After moving to Alberta, and presuming that there was no paddling to be had I was plesently supprised to get an invitation from Mikkel St. Jean Duncan to run the South Ram on Canada Day Weekend here in Canada. This two day expedition was a much needed change from driving 10,000 km's over and back to from the Ottawa and studying away here in Vermillion Fire Fighting school.
The South Ram is an awesome 2-4+ 2 day section of river, 50-60KM's in length located just outside Rocky Mountain House on Hwy 752. An unlikely spot for such a gem considering you can see for miles in every direction on the drive up. Friday night started with meeting the group, Mikkel being the only one I had paddled with before.
Unfortunately the logging road that allows for a simple take out only metres form the river bank was locked with the most heavy set logging road gate I have ever seen in Canada. No bribing the locals with a few beers to get into this one. So we continued another 7KM down stream and parked a couple of cars there.
Having run shuttle that night we were ready to go early the next morning and set on our way for what was my first time down the Ram or any river in Alberta for that matter. This river produces some nice challenging grade four rapids in between truely beautiful canyons and mamonth cliff walls. In the weeks previous to out decent the river had flash flood from 40cms up to 700.
The second day started with a beautiful sunrise meaning all our new Level Six Dry Gear was warmed up and ready to go for our second day, not being the most experienced over night kayaker warm clothes were definitely a plus considering I tried to survive on Mr. Noodles and Chunky soup.. Lesson learned. The second day brought with it one of the more challenging portages I have ever experienced, along a trail a mountain goat would be happy to survive. This left us with a 2 hour paddle out and a truely epic finish walk out to the cars.
All in all this was an amazing introduction to Albertan paddling and what this foreseeable future has in store for me. Thanks again to Mikkel and his possy, and the eye opening experience they brought me along for.