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 Post subject: Tamiscamie River 2013
PostPosted: February 14th, 2016, 6:10 pm 
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Tamicamie River trip, 2014.

In early spring we sent a letter seeking permission to travel along with our expected itinerary by contacting Reserves Faunique Assinica et des Lac-Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi. We would drive to Chibougamau, PQ and show our permission letter to the authorities at that base of the Reserve de la Mistassini allowing us access to drive the logging route (mostly) to Lake Mistassini. At the gate, we paid $160 in fees for traveling in the reserve. Our drive took us along Lac Waconichi which looked interesting in itself. The road was very accessible and except for the logging trucks, there was little traffic. We arrived at the fly-in destination where the road crosses the Tamiscamie River a few miles before it empties into Lac Albanel.

We had arranged fly-in logistics with Hydrobase d’ Air Roberval before we arrived and after some discussion and credit card payment ($2400, US$) we set off in a single engine Otter with our canoe strapped on the pontoon in intermittent sun and rain. It was short flight to our destination and we mostly followed the river north. We set down on Indicator Lake on a beach near a cabin. (Picture 2) The sun was shining and we were anxious to get going so we loaded up and headed north to where the Tamiscamie enters Lac Indicator. The wind picked up and we had an easy tailwind to the north end of the lake understanding full well that we would fight this wind as we headed south. We stopped at the north end of the Lake and looked at cast off snowmobile parts at an old winter campsite. The river was narrow at this point—perhaps 25 feet across and it was clear that it had made a steep descent from the mountains in the north.

We headed south against the wind and by hugging the shore arrived at a peninsula in Lac Indicator near our starting point. (Picture 1) We made camp in the lee of the wind and looked forward to the next day. Day 2 was full of angry gray clouds and rain so we stayed in our campsite for most of the day. Around 5:00 PM the skies cleared and we paddled across the lake to the eastern shore and re-set camp on a broad beach. Dennis took off to climb the highest peak while I set up the camp and swam. Several hours later he returned and we settled in for the night.

The next day we headed south and soon entered the river itself. It was narrow—maybe 50 feet across and showed a slight current. Birds were evident—hawks, eagles, and ducks as we made our way down the river in a broad river valley. Soon the valley constricted and the elevation decreased. We found ourselves in very restricted valley and we began to line down long steep drops along the right shore. The river descended at a rate of about 18 feet per mile and this continued the next day. Lining was difficult due to the large boulders and considerable alder bushes along the side but it was the safest route given the long rapids, big drops and ledges. We only had one canoe. There was no evidence of portage trails along either bank. We stayed on the river right bank for the entire descent. We had traveled 9 miles at best. Considerably more lining was ahead.

We came to a small opening in the river and found a very narrow beach to camp on at a place where the river makes almost a right turn to the south. (Picture 5) The water was nearly lapping our tents but the beach was flat and there was firewood readily available. It was a long day with much hauling and we were happy to find a suitable campsite because nothing had looked favorable along the way. While the surrounding area was relatively flat, there was not much in the way of campsites or sandy beaches. After a beautiful night we woke up early to continue through the area with the biggest drops. It was the same drill—lots of lining, hauling and bigger rapids. We eventually got near the bottom and were near the eastern (left bank) when we saw a very big rapid extending almost a mile with a very big drop. (Lat: 51.671619, Lon: -71.885898.) We estimated the drop to be about 66 feet in the mile and a quarter. We decided the best shore was on river left so we stopped to see what the lining would become. As we looked over the situation we spotted a canoe on river right and soon several canoes arrived coming up the river but on a portage. We ferried across and found a group of campers from Keewadin Camp (Dunmore) coming up the river. This was their first real portage having poled their way from Lac Albanel. They were on a 40 day journey that would take them to Lac St. Jean. We portaged around the rapids for 1.5 miles on a pretty good trail marked by surveyor’s tape as well as new axe blazes. It was hot and exhausting but we made our first and only portage although hindsight says if there had been portages routes the last two days we would have portaged rather and lined many of the drops. The river opened up with good current and many sandbars so finding camp was easy. We had traveled another 8-9 miles. (Picture 7 & 8)

The next day we paddled a short distance to where Lac Betholat empties into the Tamiscamie. There was a nice camping area here and it was evident that canoers had traveled from Lac Berthelot down the Ruisseau Bethoulat. It was here that the river really opened up into a broad valley nearly a mile wide with huge sandbars on every turn. Campsites were easy to find on sandbars and bugs were hanging out in the bushes and not on the sand bars. Wood was plentiful on the entire trip.

The last day saw a constriction in the river near a water gauge and the loss of sand bars. A nice class 2 rapid followed. The river was wide and the banks were full of vegetation. Camping along this section would be difficult. A couple of high waterfalls along river left begged us to shower. By now we could hear a road a few miles distant paralleling the river with logging trucks going up and own. Occasionally we would see the dust plume rise above the hills. We paddled back to the seaplane base and began the drive home as night was falling.

The trip was great, nice river, easy access, and beautiful country. You need to enjoy camping on beaches. This is not for the beginner unless you do only the last 40 miles. However, it’s an easy in and out river. It was difficult to determine mileage but we estimated the trip was between 85 and 100 miles with an average gradient of 5 feet per mile. Water levels are important. We felt the water was moderately high (late June). Lower water may make the lining easier although it would not offer up much of an opportunity to run the rapids in the top section. The rapids in the bottom were mostly strong current and waves and could be run at any level.

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Tom Addicks



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PostPosted: February 15th, 2016, 11:32 pm 
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Neat report! I would be interested in seeing the pictures you have reference to...is it just me or are there no pictures showing?

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PostPosted: November 7th, 2018, 8:26 pm 
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Joined: November 7th, 2018, 6:06 pm
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My wife and I paddled the Temiscamie back in 2004. We started at Lac Albanel campground, paddled 30 miles up the lake for several days and found the portage trail from the lake to the river, not a bad trail, and then paddled to the mouth of the river and back to the campsite. No transport required. It rained all week. But it was fun!

Paul
Adirondacks






TAddicks wrote:
Tamicamie River trip, 2014.

In early spring we sent a letter seeking permission to travel along with our expected itinerary by contacting Reserves Faunique Assinica et des Lac-Albanel-Mistassini-et-Waconichi. We would drive to Chibougamau, PQ and show our permission letter to the authorities at that base of the Reserve de la Mistassini allowing us access to drive the logging route (mostly) to Lake Mistassini. At the gate, we paid $160 in fees for traveling in the reserve. Our drive took us along Lac Waconichi which looked interesting in itself. The road was very accessible and except for the logging trucks, there was little traffic. We arrived at the fly-in destination where the road crosses the Tamiscamie River a few miles before it empties into Lac Albanel.

We had arranged fly-in logistics with Hydrobase d’ Air Roberval before we arrived and after some discussion and credit card payment ($2400, US$) we set off in a single engine Otter with our canoe strapped on the pontoon in intermittent sun and rain. It was short flight to our destination and we mostly followed the river north. We set down on Indicator Lake on a beach near a cabin. (Picture 2) The sun was shining and we were anxious to get going so we loaded up and headed north to where the Tamiscamie enters Lac Indicator. The wind picked up and we had an easy tailwind to the north end of the lake understanding full well that we would fight this wind as we headed south. We stopped at the north end of the Lake and looked at cast off snowmobile parts at an old winter campsite. The river was narrow at this point—perhaps 25 feet across and it was clear that it had made a steep descent from the mountains in the north.

We headed south against the wind and by hugging the shore arrived at a peninsula in Lac Indicator near our starting point. (Picture 1) We made camp in the lee of the wind and looked forward to the next day. Day 2 was full of angry gray clouds and rain so we stayed in our campsite for most of the day. Around 5:00 PM the skies cleared and we paddled across the lake to the eastern shore and re-set camp on a broad beach. Dennis took off to climb the highest peak while I set up the camp and swam. Several hours later he returned and we settled in for the night.

The next day we headed south and soon entered the river itself. It was narrow—maybe 50 feet across and showed a slight current. Birds were evident—hawks, eagles, and ducks as we made our way down the river in a broad river valley. Soon the valley constricted and the elevation decreased. We found ourselves in very restricted valley and we began to line down long steep drops along the right shore. The river descended at a rate of about 18 feet per mile and this continued the next day. Lining was difficult due to the large boulders and considerable alder bushes along the side but it was the safest route given the long rapids, big drops and ledges. We only had one canoe. There was no evidence of portage trails along either bank. We stayed on the river right bank for the entire descent. We had traveled 9 miles at best. Considerably more lining was ahead.

We came to a small opening in the river and found a very narrow beach to camp on at a place where the river makes almost a right turn to the south. (Picture 5) The water was nearly lapping our tents but the beach was flat and there was firewood readily available. It was a long day with much hauling and we were happy to find a suitable campsite because nothing had looked favorable along the way. While the surrounding area was relatively flat, there was not much in the way of campsites or sandy beaches. After a beautiful night we woke up early to continue through the area with the biggest drops. It was the same drill—lots of lining, hauling and bigger rapids. We eventually got near the bottom and were near the eastern (left bank) when we saw a very big rapid extending almost a mile with a very big drop. (Lat: 51.671619, Lon: -71.885898.) We estimated the drop to be about 66 feet in the mile and a quarter. We decided the best shore was on river left so we stopped to see what the lining would become. As we looked over the situation we spotted a canoe on river right and soon several canoes arrived coming up the river but on a portage. We ferried across and found a group of campers from Keewadin Camp (Dunmore) coming up the river. This was their first real portage having poled their way from Lac Albanel. They were on a 40 day journey that would take them to Lac St. Jean. We portaged around the rapids for 1.5 miles on a pretty good trail marked by surveyor’s tape as well as new axe blazes. It was hot and exhausting but we made our first and only portage although hindsight says if there had been portages routes the last two days we would have portaged rather and lined many of the drops. The river opened up with good current and many sandbars so finding camp was easy. We had traveled another 8-9 miles. (Picture 7 & 8)

The next day we paddled a short distance to where Lac Betholat empties into the Tamiscamie. There was a nice camping area here and it was evident that canoers had traveled from Lac Berthelot down the Ruisseau Bethoulat. It was here that the river really opened up into a broad valley nearly a mile wide with huge sandbars on every turn. Campsites were easy to find on sandbars and bugs were hanging out in the bushes and not on the sand bars. Wood was plentiful on the entire trip.

The last day saw a constriction in the river near a water gauge and the loss of sand bars. A nice class 2 rapid followed. The river was wide and the banks were full of vegetation. Camping along this section would be difficult. A couple of high waterfalls along river left begged us to shower. By now we could hear a road a few miles distant paralleling the river with logging trucks going up and own. Occasionally we would see the dust plume rise above the hills. We paddled back to the seaplane base and began the drive home as night was falling.

The trip was great, nice river, easy access, and beautiful country. You need to enjoy camping on beaches. This is not for the beginner unless you do only the last 40 miles. However, it’s an easy in and out river. It was difficult to determine mileage but we estimated the trip was between 85 and 100 miles with an average gradient of 5 feet per mile. Water levels are important. We felt the water was moderately high (late June). Lower water may make the lining easier although it would not offer up much of an opportunity to run the rapids in the top section. The rapids in the bottom were mostly strong current and waves and could be run at any level.


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