Sunday, August 21, 2011

Quebec Day 3 - La Riviere Sautauriski

After more waffling and water level debates (part of the fun of going somewhere all the gauges are unfamiliar and descriptions are often in French), we decided on the Sautauriski, which was supposed to be low but runnable (good considering this is usually a late spring run). We paid more admissions fees (a theme is emerging) to get into the Parc Jacques-Cartier and set shuttle just upstream from where Sautauriski confluences into the main Jacques-Cartier. The river looked pretty low but passable in the dechannelized section upstream from the takeout, so we figured we'd be okay. Shuttle entailed leaving and reentering the Parc in a less developed area, where we drove to the blockade of the dirt road at the bridge across the Sautauriski.

As soon as we got out, we were massacred by black flies and mosquitoes, necessitating a less than leisurely rate of gearing up. The river started nicely with an easy narrow bedrock rapid right under the bridge before spreading out for a good distance of easy boulder rapids which could have used some additional flow. Soon enough we made the portage, getting out to take a look. The 1st and 3rd drops were good but the 2nd was too low to be enticing (although it may not be enticing at any levels). Fortunately eddies and seal launches were available to avoid the 2nd drop; however too much time was taken scouting and portaging, and the mosquitoes and black flies were again onto us. We took off from the bugs as soon as possible and soon found ourselves routing through many nice class IV boulder rapids. Unfortunately, they ended sooner than we would have liked, but at least the scenery was top notch for the paddle out.

While not nearly the classic the Neilson was, the Sautauriski delivered a nice mellow day in a beautiful canyon, and I'm sure it would get better with increased flows.

Trying to Boof the First Drop of the Portage (Photo: Jeff Moore)

Finishing Off the Third Drop of the Portage After Seal Launching the Second (Photo: JM)

Tony Boofing a Nice One Below the Portage (Photo: JM)

Boofing Downstream in the Nice Class IV Section (Photo: JM)

See, Jeff Does More than just Take Photos (Photo: Alex Zendel)

Not Chicken Pox, Just the Price for Scouting Too Long (Photo: AZ)

Mmm... Camp in Quebec (Photo: AZ)

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