Monday, September 21, 2009


Just back from the amazing Romaine river in Quebec. This is an amazing wilderness run that holds dozens of high volume classy rapids. Only access is by floatplane, which drops you 130 miles from the nearest road, After the Magpie river a few years ago we got the taste for multi-day high volume runs, and the Romaine is similar. Large drops, interspersed by short, or not quite so short pools.
Our team consisted of 3 uk boaters, (myself, Mark G and Kevin), Jay (from all over) and Max and Eric from the US. All except Jay had been on our Magpie trip.

(Kev had let his toenails grow on this trip)

The weather started off all too well. Bright and sunny, we even got a bit sunburnt by the end of the second day... The Third day started to get cloudy. Just after lunch on Midday Max probed a large sliding drop, and popped his shoulder out, swimming a nasty runout through some rocky channels. Unfortunately his boat never made it out.... Together will all his food and camping gear.... An afternoon spent trying to retrieve the boat was not rewarded with anything except rain that night.

In the morning we decided Max should hike out down the river.. We knew there were Dam construction sites along the river, and hoped we could reach one soon... It had also got quite cold. We were much faster than Max when we were on the river, so decided he had to come with us, rather than us wait for him... So we rafted up and floated him down the river whenever possible. We covered alot of distance, but not as fast as if we'd been boating normally....

Nearly two days of this, and we see signs of activity... Helicopters ferrying loads to the dam sites...A short chat later, and we have arranged Max a flight out of the river...

Almost straight after this, the big rapids begin again... High volume drops of all types... The drops kept coming for the next two days, then some long flats until the new bridge site and Grandes Chutes... One quick portage later, and many blueberries, we were at the end of the whitewater... We hoped to sprint to the takeout that night, but the portage had slowed us, and the evenings were dark early...

The next morning, after the coldest night on the river, we persisted downriver into a stiff headwind.... We tookout at the first trail we could find, and headed south to the road.... 2 hrs later we were discovered by some gruff hunters, who warmed to us, and towed our boats to the floatplane base... We were out!!!!.

(The Roche River falls, nearby)