Oct 12, 2009
Here are some excerpts from Hydro Quebec's Strategic Plan 2009-2013 concerning rivers along the North Coast.
-The Romaine Complex will enable Hydro Québec Production to increase its exports to markets outside Québec.
-One of these projects is located on the Petit Mécatina, some 250 km east of the Romaine. The company has already carried out the preliminary studies and some field surveys. Draft-design studies are set to begin in 2009. These will allow us to determine the final configuration, features and cost of the facilities, and carefully assess their environmental impacts. The working hypothesis calls for two generating stations (Petit-Mécatina-3 and Petit-Mécatina-4) with a total capacity of 1,200 MW.
-Other projects totaling more than 1,750MW round out this first group. They include Tabaret generating station, which is planned near Kipawa dam in the Témiscamingue region, and another project to be built on the Magpie; both of these have yet to undergo a detailed environmental assessment. The addition of a third generating unit at Sainte-Marguerite-3 is also being considered, along with refits that would yield capacity gains at Manic-2 (commissioning: 2013 to 2016) and Manic-3 (commissioning: after 2015).
3,500 MW BY 2035
3,000 MW of hydropower
300 MW of wind power
200 MW of emerging renewables
-Hydro-Québec Production has been present on wholesale markets in the Northeast since 1999, and now wants to extend its sales activities to the U.S. Midwest.
Jul 26, 2009
Jun 1, 2009
*To see the trip report with lots of pictures please continue scrolling down the page.*
Length: 130 miles
Difficulty: Whitewater is mostly class IV+- V with some spicey class V+ (if you're feeling up to it) @ 200cms. Lots of class III-IV boogie water and even more sections of moving current and flatwater. Portaging is done with moderate effort on all rapids.
Flow: according to http://www.myosis.ca/ 70cms-low, 110cms-med, 250-high, 400-too high
link to gauge: http://www.cehq.gouv.qc.ca/Suivihydro/graphique.asp?NoStation=073801
Remember the river is mostly done as a canoe trip with portages. It can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. One thing is for sure, regardless of the whitewater the Romaine is one of those classic "Trippin' Rivers". Floating through the Romaine Valley is an experience you will never forget. Around 200cms seemed to be a nice medium flow for the river. Difficulty would increase with more water obviously. Perhaps 300cms would be an interesting flow for adventerous groups to try. The first and second canyons had 4-5 scouts. Options exist on all the rapids from portaging to running the meat. Recommend kayakers put-in just above first canyon near 51.23' N 63.35' W. Then its a nice six day trip to the bridge at highway 138. Trying to camp at Fowlersville on Acid is highly recommended. If you go all the way to the ocean there is a hostel for a room and showers. Havre Saint Pierre has grocery stores and good eats like La Promenade on the street next to the water, and of course some excellent Casse Croute's to satisfy that poutine appetite.
Flight Info: Labrador Air Safari in Havre Saint Pierre ph: 418-538-3866 Fax: 418-538-3805
Located a couple kilometer's east of HSP exits on 138.
If you want the .kmz file for Google Earth with rapid names and waypoints for the hike out option, etc, etc. e-mail me at email@example.com Thanks to Boyce for putting it together.
May 30, 2009
Petit Mecatina River:
Length: ~100 miles, plus 20 miles on the ocean
Difficulty: V(V+) and lots of flatwater. I remember only a few other portages besides the stuff in the canyon.
Flow: 200-350 cms @ "The Split" gauge
link to gauge- http://www.cehq.gouv.qc.ca/suivihydro/default.asp you will have to navigate a bit to find it. Click 07-Saint-Laurent nord-est and then the second red dot from the right.
The canyon is the crux. It is possible to portage on river left, but skilled rope work and time are the issue. This was done on the late 80's descent. The (V+) describes the ferry for life move in the canyon. Waterlevel could make or break this section, it is very committing and highly consequential.
Alternatively, it is possible to land downstream of the canyon in the first big flat water section near Iles de William (51.14' N, 59.42' W). This misses some of the more difficult whitewater on the upper river, but still makes the run great IV-V with no unportageable rapids, and one could spend a whole afternoon surfing at Rapid de Pahtapistnakan which would also be a great camping spot.
The skinny about "The Split". If you go left try and hook up a boat ride to Harrington Harbour. This way puts you more in the middle of nowhere, but closer to Harrington Harbour. If you go right you end up at Chevery, a small fishing town and can pay someone to give you a ride out to Harrington Harbour. You are farther from Harrington Harbour, but I don't know of any kayakers that have gone this way so perhaps some good whitewater and definitely a fifty footer into the ocean. The canoe trip in 2003 went this way.
-stole this off Google Earth, Netagamiou Falls near Chevery
Ferry Information: Relais-Nordik operates the ferry from Natashquan-Blanc Sablon. On Saturday it docks in Harrington Harbour on the way back to Natashquan. Reservations are required and they will give you the number for Harrington Harbour. Larry Ransom is the wharf manager and a good contact for boat rides out of the Mecatina. Relais-Nordik phone numbers are 418-723-8787 or 418-692-5000 or Toll-free 1-800-463-0680. In 2007 the ferry cost about $70 CAN per person with kayaks
Flight Information: Labrador Air Safari operates the only float plane in Natashquan. 418-538-3866
Magpie River: See Alden Bird's new guidebook for a great write-up on this river. There are a bunch of pictures at the bottom of this blog too.- http://neguidebook.com/
flight info: Labrador Air Safari in Sept-Iles: 1-888-463-9511 or (418)-548-9511
May 29, 2009
Not too shabby of a sunset
Then some big waves in the runout
Looking back upstream at the first rapid
Greg doing the same
Amidst the Romaine's whitewater
At camp that night Boyce shows off the Jet Boil. Notice in background John and Boomer getting ready to use a more primitive method of cooking. It is called Burning Stick.
Greg found some cool minerals in the bedrock
Looking upstream at the boof
The first drop of Double Mister. Two misting horizon lines. We couldn't believe both were runnable. Below is the first drop. The line was at the top of the photo on river left.
Boomer and Toby getting in above the second drop of Double Mister.
The last rapid came to at the end of the day was also the first portage. We camped on the rocks and scouted it for hours. That night was an incredible display of northern lights.
Mr. Toad was checking us out.
Nice camping on the rocks. Notice the burning stick technique at work.
The Spike Rapid was run in its entirety by Boomer and Toby. Not without a couple of good beat downs though.
A-Star in the woods
Jake bouldering in the alcove
The next morning we ran the lead-in rapids to La Grande Chute. According to the Romaine Complex map this whole series will be flooded by the Romaine 1 Generating Station
This rapid had a tight left to right move to avoid a serious beat downIt was fun wide open ledges. Pick your down and hope there wasn't any big holes.
Then came La Grande Chute. Not really runnable, but very impressive. Romaine 1 Generating Station will built near this falls.
The portage was really slow. There were so many blueberries we barely made it back to the river.
Toby walking down the stone stairway back to the river. The portage was easy.
Greg and Boyce posing in La Grande Chute
John paddling away from the fallsThat afternoon we paddled another 10 miles of flatwater. Notice the Werner glamour shot. Great paddles for a great river.
Then we got the crazy idea to try and bushwhack to the road. 2 miles of solid bogging using the tractor pull method.