We had no other takers for the upper Nashwaak this weekend so Mitchell and I went by ourselves, we both ran solo in our own boats. Sat. the weather was good, no rain or wind, sunday there was a stiff breeze and steady drizzle. The portage around the narrows was horrible, almost no trail to follow and the snow was deep mostly just under our knees but someplaces it was thigh deep.We had brought some tools to help clear out the portage trail a bit but after the hike we were well worn, plus it was hard to distinguish the trail in the snow and ice on the banks. The rapids below the portage made the arduous hike well worth it. they were fairly lenghty and had lots of big waves. the pools below were welcome places to bail and stretch our legs. We camped that night about 2k bellow the next bridge. there are three campsites within this stretch, all are accesible by wheeler and there is lots of broken glass. we saw some wheelers parked at the first campsite we passed and they said the next site might be cleaner, they met us ther and we had a few beer and chated for a while. the next day we found a nice campsite below lower nashwaak lake. It was high,dry and space for limitless tents, it was all gravel with a bit of sand a few small fir trees but no shelter from wind or a reasonable place for a tarp. Firewood would likely have to be collected on the way to this site as there appeared to be none. Shortly after that campsite is Irvings dam. This proved to be a nice little rapid. I ran through the third gate from river left, I only shiped about 3 to 5 gallons of water. Caution ! I pulled up near the dam after bailing and got caught in a recirculating eddy that was much stronger than it appeared. I was glad to be near shore because I had to jump out to the boat to get out of the current.After this there are lots more rapids but all tame in comparison. We ran this river at a good water level. It could be done a bit lower. any higher and there would have been a lot more bailing and possibly some swim time. If we were tandem or in less whitewater orientated boats a sprayskirt would be an aset, in high,high water a must.
Post by Ken Corbett on Apr 30, 2007 7:32:10 GMT -5
Wow, you guys are hard-core. I confess I'm not up to rugged portages through thigh-deep snow and paddling in cold drizzle. I think I've become a fair-weather paddler myself.
Where did you put in? Gorby Gulch? The paddling's good up there, no big stuff but good current. I love the quick water leading up to the big Basin myself. I still want to paddle across the first lake and down the river from there to Fred when it's a bit warmer, it would be a solid five-day trip I bet. If only there's enough water.
Any pictures? I hope you post them on your site, let us know so we can visit.
Yeah we put in at Gorby gulch. Mitchell got a few shots, I think he's gonna post them here and/or his website. I'd like to go from the lake down to freddy sometime too but it's hard linning up people with the right time off and the right amount of water, I will definetely be back on this stretch. It would be nice to line up a crew to try and clear the portage trail out again, but unlikely to hapen anytime soon.
I put the pics up on my site. Haydens rips were quite a rush and much more enjoyable running them on top of the water. I didn't get any pics of haydens rips because we ran them so quickly. The great thing about having Kyle run the rapdis first is you never have to worry about hitting any rocks, however he likes to challange the river and find the largest holes to drop into. Needless to say that following twenty feet behind him and watching him dissapear for a few seconds certainly got my adrenaline flowing.