It is time to start the September 2008 Photo Contest. This months contest is dedicated to long time member Mark Lawyer who passed away this last month at the age of 51. He was a Boy Scout leader for over 20 years with Troop 1 in Illinois. I would like to think he ends this long portage called life at a the most beautiful lake.
The theme for this month's contest is "Tough Portages". Post your best photos which capture tough portages from the bwca/quetico region.
Monthly Category: Tough Portages
There is again a special reward for this months contests. Along with winning a hat, Wilderness Passages Magazine, created by long time member QPassage, is giving a free copy of their great magazine and a 2 1/2 hour DVD of Quetico footage to the winner of the photo contest and trip report contest. For more information about Wilderness Passages, you can visit their website at WildernessPassages.com
Remember 1 entry per person please. This helps us vote accurately.
- You must be signed in as a member with a valid email address in your profile to enter (or win).
- You can only enter one photo per monthly contest. You can enter the same photo if it did not win in a previous month.
- You must be the photographer of the photo.
- Photos are entered in the contest by making a reply posting to this message and using the "Add a photo to this message" link during composition. This will allow you to upload a photo from your computer to the contest or allow you to select a photo which you have already loaded into your photo gallery on this site. If you want to enter your photo in another way, please contact us.
- Please describe in the message where the picture is from.
- Judging will be done by the www.bwca.com staff and moderators.
- A member may win once per year.
- Photos must be posted to this message by 11:59pm on Sept. 30th.
- Photos must be in jpg or gif format to be uploaded to the site. Contact me if you have something in a different format or are having problems uploading to the site.
Yum Yum Portage in Quetico is famed as one of the "toughest." But to me it also has one of the most beautiful views of any portage - which I call Inspiration Point. The reward is commensurate with the work to get there. It's well worth it.
That portage into LLC isn't that bad. It's level and the landings are decent. The alternates are rocky, have bad landings, crowded, etc. I feel the 110 rod one is far better. Less traveled. We took them both on the same trip.
I wiped out on my first attempt crossing this sucker. Louse River into Trail lake from the east. From my report: "On the 125 rod portage into Trail lake from the east I encounter a strange portage obstacle I have never seen before. As I am trudging along the portage trail abruptly terminates at a narrow chute of rapids. I am thinking to myself at this point “How in the world am I supposed to launch into that?” I put the canoe down to scout out the situation and see on the other side of the rapids is a steep granite slope, no trail there. I look around for a trail down to the calm water and then it dawns on me that the trail resumes atop the steep granite slope: this is not good. I have not seen another canoe since leaving Sawbill lake yesterday and this looks a wee bit dangerous to be trying alone, but I am here for adventure so I start up the slope with my pack on my back. Climbing with a pack on your back is tricky business; lean back too far and you are done for, lean too far forward and the tread on your footwear will slide out from under you. I experienced the latter and found myself sliding backwards down the slope on my face, plunging into the swift current. The current grabs my feet and legs and twists them into the rocks and my downward momentum keeps my body going until the current is also able to grab my pack and start pulling it down stream as well. I am not sure how, but I lunge with my legs and get my pack onto dry land and then manage to squirm out of it and then get myself completely out of the frigid water. I take a moment to thank the good Lord for saving me and then I start up the slope again, this time dragging the pack and using my other hand to find whatever foliage I can find to hold onto for minimal support. I make it up with the pack and then complete the rest of the portage with just the pack, taking the camera out to take pictures of the madness I just crossed. I also drag the canoe up the slope without further incident and launch into Trail lake a bit unnerved by the whole experience. "
Who I am precedes what I do, not the other way around.
That badwater>quetico lake portage brings back memories. Me and a friend, 15 years ago or so, did half of that portage at night on the back end of our trip...it was ROUGH but turned into fun.
We took our time with flashlights...went about halfway or so and parked our packs and see sawed...went back and got the boat and third pack..flashlight man/boat man...when we got to our pack station about halfway we stopped....scrambled off to the left to a little clearing and got the whiskey out...we never made it to Quetico lake. Set up a tarp and sat in the middle of the woods in the dark dark, enjoying our drinks...lets say, more than a couple...just crashed out...we had a blast and finished the portage after breakfast the next morning. Pretty cool camping back in the woods away from the lakes.
I seem to remember that getting into Badwater on the East end was rough too...deep mud and shaky trail.
North Kawishiwi River to Greenstone Lake. 160 rarely used rods that goes absolutely straight up. If you survive getting up there, you're on top of granite with no real markers to tell where the trail goes next. Here are two pictures taken from the same spot, one looking down, one looking up. Beautiful, rarely visited lake once you get there.
I know that portage well! You have it labled correctly, it's the "Long Haul Portage"....or Gratton Death March.....
That No Name Lake south of Wicksteed is known as Little Gratton. It was a mess this spring with swampy places and a tree down in the middle that you had to crawl under. We came up from McAree so most of the portage is up hill! Ugh!
This is a photo of my group on the portage from Boulder Lake to Ledge Lake on about July 6, 1999 --- within 1 or 2 days of the Big Blowdown. We had put on at Lake 1 and we were on a circular route north through Lake Insula, Lake Alice, and up through Boulder. This portage was completely impassable as it was strewn with hundreds of huge downed trees. The canoe in the background is laying where the portage used to be. The guy to the far left is a U.S. forest service employee holding a chain saw who had been brought in by float plane to clear the portages. We were confused when we heard the chain saws as we were paddling across the lake to the portage. There was absolutely no way we could continue. We had to turn around and go back the way we came.
I realize it is now October 1st, but thought I would share these photos. The photos didn't do the incline justice. Had this portage been wet, I think I would have been on my hands and knees to get up the incline.