View topic - Noire/Bonaventure May 21-29

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PostPosted: May 31st, 2011, 1:30 am 
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Location: Warkworth
I was lucky enough to get away and paddle the Noire and Bonaventure over the past week.

Noire Highlights:
This was supposed to be a 4 day trip but turned into a 3...next time I will put in above Mountain Chutes for a 4 day solo trip.
I put in just below Rapides Des Islets and spent a leisurely 3 days paddling to Michel's place. This was a solo trip with my dog.
Level was high side of medium...made for excellent paddling conditions. Ran everything except Jam Rock...saving that for the next trip...something to look forward to :wink:
Rained everyday and all day...except in the evening I had brief spells each night to set up camp...and my last night I was able to star gaze for a little while...good for the soul!
I love paddling this river and highly recommend using Michel's Expedition Riviere Noire Outfitting services...excellent people!! :thumbup:

Bonaventure Highlights:
A few have remarked on here that it is not worth the 20 hour drive if coming from Ontario. But for me it was my first time seeing any ocea, first time seeing any mountains, first time paddling a mountain river, first time paddling a river of torqoise color, and first time paddling a river where I had to kneel the whole trip...so for those reasons it was worth the long drive.
Level was high (120 and remained at that for the duration of trip)
Rained everyday and all day except last 30km of paddling.
I put in at Lac Bonaventure and used Cime's services (highly recommended). I also spent first two nights camped in a teepee at Cime's...was great because I was able to air out equipment from Noire trip.
The last day I paddled from the class III ledges to Cimes...85km? Did that in 8 hours I believe...lol...the river was running very fast.
This was a 4 day trip solo with my dog.

May 26th
Shuttle to Lac Bonaventure. Snow covered much of the road and lake level was high and in the trees at landing.
Bushwhacked past a number of sweepers and log jams...took much work. Very nerve racking trying to avoid sweepers...level was up into the trees partially.
Heavy rain.
Camped on the first suitable campsite on a gravel spit amongst red ochre.

May 27th
More nerve racking paddling around log jams and sweepers...crashed through the ochre a number of times and had to jump out of the canoe onto the sides of the river to scout out bends...current fast with few eddies.
Walked/bush crashed an extra km trying to figure my way around the magor island/log jam section.
Paddled some marvelous stretches of whitewater through the burnt area.
Camped at a nice site with a few pines in the background.
Rain/misty snow

May 28th
Heavy rain.
Submarined the canoe going through S-Bend rapids at the beginning of the canyon...lucky for air bags I was able to grab an eddie before going down the rest of the rapids here. Hands were numb from the cold water.
Camped at S-Bend rapides...awesome site...just before the 3 large Class III ledges. I ended up portaging these even though the dog leg ledge/haystack run just before this seemed more difficult...I did not want to chance a flip and loosing the canoe...the current was very fast.
Temp was very cool.

May 29th
From the ledges onward the river was free of magor obstacles and could be paddled without "too" much worry of blockages...although there were a few tight spots that may become plugged eventually.
Paddled 85km today? Last 30 were paddled with sun on my back and a heavy mist over the river obstructing anything past 30 feet of the canoe...made for an exciting ride down to CIME's...spent the whole time singing at the top of my lungs with Tallula sitting nose in the air and looking onward at the foam and froth enjoying every second...we were but a corkscrew bobbing up and down in the waves :) It was one of those special moments that I shall forever hold dear to me...

Overall an exciting trip, although very nerve racking the first two days. The water level was awesome although I would rather run from the top with a group next time...I kept reminding myself that a dump in the rapides could be a disasterous event while solo...the current was moving so fast and the level high that the canoe and gear could end up a long ways away.

I took many pictures and at the end of the trip set my camera on the top of my truck and drove away...so I guess no pics :(


Suggestions:
For the high level I had and cool conditions my drysuit was gloryious and so were the airbags that I installed in my canoe just before this trip...oh and remembering to bring the river maps would have been good too...lol.

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PostPosted: June 1st, 2011, 11:29 am 
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Joined: October 16th, 2008, 9:20 am
Posts: 1418
Location: Warkworth
The good people of CIME Aventure found my camera and are shipping it back to me...excellent excellent folk there!!!

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