Thursday, June 17, 2010


Top: Dinner on the bluff day 5.
Middle: wringing the water from my socks end of day.
Bottom: Typical portage 70 lb of packs.

From the river campsite to Sandison Lake there are plenty more rapids. I saw a sow bear and two cubs an hour after leaving camp. Later around a left hand turn I encountered the only Cl III rapid in this section. It started with an 18 inch ledge and then required some technical maneuvers. The water was low enough that I had to drag the boat over the ledge since the boat would stick if I ran it loaded. If there was more water, other channels would open up and it would be runnable fully loaded by a good paddler. There is no portage here and it's going to demand the tripper's attention whatever the skill level. Any C III tech rapid in the wilderness being run for the first time is worth repect.

Sandison Lake is a brief interlude before getting back on the river. There are a couple of obvious tent sites of good quality that you will see here. On leaving the lake more rapids are encountered. My topo map indicates a 16 ft waterfall about 1/2 mi. after Sandison Lake . It is really a C IV- rapid , about 85 yd long. Portage on left. After this portage there is a quiet section then more rapids , then another lake about the size of Sandison but unamed. You'll pass a decent rocky campsite on a big island in this lake.

The next river section has another C IV drop where there is a fair campsite on the bluff above the portage trail on left. That afternoon the sky turned ominously black and there was a severe thunderstorm. Being up on the bluff was unerving with the thunder and lightning all around. I put some extra guy lines on the tent and crawled inside. . . and survived. The storm abated and I made dinner. The moon came out and reflected on the water below. . . nice.

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