View topic - Anyone Paddled the Clearwater River (flowing into N.Sask.R)

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 2:37 pm 
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Location: Beaumont, AB
Over the years, I have camped along the Clearwater River in western Alberta at various times but have never had the opportunity to paddle it. There are several Clearwater Rivers including one in BC and another beginning in Sask. and flowing into Alberta to the Athabasca River. The river I am interested in is the Clearwater River that flows east from the Rockies out of the Alberta forest reserve and ultimately flows into the North Saskatchewan River near Rocky Mountain House. I do not see this river in Mark Lund's Guide for Alberta Paddlers and was wondering if anyone has ever had the opportunity to paddle it? If so, what sections have you paddled, how is the water at various times of year, hazards, what class of water is it, and what are your thoughts on the quality of camping along the river?

Any responses would be apprecieated..

Regards
Dave


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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 5:43 pm 
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Sorry - lazy reader... I provided links for the easier-to-find Clearwater. Deleted post.

Good luck, PY.

p.s. Thanks PN for the PM to correct my info.

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Last edited by yarnellboat on December 12th, 2007, 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 6:28 pm 
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Yarnel: You are thinking about the Clearwater River flowing from Saskatchewan into Alberta and into the Athabasca R near Ft. McM.

The river I am talking about is near the Rockies flowing into the North Saskatchewan R at Rocky Mountain House.

regards
Dave


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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 7:27 pm 
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Sorry for this useless post but I can't resist. Clearwater Pass, just around the corner from Pipestone Pass is an area of mythical beauty and remoteness in the Front Ranges of the Rockies. Thanks for jogging my memory.


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PostPosted: December 12th, 2007, 7:27 pm 
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ice-breaker wrote:
how is the water at various times of year, hazards, what class of water is it, and what are your thoughts on the quality of camping along the river?

Any responses would be appreciated..



Dave,

You can file this under the any response category because this info could get a drink in any bar in Canada without being carded.
We use to hike and fish the upper portions of this Clearwater River and often wondered about sticking a boat in to see where we would end up.

Our paddling guide at the time was the old waterproofed Alberta Reach Reports and this beauty wasn't listed. But the drive in and the only road access I was aware of at the time was cut into the slope of the steep and deep river valley and if you lost your boat down there you would be in for a hike through some rugged country.

But that's the best reason to give it a try.

Please keep us posted on the results of your search.

I do remember a story about a canoe being paddled by two guys in shorts whose unprotected legs were ravaged by Alberta's provincial flower on the trek back to civilization.

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PostPosted: December 13th, 2007, 4:50 pm 
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Hi Ice-breaker -

I have no personal experience on this Clearwater. However, when I unearthed my old Alberta Reach Reports (~1978) I found descriptions of three reaches of the river: they are included in Booklet 4 of the series, "North Saskatchewan River System."

Reach 1: Timber Creek to Seven Mile Flats Campground - described as a pleasant summer run through the foothills, ~ 48km. Rapids to grade 3 (by 1978 standards) access rough and 4WD strongly recommended.
Reach 2: Seven Mile Flats to Ricinus bridge - described as swift current, tight corners, loads of sweepers and logjams, ~ 53 km. Doesn't sound like much fun.
Reach 3: Ricinus Bridge to Rocky Mountain House - easier, fewer log jams -farm scenery below Dovercourt, ~48 km.

If you can get hold of these booklets (libraries often have them) you can get the full details. If not, I could send you some xeroxes - PM me if you like. I recall talking some years ago to people who had paddled the upper stretch: it sounded all right but I'm not sure equal paddling enjoyment couldn't be obtained elsewhere with less shuttle hassle. Perhaps this is why it's not in Mark's book.

If you're in Edmonton, why not give Mark a call or e-mail? - I'm sure he's been on the river at some point, or knows others who have. If you Google "Mark Lund", you can find contact information.

Hope this helps.

-jmc


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PostPosted: December 14th, 2007, 1:01 am 
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I am curious about this too. I have fished along it well over 30 years ago, but way upstream. I have also paddled by where it flows in to the N Sask at Rocky a dozen times. Looking forward to hear if anyone here has done it.

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 Post subject: Clearwater River
PostPosted: December 15th, 2007, 11:41 am 
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Stuart Smith describes 4 reaches in his Central rockies Whitewater book totaling 80 Km of the river. Several comments are made about riverwide logjams and an arduous journey. I have not personally been on this river, and the comment by Stuart that makes the biggest impression to me is "This is not one of my favorites".


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PostPosted: December 17th, 2007, 5:23 pm 
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I have paddled the upper run on the Rocky Mountain House Clearwater River twice but it was many years ago so ...
We used to go out with the Ceyana club out of Edmonton and Mark Lund was usually along and I'm sure he'd be a better source of information than me. Nevertheless, this is what I can recall. We camped in a meadow adjacent to the Clearwater River just downstream of Timber Creek. Almost immediately around the corner from the put-in was a ledge with a sloping rock chute followed by a rock garden. There was a few hundred metres of rocky water and a bend to the right after which was a broken ledge which was easiest on river centre-right. The rest of the run was not as difficult but had rocks, sweepers and some tight corners. I haven't done either of the lower runs.
Not much but that's what happens to your memory after a while.
Ralph


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PostPosted: December 31st, 2007, 1:38 pm 
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Good Morning Dave & All;

In the '70s & '80s the upper Clearwater River was a favorite paddle for many of us, but the big floods in the mid '90's exasperated the already many existing log jams, and I have not been back to paddle this stream for over a decade. About 5 years ago I did check out the cutlines back to the Timber Creek access -- a 4x4, dry weather a good map and the latest air photo (Google Earth!) are certainly requirements to access this upper reach.

I would certainly appreciate hearing any reports from folks who have paddled the Clearwater in the last year or two.

I have posted the old 1978 Canoe Alberta reach reports for this river at:

http://members.shaw.ca/marksguide/index.htm

Scroll down to the developing list of out-of-print reach reports. I will add others as requests come in -- and if available.

I hope this helps,

Mark

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PostPosted: January 1st, 2008, 1:41 pm 
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thanks Mark. Your input is very much appreciated. I have have a copy of your new guide book. Excellent job.

regards
Dave


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