Oct 4, 2008 at 4:59 pm #1231407
I spent 6 days with the dog hiking around the 74km trail. It was actually my 5th time. This will be the last time I do the full trail with the dog though, as she is getting older and given the ruggedness, she will not be able to participate in the future.
I went in with about 37lbs (not as ultra-light as most here, but i'm working on getting the weight down).
Lowe Alpine Contour III 80L pack
North Face Tadpole 23 Tent
Wallcreeper PL expedition sleeping bag
Arcteryx Storm Shell
MEC Neoprene Polyester Jacket (very light very warm for cooler evenings)
Lowa Baffin Backpacking boots
Black Diamond Elliptical Hiking Poles
Merino wool t and Merino wool long sleeve t
Quick dry knickers (yes knickers, nice in-between shorts and pants, i had lightweight long johns to slip under if it got cool at night)
First Aid Kit
Canon PS A720IS Camera
15lbs Food (first day, ate about 2lbs per day)
The dog had her pack for kibble and treats & her booties for the rougher sections in the trail to protect her pads.
Day 1 5hrs
Got caught in the remnants of Hurricane Ike. Nothing major, just persistent light rain all day and that night. Discovered my tent fly needs some resealing.
Day 2 7hrs
Woke up clear skies, blue lake, an absolutely gorgeous day. It did not rain one drop the next five days (a first for me on this trail, i've always had a least two nights where it rained). Got going at about 9am and made second campsite my 4pm. Bumped into one individual taking 9 days, and a group of 4 taking 7. Stopped for lunch at one of the campsites on the way. When I reached my campsite for the night, I hung my bag to dry for a bit (the wallcreeper is amazing, it remains relatively warm, even when wet, and drys very fast). Went for a walk to the campsite about 1km further down and hung out with the party of four for a bit.
Day 3 – 7 hrs
Tough day. Down legendary Moose Pass (not of feint of heart). There's spots I help the dog down (as always, she only weighs 55lbs so it's on overly difficult, just need balance); she has a convenient handle on her pack. Lot's of scrambles, hikes over talus, and tricky descent into my campsite for the night with questionable footing (when in doubt get down on your butt). Absolutely amazing, I thrive on physical challenges, and this day did not disappoint. Clear skies that night, so I sat out on a rock an watched the stars.
Day 4 – 5 hrs
Tough hiking for first 3hrs and relatively easy going for the last 2hrs. Passed by Silver Peak, debated ditching pack and running up (I'm an avid trail runner) but decided against it as I've been up before, and I wanted to get to my site so I could enjoy the rest of the day. Clear skies again all day and night. Took some awesome shots.
Day 5 – 5.5 hrs
The hike starts off in forest, but quickly you come out into fields covered with quartzite boulder (not difficult terrain, but can be exhausting if you're not in shape, same distance two years earlier took me seven hours with a friend who doesn't get much excercise). Made campsite by 3pm, went swimming, the dog joined in.
Day 6 – 4.5 hrs
Got an early start 8am. Made it to 'the crack' (decent on large granite boulders down a fissure between two 180ft granite slabs) by 10am. Last 2.5 hrs is relatively easy hiking. Off the trail by 12:30am. Into town for a cheeseburger for myself and a hotdog for the dog (a nice treat after such a long hike for such a good hiking partner, it saddens me she will not be able to participate on lengthly more difficult hikes in the future, i'll do some shorter ones with her though)
for those interest in the pics. there's a plethora here at my flickr site:Oct 4, 2008 at 7:36 pm #1453270
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Nice set of photos. You obviously got the three "G's" during your trip…greenery, granite, and great campsites!
That dog sure looked worn out. I miss taking my mine since he's 12 years old now.Oct 5, 2008 at 7:55 am #1453315
and a lot of quartzite too. it's really beautiful country up there; i highly recommend it.
i'm an avid fan of the coastal trails along lake superior as well (lake superior provincial park, pukaskwa national park) . while they don't get the elevations of some mountainous areas on the east and west side of the continent, it's very challenging terrain to cover as you're hiking on jagged shorelines. lot's of boulders to jump and climb.
my dog's 10, she's an american staffordshire, solid muscle, and in great shape still, but not as young as she use to be. 3 years ago when we did killarney, she was bouncing around even at the end of each hiking day. now though, after a long day's hike and a good swim, she's content to curl up in the grass and sleep.
luckily, i have parks (alqonquin, halfway lake, the bruce etc) where the trails are not as rugged nor long and i can plan shorter hike where she can still come.Oct 6, 2008 at 6:33 am #1453386
Great photos and thanks for posting. They sure bring back memories; looks like we shared some campsites. We were in the week before you and took six days to complete. A couple of us are like your dog, having lost a step or two, but wouldn't have missed it for the world. She's a beatiful dog and must be one tough girl, the talus in areas was tough, and as you mentioned the constant elevation changes.
I have some photos on Kodak Gallery but haven't figured out how to post to the site. I can send invites to individuals and if you're interested you can pm me.
10 hours in we found a full abandoned pack with a wetted out sleep bag (at the Narrows). Called and searched but found no one. A counterclockwise group said they would report it. You didn't by any chance hear the outcome?
Our last night we were at Heaven Lake (you have a pic from the trail their). Beautiful site with views of the Georgian Bay in the far west. We figured an easy march out the next day but 7 hours later we were whipped but very satisfied with the trip.
Because the highest elevation gain is only ~ 400 meters, we underestimated the degree of difficulty. You get to gain and lose your elevations repeatedly. Just a beautiful trip and highly recommended.
Thanks for your earlier trip recommendations. We were able to re-work our itinerary at the station and things worked out great.
PaulOct 6, 2008 at 8:41 pm #1453460
Great trip report! Killarney is my playground :). Sounds like you have your fair share of loops under your belt aswell. Your the second person who mentioned the backpack…unless you are the one who posted it on in the Killanrey forum?
For those interested, the La Cloche Silhouette trail is an absolutely stunning loop that takes anywhere from a few to 10 or so days. The park is as beatiful in the summer as it is in the winter…and yes, the ups and downs can take a toll on ones knees (I speak from experience!)Oct 7, 2008 at 6:12 pm #1453604
crazy. the backpack was there a week later as well, near h18 i called out too, but there are no difficult sections in the general area, so i just assumed someone in a party bit off more than they could chew and just dropped the pack.
i haven't posted in the killarney forum, but thanks for reminding me, as i should.
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