View topic - Back from Nestaocano

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Back from Nestaocano
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Author:  GeneU [ June 4th, 2008, 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Back from Nestaocano

This year we opted to run Nestaocano River (as a small team of 7 kayakers - 6 inflatables and one hardshell). I wanted to scout a new logging road that supposed to go all the way North up to Lac Beauregard and Lac Clerac (this road also goes along Lac Flourecourt (????) and provides an easy access to Ouasiemsca River headwaters). Using this road saves probably about 200km of shuttle distance either way (the alternative is to drive to Chibogamau and use some logging roads that starts over there to get to Nestaocano headwaters)

We had started paddling on Lac Beauregard at May 24th (with strong North wind that was significantly slowing us down, a brutal exercise). There are two-three places to camp on Lac Clerac - one on the sand beach at the southern end of the lake (just on the right of Lac Beauregard outlet), and large beaches on the northern end of the lake (both left and right of lake outlet). Next day we had continued our travel to Nestaocano River - the first ~12km after lake are slow (even more small lakes and flats), then some action for next ~8km - 5 or 6 of fast and pushy class I and II rapids, couple of them could be considered as class II-III (however at low water these rapids could change a lot). There is no a single place to camp on these ~20km between Lac Clerac and Nestaocano River, and then there are no any campsites for another 16-18km by the river. At the confluence, Nestaocano River is approximately the same size as Lac Clerac outlet. The going is rather slow - there are only two short class II rapids and a few fast water sections until the last "lake" before the beginning of the first section of significant rapids. We had had a lo-o-o-o-ng day on the river and made a camp on GB campsite on the river left (see the map on http://www.cartespleinair.org). We had a lay-over day (it was snowing hard) and then run a class IV section the next day after - we found a very nice campsite on the river left right after class II rapid that follows couple of kilometers bellow class IV section and decided to make a camp over there (this campsite is not on the map). After that we had run a whole distance from this campsite to the waterfall in one day - some river sections were nice and fast (there are some nice long rapids over there), however most of the way the river was flat and slow. There is one error on the map - we had found the new bridge one class II rapid further downstream than it is marked on the map. Along our way we didn't noticed any of marked on the map campsites (probably because of high water). In my opinion most of the rapids were a little bit overrated (with exceptions of one class III rapid above waterfall). The campsite on waterfall is small but nice (we had had an another lay-over day over there). There is one nice class III rapid below waterfall, but after that all "action" is gone - from this point on all rapids downstream are overrated for at least one whole grade. However, the river gains some speed and the going is not so slow as above. We had finished at the bridge approximately 30km above Du Chef confluence (the whole trip distance was about 130km all together from Lac Beauregard).

Now comes a sad part - most of the river length is completely devastated by recent burns and clearcuts (only some sections are left intact). All together - this river devastation, long lakes and flats sections, non-impressive rapids - it makes Nestaocano rather non-attractive option for future river trips (at least for me).

Author:  recped [ June 4th, 2008, 9:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Thanks Gene, sounds like one to save for some time in the (very) distant future.

I'm sure in spite of the negatives your crew had plenty of good times.

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