July 13, 2006 at 1:59 am #1955
I’m new to this board (and to kayaking).
I was looking to go out boating this weekend, but it seems like all of the smaller (easier) spots are drying up.
We were planning to go to palmer, but it seems to be dropping like crazy.
I was wondering what the difficulty level of the ottawa is, seeing as its the only place that seems to have much water, at this point.
Both of us have a ton of whitewater experience from canoe tripping (including arctic rivers, etc). I am fairly new to kayaking, but have a reasonably consistent roll. My buddy does not.
If we go to the Ottawa, where do we put in? Do we need to organize a shuttle, etc, etc, etc?
Suggestions for a different river, for this weekend?
JamesJuly 13, 2006 at 10:48 am #19032ThomLModerator
It depends a bit on what you want. The Ottawa would be a good choice if you are not put off by the size of the river. It is very safe – the water is deep and the rapids are followed by good recovery pools – but can be imposing. A shuttle is required, but is easy to organise with other boaters when you get there. You put-in at the Owl put-in. This is the best map[/url:3n3osejn], and set of directions, that I could find. Once you are at River Run – a good take-out – then the put-in is just up the road a few kilometers at the “1” sign. Many times, I have run the river, taken out at River Run, and just hung out there and asked about getting a ride back up to the car – usually happens in about 15 minutes, especially if you start chatting up other boaters on the river.
The Lower Mad/Palmers is still runnable, but sections will definitly be boney. I think the Lower – Aumond Bay to Buck Bay – is actually better than Palmers at low flows. It is safe, and will be far less crowded than the Ottawa.
The lake at the bottom of the Gull is a good place to learn/practice, even at low flows: no shuttle is required and you can camp riverside. Until you have a solid roll, the river above is dangerous, but the lake is good.
Have a good weekend, wherever you decide to go.July 13, 2006 at 5:14 pm #19033
Thanks a lot for the reply.
Where is the Aumond Bay to Buck Bay section of the lower mad? Where would we put in and take out? Would we need a shuttle there, or is it walkable? Less crowded would definitely be nice.
Also, how big is the ottawa, exactly? Are we talking about 3s/4s/5s? Also, how crowded will it be? Will it still be a fun run?
JamesJuly 13, 2006 at 5:26 pm #19034ThomLModerator
The Ottawa is mostly big-water class 3s. [u:mdfsh9w5]Almost[/u:mdfsh9w5] everthing on the river looks scarier than it is. Yes, it will be crowded, but that is sometimes a good thing when you are running for the first time. It is pretty easy to hook up with some other paddlers that are willing to show you the lines.
The Aumond Bay to Buck Bay section traditionally takes a shuttle to run. The easier way, if you don’t mind walking a bit, is to drive to the first rapid, run down from there, and walk back up the trail that is on river left. Lots of folks do this instead, and find the overall time about the same as running shuttle then running the river. It also gives you the option to run as many rapids as you like, and then carry back up.
Where would you be coming from?July 13, 2006 at 5:38 pm #19035
We’ll be coming up from Toronto. I think the plan is to drive up Friday night, and camp, and then paddle sat&sun.
Maybe we’ll run the mad on saturday, and then if we feel up to it, the Ottawa on sunday. It does look, though, like even the ottawa is falling ” title=”Sad” />.
JamesJuly 13, 2006 at 9:20 pm #19036Kyle TParticipant"JamesGolick":24xxe2ui wrote:…and then if we feel up to it, the Ottawa on sunday. It does look, though, like even the ottawa is falling .
Don’t be put off by gauge readings of 0 and below, that’s normal for this time of year.July 13, 2006 at 10:03 pm #19037surfboyParticipant
for a beginner, particularly a non roller it can be iontimidating and a handfull. The river has huge volume and eddyline are not nearly so defined as on smaller rivers which can be a real problem for a beginner.
you don’t have to worry about getting beaten on rocks. but just about any swim will be a long one.
Once in to the intermediate stage with a roll the Ottawa is a place that you can push your limits in relative safety.
with all of the rain in southern ontario the Grand River may be a better option.
The Elora Gorge would be a good option.
You put in in the town of Elora just below the waterfall and mill in town and take out in the park a couple of K’s downstream.
THe eddylines are well defined and aside from the drop in the middle of the run that you can easily walk, it would be a great place to practice skills in a more controlled environment without such a long and inevitable swim.
Have a great weekend
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