The Guidebook

To visit the LiquidLore Guidebook, click right here. It's the starting point for all kinds of whitewater beta and the main reason this site exists - be sure to check it out.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Waterfalls Of Quebec, Part 1

By now, you're probably well aware of the many wonderful waterways in Quebec. There's really something for everyone there, including many high volume rivers that drain the continental mass of eastern Canada. While that's nice, this post isn't about said giants of whitewater. As big rivers need to start somewhere, it makes sense that there are a lot of smaller streams out there as well.

The Ottawa River is one of those big rivers. While being the border of Ontario and Quebec and most easily accessed from the Ontario side, most of its water originates in the deep woods of Quebec. In the lower reaches of the Ottawa valley, some of the small streams that add to an already substantial river have some fantastic sections of whitewater, some of them quite steep. One of these is the Petite Nation River, which forms several notable rapids including the Chutes de Plaisance just before the rivers' confluence with the Ottawa.

I first saw the Chutes in 2003 when I first moved to Ottawa - back then I thought they looked cool but didn't put any real thought into giving them a shot. Over the next few years it came up in conversation a few times, and finally we got over there last fall to give them a go (well, we went there once before that and chickened out). After a bunch of scouting and setting up safety, we managed to tick off both the main channel and even the river left side channel all the way from the top, with varying degrees of success, but all clean runs in the end.

While the Chutes are a spectacular end to the Petite Nation, there is a moderate section of river up above here that's fun in the spring when the river is high. I don't have beta for that one, but if the Chutes are your thing, click here to find out more.

The only warmup you get before dropping into the Chutes - the low November sun resulted in a lot of glare and shadow, as you'll see in the next shots.

The Chutes de Plaisance.

Standing in the shadow of the first cascade.

The second drop.

The far left channel.

Group photo, with nobody paying attention - these are the lookouts you can scout from.

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