View topic - Just back from the Dumoine

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PostPosted: August 10th, 2010, 7:22 pm 
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My wife and I just completed a 5 day trip down the Dumoine from Lac Benoit to the Ottawa R. We had planned this to be a relaxing pace, but for us it was a good workout as the low water meant every set had to be carefully scouted. We lined two sets and were able to run the rest, but everything was very "technical" as the rocks were much in evidence.

We had one incident on the lower part of Little Steel Falls which we ran. Of course, late in the day, didn't scout the set all the way to the bottom, decided to (needlessly) eddy out "because it was there" and got pinned. :oops: However, with the help of passing paddler, the boat was muscled off the next morning with only moderate damage (thanks Keith!)

The river is very low, but still passable. Allow more time than usual because of the scouting and rock picking. If you decide to fly in, an early time is preferable as thunderheads were forming by 2:00 PM every day, limited VFR flying.


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PostPosted: August 31st, 2010, 8:30 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2006, 9:33 pm
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Location: Whitby
Sorry to hear this Peter... We're getting ready to run Lac Laforge from a Wed to Sun in early Sept (fly in)... Seems with your report on low water and scouting timeline our trip may be a bit aggressive considering the conditions?

We were planning to run Dumoine River from Lac Laforge (80km marker from Ottawa River)?
We're running it in Sept and wanted to gather any info with regards to travel times, what to look out for, how long it takes to run/portage some of the unrunnable whitewater/falls and in general how much we'll need to push to do this in 4-5 days? Here is my plan to date but not sure if it's pushing it too much:

Day 0 - Fly in's and drop off at 80km marker (Lac Laforge) between 3pm and 5pm. Camp within 5kms.
Day 1 - Run from Lac Laforge (Alligators Point) at 74km marker to 50km marker Burnt Island Lake
Day 2 - Run from 50km marker Burnt Island Lake to 24km marker (Grand Chute)
Day 3 - Run from 24km marker (Grand Chute) to 5km marker
Day 4 - Run from 5km to Ottawa River (Driftwood Prov. Park)

I have read Hap Wilsons book on this river, many blogs on CCR (Canadian
Canoe Routes) and seems this route is doable in a "long wkend" but its a push... Basically need to do 70-75km from Thurs am to Sat night as we don't want to make Sunday a long canoe day due to travel back to TO...

Specific questions I am looking to answer:
- How long does it take to run/scout "Triple Play - Grunt Portage". Hap's book says it may take half a day.
- How long does it take to portage Grande Chute - 1.0km portage
- How long does it take to run/scout Red Pine Rapids
- Is our plan above of running 24kms on Day 1, 26km on Day 2 and 19km on Day
3 doable without pushing it (ie long days)...

Note that we are intermediate canoeists that have run CI-CII often and some
CIII if we fell it's safe for us to do so...


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PostPosted: August 31st, 2010, 10:59 pm 
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Joined: July 9th, 2001, 7:00 pm
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Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Your schedule seems reasonable to me. I've paddled this stretch numerous times and followed your proposed schedule one one occasion (with the exception of day one starting at twin falls).

I've never run at a level this low but I can't see how it would add much time. We often run from Lac Benoit - KM34/31, KM34/31 - KM6, KM6 - out and back home same day.

Triple play is 3 sub 100 M portages. That shouldn't take half a day.

Grand Chute is faster to portage using the "road" route, although you should walk the river route at least one way as the Chutes are quite spectacular. If you're camping here the site closese to the end of the trail is nice

Red Pine is an easy run at low water. There is lots of room to pull out to scout the ledge but at these levels it will be easy and it's a quick lift around if it's not for you.

Hap's got some great books and maps but his suggested timelines are pretty slow paced.


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 7:40 am 
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Joined: June 4th, 2006, 9:33 pm
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Location: Whitby
Thanks Doug for the feed back... We don't want to shorten the trip from 80km to 60km so your comments help out so we can feel comfortable it's doable in these conditions... The possibility of Thunderheads forming at ~2pm may delay our flight Day 0 though (3pm and 4pm) and push us to flight in Day 1... If this occurs we'll have to decide to fly into 60km marker (Lac Benoit)...

Well the trip is soon so when we get back I'll let all know how it went... Looking forward to this river as many friends have run it and enjoy the WW....

As to Hap, his guide books are the most detailed I've seen which is impressive... He weights on the side of caution when it comes to recommended routes and times to lower the risk I believe. I paddled with Hap Wilson on the Missinaibi River to Moosonee last year (2009) as a change up as we always run them ourselves and thought we'd try an outfitter... When we found out Hap does guided trips we thought hey why not trip with a Canadian legend... It was a great trip to Moosonee and seeing Thunderhouse Falls was amazing...


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2010, 8:03 am 
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Joined: July 21st, 2004, 7:58 pm
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This is largely confirmation of Doug's comments.

Red Pine is not really a problem. We did not run the first ledge as there was only a 1 m slot and a nasty diagonal. Others ran it successfully, however, it was easily lined. The rest of Red Pine was a Class II boulder field which we boat scouted.

Grand Chute portage is "easy" if you use the "portage trail" up the road past the ZEC station. However, it is more like 1.5 km. How long it takes is a largely a factor of how much gear you have and how fit you are.

At the current water level I think your schedule is ambitious. However, I'm far from the fastest thing on the water -- especially if I'm not getting help from the current. We also had a lot of gear.


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