Ishpatina Ridge, Temagami

September 16 – 20, 2005


This is the gripping tale of how five intrepid canoeists climbed the highest point in Ontario. We overcame storms, isolation, hypoxia and a lot of mud in our quest to summit the famed and feared Ishpatina Ridge, in the northwest part of the Temagami wilderness area. I made up that bit about the hypoxia. Sorry. The previous sentences may also contain some hyperbole as well.

The five day trip was organized as a YCCC flatwater trip, with three club members and two guests. We travelled just over 60km, including about 8km of fairly easy portages. The trail up to Ishpatina itself is gentle and not at all technical.

Here's a brief summary:

Don't believe me

This is an exceptionally well-documented trip. See also:


To my trip mates Markus, Lisa, Michael and Ken. This was the first YCCC trip I've organized and you made it easy. Thanks to Irene for indulging me and for being the trip's guardian angel. Thanks to the YCCC for having all kinds of nifty gear including the Swift Osprey.


This is not an advice site, I am not an expert, and these canoe trips I write about can be dangerous. Mistakes can have big consequences and reading this site won't prepare you for any of it. So if you've never gone canoe tripping and it seems like fun, join a club, hire an outfitter or tag along with experienced folk. Please.

Off we go then Montréal River, Temagami, at the put in. We’re ready to roll.

Smoothwater to Apex The leaves were already fallen along this trail.

There’s a shore out there Ken paddling south on Smoothwater