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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 2:00 pm 
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Will the Rupert still have water this summer?/
Would like to try a trip from the road to Waskaganish.
Anyone have dates for the diversion?

Paul


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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 2:42 pm 
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You're good - actual diversion of water won't begin until 2009, if I understand the schedule correctly.
Note that after the diversion the Rupert is supposed to remain "navigable" with a channel at least 1meter deep where there are no rapids.

Some details here (scroll down for English):

http://www.hydroquebec.com/eastmain1a/e ... mmaire.pdf.


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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 3:28 pm 
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Krusty wrote:
http://www.hydroquebec.com/eastmain1a/en/pdf/sommaire.pdf.


Thanks Krusty
I get a Hydro Quebec site but it says "page not found". Ive been over their site and can't find a construction schedule on the Rupert anywhere.

Paul


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PostPosted: January 2nd, 2007, 5:49 pm 
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Sorry. There was a period at the end of the URL that shouldn't have been.

Go here, and select the Summary. Pick the one with maps if you have broadband:

http://www.hydroquebec.com/eastmain1a/e ... mpact.html


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 10:52 am 
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hooligan wrote:
Thanks Krusty
I get a Hydro Quebec site but it says "page not found".

They've only released the full text of the report to the public on Tuesday (Jan. 02, 2007). No surprise that there is confusion about the schedule ... the report makes over 100 recommendations of conditions that have to be met before the project goes forward ... and apparently informing the public and press in a timely manner is not one of them.

http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=265849&


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 11:36 am 
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idylwyld wrote:
... the report makes over 100 recommendations of conditions that have to be met before the project goes forward ...

http://news.gc.ca/cfmx/view/en/index.jsp?articleid=265849&


The Recommendations call for 83 actions, almost all related to after-the-fact monitoring, communications and social issues. I don't think any of them "have to be met before the project goes forward.".

http://www.ceaa-acee.gc.ca/010/0001/000 ... ions_e.htm


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 1:02 pm 
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Yes Krusty ... I was meaning to correct that, but I just downloaded the full report (all 2335 pages) and have been busy looking over the sections on the recreational and tourism potential of the development, including canoeing. The hyperbole is astounding … I probably shouldn't post here (since this thread has a different purpose), but it's nearly impossible to hold back. According to the document, the recreational potential of the river will only be enhanced by the development, or have low negative impact because of the short duration of the tourist season, or the minimal effects on a "local" section of the river (defined as "half of the Rupert River," 1237). The increased flow section will be enhanced by higher water levels that will "make it easier to launch boats" and "maintain the quality of the environment for aquatic life" (1246). The low flow section "will be sufficient for canoeing and kayaking, as well as motorized navigation … for these reasons, the magnitude of the impact is considered moderate" (1237). And of course, the main advantages of the development: increased access through permanent roads, and "scenic lookouts with interpretation panels set up for visitors" (1247). They say they have given "special attention" to the recreational use of the river by canoers, and "preserving the … scenic value of the Rupert" (193), but aesthetic and moral values are nowhere present in any serious way (it is also a social impact study), and a minimum flow is the basic technical requirement to be met to ensure recreational enjoyment (or access of Cree to their trapping grounds and camps). And lastly, fishing conditions in the low-flow section "should remain the same" (1246). It's a sad state that so much human history and spiritual mystery can be disposed of with such cold calculation and scientific detachment … but there you have it. I see several news outlets have filed recent reports on the public release of the study … and perhaps a few will do some investigative reporting on its findings.

I will highlight this specific recommendation of the panel:
Quote:
77. That, because some Crees have complained about the lack of information on the flooding of the territory for Eastmain-1, it would be desirable that the means of communication used be improved for the project under study.

It is also worth looking at the dissenting opinion by Jocelyne Beaudet of the Federal Review Panel.

http://www.ceaa.gc.ca/010/0001/0001/0017/opinion_e.htm


Last edited by idylwyld on January 6th, 2007, 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 3:39 pm 
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Hooligan et al

I did the Rupert in 2004 from the bridge on route du nord to Wasaganish as a client with Missinaibi headwaters outfitting. I did the Rupert again in 2005 as a client with Missinaibi from the bridge on route du nord to the bridge on the James Bay road.

As may be deduced from my doing the second trip, I consider it an amazing river.

The section from the James Bay road to Wasaganish requires significant portaging. Two or three portages a day. With distances of between 1 and a little more than 2 Km. Some are on difficult terrain, above and beyond the distance factor. Many days you will spend almost as much time portaging as paddling.

Myself, I'd recommend the upper section. There are a couple of easy portages and the river is almost as spectacular.

The lower section is more spectacular. I would rank it right up there at the top of the places I've been.However, the portaging makes it extremely demanding.

If you end up accessing the river from Route du Nord, there is a small bridge and a sign Bas de Rupert about 2 km west of the bridge over the Rupert. It is a very good access point. Better than the big bridge by far.

We used eco adventures in Matagami for our shuttle. They did great.

http://secure.ecoaventures.ca/ecosecure ... tle_e.html

I'd recommend staying over night in Matagami and taking the shuttle in first thing the next morning. As early as they can get a driver.

Also, obviously, this is an extreme trip. Unless the whole group has expert level skills, I'd strongly recommend doing it with a qualified guide rather than as a personal trip.

I can't say enough good things about the Rupert.

Frankr


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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 8:21 pm 
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I can't say enough good things about the Rupert.


Can you say a bit more about the upper section please? Overall length, percentage of moving water, runability of the rapids and comment on the availability of decent campsites.

Your comments on the lower section match with what I know and for those reasons it doesn't interest me much.

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PostPosted: January 4th, 2007, 11:26 pm 
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http://www.ottertooth.com/Reports/Ruper ... -index.htm


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PostPosted: January 5th, 2007, 2:08 pm 
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Thanks Krusty, when I reached the links you provide the light bulb went off.....I've read these reports before!

Still it would be good if Frankr could post a little bit more of his impressions if for no other reason than it's directly on topic (a topic which is apparently in short supply at the moment).

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PostPosted: January 5th, 2007, 4:00 pm 
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The link provided by Krusty is a high quality information.

As noted in earlier posts, I think the section from Route du Nord to the James Bay Road bridge is an ideal first trip. It's a big area. There are many other possibilities. The Martens river for example. The lower section from the bridge to Wasaganis. The upper river, say from Misstassini to the Route du Nord bridge.

Because there is a good shuttle in Matagami where you can leave your vehicle the logistics on this are more simple than for many remote trips. There's no float plan needed, so obviously it is a bargain with respect to cost. That isn't to suggest you want need to spend a sizeable sum. It is a remote trip.

For planning purposes, I'd say 4 days from Route du Nord to Nemiscou. Then another 2 - 3 days from Nemiscou to the James Bay Road.

From Bas de Rupert, near the Route du Nord bridge to the beginning of lake Nemiscous it is a pool and drop type river. There are no impounded areas.

Usually there are good campsites every 2 or 3 hours. However, you may get hung up in a bad area. I'd say don't push it after 4:00.

There are two difficult rapids. Runnable at most water levels, but difficult. You will know them when you see them on days 2 and 3. The worst of them, has a log observation tower on an island in the middle. There are areas to the side where these could be lined under most water conditions.

From Bas de Rupert, it is about an hour to the first waterfall and portage. At the end of the portage there is an almost must camp type campsite. As spectacular as you can ask for.

Shortly, after the confluence with the Martens there is another waterfall-rapid. Properly scouted it is runnable at most water levels. This is the "lost canoe" rapid in Hep Adams' book the Rupert that was.

If at all possible camp here. It is even more spectacular than the the campsite near Bas de Rupert. I caught a 5 lb brook trout on a crank bait at the head of the rapid. You have to get a lure down deep to the still water on the bottom here.

Next is the waterfall before the lake. There is a portage. The lake looks like good fishing. However, campsites are something of a problem. There is a rock campsite on river left about an hour before the Cree Village of Nemiscou, which was a good place to visit on both trips. The Cree we met were friendly and sociable.

After Nemiscou there are two portages. There is a place to camp on the bank just after the first portage. It is exposed, but it's the best available. I caught a 15 lb northern a 100 feet up river from the end of the first portage.

There is a second place to camp in the middle of the second portage. However, you'd have to bucket water into the campsite.

Afterwards it is a big river with big high volume rapids until the James Bay Bridge. There is a good take out above the waterfall on river left.

I hope that helps stimulate interest in this great river. I'll be happy to correspond with anyone who gets serious about this trip.

Frankr


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PostPosted: January 6th, 2007, 9:14 am 
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The river is so big you can follow Sealey's reports along on Google Earth. Major rapids are clearly visible.

Mobax did the Tichigami route solo, and he and I did it tandem. An excellent remote wilderness two week trip that includes huge lake crossings, some up-stream work, and about 11 km of portages. Not really your kind of trip, recped, but we did do some interesting rapids on the Tichigami in particular.

Mobax also did the Marten route last year. This route was used by the Cree, and later the voyageurs and the Rupert Briggade, because it avoids the rapids mentioned by Frankl near the Marten-Rupert confluence, the Gorge at the highway, and the rapids below Lac Mesguez. Lots of flat water, and not that many runnable rapids. Perhaps mobax will comment or respond to a PM.

I've been on Mistissini and Mesguez a number of times, but not the river in between. It's through Cree territory - access and special fishing permits required. See mobax's excellent Tichigami Route description for details about the paperwork. (As an aside, they once asked us where we would be spending the couple of days we had built into our schedule to accomodate bad weather. :doh: ). Sealey's description of this upper section of the Rupert does not talk a lot about challenging but runnable whitewater - lots of lake-y sections. I'm thinking about doing it as a fishing trip. It won't be affected by the diversion. At least not until you get down to Mesguez.

From Mesguez on down it's crown land.

I've paddled the section from Mesguez to the route Du Nord a few times. There are lots of good camp sites on the lake near the Rupert egress (I've got a marked-up map somewhere). It takes maybe two short days (could be done in one?) with not much portaging if you can run that long set below Mesguez (visible on maps). It's too much for me, so I do the very long carry on river-right. Somewhere about half-way down there is a place where I've been tempted to ferry across an R2/3 section to what looks like a manageble R2/R3 on river-left for the lower part, but the friggin' river is so big and wide and powerful that I wimp out. And it might not be as benign over there as it looks from river-right. It's a long ways away. A couple of kayakers run this rapid regularly, so I presume it can be done in a covered boat. Not a place to screw-up, though. You'd be in some very bad water on a very big river for a very long time.
Below that there are a couple of mandatory lift-overs and short portages, but nothing too gruelling, and at least one set that l've lined. Fish the fast water below drops and other likely spots, rigged-up for monster pike, but you might tie into some big specks to, or walleye, of course. It's a rare thing to be fishing and catch both big pike and specks in the same water.
Frankl, a 5 lb speck is huge :o . Bigger than anything I've got (so far!). I've beat your 15 lb pike a few time, though. :D A good place to try for specks is in the fast water near the lip of a drop. Figure they are there hiding from the pike, whose larger size risks them being taken over the edge.

There are good camp sites around the confluence with the Moon, including a seasonal Cree camp and, on the opposite shore of the Moon, a high sandy bank with some flat ground. Excellent. I've seen Caribou there. Fishing that section of the Rupert was not as productive as it should have been, explained by the fishing nets you can see hanging at the Cree camp.

You'll see helicopter landing pads and activity at the site of the dam (there is a lift-over there).

The Gorge at the Route Du Nord, right at the bridge where Frankr started, is spectacular. On one trip one of us, an experienced paddler but with limited whitewater experience, plopped down on the side of the road and started throwing up when he saw it! There is absolutely no doubt that it would kill you. The take-out coming down river to the gorge is on river-left, just after the turn in the river, and only a few hundred yards above the gorge. (you can probably see a little access trail on Google Earth - I don't have broadband so it'd take me a couple of hours to check :evil: )
I've done it in high water with no problem. One time though, at a lower level, there were large whirl-pools and cross-currents with tight eddy-lines and jumbled standing waves that had my partner confused and disoriented. A rather unpleasant time, for both of us. A screw-up more than about ten yards from shore and there'd be no time to get out before the gorge. :(

I've got marked-up maps of this section.


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PostPosted: January 6th, 2007, 10:03 am 
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Krusty wrote:
On one trip one of us, an experienced paddler but with limited whitewater experience, plopped down on the side of the road and started throwing up when he saw it!


I hope that we don't all have to pay hommage to OATMEAL Rapids that way.


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PostPosted: January 6th, 2007, 1:53 pm 
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My exposure to the Rupert’s lower reaches extends from the smaller confluence draining Nemiscau to the James Bay Highway, shortly downstream from the Riviere Marte confluence and of course, the short upstream section from Moon River confluence to the Route du Nord.

Unfortunately, I kept no notes while traversing the Marte-Rupert. Because of the impending diversion, I saw no value in logging a trip that could no longer be performed post-diversion. I believe that only one third of the present Rupert flow will be maintained in the original channel, the balance diverted to the Eastmain Rivier. I wouldn’t attempt traveling the Rupert between the two highways with that water flow.

My primary reason for attempting the Marte-Rupert trip was the impending impoundment. Here was an historic route that would be lost, perhaps for generations and I wanted to duplicate those efforts of the Rupert brigade. (Note: I believe that long-term, though the Rupert be temporarily diverted, mankind will eventually develop cheaper, alternate energy sources and the land will returned to norm. Far too late though for any of us presently extant). It was, as Krusty noted, predominately flatwater: not a trip that I would usually attempt but memorable for its historic relationship.

I do though have a good recollection of that section of the Rupert we paddled, including some photos and can provide information if requested.

Since Krusty referenced it, I include the link for my Tichegami report, for those who may be interested.

http://www.myccr.com/canoedb/routeDetai ... outeid=498

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