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PostPosted: August 1st, 2008, 11:03 am 
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Joined: October 29th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Livingston Montana- On the Banks of the Yellowstone River
Trying to gather informaton on the upper reaches of the Milk (as well as any info on the lower Milk in Montana too).
Looking into a route that goes UP this river and not sure how far UP one can go before there is no water or at that POINT where its a good idea to get out etc.
I want the closest and shortest portage over to what looks like the S. Sask River just north of the town of Milk RIver but if there is a BETTER stream that would eventually go to the main Sask RIver then please let me know. Im mainly just looking at road atlas type maps before getting any detailed topo maps of that area. It only looks like less than a 15 km carry over to the S. Sask River near the town of MR but if one can paddle UP futher let me know. Just want to get a sense on this area, water conditions etc. A book I have says the HIGH water is usually peaking in the first of MAY and the travel my be more difficult then esp. going upstream etc Does this seem true still even with the unusally weather the past decade???
Thanks for any info I appreciate it.
N


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2008, 8:10 pm 
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Joined: November 12th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
hi paddle

try looking at the St Mary's-Oldman-S Sask route. It also starts south of the border and I would think that is the closest option for you to change water sheds. Most of what's around Milk River (town) is irrigation reservoirs and canals. I'm not sure they're navigable but you never know


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 Post subject: yeah
PostPosted: August 1st, 2008, 8:41 pm 
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Joined: October 29th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 435
Location: Livingston Montana- On the Banks of the Yellowstone River
yeah i see that...oldman river...yes that looks like a short hop over. i will just need to get a feel for that river, have you paddled it?
is there a stream flow website for canada where a person and see upto date flows and water levels? I wouldnt want to find out the farmers have sucked all the water out of the rivers for the crops etc.
thanks again
n


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2008, 9:43 pm 
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Joined: March 25th, 2004, 12:07 am
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If you are coming "up"the Milk you would want to paddle all the way to where the Milk enters Canada, to best hook up with the St. Mary's not the town of Milk River.


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 9:49 am 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
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Location: Calgary
http://www.environment.alberta.ca/apps/ ... fault.aspx


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 9:49 am 
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Joined: June 4th, 2008, 9:41 pm
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Location: Coldhell, AB
The St. Mary from the border to Kimble Campground has a handful of class 2 ledges (all easily skirted). It's a pleasant white water trip. Below that you won't find anything larger than class 1 rapids until you get below the dam at the St. Mary reservoir. I've never run the stretch below the dam but I understand there are several class 4-5 ledges in an inaccessible canyon (steep and deep, with no access roads).
I talked to a couple of Kayakers that ran it and they had a blast but whined about dragging their 'yaks so far to put in and take out.

Below the Canyon, the St.Mary flows into the Oldman and heads east to join up with the South Saskatchewan.

Portaging from the Milk to the St Mary would be a very long walk. Best done with vehicular support I think.

HTH

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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 9:50 am 
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Joined: February 23rd, 2008, 10:06 am
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Location: Calgary
http://www.environment.alberta.ca/apps/ ... fault.aspx


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 10:19 am 
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Joined: June 4th, 2008, 9:41 pm
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Location: Coldhell, AB
The St. Mary from the border to Kimble Campground has a handful of class 2 ledges (all easily skirted). It's a pleasant white water trip. Below that you won't find anything larger than class 1 rapids until you get below the dam at the St. Mary reservoir. I've never run the stretch below the dam but I understand there are several class 4-5 ledges in an inaccessible canyon (steep and deep, with no access roads).
I talked to a couple of Kayakers that ran it and they had a blast but whined about dragging their 'yaks so far to put in and take out.

Below the Canyon, the St.Mary flows into the Oldman and heads east to join up with the South Saskatchewan.

Portaging from the Milk to the St Mary would be a very long walk. Best done with vehicular support I think.

HTH

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 Post subject: Re: yeah
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 10:54 am 
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Joined: November 12th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta Canada
paddletothesea wrote:
yeah i see that...oldman river...yes that looks like a short hop over. i will just need to get a feel for that river, have you paddled it?
is there a stream flow website for canada where a person and see upto date flows and water levels? I wouldnt want to find out the farmers have sucked all the water out of the rivers for the crops etc.
thanks again
n


The Oldman and Milk should be OK except for late summer when in drought situations. Early spring has pretty high flows with the run off and rains. The Milk is a fairly small river so not near the flows of the Oldman (normally). Right now it would be OK but near the end of August you'd be doing allot of dragging probably in all except the lower Milk
I haven't paddled the St Mary's but may try it in the next year or so just because its so close to home.

All of these rivers meander allot (particularly the lower St Mary's). Allot of gravel and clay banks - not allot of sand but it is there. Wind is usually a factor (prevailing from the west) - this would be your biggest enemy if you're paddling up the milk. I'd plan for a couple of extra days for that.
On the flip side allot of birds and interesting errosion features as you travel through the prairies.
How far are you planning on going?


HTH

What time of year did these kayakers run the lower St? Where did they put in/take out? I wonder if with the low water now if it might be possible to get through - its never more than a little trickle entering the Oldman in august...
What do you think?


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2008, 10:37 pm 
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Joined: June 4th, 2008, 9:41 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Coldhell, AB
When I talked to George and his son it was early June and they had just run it a weeks or two before (around the first week of June or so).
I'm not sure where they put in/took out but they whined a lot about dragging their Kayaks down (and up) steep coulees for an awfully long way.

If you can get your hands on a copy of Hans Buhrman's "Guide to Chinook Country Rivers" it has detailed descriptions of access and egress points as well as detailed (hand drawn, mind you) maps of the rivers and their features. IIRC there's a couple of class 4 ledges and at least one class 5. Best to go slowly and scout if you choose to run the stretch between the dam and Lethbridge .

If you wan to run the upper stretch on the St. Mary (from the cook ranch or the public access to Kimbal or down to Wolford) next spring, shoot me a PM or send me an e-mail. I've run that stretch in Kayak, open canoe (solo and tandem) and rafts. It's a great warm up run for some of the bigger water around.

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