View topic - Week-long whitewater trip ideas from Saskatoon?

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PostPosted: September 4th, 2015, 11:49 pm 
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Joined: August 22nd, 2015, 3:13 pm
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I know it's late in the season but I have everything I need packed and ready to go for a week of back-country camping. I live in Saskatoon and my girlfriend and I have just purchased a canoe. It doesn't arrive until March however so in the meantime we have a rental and want to take it to get some practice in whitewater. I have some experience but my girlfriend has none. Is there anywhere near Saskatoon that would be good for practicing some eddy turns and learning to identify various hazards in class I and II rapids for when we embark on a lengthy month-long trip of the Churchill next summer? I'd be willing to drive up to 5 hours away, as far as say Missinipe?


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2015, 10:03 am 
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Since no one else has responded...
I don't know of whitewater opportunities around Saskatoon - perhaps some eddy turns behind bridge piers in town?
Based on my very limited knowledge of other opportunities, I'd go up to Missinipe and take a course from Ric at CRCO or go up to Barker Lake on my won and play around.


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PostPosted: September 5th, 2015, 1:11 pm 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2003, 6:52 pm
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Location: Edmonton Alberta
Would the North Saskatchewan in Alberta interest you?
Nordegg to Rocky Mountain House would give many opportunities to practice but its 6+ hours away. Wilderness canoeing within sight of mountains and foothills. Big waves and rock gardens. At this low water level good for novices. The section from Drayton Bridge to Genesee or Devon has small rapids, some rocks and islands to zip around. Great section for beginners.

Later Laura

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PostPosted: September 6th, 2015, 3:46 pm 
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I've decided (based on little but google earth and my GPS), to drive up to Missinipe and head upstream almost as far as Trout Lake. Planned a northerly detour with a portage or two (I hoe there isn't too much bushwacking), to get us off the beaten track a bit and find some decent fishing.

What I was wondering now though, since I plan on taking my teeny tiny Chevy Optra fully laden with canoe and gear along the gravel road from La Ronge to Missinipe - is whether anyone thinks this is a bad idea. Can a tiny compact car handle this particular long stretch of gravel road? I've called outfitters in the area, but no response.


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PostPosted: September 6th, 2015, 3:58 pm 
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The road from La Ronge to Missinipe is usually quite good. It has a thin membrane surface for the first 20 km or so from La Ronge north. This what I used to call cold mix. This surface was in good condition in August except it is prone to getting holes in places and washboard in places. The gravel portion was good in August. You might have to slow down for potholes or washboard but it was fine. I drove a Dodge minivan with four people, gear and two canoes on it.


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PostPosted: October 17th, 2015, 12:39 am 
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Location: Saskatchewan
Nothing near Saskatoon. The only rapids are the little ones near the ferrys on the South Saskatchewan, and its soshallow this year the upstream canoeing is difficult. North of the Hague ferry especially. East of Prince albert on the North Saskatchewan there are a few class 1(better check that) rapids before Lacolle falls. I heard they're fun but I haven't paddled them yet. Missinipe is pretty much exactly five hours drive from Saskatoon. The gravel road portion was in fair condition at the end of August. The trip near Saskatoon is the Outlook to Saskatoon three day trip on the South Saskatchewan. Or the Fred heal canoe launch to Saskatoon in about five hours. Lots of sandbars to relax on to extend the trip. No whitewater nearby though.

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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2015, 1:31 am 
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Location: Saskatoon
Sorry, I haven't been here to check the forum in months so this information is more for others who are looking, or in case you are eager for more practice in the spring.

In the spring there will be a few places to hone the skills and practice, dependent on runoff. There is Eagle Creek just west of Saskatoon, and the Garden River just north west of PA. The Torch up by Love is great, along with the nearby Whitefox, and the Red Deer River by Hudson Bay. Another is the Makwa River near Meadow Lake. All of these are spring runoff rivers and their window ranges from a few days (or not at all) such as Eagle Creek and the Garden River, to a few weeks (more or less) for the Torch. Not so restricted to the spring runoff, I would call the Waterhen by Goodsoil in Meadow Lake PP a good "intro to whitewater" river. A couple of steps up in terms of remoteness and skill, the Montreal River is another good place to learn a few things and hone some skills. Most of the rivers l mention are day trips, with some of them having the potential to be longer (e.g. one can really spend a lot of time running the Torch if they wanted).

I recommend stopping in at Classic Outdoors and chatting with Mark, or to Eb's and chatting with them. Both places should have good information. Mark has documented some of the trips I mention above.

Cheers,
Bryan

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