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Canadian Canoe Routes

Ashuapmushuan River advice
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Author:  swampwalker [ July 30th, 2019, 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

You will certainly enjoy paddling this river!

We paddled the Ash at the beginning of July this year at 350. It was fine at that level for intermediate paddlers such as myself. What surprised me was the continuous 5 km/h flow. This is not a pool and drop river! We had very short days, stopping a 2 pm, and had easily completed 20-25 km.

Campsites can be hard to find due to the brush along the river bank. Some no longer seem to exist. But we always managed to find something nice.

Back-paddling is essential on this river, a skill that I sadly have not worked on much over the years. Many of the C1-CII rapids are relatively long (up to 2 km) so scouting from shore is not practical. You need to pick your way down, avoiding rocks and ledges, by back-paddling. Or bounce off every rock like I did.

Chaudiere Rapids is stunning. And huge. Just watch the approach to the portage on river right. There's lots of room to get to it, but you don't want to be in the centre of the river during the approach!

Author:  jimdiane [ July 30th, 2019, 5:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

I have an english version of the map for this river, if you want it send me your email and I can send it

Author:  Dave_k [ July 31st, 2019, 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

thanks Swampwalker. Check! on the back paddle/back ferry.

Jim thanks for the English version of the what I suspect is a map.

Curious if you ran into any others on the river while paddling or if people drove into see the Chaudiere Chute?

Looks like the long range forecast is saying temperature will be a bit below seasonal average (Jet stream dipping south) so it is good that the water will be warm.


Author:  jimdiane [ July 31st, 2019, 4:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

We ran into 2 groups, a group of 12 french boys and 2 leaders, and a coed group from Maine, they were all going at a slow pace. There were not alot of campsites on the river, the river itself was very manageable and we had no upsets. The campsite at the falls is quite spectacular and worth staying if you can, there were no other people/campers there.
Not a lot of wildlife, wolf tracks on the sandy beach and on our way out from the take out I saw my first all black wolf look at me a take a run into the bush.
have fun

Author:  Dave_k [ August 3rd, 2019, 2:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

Can anyone confirm if bears are an issue here?

Author:  Peter K. [ August 3rd, 2019, 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

If you search for "Ashuapmushuan" on Youtube, the first hit is an advertorial for a local bear hunting guide.

Author:  Sam82 [ August 3rd, 2019, 6:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

Dave_k wrote:
Can anyone confirm if bears are an issue here?

We never saw any bears on our September trip. I just got back from the Mistassibi and didn’t see any there either.

Author:  jimdiane [ August 4th, 2019, 4:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

Did not see bears in July, but I brought my bear spray

Author:  Dave_k [ August 22nd, 2019, 2:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ashuapmushuan River advice

My wife and I finished our trip last week. A few points for future travelers searching on this thread.
-It was noted earlier that camp sites were on sand. Not having paddled this part of Quebec or a river with this much sand I didn't realize what that meant. I think there was only one night we didn't end up camping on sand. I now understand why the campsite locations seem different or are rated differently on different maps. These camps site are literally on sand bars along the river bank or on an island and the spring floods can shift where they are or how big they are. With this years near record high spring flows I believe the sand experienced some significant rearranging.
-I have historically never brought a pole for our rain tarp/cooking tarp (which we needed 6 out of 7 nights on this trip) and have used trees or canoe paddles instead but the loose sand on the sand bars and their distance from any trees made putting up a tarp problematic or uncomfortably low. I saw one group on the river, who I learned had paddled the river frequently, carried a self supporting tarp/tent system that their group could stand under.
It was something that you might take car camping. Extra weight, yes but with the wet weather a nice comfort I wish I had.
-With all the rain the sand was always wet so we used a collapsing bucket full of water we had along to rinse all the sand off our feet before getting into our tent. It help reduce the sand in the sleeping bag.
-We never saw any wildlife other than birds.
-There were more mosquitoes then I would expect in August.
-We shared campsites with other groups four nights. Two of those nights we joining them as we got off the river later, weather threatening again and not confident what we'd find further down the river.

Fun river to paddle but I'd like to go back and do it when the weather was nicer.
flow started at 150 and rose to 220 while we traveled the river.

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