BWCAW Wind Bound Entry Day?

This question came up on our recent trip to BWCAW. If a party is putting in on a big lake and the lake is too rough or the weather is otherwise too bad for travel on the day of their permit, what should the party do, enter another day or at another point? If it had happened to us, I’d have contacted the outfitter and/or Ranger Station for advice, but I just wondered if there was a standard policy about it.

Never Happened Yet
Usuually if you get started early enough, not a problem. But there have been days I’ve been windbound while out. Guess I would wait until late afternoon and see if the wind let up. Next choice would be that I would take my chances with a free permit for whatever’s available the next day. It may not be your favorite route, but it’s rare to have no permits available in a given area. Of course, the BWCAW seems to be busier and busier every time I go! WW

mighty rare
that the wind would not drop at some point. Usually evening will give you lesser winds, even if it has been blasting all day. You may not get as far as you planned that day, but you can make your start.

I usually plan for a very early morning start, usually by camping, or better yet a bunkhouse, so I don’t have to pack up camp, as near the entry as I can get. Getting on the water as it gets light enough to see will give you low winds and often a beautiful sunrise.

I often enter Quetico through Cache Bay and like to paddle Saganaga rather than use a motorized shuttle. I use a bunkhouse at Way of the Wilderness outfitters and set the alarm for 4:15(June) and am on the water by 5:00 AM. No driving, my canoe is waiting for me down by the water. I bring some bakery for my breakfast and have enjoyed a glassy Saganaga every time. Arrive Cache Bay about the time they open the office at 8AM.

Busy Times
Yes, I guess permits could be pretty scarce at the busier times.

The day we came out, the wind was kicking up good on Snowbank, even at 8:30 am when I reached the parking lot on foot, having hiked over from the Lake One launch. Several folks were there at Snowbank to put in, but the rollers looked pretty nasty to me. I might have tried it solo or with a trusted partner, but the water was still mighty cold. I don’t think I’d have lead a group with modest skills out into that. That got me thinking about the options available at that point.

Cold water and heavy boats might not make the best setting for working on the rough water skills :-).