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Member: fishANDchips
Last Visit: 10/22/2014 04:08PM
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sbeamond  
member (20)member
05/01/2012 01:47PM
 
Is there a way to Winchell Lake from EP41 without the need to portage? If not, which is the best route to get there with minimal portaging. My canoe is heavy :)
Any suggestions? Thanks
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TuscaroraBorealis  
distinguished member(3375)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
17 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
05/01/2012 02:25PM
 
Nope.


For "easiest" portaging, your best bet is to head up through the Cones.
Woods Walker  
distinguished member(844)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
05/01/2012 05:19PM
 
The Cones are'nt easy, but easier than going though Grassy. Any way you try it, you will have to put forth some effort to reach Winchell, but its worth it!


A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness. -William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
cowdoc  
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9 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor
05/01/2012 09:58PM
 
The Cone portages are not too bad and in higher water can be floated or lined. The toughy is the North Cone to Cliff portage. Pretty narrow and very rocky and rooty. Cliff to Wanihigan is not bad and Wanihigan to Winchell is actually pleasant.
Toughest part is paddling all the way across big Brule to get to the Cones. Paddle early!


"What could happen?"
alpinebrule  
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Current Donor
05/02/2012 03:16PM
 
I agree the portage from No. Cone to Cliff is ""tough" The Lilly -Mulligan - Grassy route is easier. Even thought it is longer at 200 rods the portage north of Grassy is basically flat, if maybe a bit muddy. If the wind is an issue also shorter time on Brule. The Winchell area is nice lots of options with short portages.
nofish  
distinguished member(1097)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s)
05/02/2012 03:42PM
 
I went the grassy lake route last August but I rented a kevlar knowing that I was up against a long portage, not sure I'd want to do it with an 80 poound tub on my shoulders. Keep in mind the 200 rod portage listed on the map is now alteast 50% longer due to the broken beaver dam. I estimate the longer portage at about 350 rods now so its fairly long but not overly difficult. There are some rocky areas and a few hills but nothing too bad, its just long. My wife and I made the trip from Ep 41 to the nice campsite on the point just east of the bay leading to the Omega portage in a few hours. I let her single portage the gear back and paddles and then I double portaged the canoe and food pack. In my opinion it was the perfect amount of portaging, enough to make it a good challenge and to make it feel like you earned the reward of Winchell but still not so bad that you are feeling like you are near death by the end.


We consdiered going through the cones and the ranger at the permit station told us to go the cones but we wanted to take the more direct route with less paddling on Brule since we probably aren't the strongest paddlers in the world. If you go the grassy lake route your time on Brule is rather short and you are mainly protected by islands. If you go the cone route you'll be facing the full extent of Brule and you won't be protected the entire way. If its windy it will be tough paddling. I've made the trip from the Cones to the Brule entry in high winds and I'd rather never do that again.


Its going to be a fair bit of work to get to Winchell but its worth every drop of sweat you put into it. Winchell is beautiful and since its harder to get to now that Grassy lake portage is so much longer you tend to see less people up there, at least thats been my experience.





Woods Walker  
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1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
05/02/2012 04:50PM
 
quote nofish: "I went the grassy lake route last August but I rented a kevlar knowing that I was up against a long portage, not sure I'd want to do it with an 80 poound tub on my shoulders. Keep in mind the 200 rod portage listed on the map is now alteast 50% longer due to the broken beaver dam. I estimate the longer portage at about 350 rods now so its fairly long but not overly difficult. There are some rocky areas and a few hills but nothing too bad, its just long. My wife and I made the trip from Ep 41 to the nice campsite on the point just east of the bay leading to the Omega portage in a few hours. I let her single portage the gear back and paddles and then I double portaged the canoe and food pack. In my opinion it was the perfect amount of portaging, enough to make it a good challenge and to make it feel like you earned the reward of Winchell but still not so bad that you are feeling like you are near death by the end.



We consdiered going through the cones and the ranger at the permit station told us to go the cones but we wanted to take the more direct route with less paddling on Brule since we probably aren't the strongest paddlers in the world. If you go the grassy lake route your time on Brule is rather short and you are mainly protected by islands. If you go the cone route you'll be facing the full extent of Brule and you won't be protected the entire way. If its windy it will be tough paddling. I've made the trip from the Cones to the Brule entry in high winds and I'd rather never do that again.



Its going to be a fair bit of work to get to Winchell but its worth every drop of sweat you put into it. Winchell is beautiful and since its harder to get to now that Grassy lake portage is so much longer you tend to see less people up there, at least thats been my experience.








"



I also went into Winchell through Grassy in August, Grassy lake is no longer there... portage now goes around the east side of where the lake used to be... as mentioned, not hard, but about 1 mile long... I carried a 50lb pack & a 45lb canoe across in one shot, fairly level.


As mentioned, I pulled through the Cone Bay - S. Cone & the S. Cone - Middle Cone... roughest is to Cliff... We left the Brule EP at same time as another group heading to Winchell, they went through the Cones & we took Grassy & beat them easily by an hour, don't know if they stopped at all, but we were on the site they wanted. We double portaged.


A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness. -William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
nofish  
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1 trip report(s)
05/03/2012 09:03AM
 
Despite the long portage the Grassy Lake route is for sure the quicker of the 2 options. The Cone route has you taking a pretty sizable detour with a lot more paddling. The longer route still might be easier though depending on the weight of your canoe, amount of gear you're hauling and the overall physical condition of your group (specifically the person carrying the canoe).


I should say that the other portages along the Grassy Lake route are fairly short and easy. I think there is one with a little uphill section but its not bad at all. Also there are a lot of raspberries along some of the shorter portages if you hit it at the right time. I've done that route in July and had good numbers, not so much in August.


sbeamond  
member (20)member
05/03/2012 09:45AM
 
Thanks for the ideas and insight on this trip. It seems like there's pros and cons regardless of which route you take. It's going to be a tough decision. I don't plan on making the trip until late October. Does that change things at all as far as perspective goes?


The plan is to get to Winchell, camp a couple nights then head back.
Thanks
nofish  
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1 trip report(s)
05/03/2012 10:17AM
 
If you're only going for a couple days I'd suggest looking at renting a Kevlar canoe. Sawtooth Outfitters is right on 61 and is directly on the way to EP 41. We rented from them and I think the canoe was maybe $150 for 4 days. It was worth the money and then it would be a no brainer to go the Grassy Lake route.
Woods Walker  
distinguished member(844)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
1 trip report(s) Photo Journal Past Donor Gear Reviews
05/03/2012 05:43PM
 
quote nofish: "If you're only going for a couple days I'd suggest looking at renting a Kevlar canoe. Sawtooth Outfitters is right on 61 and is directly on the way to EP 41. We rented from them and I think the canoe was maybe $150 for 4 days. It was worth the money and then it would be a no brainer to go the Grassy Lake route."


+1


Also in October the Cone Lake pull throughs would most likley be portages.


A road is a dagger placed in the heart of a wilderness. -William O. Douglas, in Ghost Grizzlies
sbeamond  
member (20)member
05/04/2012 11:10AM
 
Good to know. Thanks!
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