Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A long winter hiatus

As Dave Mac mentioned in his email the other day, it has been a strange boating winter this year. Snow, rain, more snow. It certainly bodes well for some epic creeking across the island this spring. I have just a couple of housekeeping notes for the website today. I've included a picture of the shuttle rig Steve and I used on our last trip to the Northwest River to demonstrate how our winter paddling season has been this year.

A few prepared locals that made getting into the put-in possible on December 5, 2007

Northwest River
Now that spring is around the corner, right after this blizzard, I'm sure groups will be eager to get on the Northwest River. During a trip in early December Steve Arns and I noticed that a lot of wood was poised to make its way into the river. Since the really high water levels a few years ago wood has been popping up in undesirable spots on the Northwest River. Thankfully it normally washes out fairly quickly. However, in December there was wood in the entrance ledge to the second canyon. A tree extends from the river right canyon wall out into the landing zone for the river-right boof line. It is not very visible from upstream and care should be taken to assess this risk on the next trip or two down the river.

Second Drop on the Golf Course Section. Steve is checking out ice conditions in the entrance to Mulligan.

Google Earth File
Last year I generated a Google Earth file that showed many put-in\take-out locations on the island. A few weeks ago I was looking at this data and I realised that some really important rivers were missing from this dataset. I spent a bit of time here and there to update my maps and make sure the classic whitewater trips are included in the file. I also discovered a new tool last year for transferring maps between MapInfo and Google Earth. It allows a lot more data from the database to be transferred into the Google Earth file. Now when you click on each of the location balloons you will be able to discover UTM co-ordinates, river and rapid ratings, and few sentences of the descriptions.

I thought since this storm has blown in tonight that some people might be looking for something to kill a few hours tonight and tomorrow. I hope that a few hours of day dreaming on Google Earth will spawn some new adventures for everyone this year. The file is available for 30 days in a Google Community forum. The link is below:

Newfoundland and Labrador Whitewater Rivers - A Google Earth File

I can also email the file to anyone who is interested in having a copy. Just fire me off an email and put Google Earth in the subject line so your email doesn’t disappear in my spam filter. Once you have down loaded the .kml file it can be opened in Google Earth.

Chris Buchanan