Sacred Headwaters via Kemess Mine Road June 25th -29th: any takers?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Crooked Creek, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    So last year I was fortunate to explore the Spatsizi Plateau/Sacred Headwaters area not just once...

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    ....but twice.

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    And this year I want to try from the other side. Not from the south as I was thinking of last year (via the rail grade from Fort St James) which would be impossible this early in the year (and possibly at any time) but from the east.

    The plan is to access the alpine region from the Omineca Resource Access Road (aka the Kemess Mine Road.) The road is deactivated after the Sturdee Airstrip, but as far I can find out, it should be doable to at least Black Lake and hopefully to Albert's Hump. The only issues may be fuel, lack of bridges, and possibly snow.

    The only documented motorcycle trip up here (that I can find anyways) was by Tom Grenon 11 years ago. You can check out his journey here. The Kemess mine is closed now so the road has not been maintained but by all accounts should be fine for a properly equipped ADV bike.

    Anyways, I am looking for any recent intel that you guys can give me. Apparently there is a new hunting outfitter operating near Black Lake and if someone knew his name/phone number, that would be excellent. Or if you know anyone working in mining in the area who might be able to arrange for a fuel stash that would be even better. (UPDATE: I found out who it is, but have yet to get a hold of him.)

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    I am also looking for a riding partner for all or some of the trip. If there's time; I wouldn't mind checking out Kwadacha (Fort Ware) as well if time allows. This is about of remote of a trip as you can find, so you'll need a reliable bike and be willing to do some spartan camping. I'll be bringing my fishing rod :D.
    #1
  2. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Depending on which way you go there should be fuel in Manson Creek and Germansen Landing. I would be up for the trip but I'm all out of holidays this year :cry
    #2
  3. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    So I did some calling around and I found the outfitter I was looking for. Fuel will not be an issue any more :clap.
    #3
  4. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Too bad, from where you're at it would only take a day, maybe two...
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  5. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Yea...but I'd want to look around. That is some spectacular country up there.....
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  6. GISdood

    GISdood Been here awhile

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    Looking forward to this RR already, Ben! Looks to be some pretty interesting stuff. I've been up to Fort Ware a couple times, myself. Granted, it was winter and I flew in both times. :evil

    Enjoy the Grayling action up there... tons of 'em in the Finlay River, and they'll bite pretty much anything you chuck at them.

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    If I could get the time off, I'd certainly be thinking about taking you up on this one, but as it is, I'll have to settle for living vicariously through your RR - and let me know if you need a place to crash on your way there or back. Good luck!
    #6
  7. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Just seeing that pic gets me excited for fishing :D. I was in the Arctic again last month and enjoyed some tasty graying on the road. I'll probably be going through Mackenzie, but thanks for the offer (again.)
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  8. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    If headed to Ft Ware..there should be fuel at Tsay Kay and Ft Ware too....
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  9. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I hadn't even noticed that there was a Tsay Kay, so that was good to know :D. If I can't find anyone to ride with, I'm thinking of going solo and then packrafting the Finlay from Thutede Lake to Fort Ware. It's hard finding info on the river though...
    #9
  10. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Ever read Finlay's River by R. M. Paterson? The info is a wee bit dated but should give you a bit of an idea of what the area is like....

    I misspelled the name...its actually Tsay Keh Dene...which is a native community pretty well at the head of Williston Lake. Ft Ware is a ways past it.....

    There are a number of logging camps along the way too. Osilinka camp is on the way to Kemess. Ted Browne and Finbow are on the way to Ft Ware. Not too sure if anybody is around up in those camps anymore as it has been a long time since I've been up that way. Finbow would be on the wrong side of the Finlay anyway. Ted Browne is pretty well right at Tsay Keh....

    Oh...and one more. Omenica camp is at KM 172 or so on the Finlay mainline. Again I'm not sure if there is anyone around but there might be....

    Damn memory....there is also another native community at Blackpine...which is past Osilinka on the way to Kemess. Not sure if they have any serivces there but you might be able to at least get some fuel....
    #10
  11. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    I haven't read Finlay's River but I'd been meaning to buy it. Sounds really interesting. According to the guys I talked to all the camps on the ORAR are not in use, but there are some guys reclaiming at Kemess, so I'm working on making a friend there.
    #11
  12. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Have you decided on your route yet?
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  13. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Nope. If no one comes with me, then I will just wing it.
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  14. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    wow, I'd love to but timing is bad for me, work is in the way ( and its thin now) but late summer may work. any chance of sharing the fuel dump outfitter contact? BTW thanks for your trip posts, and best of luck :1drink
    #14
  15. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    There is a small chance I'll be back up in early September, because I would LOVE to packraft the Finlay River, and from what I'm finding out it seems like trying it now would be almost certain death. I'll wait to make sure things pan out next week, but when I get home I definitely can help my ADV brethren with contacts and info about the area.
    #15
  16. squonker

    squonker Stupid is the new norm

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    I'm looking forward to the ride report already, I only wish I could tag along.

    No need to say "have fun" 'cos we all know you will!
    #16
  17. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Did I miss it, what date are you planning on starting this trip?
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  18. Crooked Creek

    Crooked Creek Been here awhile

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    Look up /\ to the title. :evil

    I plan to try to get to Mackenzie Sunday night. After talking to locals, I think I'll go straight up to Kemess and only go to Ware if I have time, as the Albert's Hump area will be the highlight scenery and remoteness wise. If it looks safe-ish, I might packraft the Finlay to Cascadero Falls or there's not too much snow, I might try to get into Toodoggone Lake and go fishing. Going to take skinny back roads from Mackenzie and go through Germansen Landing to get fuel. It's really a bit early for this trip, but it's what I got and the weather looks good so I'm going.
    #18
  19. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Lol, good thing I don't make my living as a detective!
    I'm in pergutory until middle of next week but then will be home and off for
    couple a three months. Would jump at the chance other wise. One part
    of the province I really want to check out. Best of luck with your ride!
    #19
  20. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    crooked creek, do you have a big tank? your current range? hey your are too busy for this :1drink I'll go back and reread your trip report. :1drink
    its easy to get decent mileage on easy sections, but when in low gears mileage can go to hell. my DRZ has a 3.7g tank, I have a acerbis 1g aux tank, I'd want some additional as well. my drz is a E so higher compression then the S, I know most fuel you find in outback is low octane, I need some more time to see what it likes.

    Thanks again, keep those ride reports comin' :1drink
    #20