Opasquia 2014

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This is in the early exploratory stages but I am serious about getting up to Opasquia, an Ontario Provincial Park 185 miles north of Red Lake, Ontario. There are several options for getting there but none that are already set up. I plan on being up there a month but if others are interested and we can find an accommodating flight service we may be able to lower the costs by sharing flights or utilizing the back-haul flight. There is a flight from Red Lake with a small commercial plane that gets close but hauling canoes is an unknown right now. As I research and learn more I will update here.
 
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Martin, between caring for my mother and coaching my summer time is limited. I would love to be a part of this ... mid June - early July is best for me. If these dates work for your trip I am in. Please keep us posted, and if I can be of assistance let me know.

Bob.
 
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There is definitely enough interest for this to go forward. Harlan at Red Lake Outfitters is working on some cost estimates. The way I see it going is for us to have a paddler flown up to Opasquia and the plane return empty. The second party would fly up at the end of the first party's trip. Party 1 would come home on the backhaul. Party 3 would go up and party 2 return. An empty plane would be needed to go up and bring home the last party involved. To make things fair all participants would share in the costs of the empty hauls. This is only one of the possible scenarios. If there is enough interest Harlan may be able to have canoes waiting up there.
 
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Harlan's cost estimate posted on Quiet Journey

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Red Lake, Ontario

Re: Opasquia 2014
Reply #15 - Yesterday at 6:01pm
Ok, so I've figured on some numbers of what you can expect to pay for a trip up to Opasquia. These might fluctuate a few dollars here or there in 2014 as I have idea what fuel prices will be then, however for budgeting, here you go....

For a flight from our base in Red Lake, for up to 3 people, 1 canoe (external load), to East Lake, pick up another paddler(s) and a canoe and head back the cost would be $3,048 + 13% HST, roundtrip. If this were to be just solo paddlers you can divide this by 2, so it'd come out to $1,524 + 13 % HST. If there were tandem paddlers, then you can just divide up by the number of paddlers.

It is a staggering 293 KM (180 miles) trip each way to the park, so you can surely understand the expense involved.

If, as Martin first suggested, we can get a routine down with paddlers coming and going, sharing the costs, I think there would be some interest for paddlers getting up there.

Cheers,

Harlan

 
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So....it's finally happened. Nowhere you haven't been in WCPP so you're heading north!:)

p.s. Nice to finally find you guys again.

Jim
 
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Hey - this place looks great. Probably not a decent portage in the whole park -just your kind of place!. Put me on the list (seriously)..
 
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I have been looking at that road 559 that heads north to Pickle lake, then turns to gravel and from my Ontario map, it ends at Windigo Lake. That would be a drive I would like to do as an old trucker...gotta love those gravel roads.

Then at Windigo I open my Canoe Atlas of the Little North and look at all the routes heading into Opasquia area, the Rottenfish River looks the best to me. If I was younger, I would buy an old wood canvas Chestnut canoe just for this trip. Restore it just enough to be rugged enough for the trip, heavy canvas, one coat of paint. Paddle north for a month, explore the area and leave the canoe in the bush and fly back out from a First Nations area as cheaply as possible. Maybe I could find a FN person to store the canoe for a year and fly back the following year and paddle it back to Red lake or Windigo.

This is how I usually talk myself into things...I talk out loud and see how it sounds, convince myself it's a good plan and go.

Maybe I'm not too old.
 
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Kim - No plans for a return to Ozarks; and no thanks on the Argosy. Like Martin and Robin, I dream of new places - (Your trip reports on the Yukon have inspired me!)
 
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When one is retired, time becomes an issue. The sooner that I can get to Opasquia, the better. I already have maps and have been pouring over routes and destinations. Marten is aware of my interest (I call him a friend). I still am most interested in a solo experience. I'm not sure it is fair to subject another paddler to my idiosyncratic wilderness ramblings and lifestyle. It's a good thing to be in this loop.
 
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I've been to Woodland Caribou three times. I have never been to Opasquia. Are there significant differences? The map link Marten posted seems to indicate a lot of wetland in Opasquia and a much different environment that WCPP.

the satellite view is interesting and looks taken just as the lakes started freeze up. But I couldn't tell much about the topography until (duh) I switched to the topo view. Look like there are some elevation changes from 254 m to 290. Still pretty low country!
 
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[/QUOTE]Are there significant differences? The map link Marten posted seems to indicate a lot of wetland in Opasquia and a much different environment that WCPP.

Look like there are some elevation changes from 254 m to 290. Still pretty low country![/QUOTE]


With only one trip report (notes on a map) to look at it is hard to know much about what it will be like. There are a number of photos on line but all are from the Big Hook Outpost Camps. The long narrow passages are most appealing to me. I love quietly paddling up such avenues.
 
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I have 14 that want in on this trip. I have myself, Denton Doc, Majic Paddler, Prouboy, Bogwalker, Jimbo, Northman, Mike Kinz., Hogan, Bob B, Portagekeeper, Nctry, Farmer and Waleswalker. Have I missed anyone?

I drew up a few diagrams to get an idea of how scheduling would work. I assumed that 2 weeks would be what most would want. Mike Kinz. and I are wanting longer.

With the tax added Harlan's estimate is about $3500 for each round trip up to Opasquia and returning to Red Lake.

If there were only two paddlers going up then they would have to pay for two $3500 flights. Trip cost for each $3500.

If there were 8 paddlers and they went up and back 2 at a time it would require 5 round trips with the plane =$17500
Divided 8 ways would be about $2200 per paddler.

If we used a common canoe taken in on the first trip and someone had a Pak boat inside the plane we could get 11 or 12 paddlers using 5 round trips=$17500
Divided by 11 it would cost each person about $1600

Allowing for two weeks between flights it would take 8 weeks for the 5 flights. Depending on final commitments this time span will vary. It would not take many more paddlers to fill the season.

I have used round numbers but look them over and see if I have missed something.
 
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Sorry to be so late to the party, But I would also be throwing my name in the mix. It will be interesting to see how this works out. Craig
 
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