(Attempted) spring boating in Alberta - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-27-2013   #1
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 579
(Attempted) spring boating in Alberta

Heavy rain all over the province of Alberta had me looking forward to some boating on the relatively remote Blackstone River in central Alberta this past weekend.

But the elevation of the access road meant rain was falling as snow. About 12" on the road when my wife car slid out and got stuck. It was quite an effort to even get our cars (and my trailer) turned around and back out of there.

Needless to say, no boating was done.

These are the joys of Alberta in the spring!
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Old 05-27-2013   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Question for you...

Heading up that way in early July for Alberta and some BC creeking in Jasper area. How is the snowpack? Early July looking like good timing or will we be late? Hoping to do a backcountry run on the Rocky River, Mcleod, Maligne Canyon, Maligne "Behind the Mountain", Fraser runs and maybe Johnston Canyon or Astoria, if flows are right. Any thoughts or connections you may have to answer this question would be great. We can adjust on the fly, of course, but I do like a solid itinerary to keep the team on the same page to some degree. Thanks and sorry for your whiff on the Blackstone...

BTW - Chrismo or CGM, if you are out there... When did you and Bear hit Johnston Canyon, Sheep and Cataract? June, July etc....
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Old 05-27-2013   #3
Calgary, Alberta
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 579
Early July is decent timing. Unlikely to be in full flood unless you get a rain event, but nothing will have dried out.

The snow-pack this year was a little below normal, but we haven't had much warm weather yet, and with this last storm the mountains are completely white again.

I don't know much about the creeking since I'm not a kayaker, but I have rafted a section of the MacLoed. It's a nice wilderness stream from about Cadomin down with nice scenery and good camping for multi-days, but upstream of Cadomin you might find more creeking. There are a lot of rivers in the area of the MacLoed and Blackstone that have a lot of potential, and they're nice a remote.

Fraser is big whitewater. Never done it myself.

Cataract creek is a good tight stream that I think you'd find good creeking in, and there's a hiking trail along most of it's length so it would have good access. I'm not sure if you might be a bit late for that one in July or not.

I have a couple of good out of print guide books on the area. Drop me a line when you're out here, and if you're in the Calgary area we can go for a beer and you can have a look at them.
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