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Sierra Club Wilderness trips and expeditions
   Chapter: Michigan (Mackinac)
   Group: Central Upper Peninsula (CUPG)
   Leader: Michael Neiger, Marquette, Michigan (Web site; e-mail; bio)

Review trip journal no. 1, trip journal no. 2, and photo album from this completed trip

Read about plans for next year's expedition

February 10-15, 2005
(note: date changed as of 9-22-04)
18th Annual Canadian Snowshoe Expedition

This year's annual, advanced-level, winter-camping trip--which will be our 18th Annual Canadian Snowshoe Expedition--will involve a six-day snowshoe tour pulling cargo sledges (five, first-come, first-serve, $5-rental club sleds available by prior arrangement) just as the Ojibwa travelled for 100s of years. We travel deep into the heart of the non-motorized Lake Superior Provincial Park in Canada. Our only companions will be the wild timber wolf and the majestic moose.

While our final route will depend on river and lake ice conditions as well as snow depths, we will likely try to reach the old, abandoned, two-story executive lodge on Old Woman Lake.

Gary De Kock's Snowshelter


Gary De Kock prepares
a snowshelter in anticipation
of a 40-below night
along the Little Agawa River,
deep in the Canadian bush,
February 2001
(Photo by Michael Neiger)

   Lake Superior Provincial Park,
      Old Woman Lake Lodge
   Algoma District
   South of Wawa, Ontario

Experience level:
   Expert-level, minus 50 degree wintercamping
   with sledge ($5 club rental) and snowshoes

   Requires prior winter-camping experience with leader

   Extremely strenuous

Off-trail/on-trail rating:
   100 percent off-trail map & compass recon

Participant requirements:
   -- Notice: please review the homepage on this Web site
      for general wilderness tripping requirements
   -- 18 years old or older
   -- non-smoker and non-drinker
   -- very physically fit (good aerobic endurance)
   -- adventurous spirit
   -- proficient swimmer
   -- prior wilderness tripping experience
   -- fully equipped with lightweight backpacking gear
      including rucksack, bivouac gear, survival gear,
      foul-weather gear, rations, stove, etc.

Bivouac advisory:
   This is not a basecamp trip.
   We will move each day
   and bivouac in a different location each night,
   often deep in the bush and far from roads,
   dry & level campsites, potable water, toilets, and fire rings.

Trip info:
   -- 8 a.m. Thursday to late afternoon on Tuesday
   -- Club fee: $20
   -- Rental of club sledge: $5
   -- Other fees: None, LSPP is closed during the winter
   -- Sign up by January 27 appreciated
   -- Contact trip leader for sign up, or application form if new
   -- Review journals and photos from similar wilderness trips

Specialized equipment required:
   -- In-pocket survival kit (knife, matches, firestarters,
      compass, whistle); Sierra Club survival kits can be
      borrowed free of charge
   -- Ice-rescue picks

Rations required:
   -- Breakfasts--5
   -- Snacks--6
   -- Lunches--6
   -- Dinners--5
   -- Backup rations--2 full days
   -- Rations and stoves info

Additional destination info:
   --Algoma Central Railway, 1-800-242-9287, http://www.algomacentralrailway.com
   --Lake Superior Provincial Park headquarters, 1-705-856-2284, http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/parks/lakes.html
   --"Railpacking," by Don Stap, "Backpacker Magazine", September 1985, pp. 48-49.
   --"Backpacking and Wilderness Camp Site Areas in Algoma Central Country," undated 3-page photocopy by Algoma Central Railway.
   --"Canoe Routes," Lake Superior Provincial Park, 2000 edition
   --"Hiking Trails," Lake Superior Provincial Park, 2001 edition
   --"The Complete Guide to Walking in Canada," by Elliott Katz (Firefly Press, 2001)
   --"Voyageur Hiking Trail Guidebook," (Voyageur Trail Association, 1998)
   -- Search destination in http://www.google.com search engine

Travel info:
   -- Driving maps
   -- Road conditions and weather reports
   -- Tourism info
   -- Road trip gear

Wilderness skills and resources info:
   -- Backpacking skills
   -- Land nav skills
   -- River fording skills
   -- Water purification skills
   -- Lightning safety
   -- Low-impact skills
   -- Backpacking links, books, & vendors
   -- Ultralight backpacking links, books, & vendors

   -- Dressing warm skills
   -- Sleeping warm skills
   -- Winter-camping skills
   -- Ice-crossing skills
   -- Snowshoe links, books, & vendors
   -- Winter-camping links, books, & vendors

Emergency contacts:
   -- Ontario Provincial Police, Wawa, 1-888-310-1122
   -- Ambulance, 705-856-4203
   -- Hospital, 705-856-2335
   -- LSPP Red Rock Lake Headquarters, 705-856-2284
   -- Sierra Club Outings Department 24-hour help line: 1-888-outings

Land Nav Team Info:

   Topographic maps:
      1:50,000 Old Woman Lake 41N/10 & 41N/11 (required)
      1:20,000 20-16-6600-52700 (Ontario base map, optional)
      1:20,000 20-16-6600-52800 (Ontario base map, optional)
      1:20,000 20-16-6700-52700 (Ontario base map, optional)
      1:20,000 20-16-6700-52800 (Ontario base map, optional)
       --Topo map ordering information
       --Topo map waterproofing & GPS prep

   Park maps:
      1:100,000 Lake Superior Provincial Park Map
       --Order at 1-705-856-2284

   2005 Magnetic declination specs:
      Magnetic declination for Lat 47° 40'N, Lon 84°48'W:
         07° 17' west
      UTM easting grid line to meridian line deviation:
         01° 40' east
      UTM easting grid line magnetic declination:
         08° 57' west

   GPS configuration specs:
      Grid coordinate system
         1000-meter Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM)
      UTM grid horizontal map datum:
        1:20,000 maps:
            1927 North American Datum Canada (NAD 27 Can)
        1:50,000 edition 2 (old) maps:
            1927 North American Datum Canada (NAD 27 Can)
        1:50,000 edition 3 (current) maps:
            1983 North American Datum (NAD 83)
      UTM grid zone:
         Zone 16
      UTM grid hemisphere:
         Northern hemisphere
      Unit of measure:
      Battery type:
         Lithium, for deep cold, or long-range use
         Alkaline, for 3-season use
      Battery type setting:
         Select type of battery (lithium, alkaline, or Ni-Cad);
         battery discharge-rate differences affect meter accuracy

   Misc nav setup:
      Roamer UTM plotter scale(s):
         1:20,000 & 1:50,000
      Ranger pacing beads:
         Metric--9 100-meter beads; 4 1-kilometer beads
      Magnetic declination setting on compass:
         0° of offset

   More land nav team info


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In God's wilderness lies the hope of the world,
the great, fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.

 — John Muir 1838-1914, Alaska Wilderness, 1890

Content Copyright © 1984-- 2005-09-09
by Michael A. Neiger

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