Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 Plans?

As previously mentioned on the NSE blog, 2010 is a big year for Northstar Expeditions. It's our tenth year of paddling together so we want to do something a bit bigger than we had in the past. We are thinking a bit longer, and a bit farther afield, than our usual 4 day trips. And unlike our infamous April Fools Trip, this one is bounded by the realities of time, money, and practicality. However, this year we might even fly!

So, we are looking for suggestions. Here are the criteria and considerations:
  1. 5-7 days.
  2. If a flight is involved, it's gotta be a cheap one.
  3. We're 4 generally fit guys, but we're not super ambitious and we are not used to packing light (relates to point 7).
  4. Fish, the more the merrier.
  5. Starting within 600 km of Saskatoon (Missinipe, 460km away, is our usual launching point).
  6. Some whitewater (to play in and fish below) would be good (Class II+).
  7. Major nasty portages would not be good.
  8. We're OK with a layover day or two (relates to points 3 & 4).
  9. We'll be paddling in September so there must still be water in the river.
  10. Paddling on the shield is preferred. 
  11. Trip costs should be kept moderately low (we know, that's a relative thing).
  12. No international borders should intentionally be crossed. 
  13. We usually travel with only one vehicle so if a shuttle is required we probably would be hiring it.
Some ideas we have had in mind so far are the Paull River back to Missinipe (fly-in), Needle Falls or Black Bear Island Lake on the Churchill River back to Missinipe (fly-in), Nemeiban to Churchill River and back to Missinipe (drive-in), Sturgeon-Weir (drive-in with long shuttle), ...

Here is the Government of Saskatchewan Documented Canoe Routes page which is a very handy resource for trip planning in this region (Jay has a complete set of print copies which date back about 30 years). We also have a copy of the book Northern Saskatchewan Canoe Trips, A Guide to 15 Wilderness Rivers by Laurel Archer so will be browsing through that resource too.

If you have any good ideas or want to cast your vote for a route we would love to hear from you!