Thursday, April 12, 2007

Important Pipers Hole Rodeo Update


I've had a "luck of the Irish" type day. Essentially my vehicle is
out of commission until sometime next week. Which leaves me in a
pickle about the festival this weekend. My executive decision is to
delay the festival to Saturday, April 28, 2007. I'm terribly sorry
about the short notice of this schedule change, but unfortunately we
can't choose when our cars are going to break down.

I was able to change my Kilmory reservation and I hope that the resort
is understanding of anyone else that needs to do this too. On the
other hand the water levels and weather are still forecast to be good
this weekend, so hopefully people will still go and enjoy the river.
I'll be humping my boat over to Rennies Mill for sure.

Thanks for your understanding

Chris Buchanan

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Northwest River Levels

I've noticed that the NL government gauge is not being updated at the moment. It has been this way for a while and I'm not sure when it will get fixed. However, the environment Canada gauge is still working fine and can be found at

Unfortunately this data is given as the head of the gauge (m), as opposed to the NL graph, which is converted to CMS. A few years ago I monitored the websites and came up with a fairly accurate conversion for the environment Canada data. This allows us to judge the water levels using numbers we're familiar with for the Northwest River. Listed below are a few touchstone levels for each gauge. I hope this helps you out.

Environment Canada (m) = NL Government (CMS) River Level
1.1 m = 10.7 cms Low
1.3 m = 15.8 cms Low
1.44 m = 20.1 cms Medium
1.6 m = 25.8 cms Medium
1.7 m = 29.8 cms High
1.8 m = 34.1 cms High
1.9 m = 38.8 cms High
2.0 m = 43.7 cms High
2.5 m = 73.3 cms Really High
3.0 m = 110.8 cms Really High

My conversion is an estimate, but is very accurate between 2 cms and 50 cms. Above 50 cms it becomes less accurate. Really though, if you're on Northwest River above 50 cms you know what you're about and you don't need a lousy gauge.

I hope this helps you out a bit. The Northwest is at about 20 cms today. In otherwords it is perfect. Judging by the weather forecast it will stay in a good window for a few days. So, get out there and paddle.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Pipers Hole Festival News

I think I have the final touches on the Pipers Hole Festival. Here are all of the pertinent details.

Date: Saturday, April 14, 2007
10:00 am in the parking lot. The rodeo will likely start around 12:30 pm.
Location: Pipers Hole River is located just south of Swift Current, NL. Follow the TCH west from St. John's. Just past the Iriving station in Goobies there is a left hand turn onto highway #210, there are signs for the Burin Peninnsula and Marystown. Swift Current is located 21 km west of Goobies. THe entrance to the park is a further 4.5 km west of the edge of town. If you miss the park entrance you will pass over a bridge and start heading up a large hill. This is too far, turn around and look for the park on the east side of the bridge.
Cost: No Cost, just come and have fun. At past festivals there have been t-shirts for the participants, but not this year. As a departure from the clothing market there will be NL Rodeo Series Decals available for $4 or $5 each, I'm still sorting that out.
Format: The festival is really just about getting out with a large group of paddlers and enjoying an amazing little play run. It is a good opportunity for beginner boaters to paddle with more experienced whitewater kayakers. This is also a day to invite your friends who may be passingly interested in taking up the sport, but don't know much about kayaking.

The main event of the day is the rodeo. This year the format will be based on elimination heats. Heats of four kayakers will have exclusive access to the wave for 10 minutes. The top two paddlers, as decided by the spectators, will advance to the next round. I estimate that there will be four rounds. Although if it is really cold the third round may be used as the championship round and the four paddlers in the heat will be ranked after their session.

Safety Note:
In the event of a swim during the competition all paddlers in the heat are expected to participate in the rescue. The clock will be held until the rescue is completed and the paddlers are ready to continue. Any paddler that fails to leave the eddy and help the swimmer will be disqualified.

Apres Paddle Pizza: A supper will be available at the end of the day, around 5:30 pm. It will be a pizza party held at Kilmory Lodge (cabin TBA). The charge is $7 at the door and will hopefully be all you can eat. This is open to anyone and everyone, including spectators and any sea kayakers in the area, that want to join us for some hot food and warm-up at the end of the day. In order to make sure we have enough pizza to feed everyone it would be nice if you could email me by Thursday and let me know if you plan on attending. The supper is BYOB, but soft drinks will be available.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

New Trip Report - Upper Lomond River

This the third and final installment on trio of awesome creeks in and around Gros Morne National Park. These three runs alone are worth traveling to the west coast of Newfoundland. Add an amazing National Park, lobster (in season) and Moose to the mixture for a great spring holiday.

Whites River, Upper Lomond River, and Bakers Brook make a perfect long weekend trip. If you have a longer trip in mind there are several other rivers in the area and they would also make a nice stop on your way up to St. Anthony or Labrador.

I have one more update left from this trip. A few new pictures of One Second Falls on Leech Brook. I'll also post more about the Pipers Hole River Festival early next week.