View topic - Murray River from Tumbler Ridge to East Pine.

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PostPosted: July 17th, 2014, 2:39 pm 
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Joined: March 28th, 2008, 4:48 pm
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Location: Northern Alberta
Murray River from Tumbler Ridge, B.C. to East Pine. June 28, 29 and 30-2014.
Again a small trip report without alot of the major technical details.
Saturday June 28 I met up with some of the GP canoe club members for a trip to the Murray River. Other than the 2 day canoe lessons we had with the club prior to this, this is my first trip with the club. I was to take the bow seat in Harveys canoe where I actually felt pretty safe. Harvey is the president of the Grande Prairie canoe club and he has been at it for quite some time. There were 8 people (4 canoes) all together.
We spotted Harveys minivan at the take out near East Pine. We turned off hiway 97 to the left(east side of the river) before crossing the Pine River and took a gravel road down a few miles to the Murray River just before it flows into the Pine River. Then we jumped in with another couple and proceeded to the put in near Tumbler Ridge via hiway 97 just about to Chetywnd and then on to hiway 29. It was a boat launch near where the Murray crosses hiway 29.
The first day we paddled about 23km and found a nice camp spot on the right bank for the night. This part of the river run was quite pleasant and with no incidents.
The next day we left camp and within the first 5 minutes or less, came around a bend to the left and there is a rather large whirlpool taking up a good part of the river. We had a sort of close call as it did seem to want to suck you in on the way by and we almost gave in at one point. I guess last years trip someone did actually capsize in the whirlpool and had to be pulled out of it with a rope so the story goes. Some of the other water on day two did get a little rougher in places if you wanted it. We spent alot of time in the rougher stuff just to kind of get warmed up for day three. Getting close to the end of day 2 we had to go through a bit of chute where we crowded way over to the left side to avoid the worst of it. Really had to watch for rocks in the chute and in various other places along the river before this. The river was moving along pretty good as we were averaging over 10 km/hr usually. There were places where the winds got pretty strong also. We camped on the left bank the 2nd night. Had to climb a 6 foot bank with a bush made ladder to get up to camp.
The third day had a lot of white water. It was pretty wild for me. Alot of it was quite avoidable, but some of it was not. There was a bit of a ledge that spanned across the river somewhere after halfway day 3. There was a small opening if you stayed far left to avoid going through the ledge. We always seemed to get into the white water when we found the opportunity. If I had been all alone, I would have been as cautious as I possibly could, but being with an experienced group, I had very little fear. This is one river section
that I will not do by myself. Not in the near future anyway. I guess the last day must have been around 39 km to the take out(114 for the whole trip). Four of us stayed and moved everything to higher ground as Harvey and the other 3 drivers went back to Tumbler ridge for the vehicles.
This was my very first canoe camping trip and I have absolutely zero regrets. Excellent bunch of people, good weather and wild water. Looking for more abuse.
Wildlife: We seen an elk swim across in front of us, moose, bear on an island and also high up across the river coming down the bank from camp one morning. Beaver, fish, and all kinds of birds and waterfowl.

I didn't get a lot of real good photos on this trip, but I do have some. It seems when the wild water is coming close, everything is getting safely packed away for the upcoming event.


Attachments:
Cabin on the Murray - Copy.JPG
Cabin on the Murray - Copy.JPG [ 273.98 KiB | Viewed 1917 times ]
Bear Murray trip - Copy.JPG
Bear Murray trip - Copy.JPG [ 209.42 KiB | Viewed 1917 times ]
Murray Canoes - Copy.JPG
Murray Canoes - Copy.JPG [ 253.63 KiB | Viewed 1917 times ]
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PostPosted: July 17th, 2014, 7:57 pm 
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Joined: December 20th, 2003, 9:27 am
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Thanks again!
Ralph


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