Canadian Canoe Routes

Athabasca River - Whirlpool R Confluence to 6th Bridge
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Author:  ice-breaker [ September 18th, 2013, 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Athabasca River - Whirlpool R Confluence to 6th Bridge

Camped at Wapiti CG in Jasper National Park and paddled day trips on the Athabasca River on September 13 and 14. Weather was hot (+31°C) and perfectly blue sky on both days, with the exception of a bit of haze (smoke) from forest fires. Went up with a buddy of mine, he paddled his kayak and I was in my Caption canoe. My son joined us in his WW kayak the second day of paddling. We paddled the same sections of the Athabasca River on both days, from the confluence of the Whirlpool R/Athabasca R to the 6th bridge (road to Maligne Lake).

It seemed that the high temperatures had increased the snow melt in the mountains and thus the river was higher than when I paddled it in June. First day paddling was a bit tentative through some of the CII/CIII rapids along this section of river, and we skirted some, or entered mid-way through the rapids on others. Second day we did not hold back at all, and had a great time, hitting the toughest sections of all of the rapids along this section.

Wore a dry top and dry pants the first day, but almost passed out from dehydration and the heat, so I changed into a wet suit for the second day. The glacier sourced water was very very cold. I was happy to be able to manage all of the big wave trains while taking on minimal volumes of water and not having to swim (as on a previous trip to this river). Was a great fun trip and will definitely try it again next year.





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