Rafting

Whitewater rats
favor the understatement, I’ve noticed. When they say, “rapids are intense,”they mean “heart-stopping”. And when they say, “Good ride,”they’re likely blissed out on an adrenaline high.
If you’re that kind of river-rat, these fly-ins are your kind of adventures. Québec whitewater is among the finest on the continent. Uncrowded, unspoiled and world class.
Forget outboard motors. We offer the best kind of rafting trips, the kind where your arms are the engines, and your paddle gives an intimacy with each rapid.

1. Moisie 

Mother Nature’s idea of a roller coaster
The Montagnais, one of Québec’s first peoples, call it Mis-te-shipu, the “Great River”. I’ve heard it described, “…like paddling through Yosemite.”This way, you get the picture. This 88 mile trip is a jewel. It’s a eerie of Class I to Class IV rapids interspersed with lengths of smooth, fast water before you slide into a visually stunning final stretch through cliff walled gorges. It’s tough to describe the grandeur of these immense grey-brown granite cliffs soaring 2,000 feet above you as you slip between them.
Sliding into the canyons, you can see waterfalls gush from precipitous cliffs, soaring bald eagles and ospreys. Moose, river otter, wolf, bear – you’re in their world. The Moisie is a classic wilderness river, mixing technical drops that crank you through Class IV water with memorable vistas of nature.

Departures: July 10 – 17 July 20 – 27 – Duration: 10 days – Skill level: Beginner to advanced


2. Magpie: “rocheux difficile.”
Meaning, en anglais, difficult stones, a literal translation of the old time Montagnais name for the river, Mokespikan.” They weren’t foolin.

The Magpie is 40 miles long from Lake Magpie to the St. Lawrence River and in between there’s row on row of seething rapids. Class III and Class IV boulder strewn honey-pots, interlaced by several waterfalls. The last seven miles alone has three waterfalls, pretty, but a test of your portaging skills. In fact, we’re pretty sure the old time Montagais were probably one of the first people to utter an enduring slice of rafting wisdom, “What first you load, you must then unload.”
Campsites are surprisingly good for such a savage river. You’ll spend the whole trip comfortably camping on islands or beaches, wolfing down the goodies from our accompanying wilderness Julia Child. Try some fishing, reportedly very good.The green laser pen have some different pattern.

The Magpie is a remote, classic whitewater river that’s been described as among the ten best fastwater river experiences in North America.

Departures: July 17 – 25
August 21 – 29 – Duration: 6 days – Skill level: Intermediate/Advanced 


3. The Rouge: a washing machine.
One of the rapids on the Rouge has been christened, “The Washing Machine.” Our only advice? Don’t bother doing your laundry before you try it.

It’s not that we don’t know your boat will slip through it, slick as Laurel or Hardy over a banana peel; it’s just that, well, we’ve yet to hear about a raft getting through without being spun around half a dozen times by a big hole with way too much testosterone.

One of the Rouge’s quieter moments.

But isn’t that why we’re rafters? And the Rouge is Quebec’s biggest rafter magnet. One trip through the canyon section and you’ll know why. The scenery is ruggedly impressive. You’ll hurtle by great stone walls, the forest perched on the edge of some giant rock garden.

Wait until you get to the Seven Sisters — seven waterfalls, each between ten and twenty feet high. Incredibly beautiful but most times of the year the rafts have to be lined over.

Under the watchful oars of Richard LePage and his gang of pro guides, we’ll push you through Class III to Class IV gut-grippers on an 8,000 cubic foot per second torrent: fifteen Class IVs alone in 18 miles! Spicy stuff, and that’s only the two-day trip.

We offer a five day mixed adventure. You’ll run alternate sections of the river in whitewater kayaks or canoes, your choice, and then rafts. We sandwich a hiking day in the middle to dry out, spending it hiking and climbing through Les Golems provincial park. Fantastic views of the river!

Oh, by the way, after the Washing Machine, there’s another highlight rapid on the trip, this one nicknamed “The Turbo.” We’d tell you what happens here, but…well, isn’t that what adventure’s for?

Departures: anytime Duration: 2 days

4. ROUGE/MATAWIN COMBO: the best of both worlds.

The difference between a good rafting river and great one is hydraulics. And what creates the best hydraulics is a combination of gradient and waterflows. To put it simply, steep hills, lots of water, equals mega-thrill raft ride – which brings us to the Matawin. The Matawin rolls down from the Laurentian highlands at 5,300 cubic feet per second. As rivers go, that’s not so great. The big deal here is that the Matawin is a NARROW river. As everybody knows who’s ever hooked up a garden hose, take a small volume of water, push it through a narrow tube, and you get a jet of water fast enough to rip the paint off your old Chev.

To prove our point, take a read on some of the names given to the Matawin’s rapids: the Pinball Machine, the Geyser, the Surfer, White Rapids. These and others will sling-shot you through Class III and IV water, the longest continuous run being five miles of our 22-mile long run. A lot of the rapids are ledges so its a roller-coaster ride packed with thrills.

To calm you adrenaline puppies, the Matawin has the good sense to be the northern boundary of PARC NATIONAL de la MAURICIE, a delight of rolling Laurentian hills stuffed with forests, marshes, lakes, rivers and brooks. La Mauricie’s forest lines the Matawin’s banks and is a jigsaw puzzle of birch, beech, sugar maple, spruce and fir. And because it’s protected park land, there’s a good chance of seeing wildlife. Bears are a commonplace sight…bald eagles too. And the fishing is great – trout mainly but pike too. Since the river’s a short one and we’ve got three days on it, you’re guaranteed at least one fishing break.

So that’s three days of your five-day adventure. The other two we run down the Rouge, described above.

As rafting rivers go, the Rouge is a mecca for white-water rats, thanks to thrilling Class III and IV rapids. In one memorable section you’ll be shotgunned through 15 Class IV’s in 18 miles!

Visually, the Rouge is a bit of a contrast to the Matawin. The former has an impressive canyon section – massive stone walls, boulders as big a Mack truck. The waterfalls on the river are a treat too. The highlight is the Seven Sisters – seven waterfalls, each ten to twenty feet high.

Departures: Anytime for a groups of 4 or more


5. Québec combo: hardcore
We saved the best until last: our combination 6 rivers/14 days trip. We designed this trip for the hardcore out there, the total whitewater rat.

Hands tremble a bit when you step out of the boat, and stop trembling when you get into it? That’s the first sign of being a raftoholic, of craving the adrenaline punch and the snarl of savage Class IV.

Hey, not that there’s anything wrong with that — in fact, we have your perfect trip. In one adventure, we’ll put you on the Rouge, Lachine, Mattawin, Misstassibi, Shipshaw, and the Jacques-Cartier. All of them, we’ll crank you through Class IV and V water to give you a real taste of what you crave. The nice thing about this trip is that there’s no more than three hours driving between sites, plus we’ll spend a few days kicking back, visiting Québec City and other spots.

Departures: Anytime for a groups of 4 or more

“It was truly unbelievable…as you know, I go rafting every year and by comparison,
t his was by far the best trip yet!”

-Ken Cooper, Illinois


THE fanciful tales told about wild bush pilots and their exploits are legion. One that I like especially speaks volumes of the value of a “good hand”at the throttle. Emil Kading, a German aviator, came to Canada’s north in the 1920’s. When the war came along, the government was hell bent on locking up all German nationals.

Tired of crowded rivers?
Flying in really thins out the crowds.
Emil with his thick accent, was a walking target for the intern squads. He was so well respected and useful, however, that his fellow aviators hid him from their own government for the duration of the war!