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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

March 3-8, 2005
Winter camping

This trip will be a 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 before us. We'll explore the shoreline of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore between Munising Falls and the Beaver Basin, which is up for Wilderness Designation. Along the way, we'll explore ice caves, ice falls, and wilderness caves that dot the shoreline as well as the park's remote backcountry.


Mary Powell (in front of cave
on right side of photo) emerges
Ice Caves along Lake Superior from an ice cave
along the shore of
Lake Superior
near the mouth
of the Mosquito River
in the Pictured Rocks
National Lakeshore,
March 2003.
(Photo by Mary Powell)

   Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore:
      Shoreline Trail, Chapel and Miners Basins
   Alger County
   Upper Michigan, east of Munising

Experience level:
   Advanced-level, minus 20 degree wintercamping
   with sledge ($5 club rental) and snowshoes

   Requires prior winter-camping experience with leader

   Extremely strenuous

Off-trail/on-trail rating:
   50 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 mid-afternoon on Tuesday
   -- Club fee: $15
   -- Rental of club sledge: $5
   -- PRNL Camping Permits: approximately $25
   -- Sign up by February 15 appreciated
   -- Contact trip leader to sign up, or for 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
   -- CLIMBING/CAVING HELMET: must have chin strap
      and be UIAA (International Union of Alpine Associations)-
      or CEN (European Community Norm)-approved.
   -- One climbing-grade carabiner
   -- Whistle on parka zipper shell
   -- Ice-rescue picks

Rations required:
   -- Breakfasts--5
   -- Snacks--6
   -- Lunches--6
   -- Dinners--5
   -- Backup rations--1 full day
   -- Rations and stoves info

Additional destination info:
   -- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore http://www.nps.gov/piro/ 1-906-387-3700
   -- Book: "Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - - A Guide" by Olive Anderson (1988, Bayshore Press)
   -- Book: "Scenic Highlights at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Adjacent Areas" by Richard W. Holzman (1990, Royal Gallery)
   -- Book: "By the Shining Big-Sea-Water - - The Story of Pictured Rocks 10,000 B.C. to 1966 A.D." (1989, Bayshore Press)
   -- Book: "Backpacking in Michigan" by Pat Allen and Gerald L. DeRuiter (1989 University of Michigan Press)
   -- Book: "Michigan Ice - - An Ice Climbers Guide to the Central Upper Peninsula of Michigan" by Bill Thompson (1998 Michigan Ice)
   -- 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:
   -- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: 1-906-387-3700
   -- Alger County Sheriff: 1-906-387-4444
   -- Munising State Police: 1-906-387-4540
   -- Hospital (Munising): 1-906-389-4110
   -- Sierra Club Outings Department 24-hour help line: 1-888-outings

Land Nav Team Info:

   Topographic maps:
      1:24,000 Indian Town, Michigan
      1:24,000 Wood Island SE, Michigan
      1:25,000 Melstrand, Michigan
      1:25,000 Grand Portal Point, Michigan
      1:25,000 Trappers Lake, Michigan
       --Topo map ordering information
       --Topo map waterproofing & GPS prep

   Park maps:
      Pictured Rocks Official Map and Guide (free handout)
      1:62,500 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan
       --Order at 1-906-387-3700

   County maps:
      Alger County
       --County map ordering information

   2005 Magnetic declination specs:
      Magnetic declination for Lat 46° 30'N, Lon 86°30'W:
         05° 16' west
      UTM easting grid line to meridian line deviation:
         00° 20' east
      UTM easting grid line magnetic declination:
         05° 36' west

   GPS configuration specs:
      Grid coordinate system
         1000-meter Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM)
      UTM grid horizontal map datum:
        1:24(5),000 maps:
            1927 North American Datum Canada (NAD 27 CONUS)
      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):
         1:24,000 & 1:25,000
      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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