Shotguns & Whitewater – Côte Nord Adventure Ep. 5

Shotguns & Whitewater – Côte Nord Adventure Ep. 5


It was a drizzly and wet day as we slowly said good by to the awesome wilderness  we came across. As we were loading the canoe, I went through a few steps on how I pack my shotgun so it doesn’t in up soaking wet and sunk. And, I explain how I safely leave it at the ready. Then, Tori Buck and I run a long “pushy” stretch of class I & II rapids that lead to a massive 150′ waterfall. We had to be carful as we ran the rapids, and keep a keen eye on our location to make sure e weren’t nearing the falls. We had to execute a front ferry when we were about 200meters from the falls as we found no portage trail on the side of the river we were on. It turned out, there’s no trail on the other side either. Back in the 1940s and before, when the natives used to travel the river, they bypassed this whole section via a 10km long portage that begins near the cabin we stayed in.



Morning of day four today. We have about ten kilometers before we hit the waterfall our

First real portage of the trip now. There's an old

Montague nate a new roof that goes from Lac mark on to the coast but looking at the maps it seems impossible

And if you realize how tough the portaging is from black mark on and that they did that instead of the route

we're going on you really question what the hell, we're getting ourselves into

One of the things that's good to bring when you're Gonna middle the bush

I like to bring a shotgun because it's very versatile

I have a homemade dry bag here

and I melted it together and made a roll top with Velcro and that I put inside my

Floating gun case that'll keep your gun above water. Which is always good, and it'll also keep it dry

even if it's submersed for a decent period of time, so these are high-velocity

Rifled slugs one big hunk of lead now. It's not very accurate but from close distance

This is probably the best thing to use against a bear that if it charges you

Which is very unlikely by the way you want to be safe with it?

Or this is potentially more dangerous than a bear so let me show you how what I do, okay?

I put one in the chamber I

Close the action part way

- in the magazine

So that way if I want to use the gun it's two steps closed the options safety off and boom fire

And that's how I leave it in my tent at night. That's how I leave it inside

My gun case during the day and this I just clipped to the fourth of the canoes

All right

Let's get out there and freaking bomb some rapids and portage endlessly in a hammering rain and black flies

Now we've come up to an unmarked rapid here under the task wand east branch. I look at the map

No contour lines crossing it

But you know down river a little bit from this is a waterfall and about a three or four kilometer rapid

So we just want to make sure we're not there

So I'm just going to double check so no mark rapids making sure that we're not coming up to this waterfall

So let's run this thing

Tory and I just bought almost two kilometres actually three of continuous class one and twos

Terrifying lafont bucks stood on the boat the entire time let's calm our camera dog only terrified

But the scary part is that this just keeps pushing to a waterfall so you got to stay on your toes

look look at the side without any over there vapor say

So as we pulled up in an Eddy maybe about 200 meters above the falls

We have no idea where these ancient montag make a new portage trails are that's the only thing I can see there

So what we're going to have to do is ferry across the river

Pretty much at the Brink of a waterfall that

Guaranteed that you go over that thing

So you point your bow up river you paddle forward hard you point your bow?

Towards the side of the bank that you want to go on and that side wall should move you

Directly sideways across the river one of the biggest things is how to ferry could save your life

after a successfully front fairing over

On top of the falls we found absolutely no trail

I waited and lined the boat up to the last Eddy before the draw and now I'm just getting hammered with black flies

I got to get my bug shirt on immediately here

Oh my God. Thank you. This is a great bug jacket

It's made by the original bug shirt company to both the best bug shirt you could possibly buy

I've had mine on all day

neverending at least a mile long portage

Absolutely, no trail. I'm going to mark a waypoint on our exact location here

And it will show a straight line of how to get back to our stuff

So no looking for our crap while we're getting hammered by black flies

One of the most horrific Portage's ever we did it you have any words tory?

To cap off this horrible thing we have to camp in it the pretty much the worst possible spot on the map it shows

three kilometers of continuous rapids after this in a canyon

And there's nowhere to camp for at least another kilometer and a half two kilometers which means we'd be paddling in the dark

It's not the time to push on stay safe out there on the river people


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Jim Baird is an Adventurer, videographer, writer, photographer, and talent. His previous rolls include extensive work with a map company as well as guiding and prospecting. Jim has shot video for Cineflix productions, BBC Worldwide, 13 Minds, and The Weather Network US. He's produced video series such as “The Kesagami River Solo” and “Lessons From The Trail with Jim Baird”. Jim’s content has also appeared in print for several publications that include Explore, Canoeroots, Real Fishing, Ontario Out of Doors, Outdoor Canada, Canoe & Kayak, and Field & Stream magazines. Jim is an expert woodsman, white-water canoeist, survivalist, and a bold wilderness navigator. His expedition experience includes a solo trip down the canoe eating rapids of the Kesagami and then along the tempestuous James Bay coat, an 800-mile snowmobile expedition across the Northwest Passage, 300miles above the Arctic Circle. A month long descent of the Northwest Territories Kuujjua River in the Arctic Archipelago, followed by 120-kilometers of paddling on the Arctic Ocean. He's also completed a 33-day canoe expedition via four rivers including the Adlatok in northern Quebec and Labrador.