Canadian Canoe Routes

Seeking River Advice (Alberta)
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Author:  Cody1774 [ May 27th, 2013, 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Seeking River Advice (Alberta)

I am about as new to the sport of Kayaking as I am to this message board. I just bought myself and my wife Perception Rhythm 11 Kayaks, with the intentions of having a good, safe, versatile, beginner's boat. We intend on spending as much time this summer as we can on calm lakes around the area, but I hope that we can build enough skill and confidence to attempt some river trips in the future. I am a lot more ambitious than my nervous wife. Anyways, I am from Sundre so the Red Deer River instantly grabs my attention. I see it every day :) . Under the advice from another member, the Red Deer River from the Mountainaire Lodge to Sundre will likely be much more than what an inexperienced paddler can handle. So I turn to the pros, can you please advise me on some novice rivers that my wife and I could possibly enjoy once we get some time on the lake getting used to our new boats?

Thanks so much!

Author:  Ralph [ May 27th, 2013, 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking River Advice (Alberta)

Welcome to CCR!
I think your plan to get comfortable on local lakes is a great idea.
You should purchase Mark Lund's book, Mark's Guide for Alberta Paddlers. (Available at a number of outdoor stores and MEC -'s%20Guide
It is an excellent resource and will give you a good idea of many runs that would be suitable for beginners including flow levels that would be appropriate for you.
I imagine there are a number of paddlers in the Sundre area. When you see a boat on a vehicle, stop and talk. Although many of them might be whitewater paddlers, they will have knowledge of local streams where you can have an enjoyable and safe paddle. I imagine there are some small creeks with stretches of very easy water that would be good places. I've found that many people enjoy "muskeg" creeks and they are a good place to learn how to maneuver.
From experience, it is especially important for your "nervous" wife to have good experiences, especially early on. If you push her envelope too much, too soon and she has a bad experience, the end result might not be what you are hoping for.
Have fun,

Author:  ice-breaker [ May 27th, 2013, 1:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking River Advice (Alberta)

Most Alberta lakes with access to boats would fit your criteria for a great place to learn and to get some paddling experience and confidence. Haven't tried it recently, but Glennifer Reservoir may be a possibility. Wherever you choose, if you are on a lake it is better to pick calm days for paddling, as battling the wind and waves is not fun for a beginner and can be dangerous. Also try to pick spots where there is less motorboat traffic, as the waves from those boats can sometimes be daunting to novice paddlers (in addition to the noise pollution).

I second the recommendation to pick up a copy of Mark's guide. It is an excellent resource that I personally have used to help plan many paddling adventures.

Enjoy your paddling and update those of us on this forum as to how things are working out for you.

Author:  Cody1774 [ May 28th, 2013, 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Seeking River Advice (Alberta)

Thanks for the advice. As you said, Ralph, its important that my wife gets her confidence up and is comfortable before getting her into a situation that she could find stressful. We were hoping for some good weather this weekend to hit a lake somewhere, but not liking our chances.

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