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Eastern gems

it’s been a busy summer, working and teaching. Finally got some days off and time to write about our early trip to Gaspesie.

Its a little known region for whitewater, especially because there are almost no active paddlers. Fortunately, I had the chance to meet Simon Roy, the best local to show you the goods, and he delivered!

A week before the Neilson Race in Quebec, Simon called me, telling me creeks were running high. I wasnt much excited since all the classic creeks near Quebec City were running too…However, he convinced me to come visit for few days and paddle around. Marie-Pier and I loaded up the truck and we left for a 6 hours drive to New Richmond, hometown of Simon.

First morning, we drove to the Grande Cascapedia. Crystal clear water, well known for Salmon fishing. paddling down and ferrying across, we arrived at a tiny tributary that looked like nothing. He then told us we were about to discover a nice unknown spot.

Jonathan Falls shook me…Turquoise water falling over a sweet 15ft surrounded by green forest and dark rocks – It was hard to think that we were still in Quebec province!

Short technical entrance leaded to the lip of that fun drop. Perfect warm up to begin our journey.

Jonathan falls

Jonathan falls

We kept driving north on 299 through the National Park of the Gaspesie (Chic Choc mountains). I heard sometimes  that this region was the Rockies of the East…I understood why! Whats important to understand is that the National Park accept paddlers, but you need to pay the backcountry access pass (6$/day) and respect the season (before fishing, like may and beggining of June) There’s a myth that paddling the creeks around + chute Sainte-Anne (stout 40ft twisted drop) were illegal, which isnt true. You just need to have your access permission.

we drove a bit east to do a quick run of the York, classic III+ run in Gaspesie with nice canyon.

We slept in a sweet lodge, in front of the Mont Albert. Next morning, off to the Sainte-Anne-Nord-Est, really the gem of the area…and next to our lodge!

Couple of kilometers of continuous class IV then Gates of Hell. Far right have seen descent at much lower/reasonable level, but we decided to run the center slide line. Just below were the biggest rapid of the run, a nice technical V with some sieves to avoid. Another couple of continuous class IV and we were at the take-out! Quality boulder garden interspersed with small ledges and a bigger slide halfrun make the Sainte-Anne-Nord-Est a must!

Gates of hell

Gates of hell


Mont Albert, Sainte-Anne-Nord-Est, QC

Mont Albert, Sainte-Anne-Nord-Est, QC

During the afternoon, we went to a kilometer  long class IV+ roadside rapid in Capchat. We scouted some major stouts but would have take an higher level to run.

Cant wait to go back soon.

If you have the chance to go there during may-june, dont miss it!