Alouette River

Upper Alouette
February 2016
By Dave WesteII

Length paddled: 7 km
Grade: II-III
Time: 3.5 hours
Level: 16 cms
Participants: Phil, Denise, Leigh, Bryan, Dave


I’m sworn to secrecy about who fell in. But let’s just say that Phil, being the contrarian, did not. 

Long put in. “It can’t be any worse than the steps at the Seymour,” said Denise, but it was. 

There were trees everywhere. Some did not like this. But it’s a forest, and how can you have a forest without trees? The trees. We went over them, under them, around them, and sometimes through them. We went like rats in a maze.

There was push in the chutes. And rocks. Bop! Boom! Bang!—just like a comic book.

Did I ever mention that paddling’s not just about sitting in your boat, floating down the river? Did you know it’s about falling in, wallowing chest deep in water, stuck boats, tangled in trees, leaky dry suits, being wet and cold? Nobody believes me, but it always happens, so it must be true. 


We planned to do the whole 12 km. And leaving a spare car at 7 km was an afterthought. We were supposed to stop there to make a group decision about taking out or going on. But no discussion, no one said a thing. Boats just climbed out of the eddies and up the bank toward the car. 


It was getting dark just as we finished up the shuttle. What a trip. What an adventure. The Alouette levels, being dam controlled, do not often cooperate, and this was a rare opportunity. .

Can’t wait to get to do the remaining five km.