Whitewater rafting on the Ottawa River

Getting organized before heading out

This was my 3rd whitewater rafting experience, with the others being on the Rouge River in Quebec, and the Tatshenshini River near the BC/Yukon border, and it was by far the best. The river was still high and fast due to abnormal spring flooding this year, and our trip included Class IV and Class V rapids.

What really made this an excellent day was the crew at Rafting Momentum in Bryson, Quebec.  Phil Ouellette runs a great organization that prides itself, and rightfully so, on providing an intimate and relaxed experience that only a smaller outfitter can do. Fun is baked in at every turn, from the bus ride to the put in location, through the barbs and challenges between the guides, and ending with dinner at the end of the day.  The rafts used by Rafting Momentum are smaller than their competitors on the opposite side of the river in Ontario, but the increased chance of flipping just adds to the excitement.

Our guide, Noé, as well as his arch rival, Gab, ensured that a little competitive spirit between our two rafts kept things interesting.

We booked one of the rustic chalets the night before our trip, as well as breakfast the next morning. This combination ensured that we were stress-free at the beginning of our day on the water, and was well worth the extra cost (which we shared with another couple of friends).

We were supposed to be on this raft, but took a pass on these rapids…


  • Bring your fearless warrior attitude with you – a full day of adventures await, and the right attitude will ensure that it is most enjoyable for yourself, and your raft mates.
  • Follow the instructions of your guide, your safety depends on it.
  • Follow the outfitter’s recommendations for clothing: wear sandals with heel straps, or water shoes.  You will lose most any other type of footwear in the waves.  Cotton is supremely uncomfortable when wet.  Wicking tops made of man-made fibers work best.
  • Photography/videography is possible on trips like this, but your cell phone won’t be up to the task.  A waterproof camera that can be clipped to your life vest, or to the raft, with a carabiner will get the job done, and have a chance of coming back home with you at the end of the day…
Categories: QuebecTags: , , , , ,

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