Spring in Ottawa/Quebec
I arrived in Ottawa in March 1st, it felt like I had stepped right into the planet Hoth from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. It was bleak and so snowy. Keeping in mind that London is generally temperate, rainy and a bit miserable this was a big change of pace for me. Meters of snow was banked up on the side of the roads, and spending any prolonged period of time outside seemed like an unpleasant option. If you were to stray to far of the gritted paths you would quickly find yourself knee deep in snow.
Why did you go so early I hear you say? Well there is one major draw of Ottawa in the spring time. BIG volume whitewater. But again you say; Why so early? well last year the spring runoff started in early March, and eager to avoid missing out on the good two years running I decided earlier would be better, plus I had scored a little bit of pre-season work at Wilderness Tours.
Joel Kowalski and Marc LeBlanc on a night session at the ramp. I just took photos.
April 1st is generally considered a pretty safe bet for internationals to travel out and get some spring time goodies, but most of April came and went before the ice started to break up. We still managed a couple of warm up runs down a low volume rapid called Blakeney, but this was certainly not the reason I came to Canada.
Then finally April 18th Mini Bus Wave, on the Ottawa river was just on the verge of coming in. Tantalizingly close. All I had to do was a weekend trip to Toronto and then prime levels when I came back. Or so I thought. When I got back on Monday Minibus had come and gone and the river was surging its way to a record high water level.
The paddling which followed, interspersed frustratingly by work, had been and continues to be amazing. Obscene amounts of water, giant holes, monster waves, reuniting with old friends and as always making new ones so far this spring has not disappointed and high water is set to keep going well into the summer.
Happy days, until next time
Stay safe out there
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