Madawaska, Opeongo, Black rivers
Friday, April 19, 2002 to Sunday, April 21, 2002
length: 3 days
participants: , Caroline Owen,
Everything was in full flood...very exciting.
Sandy and I went up to a friend's (just outside Algonquin park) on
Thursday night with the plan to run the upper mad on Friday, but the rest of our group pooped out because the levels were too high! So, the three of us (with our friend Gerry from Ottawa) went to the middle mad which was massive, but not quite as intimidating, long or isolated as the upper mad. Staircase was solid class 4, but we ran a sneak route down river right past the huge holes, then through some killer waves.
There were few eddies in Chalet, so that was a pretty quick run. I did it tandem with Sandy, then went back up and did it solo in my phantom. Gravel pit was also massive, but nothing nasty, just a screaming fun
Saturday we ran the Opeongo which is AMAZING. After 9 km of flatwater through about 3 or 4 lakes in Algonquin park (beautiful), you come to 10km of continuous class 2 and 3 with a couple of 4s. I have to admit, we were expecting class 1 and 2 since the guidebook said it was class 2 to 4, which is the same rating that they give the credit river...so I expected 10km of credit-river type stuff. Nope....it was massive. So,
Sandy had a long swim near the start and it took quite a while to chase down her boat and get the group back together.
We ran into fellow vvcc'er Adrian and joined his group of four for most of the rest of the run. The only other mis-hap was another dump by Sandy after she got her paddle jammed. We found out that those Norse paddles aren't
indestructible after all when her blade snapped in half. It was a great run, though and I would do it again in a second. I had been wary of all that flat water, but it wasn't too bad, even in a phantom. We had good wind!
Sunday, we were exhausted, so just paddled for a few hours on the Black on our way home, then slept for about 12 hours!