The Guidebook

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Putting On The Wrong River...

It’s funny what you can find when you just pick up a map and go to a river you’ve never been to before. Having met some of the local Quebec lads and trying to pick their brains for new rivers to run, they let loose the secret (ok, it might not have been a secret) about the Mastigouche. They told us about big slides and big fun, but not any info about where it was.

I didn’t think much of it after leaving Quebec that weekend, however Adin didn’t forget and began an extensive topo search of rivers called Mastigouche and found just what we were looking for – gradient and easy access. It just so happened that there were numerous other pieces of nice looking river in the area as well.

One year after the seed was planted, we headed towards the mythical Mastigouche (often referred to as the Messy Crotch by the crew – blame it on bad translation) one low water May 24th when the usual suspects were looking low and not fun. As one car load was leaving a day before the full contingent was to arrive, the prospect of a short shuttle on a new river was very appealing.

After driving around for a while, we finally found the river – it was short, just a few kms, and it obviously had gradient based on the climbing road from the end up to the start.

The river was fairly small, and was made up of a bunch of small slides – as we went along, we thought it was going to be a nice day, pretty relaxing as we had already lost what we thought was a decent amount of drop when we heard the dread scream “eddy out NOW!” from an eddy Christy and I had just paddled past.

After some tense scrambling and paddle-flailing we safely made it into an eddy at the brink of a very large rapid. Yeah, we would have blundered in had it not been for the warning. The photo below is what we found.

From the big guy down it was more of what we found above – all in all a fun river. It ended up though that this was not the Mastigouche we were looking for and we'd put on the wrong river - it was a small tributary flowing in below the whitewater we were actually looking for! We sorted it out and after uniting with the rest of the lads we spent the next day running the Mastigouche we were looking for in the first place – rather then one big slide, the Mastigouche proper had 4 or 5.

Here's all you need to know about getting to and boating down the Mastigouche River, the section we were out for in the first place.

The energy you need to run the Mastigouche

A not so glamourous put-in on the Mastigouche

Air on the signature drop

We ran it many times

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