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Topics - walknabout

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Trip Reports / Spring trekk in Algonquin
« on: March 12, 2020, 11:38:37 am »
This was another tour of the park using the bike pulk system to haul in gear for a 4 day stay at one of the remote lakes.  Gorgeous few days, with cold nights, sunny days and miles of trails explored in solitude.  I picked a familiar spot for my basecamp as I had some wood stashed and didn’t want it to go to waste.  An easy 10km haul in, under blue skies, light wind and some fresh powder on the trail from the night before.

Diesel is ready to go exploring the moment the tent is up and loaded

With Centennial Ridge just a ski away, I wanted to get up there and watch the sunset from up above.   

Once we got closer, I caught a glimpse of a blue ice formation that I knew I had to get up to see.  Changed over to snowshoes at the shore, and started climbing up the steep terrain.  The ice formation was much larger than what I saw from the lake, a real treat to get up and close and admire it for a little while.

There is a trail going up to the ridge, but what’s the fun in following a trail…lol  Decided to bushwhack my way up there, finding some chaga along the way and some fresh spring water for the dog.

Pretty cool view from up there, but with clouds moving in, there was no chance for a nice sunset view of the highlands.  It was time to head back to camp.

With the park still empty on Friday morning, and some fresh snow that fell overnight, I decided to go for a ride.  A tough go on the less travelled trails, but got into some amazing spots along the route.

After 8hrs of riding, dinner sure tasted great that afternoon

Friday overnight was a chilly one.  Managed to keep the dog warm all night with blankets and that first fire sure felt NICE after the morning rituals

With a plan to ride out to the Sunday lake sled trail that day, we set off early under pure blue skies and sunshine.  It’s a 12Km haul out to hwy60 the way I was going, following some sled tracks all the way up rock lake rd. The views of the cliffs are amazing along that road!! WOW 8)

The road up to where I thought I could hook up to the trail was not plowed, so I opted for plan B and rode the big pine trail, along some of the oldest trees in the park. 

Sunday morning was another sunny start to the day.  It was time to pack up and head out.  Taking my sweet time and enjoying the sunshine,  I hauled outta camp around noon.
With over 3ft of snow still in the bush, there might be some time left to plan one more trekk through this winter wonderland……

Trip Reports / Chasing Nanabush in Algonquin Park
« on: February 19, 2020, 12:35:41 pm »
What a gorgeous few days to be out camping this past weekend.  Some crazy temp swings, but that seems to be the norm this year, saw the temps go from -30 Friday morning, up to around 0 Saturday, just to drop back down to -25 Sunday/Monday.
Since colder is better for travel days IMO, it was time to pack the gear and head for a remote spot along the bike/railway trail in Algonquin Park.  Going solo this weekend, I decided to try something new and use my fatbike to haul the gear.  I set up basecamp about 10 k out and explored this part of the park on bike and ski from there.  As we usually head north of  HWY60, this part of the park was all new territory for me, and I’m so happy I decided to check it out.

Hauling heavy Friday morning at -30

This guy is always so happy to be out there, no matter how cold, how far, how tough of a go!

Found this perfect spot for a camp, with majestic views of the lake, cliffs and good supply of firewood.

Nice crisp morning in the Ontario backcountry.

Saturday, I wanted to ride the rest of the railtrail, hit up some of the side trails, and run over to the Mew Campground to check out the winter festival.  A loose plan, as always when out in the bush, that turned into 9hours of biking and taking in all the incredible views around this part of the park.

The face I get when the stove goes out

Sunday, I decided to check out some of the sacred sites around Rock Lake. It was another long day out, but conditions were perfect for lake travel and I was in search of the Trickster!!

Sunday night I had a pack of coyotes come for a visit and a quick intro. Male on one side, rest of the pack behind our camp…the Trickster found me!  After a quick exchange, they carried on their path, perhaps picked up a spark or two from the roaring fire inside my tent and I was greeted to the most beautiful sunrise I've seen in a very long time 8) ;D

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Ontario backcountry trekking
« on: January 22, 2020, 11:22:33 am »
Weather has been up and down this year (mostly up so far), and when things get good out there,  it’s always time to head for the hills.  With a foot + of fresh, dry POW in the bush, the trails were a tough go but the scenery was sublime and so worth the arduous trekk.  No camping this time around, just two looooong days out in the bush and some local trails.

Hope everyone is having a great season out there!!  8)

Trip Reports / stoking the season
« on: November 18, 2019, 11:21:45 am »
Looks like we are in for a good season around here. We’ve been getting snow and cold temps for a few weeks now, with some areas around Collingwood already at about 50cm of total accumulation.  Ski hills are opening up…people are complaining about the cold already…it's time to get the stoke on, get out and enjoy this wonderful time of the year!! 8)
We got out Saturday for a 12hr tour of a bit of a mix of bush, Bruce Trail, and the many awesome trails up near Collingwood.

There is fresh powder for miles up in the hills

Awesome scenery along the route

Skiing well into the night, our season is officially open  ;D ;D

Enjoy the season everyone, be safe, play hard and keep stoking those stoves 8)

Trip Reports / Lake Huron Flowerpot Islands
« on: March 08, 2019, 11:39:55 am »
Last time we had this much ice on the Great Lakes around these parts, was back in 2014.
I've been eyeing this part of ON for a winter trekk for a few years now. Wednesday was a good day to go on a recon mission  ::)
I grabbed my furry partner and headed for Tobermory with a loose plan to bike around the Peninsula and if conditions were right, bike around the Flowerpot Islands.
I was in for a treat!  Couldn’t have asked for better ice conditions 8) The Universe was on my side that day!  It being my birthday, I didn’t expect anything less…lol

Sorry guys, this is going to look like a Trek ad, I’m in no way affiliated ;D

First small island was breathtaking, the amount of ice formations was amazing, Nature’s best side for sure!!!

The big island was even more incredible.  The cliffs, the openness, the views of Lake Huron were out of this world. 

With incoming snowsqualls, it was time to seek out a cave to have lunch and really be in the moment.

After about an hour, the squalls rolled through and the sun came back out.  It was time to head back and leave the rest of the island trekk for next time…..whenever that might be.
Last bit of open water

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Georgian Bay cave hopping
« on: March 05, 2019, 11:35:27 am »
A perfect day out on the big lake.  Just enough fresh powder to protect the bases, sunny skies and solid ice for days 8) 


Trip Reports / Fam long weekend in Temagami bush
« on: February 27, 2019, 11:37:46 am »
Here are some pics from our Love/Fam long weekend in Temagami.  Another great trip for the books with amazing weather, great memories and 3 days of solid BC skiing.  We re-visited some of the trails we used to day ski before getting into wintercamping, the forgotten Smoothwater ski trails 8) 

Perfect travel day, just enough fresh powder to cover up sled tracks.  Trying out my modified Paris sled, extra 2.5ft of length allowed me to spread out the load and keep the COG nice and low.  Perfect fit for our needs.

Familiar camp spot, out of the way of winds and 20cm of predicted accumulation

Haven’t seen this much snow around these parts in years, bottoming out my 165cm ski poles in the bush.  Lakes were full of slush, glad we basecamped and didn’t have to fight the slushmonsters everyday :o ;D

The vanishing trails :(

There is a line there somewhere ;D

The beauty of the Temagami bush is on full display out there right now

Happy travels folks, and keep your fingers crossed the rodent was wrong with his prediction this year ::) :o ;D

Back Country Skiing Discussion / Algonquin bliss
« on: January 15, 2019, 04:06:10 pm »
Just couldn’t pass up this weather we had on the weekend.  Fantastic skiing conditions out there folks, winter is in full swing in Algonquin.  Just pick a spot on the map, park and go :)

3ft of snow in the bush

When the lakes are solid, air is crisp and sun is out...pure bliss 8)

Found this little spot, perfect for a camp next time out :)

Running a little late in the day, but love spending the last bit of daylight out on the lakes 8)

Happy travels everyone!!

Back Country Skiing Discussion / ski base ice damage
« on: January 06, 2019, 10:08:17 am »
Looks like the Rosi bases sustained some damage on our tour last weekend  :o  My Fischer bases look ok, but they had more wax on them to begin with.
Any ideas on a fix?

time for a shave? :o

Trip Reports / Ringing in 2019 in AP
« on: January 03, 2019, 12:40:33 pm »
Happy New Year Wintertrekkers!!
This trip was delayed a couple of days due to the forecast, but we still managed to enjoy 4 glorious days trekking through and ringing in 2019 in Algonquin’s interior.
The rain and warm temps on Dec 28th  followed by a huge drop in temps overnight, made for super enjoyable/fast skiing on the lakes. We covered 14KM in just over 3hrs, which with all the pic taking and snack breaks, almost felt like cheating ::) ;D
The weird weather patterns made for some very interesting ice formations and the cold (-16 and sunny on Dec 29th) just felt so good on the body and soul.

At daybreak, the welcoming pack came out across the bay from our camp and made sure we knew who was in charge :).  Diesel (our GSD) howls with coyotes at home, but the wolf has such a drawn out howl, it was pretty awesome to hear him trying to mimic it.  The wolves weren’t interested in having a conversation with him and took off.  After assuring the wife of our safety and arming her with two pocket knives :o ;D, we spent the day romping around, collecting wood and just enjoying the surroundings. 

With a fresh couple of inches of snow overnight, we decided to pack the day pack, snowshoes and ski over to Trout Mountain, the site of one of the first wooden fire towers in the park. What better way to spend the last day of 2018, than bushwhacking through AP, while visiting some familiar summer campsites  :)

Only fitting to ring in 2019 sipping on a couple of Mad Tom IPA’s while camped out on Tom Thomson Lake during a snowstorm 8) ;D

We received about 10 inches of fresh powder overnight, and woke up to something we haven’t seen in a while...clear, blue skies 8)

We took our time breaking camp, and made a slooooow trekk back to the car (almost 7hrs  ;D), enjoying every single kick and glide in this majestic setting.

Cheers to 2019 everyone!! May it bring everything you wish and plan for 8)

Trip Reports / Temagami's Devil Mountain trekk
« on: February 22, 2018, 04:51:11 pm »
Good to see everyone getting out while we still can!  Looks like someone turned off the winter switch a little early this year.  With 4 days to play and rainfall warnings for most regions south of North Bay, we packed the truck and headed for Temagami. 
We tucked the camp into a quiet bay on Lake Temagami, out of the winds and with good supply of firewood.  Temps hovered around the freezing mark all weekend, so we didn't need much of it, but it's good to know it's there for next time.

With Devil Mountain skiing distance away, next day we decided to head up the mountain, explore the range and take in the incredible views from this vantage point. 

Plenty of snow on the side of the mountain, great workout getting up the ice covered ledges and numerous blowdowns.

Very rewarding climb and a perfect spot for lunch.  Long views of the heart of Temagami with Maple Mountain on the horizon.

It’s easy to cover a lot of ground while out’nabout on this lake.  The conditions were just right.  We put in a solid 18km day, the lake had a thin ice crust with just enough snowcover to get good kick grip.


Hope everyone is making the best of this crapshoot of a winter ‘round these parts!  Happy trekkin’

Trip Reports / ringing in 2018
« on: January 05, 2018, 12:14:56 pm »
Happy New Year everyone!!
We kicked off another hardwater season with a quick romp through the AP bush. With lakes frozen solid, and just enough snow cover to make the 10KM trekk a breeze, we set up camp on a nice quiet, “off the map” spot. 
Great views of the lake, running water, plenty of firewood, just a perfect setting to ring in 2018.

Finding beauty spots along our daily trekks is never an issue in ON backcountry.  With cold temps, clear skies, and low snow conditions, we managed to cover 18km on day two.

The haul out was brutal. Long open lakes, head/bone chilling wind and snow, gnarly moose trails …the works!!  Loved every minute of it… :)

Hope everyone has a great season and cheers to 2018 y’all 

Trip Reports / Weekend in the Temagami bush
« on: March 09, 2017, 02:59:28 pm »
When going gets good, the good come out to play….Couldn’t have asked for better weather for this trip.  Fresh 10” of POW, cold temps and wide open skies…. Temagami was the place to be this past weekend!
We spent our first night at Northland Paradise Lodge in town to get an early start on what we knew was going to be a slow go given the terrain….great plan until we met Doug (the host) and spent better part of the night looking over maps, getting minnows, eating pie and taking in all the stories he was willing to share…
We were on the trail by 9am and headed into a spot 7km in.  Untouched fresh powder all the way in, slooooooooow go with all the hills and not many downhills. 

Winds were brutal that day so we picked a quiet spot sheltered by an awesome cliff and started processing wood for the next three days.  Friday night was cold, the trees were popping all night, especially around 4am…always a good sign to add more wood to the stove and climb back into the sleeping bag….

Saturday we processed more wood before hitting the trails….

Silly dog, told him that wasn’t dog food kibble he found under a tree

Finally had some time after late lunch to go for a hike around our lake and enjoy some of all the beauty Temagami has to offer

With all the camp chores out of the way, Sunday was play day!!!  18km loop through some of the finest bush, lakes and rivers in the province

Sunday night was very mild, had to let the stove burn out early, strip down to nothing and let the -40 rated sleeping bags do their thing.   Monday we woke up to rain drizzle…it was time to pack up and head home.  All the work put in hauling in uphill paid off hauling out…lol  With some sled traffic on the road over the weekend, which packed down the trail, we were hitting 36km/h on the downhills (gps speed) and were back at the truck for lunch. 

Till next time, happy and safe travels ya’ll

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