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 Post subject: Noire River Aug 2009
PostPosted: August 10th, 2009, 2:33 pm 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
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Location: Oshawa
I just got back from a Noire River canoe trip. Went from Aug 4th to Aug 9th so 6 days. This was my first time paddling the river and what a pretty river it is!!

I went solo with my doggie. I used Michelle for a shuttle (great service as always!) and paddled my pocket canyon with just one large barrel (clothes, tent, sleeping bag) and a medium barrel (food).

On the shuttle ride up the river I was told water levels where rather high and that it should be a good float down the river. This info proved to be accuarate as all of the rapids had deep channels to run. I guess this part of Quebec has recieved the same sort of rainfall as central Ontario.

Day 1 - Aug 4th
Met shuttle group at 1:30pm. There was a group of 6 putting in at km 60 (by road) and a group of two who ended up putting in at km 108 with me. Apparently we were the first groups to be dropped off at this point this year by Michelle...one other group had been put in at the headwaters of the Noire just a few days earlier than us. The shuttle took about 4 hours and I was on the river by around 5:30 ish. Only paddled about 5kms before setting up camp on a nice sand beach...weather was rainy and fairly cool. Dinner of cold cuts and buns. Ended my first day with a toast to the river gods with a cup of wine.

Day 2 - Aug 5th

Slept in a bit as it was a long day yesterday. Had breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. Paddled maybe 15-20 kms before setting up camp on another sand beach (life is tough at this point ;) ). Weather overcast no rain. Dinner of t-bone steak, fresh red potatoes, and green beans all washed down with wine from a tetra pack.

Day 3 - Aug 6th
Slept in, breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. Another liesurely day on the river, paddled 15-20kms again stopping around every bend for a dip and to let Tallula run off some steam. Made camp on another beach and had soup and crackers for dinner with a cup of wine.

Day 4 - Aug 7th
Up nice and early and had again more oatmeal and coffee for breakfast. Paddled another 20kms or so stopping at a sandy beach every hour to let Tallula run around and swim. Before the trip she was hesitant to go out past her reach. Now she is fetching sticks in the river over her head and loving it...must be the wonderful sand and fresh water making her so daring...she looks at home in this magical stretch of river. We arrive at the Wall not sure really as what to expect since the run sound tricky. The first couple of rapids all C I's are a delight to paddle with sun in the sky and sand on the shores. We get out at the island where the Wall is and have a look. Lots of water running through it with big haystacks and a nice hole at the top, what concerned me most about the run was a log that looked fairly loose adjacent to the wall and reaching into the tongue of the rapid. A spill here could end tragic for any one of us including the canoe so we opt to line down the left shore and run the bottom half of the rapid. I lose my water filter on this rapid after an equipment malfunction...my caribiner attaching it to my pack breaks and I imagine my filter is now somewhere in the eddies of the Wall! I feel a little better about the incident that I hadn't just left it behind on one of the previous beaches. Note to self - only buy heavy duty caribiners. Luckily I had brought a back up pump in case my other got clogged with sand. Tonight we camp at the first campsite at Targie. Here we met a youth group on a 21 day expidition that started at the headwaters of the coulonge, crossed over to the noire and will end there voyage on the Ottawa. They are just finishing up running the class III first drop at Targie. They take interest in Tallula but quickly make their way down river after Tallula barks at them (must work on her manners!). The campsite at Targie is small but perfect for the two of as and we enjoy watching the sun go down while sitting on the large rock at the drop off. Supper was had earlier of noodles and coffee at one of our sandy stop offs.

Day 5 - Aug 8th
Up earlier again after a quick breakfast of 1 apple (lol...I munched on granola as we paddled for the rest of the day). I decided to do a lift over at the class III drop and run the rest of it. We also ran the class II's at the end of Targie taking on some lapfulls of water and shooting the left side at the very last drop...purely by accident as Tallula decided to stand up in the canoe after the second drop which nearly sent us down the river backwards with poor balance...was able to recover and scolded the pup back to her senses...from this point on she listend very well in the rest of the rapids. Today we covered the Canyon Staircase, Mountain Chutes, Rapides de L'Islet, and Rapides de L'ours. We ran the rapid before the Staircase, portage the drops, and run the remaining class II's without mishap. The red canoe still sits wrapped up in the bottom rapid. A beautiful run started with considerable apprehension as it is my first time running the river. After scouting and planning my routes through the upper and lower rapids all that remained was a glorified uplifting of spirits after experiencing the Noire's magestic landscape. Mountain Chutes was another rapid started with apprehension and a bit of fear since I knew that I wanted to run the rapids right up to the drop. I also knew water levels where high and that Mr. Hap Wilson recommend portaging the whole thing if high levels where at hand. After carefull examination of the upper cI tech I ran it to the beginning of the cII. Here I ferried across to the other shore to get a better glimpse of what was to be had further down river and decided to give it a go hugging the left shoreline very close. This again was a beautiful run and I had no difficulties eddying out at the bottom just before the drop. Grunted out the portage and put in just below the falls here...a remarkable spot that pictures would not do justice for. I would not recommed this stretch of the river to anyone with bad knees, back, or leg problems as this portage is very dangerous...I am fairly athletic and even I was just trying not to fall and crack my head open on the rocks at the middle and end of the portage...worth every effort in the end though. Paddled the remainder cI-cII out of the canyon. Portaged Island rapids and rapid de l'ours. Ended the day on yet another sand beach. Dinner of soup and crackers.

Day 6th - Aug 9th
Up very early and had just an oatmeal bar for breakfast. Long day of paddling...about 55km. Portaged 50:50, Manitou, and Jam Rock. Ran everything else and enjoyed ending the journey paddling the last 10km through Boulder Alley...a fun run through continuous swifts and cI's. Weather was overcast but no rain. Off the river at 5:30pm.

This was a fun and rewarding solo adventure that I enjoyed with my pup Tallula. I hadn't mentioned but we enjoyed gorging on fresh rasberries at a number of our stops along the river. I look forward to the next time I can run this river and hopefully will be with a small group and can then run the cIII's that I portaged. They all looked like fun runs and I was tempted a number of times to say what the heck, why not? But responsibility for my four legged companion was too high and I opted out. That is ok leaves something to look forward to next time. I highly recommend this river to intermediate paddlers. Begginners would be fine on the lower half below km 60 by road but the rapids above do require some level of skill to maneuver through esp at canyon staircase and mountain chutes. You could portage the entire length of both of these sections but you would be missing out on the most remarkable spots on the river and I would advice to wait until you are in a position where you can paddle these sections. The bottom section of river has some big runs as well but the cIII's can all be easily portaged.

Regards,

Sam

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 Post subject: Re: Noire River Aug 2009
PostPosted: August 11th, 2009, 7:46 am 
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Joined: January 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 306
Location: St Catharines, Ontario canada
Hey Sam,

Good post. My son and I did the same run in early June this year and the water level was very high. We only portaged the CIV and ran or lined everything else, but we did tip in two of the rapids. It was cold, but well worth it, as it was a great trip. The portage from hell is certainly challenging, so I would agree with your recommendations. I think we'll do the Coulonge next.

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 Post subject: Re: Noire River Aug 2009
PostPosted: August 11th, 2009, 5:15 pm 
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Location: Oshawa
Hey Bgiroux,

The Coulonge is another fabulous trip. At which point would you start at? I did it from the very top this past june. We took 9 days and had an amazing time. There are some very good rapids on it...I would say it is a bit more technical than the Noire and the rapids are generally a bit longer too...a very nice run.

Regards,

Sam

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 Post subject: Re: Noire River Aug 2009
PostPosted: August 11th, 2009, 10:51 pm 
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Joined: January 11th, 2002, 7:00 pm
Posts: 306
Location: St Catharines, Ontario canada
Hi Sam...we'll likely do the Coulonge next spring/summer, so the planning will happen this winter. I've heard good things from other about the Coulonge, as well.

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Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before. (Alexander Graham Bell)

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