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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2009, 10:29 pm 
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Joined: April 21st, 2009, 1:26 pm
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Location: Kitchener-Waterloo
Just wanted to get some suggestions on possible rivers and
areas to practice whitewater techniques in Southern Ontario? also any other good suggestions for rivers to trip on for novice WW canoeists!

I live in the Kitchener-Waterloo area...


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2009, 8:08 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
There used to be water releases in Elora Gorge on weekends so that we could play around in WW kayaks... these still may be going on, maybe the Grand River Conservation Authority would have the info. I've heard that canoes can be taken through Elora, although all my time was in a kayak.

Tripping with some WW might still be possible on the French river below Lake Nipissing if the water levels are high enough... park at Wolseley Bay Marina. You can spend a day or two camped near the rapids to spend some time in WW, then return to the marina or carry on with a trip downstream where the river is mostly flatwater.

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2009, 8:49 am 
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Location: Kitchener-Waterloo
I was in Elora the other day the water levels were fairly low I like the French river idea as well!

I think I will contact the GRCA and see if they do a water release.

Thanks...


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2009, 5:37 pm 
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New solo, the only releases that are done on the Grand are in the spring if things are getting a little full behind Bellwood or Conestoga. Other than that there is a fall release done in Nov. to let down those lakes. As far as Southwestern Ontario goes the only two descent rivers are the Maitland and Elora in the spring, everything else dosn't really give a teaching opportunity. Once you move further to the east there are many more options. The best being the Mad.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 9:48 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
NS, I took a look at the GRCA charts for the Shand Dam which is above Elora and flow is only 5 cubic meters per second which is too low for WW canoeing (50 would be more like it).

There were water releases many years ago (don't ask) because Sunday afternoon water levels would be high and by evening the flow dropped quite a bit, exposing rocks and making downstream travel more difficult.

French river flows OTOH, look to be above average, so you might find some WW there. I've run the rapids there before on the August Civic holiday long weekend and water levels were fine, along with all the blueberries we picked. The levels were high enough on one of the rapids (Parisienne?) for class three and may have been risky... the other paddlers that were with us didn't feel comfortable running them.

http://www.tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca/ontario/ea ... n-eng.html

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 7:38 pm 
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Newsolo, if you are completely new to WW, the elora gorge even at low levels isn't a bad place to start. It's certainly the closest thing to Kitchener - Waterloo. It can be run down to it's minimum summer flow, however you need at least 10 m/s to reduce the bump and grind (also, I don't think they allow tubing above 10 which is a bonus). Contrary to what frozentripper suggests, don't go run the Elora Gorge at 50 for the first time. Above 30 or so it will seem pushy for a novice and there's no way out. For for first decent, I'd cap it at 20 to be safe.

The middle mad and palmers are the best learning spots. The Gull is closer but not as good, especially if you're in a tandem.


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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 7:51 pm 
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Location: Kitchener-Waterloo
I would definately say I am a beginner, I have been on some guided trips that have given me a start I just need to practice and get the feel better for what I am doing.
I will watch the water levels in Elora and I think I will look at this Gull river since this is the first I have heard of it. I would like
to and have been talking someone about a course but I still would like to get a start if I can.
I have a post up to find a possible partner to learn but it so far looks like I am on my own ( I will bring someone to watch with a rope just in case I spend some time in the water!)

Thanks for the help and I will keep you posted on how I make out!


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PostPosted: August 4th, 2009, 10:04 pm 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
More info on paddling Elora Gorge here... it seems flows can reach 100-150 cms, for extreme paddlers.

http://www.outdoorsica.com/guidebook/El ... io_Canada/

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 8:34 am 
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I agree with Doug.....10-20 is good for beginners as they can still walk around the chute.
For myself...Elora can be lots of fun! As you get much better and at the right levels the Mill Falls just above the put-in is runable class IV / V depending on levels. I like to run it between 20 and 30 in open boat. The Ervine.....class IV+ lots of great drops....also dependent on levels for open canoe. The highest I've ran Elora below the Mill is 120......its big and pushy!!!! :D

Gull.... not really a good spot for beginers.... class II/III lower section. There is a saying about the Gull, its due to the quartz in the river......you swim the Gull you bleed!!!! :oops: :cry:
Although below the Otter slide is a good place to work on ferries , s turns.
Top section of the Gull III/IV....there again thats a different game!

This time of the year.....nothing better than Palmers for a beginner.

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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 3:54 pm 
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Location: Kitchener-Waterloo
I read a bit on the Gull last night said at the end where it goes into (if memory serves) Balsam Lake there is a train of waves and the water is deep and it's was said to be a forgiving spot for beginners with clear eddie lines...
I still need to find a partner in crime if I decide to go solo is there a boat someone can steer me towards to start looking for possibly I could find a used model?


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PostPosted: August 5th, 2009, 5:43 pm 
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Elora Gorge especially where it is deep below the High Level bridge is good for eddie work and paddle placement.
A couple of plastice electicial pipes (1") hung with bailing twine make great practice gates to work on timeing. Make about 4.5 ft wide and just find some deep water and hang from a bridge.
4 gates 2 each side and you can do figure 8's forward and backwards.
(practice and effiecent strokes are the key.
Try the Open canoe beginner race at Palmer Rapids Aug 15 & 16,
you may find a partner there. and then come watch the fall open race at Minden I think the weekend after labour day.

At the Gull the Next Rapid upstream from the Preserve where 12 Mile lake empties into Mountain Lake, there is access and parking on the side road beside the Dam (That side is public)
(Hwy 35 crosses here, side road west side, sout side of river)
This can be a very clean, short, forgiving rapid, sometimes has 3' standing wave with good eddies and the dam is small and runable.
The lower Mountain Lake is the better the rapid (Late summer, Now)
And I suggest you join us at the virtual Voyeguer group for quick links and local GTA paddles that might suit you.
http://vvcc.ca/
The emails can sometimes add up but it is usually good to find someone to go boating with.
Jeff

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2009, 8:06 am 
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This will be the first year in about 12 that we won't be at the Gull Open Canoe Race in Minden this Sept. :( Off to Ottawa and then to Vallyfield to watch the girls race.
But as Jeff mentioned....come watch, so put it one your calender! Its a great event......and its canoes only, you'll see over a hundered entries......no yakkers. :lol:

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PostPosted: August 6th, 2009, 8:42 am 
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Location: Bancroft, Ontario Canada
Here's an account of a whitewater introductory course given on the French river... "get introduced to whitewater, with the ultimate goal of working up to the skills you'd need to go on a remote river trip"... during September, 2003. I found the high water levels in September surprising, they were much lower when I canoed down in another year, but there were no internet river flow charts back then.

Lots of campsites in the area and lots of fun.

http://wandel.ca/~johanna/French03/index.html

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PostPosted: August 7th, 2009, 1:33 am 
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Here is a good a place as any to find used boats and willing partners!

If you're going to the Gull, there is a boat shop (Boatwerks?) in Minden that may have some used boats (if DougB doesn't), and on a weekend at the Gull you'll probably be with a group of people at the bottom current, so you can make some friends and get some practice.

Definitely go watch the race to witness the ww canoeing community in action. Lots of good YouTube video of the Gull River slalom race.

Good luck!

Pat.

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PostPosted: August 7th, 2009, 6:55 am 
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Location: Kitchener-Waterloo
I appreciate all the help and I will definately be checking out the race in Minden to see what it's all about! Thanks for the heads up on the shop. I find it difficult being landlocked and in the city it's hard to get any info besides the internet.
I also find it harder to get people off the couch and into the wild for some good clean fun!

Thanks again... I'll keep you updated!


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