The Vermont Paddlers Club

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Montreal: Expo 67, Lachine & Valley Field

Saturday-Sunday Jun 19-20, 2004
Participants:
Kayak: Simon Wiles ,Cheryl Robinson, Eric Rossier, Steph Heath
Organizer: Si Wiles
Difficulty: int-adv WW
Level: medium
Gauge (ft): N/A
Gauge (cfs): N/A

The weekend started in Montreal with Simon and Eric ripping it up on Expo 67, while Steph and I found more dangerous activities like Cycling and rollerblading. Okay so it was dangerous for me because I fell over on my roller blades!! Expo was followed by the smaller aptly named Bunny wave just above Lachine. This is a great learning wave, but what stinks about it is a that if you miss the small eddy you have to pull yourself back up using a rope. The current is really fast and pulling yourself back up is a real effort, the difficulty is increased by an overhanging tree (which the rope is attached to) has to be overcome before you are safely back in the eddy. After ten attempts I give up and carried back to the put in.

Simon and Eric then paddled down to the Big Joe and Pyramid wave on Lachine, I am not sure whether the huge waves tired them out or the long paddle back??

On Saturday night we decided to go to the Valleyfield Slalom site, stay the night and paddle on Sunday. Warning! do not use the directions provided on the Valleyfield website instead I have posted some new ones below. After a drive round we eventually found the site neatly tucked behind a supermarket, overlooked by a hotel and apartments. This is the ultimate urban waterpark. But no camping. Another warning do not for any reason use the KAO site nearby. This Campsite although very picturesque, sits right next to the interstate and the biggest freight train line ever!! We had the worst nights sleep and woke up to a beautiful day feeling anything but energetic!! A few brownies and cookies later we were raring to go.

Oh Valleyfield Slalom site wow!! This slalom site is just pleasurable; it has something for everyone from just straight river running, practicing eddy catching / ferry gliding to rodeo holes and beginner surf waves. The cherry on the cake is the small air slide...which is fantastic!!! Tried and tested by all present.

Eric admitted that at first sight he wondered why we had dragged him from Expo 67 to such a site. The first run changed all that. The site is wonderful although there were plenty of kayakers and the run is short. It never felt crowded and queues for features were non-existent...there are just too many spots, everyone is kept happy.

The air slide provided endless entertainment, many stunts where tried, tested and some failed but it brought a smile to everyone's face. My favorite was Simon cart wheeling of the end while Eric sat at the bottom of the ramp.

The site is excellent, safe and fun...The safety being tested by a couple of voluntary swimmers trying to body surf one of the waves and me just failing to roll...damn that roll!!

The river is deep the rocks smooth, if errors occur there is a nice pool at the bottom to catch you and the excess debris.

We spent all day here and at mid day we fired up the BBQ, bathed in the hot sun drank beers and discussed how great the site was. After a filling of burgers and chicken the second half of paddling commenced. We eventually forced ourselves off the river at 6.30pm. Had we not had a two hour drive home we would have stayed till dark.

The Valleyfield slalom site is free and is fun, fun, fun and even more fun.

Pictures of our weekend will be posted on the VPC picture page.

The directions:- From Montreal

Take the I-20 west to Junction 14 on to the 201. Go over the two bridges and continue till you pass a Subway outlet on your right carry on to the next traffic lights turn right onto Madan street and stay on this until the end. At the end turn right on Dufferin street and take the first entrance into the supermarket carpark. At the left of the Maxi supermarket is a small road, follow this round to the rear of the super market. This is the site of the Valleyfield Slalom site.

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