and says it is an easy to moderate trail that takes about 60-90 min to get to Source lake on without carrying gear.

    - When I drove in, the Whiskey Rapids trail parking lot was not plowed, Kevin says it is sometimes because there is a hydro/antenna station in the lot and the service of that station dictates the intermittent plowing.

    - The area behind Mew lake is a lowland protected from wind but prone to the cold sink that Chard alluded to. And the trail that runs to the south then to the west is a common area for Hot tenters to set up and given the family day festivities there likely will be a few. However the trail that goes to the south and east from there along the south side of Lake of two rivers (rail trail) runs along the bottom of a ridge, head south off that trail you go up the ridge and pop over to a south facing hill out of sight of the lake and the trail but it is a steep looking hill when I look at if from the highway. The walk to this area base on Mrs MacDonald's time scale would mean a 2 hourish walk mostly on flat rail with a steep climb at the end.

    - Finally my little personal find... while driving through I found a small plowed section on the south side of the highway right at Km 50 where 5 - 6 cars would fit. I was looking at a circular hill south of the highway all hardwood forrest and it looked like a short walk would bring you around the hill to the south side protected from the wind and the highway noise in probably less than 1/2 an hours walk. When I saw the parking I got out and there is a portage there, for those of you who have canoe maps it is either the 1885 to Pinetree lake (more likely because it is also marked as access point 12 and that explains the parking) or the 985 to Bud lake. I think that taking this trail and then veering right (bushwhacking north west ) onto the southfacing side of the hill has a great potential view over a few lakes and those lakes offer a few km of portages for those interested in a lake to lake day hike/adventure The only draw back to this is that it is close to the Leaf lake xcountry trails northwest border... how close I don't know because they don't share a common map but at the least on the opposite side of Pinetree lake.

    This is what I was able to find out on the drive through. There is a 50/50 chance that I will have a day this week or early next week to go up and get out of the car and do some more detailed recon, so if there are any requests let me know.

    As for scheduling I now have confirmed Monday off work so I will be there all three nights and I got a new (used) second underquilt today so bring on the cold

    Sorry for being so long winded

    Cedar
    ...to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,...

  6. #106
    Cedar328's Avatar
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    Sorry .. more

    Oh forgot a few notes;

    Almost all rivers have been open since the thaw early last week and we should not consider them crossable and since the weather has been unpredictable and all over the place this winter, park staff have been advised not to comment on ice thickness and safety so proceed with caution if crossing any water (more than usual)

    If you trust the 14 day trend from the weather network highs near -7 and lows between -12 and -17... good times but a little warm for braggin rights.

    Cheers
    ...to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,...

  7. #107
    Bubba's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recon and sitrep Cedar. It really helps to have intel and eyes on for this mission. (Sorry, I had a dream last night that I was a Navy SEAL)
    Don't let life get in the way of living.

  8. #108
    'that' guy Chenvre's Avatar
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    Awesome recon, Cedar! Thanks.

    How does the snow depth look out there? Forecast has a couple weather systems passing through that way before the long weekend so hopefully there will be some fresh snow.

    Looks like I can also get there friday at some point instead of saturday. Perhaps I can break trail with the first group out...

    My car may not make it through the unmanaged roads, so when things get closer I might be asking for a carpool from somewhere near the park.

  9. #109
    Jayson's Avatar
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    Chenvre, depending what time you can be there I can meet you at the meeting lake parking lot and give a ride to where we will leave from.

    Cedar after I get some sleep I will be going over my maps, your idea of South sounds good. And the unmarked trail to source lake would be ideal!

  10. #110
    Chard's Avatar
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    Great scouting report Cedar...

    I think the Source Lake trail sounds like the one the Mike & Mike of Wintertrekkers mentioned last year in Valens. Definitely a good option.

    I also like your discovery of "Pinetree Heights". Sounds very promising.

    A little bad news on my part. I mentioned a while ago that my knee's been bugging me. Well on Sunday I managed to wrench it pretty well. I limped over to get x-rays and an ultrasound done yesterday and hopefully will get the results by the end of the week. I hate to say it, but at this rate, I won't be able to manage any more ambitious routes, like Cedar's trail to Source. Even Pinetree Heights might be a challenge (although a prebroken and set up trail would definitely make it easier). Even walking around in the office is painful, but if anything changes I'll definitely post an update. What I'd suggest is that you guys keep planning the trip you want to do, and if it winds up being something I can manage, then I'd try to come out, but probably only for an overnighter.

    Cheers,

    Chard
    Last edited by Chard; 02-06-2013 at 14:02.
    Survival is about getting out alive, Bushcraft is about going in to live

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