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N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice
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Author:  gbarron [ March 10th, 2009, 11:09 am ]
Post subject:  N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

Hi all,

I'm contemplating paddling the 300 km from Rocky to Edmonton this summer. I have Mark's Guide, the ARCA river map (Nordegg to Drayton Valley) and have consulted the relevant links under "resources" on this board.

I have compiled GPS waypoints and hope to paddle in May or June (but only if/when the water is below 200 cm/s).

Three questions:

1. Any specific suggestions for good locations for informal camping along this route?

I'll probably spend a night at the DV and Devon campgrounds but would appreciate any information about good sites in between.

2. Both Mark's guide and the ARCA map indicate Blue Rapids (class II) as the only rapids between RMH and DV. I assume the reach from DV to Edmonton is gentler yet. Is this accurate or are there other bits I should watch out for?

I have no whitewater abilities (except for one ill-advised beer paddle from Nordegg to RMH 30 years ago) and plan to paddle conservatively on a relatively remote river.

3. Any other hints anyone can offer?

Thanks!

G

Author:  woodenkayak guy [ March 10th, 2009, 2:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

Hi g you don't say whether this would be a solo trip or are you going to have other boats along.I have never paddled this stretch but From what Ive seen it is a large faster moving river and if you are solo and end up swimming you could end up in trouble.Nobody can asses your skills online,so i would recommend contacting paddle Alberta (http://www.paddlealberta.org/) and hopefully someone there will be able to help you further with assessing,it sounds like you have done lots of research already

Author:  D.R.Zandee [ April 13th, 2009, 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

gbarron wrote:
1. Any specific suggestions for good locations for informal camping along this route?

Too many options to list. Watch for elevated level benches with pine or spruce. There are some more specific sites but I'm not

sure on how far you plan to travel each day.

Quote:
2. Both Mark's guide and the ARCA map indicate Blue Rapids (class II) as the only rapids between RMH and DV. I assume the

reach from DV to Edmonton is gentler yet. Is this accurate or are there other bits I should watch out for?

Correct.
Other things to watch for;
In May watch 8 foot high banks of ice along rivers edge below Brazeau River due to fluctuating winter water levels because of dam.
Watch for many braided channels some get quite shallow or have sweepers or log jambs hidden away behind islands. Try to stick to

the main channel.
Watch stong eddy lines.
Watch for shallow sections in May and beginning of June.
Know what to do if you capsize in cold moving water.

Quote:
3. Any other hints anyone can offer?

A special section of Alberta wilderness. You'll love it.
Take a gold pan for fun.
Do a bit of research as there is so much history on this section.
Read about David Thompson.
A couple of good books about history and interesting sights and facts are;
Reading the River, by Myrna Kostach. ISBN:1-55050-317-0
North Saskatchewan River Guide, by North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance. ISBN:0-9699522-1-x

Author:  D.R.Zandee [ April 13th, 2009, 8:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

Here is what the river looks like in May.

Author:  ice-breaker [ April 14th, 2009, 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

I am in agreement with everything Darren has said.

I have paddled the Rocky Mountain House to Drayton Valley section once and the Drayton Valley to Edmonton section several times.

Camping spots are too numerous to mention. Generally, there will be frequent camping opportunities throughout the route, however, downstream of Genesee Bridge the river valley narrows somewhat and there tend to be fewer great spots.

With respect to whitewater, the RMH to DV reach is probably a little more difficult, with rapids usually consisting of CI to CII wave trains on the outside of bends. You can generally avoid most of these by paddling close to the inside of bends. Downstream of DV, the river is more braided (at least up to about Genesee Bridge), and you will likely encounter some faster sections of water through gravel chutes. Again, the main and larger channels will tend to develop waves along the outside of bends.

have fun and be safe.
regards
dave

Author:  gbarron [ April 20th, 2009, 9:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: N Sask RMH to Edmonton: need advice

Thanks for replies. I paddled Red Deer to Drumheller solo last year and that was uneventful. Hope to have a companion for this trip and will heed advice about rapids.

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