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PostPosted: November 27th, 2009, 5:29 pm 
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Hi all, I am an 18 year old from Hertfordshire in England currently on a gap year before I head off to University. I am, with a friend, planning, and very much hoping it is possible, to canoe/journey the length of the River Fraser from just north of Valemount all the way to Vancouver in the spring of 2010.

First of all I am here to ask (non-skeptics) whether you reckon it is possible? We have canoeing experience but only here in the UK and we are no rapid-experts. Could it be done? Are there effective ways of getting canoe transport over high risk sections like ‘hells gate’? I want to follow the whole route, so if some sections aren’t paddleable I’d love to get canoe transport and spend a few days hiking before meeting back up with the canoe on the safe side.

My mum’s a newfie but spent a lot of her life living in Vancouver and skiing BC, I have visited twice in the summer and fell in love with the place when I was hiking in Jasper and Banff.

Anyway any advice anyone could give on literally anything would be hugely helpful. Even if you think the idea is never possible feel free to suggest a whole other expidetion as long as it is a good months lengthy and adventurous!

James.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 10:49 am 
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Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
Wow, hope you get advice
usually we have a good contigent of paddlers from BC, maybe they are still paddling? anywho hope by bump you get an answer.

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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 12:59 pm 
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Thanks, am now also looking at 'the Yukon' up North... much much tamer! My problem there is that in BC it would be possible to buy a canoe and sell it the other end of my adventure. Up North I fear it wouldn't be so easy to sell a canoe at the other end without the population there!!! renting it would be long term and may become quite expensive... I'm looking at an overall trip of about three weeks upwards (with stops at towns along the way).

cheers for the bump!

James


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 2:46 pm 
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Think about buying a Pakboat (collapsable canoe). You can ship it in and out with no problem and probably sell it for 60-75% of what you paid new for it (or buy one used to begin with.)

I've done trips on the Kazan and Hayes in Pakboats and find them more or less equal to hard shell boats and much, much easier on the logisitics.


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PostPosted: December 3rd, 2009, 10:12 pm 
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Location: Burns Lake, BC
Hey James, Sorry...your Valemount to Vancouver doesn't sound too safe to me. :(

There's some big nasty stuff along the way not all easily avoided. The water temp would be very cold and water levels would be very high.

I wouldn't do it.

Some other options...
-Put in at the Northern end of Stuart Lake and paddle South to the Stuart River. Head down this to the Nechako River and continue on to the Fraser River in Prince George.

-Or you could try a 300km loop around Tweedsmuir Provincial Park then portage over the Kenney Dam to the headwaters of the Nechako River and down you go.

Anything else long does require a lot more portaging or wilderness river travel.

On a logistics note...if you need to buy, sell, rent, or trade a boat anywhere near Burns Lake, pm me.


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2009, 1:26 am 
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Hi James - Articles 9 and 10 on this page:

http://kayakwest.com/index.php/river-gu ... ainmenu-43

describe a couple of places on the upper Fraser (upper Fraser and canyon) where you certainly don't want to be in a tripping boat, and would need to bypass in some way. The run immediately below them to Rearguard falls would be problematic as well. I found the upper run pretty scary in a kayak years ago.

I think the Yukon would be a better idea and more straightforward - no need for multiple shuttles en route.

Good luck with your plans.

-jmc


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2009, 3:05 am 
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Joined: July 9th, 2003, 11:48 am
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Location: Back to Winnipeg
I didn't comment because I didn't know what to say. At least not without sounding super negative! But the entire Fraser would be "mammoth" to say the least. It's not the type of undertaking you plan in a few months. It's really not the type of undertaking you do. Especially at that time of year.

If you do go to the Yukon, there's probably more canoeists in Whitehorse than there is in Vancouver!

Good luck finding an adventure. Stay safe!

Pat.

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2009, 5:21 pm 
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Location: Surrey, BC
Hi James

Paddling the Fraser River in it's entirety is something I wouldn't want to do.
Unless there was some very special reason why it HAD to be the Fraser and nothing but the Fraser, I'd look at other options.

How about paddling the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City? That's an awesome paddle with tons of history and even a couple old steamboats to poke around in en-route. The people you meet in the Yukon are very friendly, too.

I'd suggest looking at the Yukon River instead, Bro.

I've only paddled a bit of the lower part of the Fraser, album here: http://picasaweb.google.com/tomfromvan/Fraser_River__Parsons_Channel_Sep_09_2007?feat=embedwebsite#

Good luck, let us know what you decide.

Regards,
Tom

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PostPosted: December 6th, 2009, 5:34 pm 
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Joined: January 26th, 2005, 5:35 pm
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the fraser would be intense...as others have mentioned.

the yukon is straightforward, and you can go further than the whitehorse-dawson section if you want...it sounds like you are looking for a longer trip and that stretch only takes a couple of weeks tops.

you could also consider the mackenzie. or the peace-slave. or the peace-slave-mackenzie; that would all be doable (one long portage at fort smith).

there are also other longish trips of historical significance that are much more feasible than than the fraser...the trip from winnipeg to york factory comes to mind. amazing wilderness, etc.

as for canoes, you can buy used canoes for quite cheap...some friends and i recently bought a couple of trippers for 200 each and we gave them away in baker lake at the end of our trip. cheaper than shipping, pack boats, or renting. also, you dont need super fancy canoes if you are doing some of the longer larger rivers mentioned above.


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PostPosted: December 7th, 2009, 12:26 pm 
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Joined: June 25th, 2001, 7:00 pm
Posts: 3197
Location: Kanata, Ontario Canada
JMC....awsome link on the sections......Kayak sites often provide great pictures and info. Thanks, I won't be paddling out there but great resourse to have mentioned here!!!!!

Big P :P
Quote:
didn't comment because I didn't know what to say. At least not without sounding super negative!

well ,dude, all I had to go on was Stan Rogers singing race the roaring Fraser to the sea....goggled it, saw some snaps and said....hummmm.... tag you're it :wink:
besides, you can do it more eloquently, and would be in the know......

James, you got some fine paddlers tuned in. They won't steer you wrong. Honestly post your details as you go and I bet you''l get lots of fine tuning advice. This site is a fantastic way to plan a trip...good people, good folks up in the Yukon too, it's a national site
Besides, we love seeing a trip from conception to roll out.
Gives us something to write about in February :lol:
Cheers and happy planning

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PostPosted: December 7th, 2009, 5:12 pm 
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Joined: November 27th, 2009, 12:55 pm
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cheers to everyone who has replied! you've all been a great help. I'm pretty set on do th Yukon now... as you all say the fraser is just to much for someone of my level, especially at that time of year. have put a post up on the Yukon section of this site.

at least now I have finally picked a river... a pretty huge step when it comes to planning my trip! going to try and do as much of it as possible I want to spend as much time canoeing as possible seeing as I've got about two months to kill!

problems still with the canoe, I was, like you say, going to buy a second hand one at whitehorse and then sell it at the other end, but with the lack of towns and things just giving away might be a better option, just trying to save as much money as possible really!

Thanks again for all your help (and feel free to continue). will keep you updated. Am off to Switzerland tomorrow!
Great site, great people!!!

James


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PostPosted: December 26th, 2009, 3:30 pm 
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Joined: November 27th, 2009, 12:55 pm
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Thanks to everyone. this has been hugely helpful you have no idea. i am currently working in a hotel in a ski resort in switzerland and trying to squeeze in time to get organising this stuff.

have been looking online and e-mailing about second hand canoe stuff but again was wondering for advice on that front. i want something cheap (second hand) but reliable tht i can either sell or give away at the other end. is finding something like this, something i can leave till i have arrived and then scrounge around and try and find stuff??


andrewlodge wrote:
the fraser would be intense...as others have mentioned.

the yukon is straightforward, and you can go further than the whitehorse-dawson section if you want...it sounds like you are looking for a longer trip and that stretch only takes a couple of weeks tops.

you could also consider the mackenzie. or the peace-slave. or the peace-slave-mackenzie; that would all be doable (one long portage at fort smith).

there are also other longish trips of historical significance that are much more feasible than than the fraser...the trip from winnipeg to york factory comes to mind. amazing wilderness, etc.

as for canoes, you can buy used canoes for quite cheap...some friends and i recently bought a couple of trippers for 200 each and we gave them away in baker lake at the end of our trip. cheaper than shipping, pack boats, or renting. also, you dont need super fancy canoes if you are doing some of the longer larger rivers mentioned above.


where did you find such used canoes... as i said above i need some help there!!
I actually got a book "the voyager" for christmas written by a man who followed Mackenzie's route in a birchback canoe and it is great! if i were to do that peace-slave route is there a decent place to end up? any population for finding a way back. can't seem to find anyway of getting from somewhere like slave back to edmonton or such a place?

sorry for more LONG posts!!
cheers for all the help and hope you all had a great christmas!!


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PostPosted: January 8th, 2010, 9:51 pm 
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Joined: January 26th, 2005, 5:35 pm
Posts: 84
In terms of canoes, what I have done in the past has been to go through rental places....they often sell their old rentals in the fall/winter. You can try finding out different rental places on the web and contacting them. The other avenue would be to check out craigslist or other such sites.

There are lots of places all along the peace and the slave that you can either start and get off the river. There are also places along the mackenzie although many of these don't have road access (some do however). If you did go as far as the ocean there is road access at Inuvik or Fort MacPherson (which is before the delta)...now in the past there was no bus service and I don't know if that has changed. You could try hitching out, though.

I had some friends who paddled from their creek in their backyard near Dawson Creek BC into the Peace and then the Slave and Mackenzie, ending in Tuktoyaktuk on the ocean. They had a good time.


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