Monday, December 19, 2005

Astoria River

There is a good write up on the Astoria river up in Jasper over at It may give you something to dream about during the spring.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


We need someone to cover tonights pool session! It runs from 8:30 to 9:30. If someone could show up to help if anyone has questions, that would be great. You don't have to collect money, just call it a "Freebie night" for anyone that shows up.

If we can't get someone to cover it, then I'll have to call the Lifeguards and cancel it.


Mark Iwaasa

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Pool Sessions NOW!

The pool has made available time for open paddling! Work on your skills or just keep in shape for next season.

The times are currently Thursday nights, from 8:30 to 9:30.

- You need to pay for boats if your not an ORCKA member ($5)
- Everone needs to pay pool fee (pay at the equipment office)

See you in the pool!

Mark Iwaasa

Just a Question...

What's the worst thing that could happen to paddling in southern Alberta ... ?? This was a recent question posed by Stew and Di. What could they possibly be referring to?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Gear For Sale

In preparation for next season, (or perhaps for this season yet!) I thought maybe we could post gear for sale or gear wanted here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Haloween Week

Water levels are rather scary in their unusual height, well at least for this time of year. The Upper St. is still flowing at 20cms, a low but certainly floatable fow. Double Trouble is fun at these levels, even if cartwheels aren't possible. The Lower St. is also continuing at 30cms. Great fun as always.

It looks like Nathan and I will be heading out this Friday for a run down the lower. We will meet at the put in at 2:00 to 2:15, and expect to make it out in the dark.

We are also heading out today after school for a short run down the upper (Tuesday Oct 25th). You can meet at the Alternate School in front of DQ at 3:30.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Birch Hole

Birch Hole, lower st. mary 32cms
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Birch hole is a specatacular play spot on the Lower St. mary. Here it is at 32cms. It has a large foam pile split in two directions. Loads of fun, good surfing, spinning, and lots of other things I can't do.

The run on Friday was spectacular. The water was incredibly warm. There were tonnes of easy surf waves all over. The waves before Rain wave were quite good. There was also a number of other good ones every where in the top section. The dump was really small, but run no run was beautiful at these flows.

Run no run 32cms

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Lower St.

The lower Saint is flowing at 32cms right now (Oct 12th). This means everyone should jumpon it for one last go. If it is still flowing, Nathan and I are talking about early Friday afternoon. Perhaps meeting at 2:00 or so at the Put in.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Oct Paddling

The St. is up to about 30cms. If anyone is interested in boating in beautiful fall colors, give nathan a call at 634-6123.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sept 16th

It looks like the rivers around Calgary are up. The sheep is at 21cms - a good medium, and the Cataract is at 6, a decent low-medium flow. The elbow is also at around 20cms.

This means good kayaking this weekend. I will be on the Kan this Sat at 12 for the course. Anyone else should consider hitting things before they freeze up for the year.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Oldman Race Course

Since high water washed out many of the features below the Oldman Dam, Chuck Lee has been working on getting things back in order. Recently he applied for some funding to get it back up to speed. With the forms and work that need to go into the course, he was wondering if local clubs would be willing to help out in creating some play features. He metnioned moving the top rocks downstream to make things a bit more constricted. Stew had some more comments.

Here is Chuck's email.

The following is a list of work that the Disaster Services will cover:
- replace 30 posts
- replace 12 wires
- replace 16 gates and pullropes
- includes contractors time for doing this

I have also requested work on the river to:
- clean out eddies,
- remove gravel
- reposition some of the rocks in the river
- open a channel between lower lagoon to the river

We will need DFO permission to do all this work and I am working on
making that application with them as part of the flood relief. They were
quickly approved at the Kan for their work. Of course the window for
construction in the river would be after April 15th of 2006. But we
could get the slalom system back up this fall or early next spring.

One of the things that we should look at is spending a little extra of
our own money to create a playwave feature on the river. What I would
like to propose is that we move the start of the whitewater features
downstream by 50 meters and take the rock in that top section where the
outlet turns and heads east and move it to the middle of the run. By
moving the start downstream we will gain a more concentrated drop
without a slower midstream section.

To build a playwave if we take several flat slabs of sandstone and place
them on a sloping angle it will create an accleration of water that will
form a wave and hole feature at the base, similar to what you find in
Alberta's foothill rivers such as the Brierlies or the St Mary's where
our sandstone ledge create great surfing waves.

To fund this I would ask the the POCC, ORCKA and the AWA each pitch in
$1-2,000 to pay for the extra work while we are getting the repair work

Stew's comments

I'd recommend we go even further.

1. Build 2 or 3 focused wave/hole features, not just 1.
2. For each, include a mid-channel boulder island to split the river and
thus create a more suitably sized feature on each size.
3. Sure, pull the top feature downstream to gather more drop.
4. Gather material in the middle part of the steep zone to create the
middle feature. Don't hesitate to stack big boulders. We were very
reluctant to do this with the initial project but we were over-cautious.
I wouldn't encoure the multiple-stacks like the boulder fences on the Kan
that form Santa Claus but careful stacking of BIG boulders should be
5. For the lowest feature, there's lots of massive boulders that were used
to build the numerous groynes below the steep section. These do almost
nothing useful. It will take a bit of machine time to walk these up but
it'd be worth it. There are also some monster boulders that we dropped
into the lower zone and they're largely submerged and with the wide, flat
surface they don't do much - they'd be great feature-building slabs.
6. For DFO permits, the drop features will largely function like the major
V-weirs on the Castle. They'll produce self-scouring deep pools and thus
improve over-wintering habitat. This should provide a considerable
benefit and was the basis for much of the fisheries mitigation structures
on the Crowsnest and Castle.

I continue to believe that Boulder Run could be a great paddling park.

I'd be glad to head out to view the site and plan the rebuild. Weekend
weather looks lousy but as soon as warm weather returns I'll be glad to
head out.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

River Course

I will be leading an intermediate kayak course on Sat. Sept 17th. This is open to everyone, but there is a 4 person cap. Paddlers must have been on the Upper St. Mary's or an equivalent river. This course is free to people who have been members for at least 2 months. For other people the cost will be $20. The course will be held at the Kananaskis River. We will be meeting at the Canoe Meadows campground at 12:00. This is located on Highway 40, just north of the Barrier Dam.

We will be working on basic navigation, eddy turns, ferries, basic surf techniques, how to side surf a hole. The water is chilly, so come prepared with good clothes. I expect we will be on the river for approximately 3 hours. If water levels change, we may run the Swiftcurrent river in Many Glacier instead. Please sign up here if you would like to go. Nathan Smith has already talked to me about a few people.


The Upper St. Mary's river has actually been at a runnable level the last few days. The flow isn't high, but I think a run could still be fun. The water will be warm for sure!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

New Kayak & Canoe Store

I just got some information back about the paddling store that was rumored to be opening in Lethbridge this fall. It is coming to town, and it is a specialty boating store. The information I got is from Melanie Isaac. High Level Canoes and Kayaks will be at
1805 - 2 ave South
Lethbridge Alberta
Phone 403 327 4506
They will be carrying Necky, Oldtown, Madriver, Wilderness, Perception Dagger,and Wave Sport. There should be discounts for club members, so if you like the possibility of having gear available without a 3 hour drive to Calgary, it might not be a bad idea to swing some business their way. It sounds like they are keen on finding ways to integrate the club into their activities / promotion. Sounds great!

They are aiming to be open by mid to late September.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Trips Aug 20th to 26th

I have just gotten back from the Yukon. If anyone is interested in boating next week, post a comment. I was thinking of either heading down to Kalispell area for the Main fork of the Flathead (class III big water), and perhaps polson if it has any water (class IV+). The Flathead should be good for people who have been playing on the upper Saint. It is pretty much pool and drop even if the waves are big. That means Nathan should definitely quit painting for a day!

If that doesn't work, perhaps I will see who is up for Golden area rivers closer to the end of the week.

I was thinking Tuesday or Wednesday for Montana. If we did Golden, Thursday or Friday would work better.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Trips August 1 - 10

If you have plans to get out in the beginning of August and looking for some companions, post here.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Trips July 21 to July 31

Planning on getting out? Post here if you are looking for partners, or have ideas for a trip. A few of us have been running the upper St. Mary's yet. A couple nights ago, we ran it at about 17.5 cms and had quite a lot of fun yet. The water there is a very comfortable temperature. Some of the play features are quite low, but Double trouble was still entertaining!

Happy paddling!

Friday, July 08, 2005

Trips July 10th to 20th

It looks like flows are still up. It has been a good season so far for the Lower Saint. Calgary rivers are finally dipping down to end their seasons. That means the middle fork of the flathead may end up as a good alternative for an easier paddle. As someone mentioned, the Swan is an awesome, if continuous ride. THe main fork of the Flathead down by Polson also shouldn't be missed.

OF course the usual standby are the Kootenay runs around Radium and Fort Steele. The lower Elk is also running, even if it may not be a favorite run for everyone. The Bull, especially the canyon is always fun, even at low flows. If you really want good water, consider the creeks by Golden. As most of those are Glacier fed, they tend to get pretty high on warm days.

I will be heading off to Whitehorse next weekend, so won't be around for a while.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Trips June 28th to July 4th

It's coming up to the long weekend and the flows are still looking good. I am hoping to take off for a kick on the Upper Wildhorse (IV+ and very continuous and woody) Wed and Thur. I may also hit Hell Roaring falls after work one of the these days. For other trips, post your info here.

It looks like there is going to be another festival over by Castlegar

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Gold Creek

This last week I had a look at Gold Creek in the town of Blairmore. It was just over 3.0cms. Pretty low. Rob King and Aaron Hemphill ran it the previous week at 4.5cms and they said it was hard to get out in front of obstacles. It had about a half dozen logs I had to get out for. A couple of them could get harder to avoid as the river gets high. Aaron and Rob should know more on that though! The run seemed all right. I don't think I would head back again unlesss I lived in the area, or wanted to try the top two drops. The scenery through out is gorgeous, but there weren't too many good rapids; perhpas 3 or 4. Anyway here are my two cents.

Gold Creek is a small volume creek that flows from north of the town of Blairmore. The creek ends near the A&W / Gas station on Highway #3. The put in lies up the road toward the Frank Slide interpretive center.

To get to the put in drive up the paved road for about 1km. At a sharp right, a dirt road continues straight. Go straight on the dirt road, heading up a large hill. Eventually the road goes east toward Tornado Ridge. Take a reasonably good spur road left (north west). Follow this for a couple of km. It will head down a rocky hill down to the river. It is about 6.8km to the put in from Highway #3.

Low flow is about 3.0cms, medium probably under 4.0 and high around 4.5. At flows above 4.5 things get continuous and logs become a serious hazard (well unless someone cuts them out). The run was first done by Rob King and Aaron Hemphill the other week.

The first drop about 0.5km into things, and after about 3 river wide logs.

Same drop. This is by far the funnest thing on the run. The rooster tail is a good launch. (~10ft + 4ft)

A fun chute. (8-10ft)

The old dam. This is just below a beautiful canyon that ends with two gas pipes crossing far above the river. You can take out here and hike about 100m up to a meadow and side road. Unfortunately there are some spikes underwater on river right, and some shallow bedrock on river left. (10-15ft)

The drop immediately below the dam. The right side is not very pretty, the left side has a very shallow entrance, but the pool seemed fine. (~10ft)

I took out here instead of continuing down to the town.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Changing Face of The Lower Saint

Who says the rivers down here are never crowded?

Image via Stew Rood from the 11th of June when Calgary crowd came down 3 days too late

Here's a look at Hairpin and the famous flume at a variety of levels

70cms or so - Di

200cms - Mark Iwaasa

350cms - no paddler

550cms - no paddler

Ashlu River Festival

I got this forward that I thought I would add here for people planning their summers.

Hello to all the clubs in Alberta and the north, and a note about
the upcoming 2005 Ashlu Festival in Squamish, BC

The Squamish Whitewater Paddlers are extending an invitation
to all the paddlers in Western Canada - to come out and join us
for another Ashlu River Festival.

This year the dates are August 17 - 21.

Like last year we have events for every level of paddler, as well
as for non paddlers. We have raft trips, float trips, canyon hikes,
throw bag shootouts, freestyle clinics, creeking clinics, beginner
lessons, guided trips for beginners to experts, plus boatloads of
gear to give away.

Like last year the very reasonable event fee gets you: shuttles for
the weekend, a Saturday Night BBQ meal and party, an event T-shirt,
camping for the event, guided trips, and much more !

Last year this was one of the largest whitewater events held in
Canada, and we have even more going on this year.

If you are travelling from afar, we have mid-week paddling in the
Squamish - Pemberton area that is exceptional for paddlers
of any skill level.

Help support our efforts to ensure the Ashlu stays free flowing.
As with last years events, all proceeds go to our river
conservation efforts.

There is more information at the festival web page, and we
will be posting more daily until the event.

Mark this one on your calendars, and if you are planning
a trip out west, this is one event you will want to see.


Stuart Smith

Trips June 21st to 27th

Epi Pen
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Flows are still up. The Calgary area may be flooding, but down here things are looking quite rosy. Belly is down to a reasonable level. The Castle is at a decent level of 42cms. The creeks are still flowing, and it is sunny.

I am taking off to the Crowsnest pass Tuesday after school to check out Gold Creek and some other waterfalls. Later this week I am going to have a look at Hell Roaring by Crypt. Boundary creek over the Carthew Alderson Summit should be flowing, however I still worry about all the trees. The run definitely has some gradient, but who knows what the rapids are like?

Drywood has become quite popular. I think there has been at least a half dozen descents over the last two weeks. I still can't seem to make the last drop clean though. I wonder if a Rapid article on it is in the works for next year???

Post your trips for the week below. I know I would take advantage of the great conditions.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Hairpin 95

Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Here's a picture from Stew showing Rob Novotny in roughly the same spot as Clay. Apparently the flows in this picture were around 400cms to 500cms. It looks like that extra 100cms turns all those great surf waves into crashing wave holes.

Thanks for the picture stew. Another one is here. It looks like the flume this year at high water was quite different. The waves at the end seemed to get bigger and more roller coaster like.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Trips June 13th to 20th

A bit more rain may mean that another release of the Lower Saint Mary's is in order. From the sounds of things there was quite a crew out on Sat. Rivers are coming back up. There is still fresh snow in the mountains yet to come down. All in all it looks like another good weekend.

Upcoming trips for the month include a remote hike in to the upper middle fork of the Flathead (Class IV+ when flows drip), the annual Siyeh Creek attempt (Class IV and nasty ports). Of course a number of new paddlers are also getting going in the area, so there should be a number of easier runs down the upper Saint Mary's or other runs.

This week Chris managed to squeak by on his Level II instructor so running guided trips are now a viable option. I will figure out someway to take care of any possible requests. Also some class members ran down Lunbreck falls. The right side was pretty soft, even if it was hard to eddy out for the proper line with a tree in the way. Another line was run down below the island. It looked like a hard landing. I've got the video that Chuck will be emailing me later.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Some good pictures of the Elbow on Wednesday Night. Certainly looks harder than the Saint today!

More images at here (images from calpaddle link

Monday, June 06, 2005

Trips June 6th to 13th

With all the rain things are looking great. The weir in Lethbridge is looking to be at a surfable level. The last year it was, Clay had said the surf was fantastic. It looks like some of us will be heading there for 6:00pm on Monday night.

With the lowe Saint releasing and flows up everywhere, it looks like there will be lots of people skipping work early. I checked out things on North Drwyood Sunday afternoon. Those creeks are at ideal flows.

The first set of big drops on N. Drywood

The last major drop on N. Drywood

So things should be good for a slew of trips this week.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Lower Saint is Flowing! (as well as others)

Mike, Ronna and I just got off the Lower St. Mary's (Friday - on river @ 5:30PM)). The gauge was around 150cms!!!! I'm assuming the dam is releasing water. Rainwave was washed out, difficult to catch, but lots of good roller waves on that stretch. Might be worth trying to hit this weekend.

As well, the Upper St. Mary's if flowing over 100, the Belly was over 70 and the Castle is currently 82.2cms.

Gotta love that rain!

Mr. Hironaka (Blondie) on the wave train below the ledge a couple of years ago

Images from Wednesday June 9th.

bottom of haripin

The best surf around, 2/3 down hairpin

the end of the flume on hairpin

good surf on run no run

Boat Sales

In an attempt to pair down, update our fleet, and get boats into the hands of club members, the club is moving to a policy of continually offering all its boats up for sale. Right now, here is the list of boats and prices. Any exec can sell any of these boats on the spot.

Pyrannah Razor $500
Wavesport Stubby $650
Riot 007 $550
Perception Amp $550
Wavesport X $600
CFS $1100
Frankenstein $300 sold
Whip-It $350 sold
Transformer T3 $750
Transformer T4 $750

Some deals for 2 piece break down paddles and old nylon or neoprene skirts may also be arranged, depending on what is available at the boathouse.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Trips May 31 to June 6th

Post your trips for the week here. I am looking for people to head creeking down to the Bitterroots south of Missoula or up in the Kootenays (skook, dutch, wildhorse, etc). A hiking trip up to the Granite creek access of the Middle Fork of the Flathead would also be OK.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Kadijk sent me this link for It has quite a good section of trip blogs Check it out. If anyone has any other good links, post them here.

Trips May 25 to 30th

If you have any trips planned for this weekend, this is the spot to post them. The weather looks good for the weekend. All the rivers are flowing, so take advantage of the prime conditions.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Help at River Rendezvous

The ORCKA Executive is looking for help running the breakfast at the River Rendezvous this year. If you can help on the Saturday or Sunday, please let Clayton or Mark I. know as soon as possible. Money earned from this event is used for equipment maintenance and purchasing, so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks to all those who can help!

Mark Iwaasa

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I thought I would post this update from aquabatics.

AWA River Rescue
Interested in taking the AWA 2-day River Rescue Course?
1) There may still be room this coming weekend in the River Rescue Course that Ernst Bergman is putting on for the Cottonwood Kayak Club. Contact Keegan Smith at for more information.
2) On Friday June 3rd and Saturday June 4th Ernst will be putting on another 2-day River Rescue Course on the North Saskatchewan. Cost of the course is $150 and funds are payable to the AWA. Please contact me if you are interested in signing up.
3) Saskia van Mourik will be running the AWA River Rescue course on Thursday August 25th and Friday August 26th as part of the Junior's Paddle Camp. There will likely be space for other 'non-junior' paddlers to participate. Contact Lynn Jobe for more information at
4) Jim McDonald will be offering the AWA River Rescue Course through the U of A later in un the season. Course dates are likely some time in August, but are not finalized. Contact Richard Simpson at 780-452-5878 x249 or by email at: for more information.

AWA Trip Leader
Immediately following the River Rescue Course, Ernst Bergman will be offering a 2-day Trip Leader's program for Trip Leader Instructor Candidates, on Sunday June 5th and Monday June 6th. Although the AWA Trip Leader Program is normally an 8 hour program, this 2 day program is designed to fast-track strong Trip Leader Instructor candidates who are interested in going on to teach this program to clubs and other paddling groups. Please contact me if you are interested in becoming an Trip Leader Instructor, and I will provide you with further Details on the 2 day program.

Level 1 Instructors Course
1) Saskia van Mourik will be offering the NCCP Level 1 course in the Calgary area in June 11-12. Please contact me if you are interested in getting in on this course.
2) Roy Sharplin is offering NCCP Level 1 course June 7th, 8th, and 9th for U of A Paddlers. This is open to non U of A paddlers as well. Contact Richard Simpson at 780-452-5878 x249 or by email at: for more information.

Level 2 Instructors Course
1) Chuck Lee will be running a Level 2 Instructor's Course on June 11th and 12th. The cost $160 plus $20 AWA fee. Contact Chuck at for more information.
2) Roy Sharplin is offering a Level 2 Instructor's Course on July 23rd and 24th for the U of A Paddlers. This is open to non U of A paddlers as well. Contact Richard Simpson at 780-452-5878 x249 or by email at: for more information.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Drywood Access

With high water coming early, I just checked with the Blairmore Forestry service about the opening of South Drywood. Apparently, it won't be open until the 15th of June and closes at the start of September. By then, I am sure the high water will have gone. Alternatively to access the valley one can get a research permit which gives you a key to the valley. You need to contact the Blairmore forestry service with a letter of request. It should be on department letter head.

Perhaps I will need to make a trolley to carry boats up. There are quite a few people keen on doing it. The may long weekend event would be perfect.

Weekend Report II

A great weekend of paddling, with the flows coming up!

On Saturday, we saw 5 club members paddle down the Castle River. We started at N.B.Kirk's access and finished at the Canyon Bridge. Flows were at 36 cms for this mostly class II, which was ideal (see for flow details). We had 1 swim and everyone pulled off a least one roll when it counted!

See you on the river!

Weekend Reports

This last weekend, the St. Mary's was down quite low. Mark K. and I paddled it on Thursday night. It was quite bony. On Friday Mark I. and I went down to the Middle Fork. Bear creek was at medium - low flows. Fun, but not pushy. This is a fun, consistent run. After, we went down the upper Middle Fork. We took out at the bridge below the Goat Lick. This section is about the same length as the standard run down to West Glacier. There are fewer rapids, more swirly eddies, and some great scenery. There is one major rapid a ways below the goat lick. It is probably a III. The eddies are a bit squirly for begginers. These can be avoided by going down the center of the river.

Rivers in Waterton are also flowing nicely. Pass creek was at mediumm to low on Sat, making for some technical moves down the rapid above and below the falls. I would give the lower rapid a IV-. On Sunday flows had gone up and the rapids were bigger, but less technical. I have been putting in at the top of the flood plane. This gives another III drop through a section of red argillite. It also gives a few more surf and squirt holes. Walk to the top of the S-bend. Currenly the apparent log jam at the end of the S is washed out, making a clean path. It is a short peak to have a look for yourself.

Any other reports?

Good Flows

With rivers coming up to perfect levels, so people may be wondering what ideal flows may be. Stew Rood and others have compiled a comprehensive list of flows for our area over the years. Click here for the info. Thanks Stew

Thursday, May 12, 2005

May Long Weekend

I assume everyone knows about The Pincher Creek River Rendezvous. This is where most people will be going. Especially if it doesn't snow! For information or comments, check below.

We are providing the breakfasts on Sat. and Sun. We are looking for volunteers. Free boat rentals, and other perks if you help out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

April 29 to May 16th trips

Here is the spot to post comments to find other members interested in heading out on the water. Remember, while exec members may be keen on whitewater that others may not, put up a comment, many members are interested in finding like minded individuals for Class I. II kayak and canoe trips.

Pool Session Today

Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:30 is open pool for kayaking. I'm not sure who will be there to supervise, so please remember to pay MaxBell the drop in fee.

Yaak River

According to the Montana Surf guidebook, the Yaak river is one of the truly classic class IV runs in the State. It is supposed to have amazing whitewater in a medium to big volume river. Big Sky Fishing has a number of good pictures of the difficult sections. Yes, the slide does look horrid. Unfortunately, Float Montana doesn't have any descriptions of this run.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Grande Cache Wild River Rendezvous

Grande Cache is having their annual River Rendezvous again June 3rd and 4th. This is supposed to be a fun, raucus event. There is no cost for this event! They even do the shuttles for you!

For more infor click here

Monday, May 09, 2005

Horsethief Creek

This weekend I went over to Radium to check out a few rivers. Horsethief seemed like the best bet. The run was supposed to have class III rapids with two single shot IV's. There was also a huge VI falls in a small canyon. With cloudy weather, a 16km uphill bike shuttle, no partner, and no trespassing sings over the entire run preventing my usual pre trip scout, I didn't do the run. Perhaps I should have. According to Spencer's site it looks great.

However, I did manage to sneak down in one place and check out some of the rapids that sounded large. The water was approaching high flows. The rapids didn't seems too bad from where I looked. Of course, I missed the S-bend holes, and the ending of the canyon with the big falls I mentioned.

Any one up for some grade III creek next week? I would love to get on a number of nearby runs as well.

The exit canyon where the river is wide open an flat looks beautiful! There is also a flat water paddle similar to the Upper Saint without the big rapids. It is the lower Forester's creek. It looks short and goes to a nice camp site. Radium hot springs are about 5minutes away, and are nicer than I thought they were going to be. Of course that may have had something to do with that cute French girl in the black bikini!

3 Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous (Snofest)

Here is the information for the long weekend river rendezvous. I have just copied the info as Chuck sent it out.

The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers are hosting the 7th annual River Rendezvous on May 20-21-22-23 again this year down in southwest Alberta in the "Centre of Adventure". We will be organizing and leading trips on the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman Rivers in this area. There will also be opportunities to go paddle Cameron Creek and the Carbondale, Elk, Wigwam, Highwood, Waterton or Belly Rivers while you are down here. Only three days and too many rivers to paddle.

There will be opportunities for beginner groups to get on the water and paddle easier stretches as well as more advanced trips. We have several important changes planned for this year, including more sun, less snow and lots of water for all you big wave fans. Okay seriously – its always been fun and it will be fun this year too!

Camping is going to be the same as last year. We will be at the Castle River Rodeo Grounds. You may remember it as the takeout for the Upper Castle River run. It is centrally located and easy to find off Highway 507 between Lundbreck/Burmis and Beaver Mines, just south of Highway 3. This site is well sheltered and has more conveniences as well.

Drive west on Highway 3 past Lundbreck Falls till you come to Highway 507. Turn south and head towards Beaver Mines and Castle Mountain Ski Resort. Drive 8 km south, after you cross the Castle River at the top of the hill turn east to the Castle River Rodeo Grounds. The road swings back down to the river and we are camped right there.

We will again offer a bbq-burger and fixings dinner for Saturday night and the Sunday night we will have a chili dinner. There will be vege-burgers and a vege-chili for those who want it. Please let us in advance know so that we can order enough for you.

And the Oldman River Canoe and Kayak Club is going to host a full breakfast each morning. Cost is $10.00 per person for all three mornings or $4.00/breakfast.

A novice slalom on Boulder Run at the Oldman River will run on Sunday.
Prizes and more will be drawn for during the weekend.

We are building a package price for the weekened. This price includes all entries, camping, food, prizes. I hope that will be reasonable for everyone and still allow us to cover the costs.
Paddlers - Adult/Junior $35.00
Non-Paddlers $25.00
Non-Paddling Children (under 10) $10.00
Toddlers (3 and under) Free
Families of 3 $80.00
of 4 $90.00
of 5 or more $100 + $10 for each additional adult/junior

Pancake & More Breakfast on Saturday, Sunday and Monday mornings $10.00 for 3 or $4.00 each.

There is an additional prize entry for all those who preregister. Please help us with figuring out how much food to prepare. If you want to set aside a camping spot for you and your friends together I would appreciate knowing that in advance so we can plan for

There is no need to prepay, we'll collect when you get here.

Trips planned Advanced Novice
Saturday - Castle Falls to Rodeo grounds Crowsnest River
- Castle Canyon
- Elk

Sunday - Castle Canyon to Reservoir Castle R Rodeo to Canyon
- Carbondale River Crowsnest River
- Upper Oldman
- Elk

Monday - Oldman River Gap to Bob Creek Oldman River Bob Ck
to Maycroft

Snowpack in the mountains is coming up and we hope to have more by then for the spring paddling season. So with some warmer weather we should be right on schedule for lots of water this year. For up to date info on water levels go to:
go to Oldman River Basin - River Data - and then check out the Castle and Oldman Rivers.

So we are building on our very successful long weekend event. In 2003 we had 118 paddlers down here. We hope to see you down here and look forward to paddling with you. Please pass this message along to your club members.

Chuck Lee
Pinch-O-Crow Creekers
Box 162
Lundbreck, Alberta
403-628-2336 evenings
403-627-3020 days

May Pool Sessions

For the month of May, pool sessions have been moved to Wednesday from 7:15 to 8:30. We hope this works for everyone as it's the best we could get. See you at the pool!

Pincher Creek Club

I know some people stumble across this site while looking for paddling clubs in Southern Alberta. Lots of club information and contact information can be found at the AWA site at".

For others who may be closer to Pincher Creek Chuck Lee, has a very strong club running in Pincher Creek. For this year club paddles are

Monday 5-8 Advanced group doing river run
Tuesday 4-7 Novice group doing river run
Wednesday 5-8 Advanced group doing freestyle
Thursday 4-8 Novice and Advanced group doing slalom

Wednesday 6-9 Adult river runs (subject to change)

Club memberships are $20 I believe. Plus there are fees depending on which section one joins. Chuck would obviously have more information. From memory, I think the advanced group usually does the Castle Canyon, the Slalom is obviously on the Slalom course well below Lundbreck Falls. I would guess that the adult river run would usually be on the Crowsnest from the wooden bridge down to the slalom course. Of course these are just my recollections.


With the rain this weeks flows have really come up. The runs around Radium look to be at med - high flows. I saw horsethief and Toby first hand. They looked good (although cold). Blackiston in Waterton is flowing at a reasonable rate. The road to Red Rock is open. The park gate is also checking passes.

With more rain this week, I would say things look good for the weekend.

Monday, May 02, 2005


After the AGM the other day, a few ideas were tossed out about big trips. Suggestions included the upper Middle Fork of the Flathead, some long Class II, and some canoe trips.

With info that the North Fork of the Flathead may not be as interesting as I had hoped, perhaps a trip down the upper Middle Fork in June would be good. I am fairly open to dates. Perhaps the first week would avoid the peak water, while still letting us run down Bear creek. I would plan on doing the 2-3km hike up to Granite creek, and then bouncing down to the Flathead where we would hit Spruce Grove Rapids (IV). Any takers? Any other big trips people would like?

I would still like to get down to the Bitteroots for a weekend before the water there gets too low. Perhaps the start of June as well?

Monday, April 25, 2005


It looks like the Bull river really picked up the last couple of days. It went from 20cms or so on Friday to over 60cms today. I guess that means this weekend everyone should head over to the Kootenays. Anyone up for the Bull or Dutch creek, the upper White or even the Skook on Sunday the 1st of May?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Spring AGM

The annual General Meeting is coming up in April. Dates and locations haven't been picked yet. Usually it is at the university during the 2nd week in April. There will be some major resolutions being presented. One includes giving up the boat house in the river bottom. Storage would occur at the rental exec's garage. A similar fee to the boat house would be then be given in exchange for a several year lease. It is beleived that this will offset some of the continuing problems that occur running rentals. It is also needed to make the club sustainable.

UPDATE - April 7th

Looking at the Calender, it looks like the last day of pool sessions may be a better choice. That would put it on April 28th at 6:00pm. This would make it easier to transfer boats down to the boat house. Also it would give us a bit more time to recruit new paddlers to come out. Let me know if there are any problems with this date.

UPDATE - April 25th
The agenda minutes are available as a PDF here FIXED LINK. The time is at 6:00pm. Room location will be posted on the back gym doors that face the parking lot. We will not need to move boats as Clay's garage is not yet finished.

Monday, April 18, 2005


Well the folks over at the Paddle Fernie website have been running the elk and bull so far. I guess that means the paddling season has started. Wilco also indicated that the landslide on the lower Elk has gotten even more filled in changing the line again.

Sunday, April 17, 2005


Looks like the Swan river is flowing. I am hoping to head down to Missoula for the weekend. If I can't find anyone interested in the Lochsa, perhaps some people would be interested in the Swan? It is a continuous class 4 mid volume run that has the read and run style of a creek.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Pool Sessions

I talked to Clay the other night, and the pool sessions are starightened out. They are on Thursdays at approximately 8:00.

Friday, April 08, 2005

The new & improved Google Maps

Goolge Maps has outdone itself this time. It now has reasonably good sattelite maps up for north america. This is great if you are looking to check out rapids on a river, or see your house from space. Not all areas have equally high resolution. To use this, just look to the right where it says satellite maps. Lethbridge is pretty detailed. Other areas less so. To quickly find a location, just type in the name of a nearby city.

Here are some picts from the middle fork of the flathead. See if you can guess the rapid, or location. I will post the answers next week.

hint - this minor rapid is very close to the next image.

April Pool Sessions

Last night (April 7th) the pool ended up being double booked. Well actually, it looks as if kayaking wasn't scheduled for the month. Apologies to anyone who came and was unable to paddle. Actually the life guards were kind enough to open up a narrow section to allow the dozen or so who came the opportunity to practice rolls.

From the sounds of it, this could have been caused by the poor turn outs the last few weeks. The week before everything seemed to be fine. I should be getting a call this week to find out what will happen for the 14th, 21st and 28th.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Aquabatics Gear Swap

It looks like the aquabatics gear swap is on again this year. It will be from April 15th to 17th. This is a good place for people who need a boat and can't wade through lots of adds to find it. It is also good if you want a newer boat. Getting there early means best selection.

Aquabatics is behind Wendy's in front of COP in Calgary.

April Trips

I am thinking that a weekend down at Missoula on the Lochsa would be great. The weekend of the 23rd would work great. I believe it is a 6h drive to Missoula, and another 1.5h to the Lochsa. The hot springs would make a nice stop.

The Lochsa is a larger river, similar in size to the Middle Fork of the Flathead. Runs are class 3 and easy 4. There is also a beautiful surf wave next to the road when the water is high.

I would think leaving after work on Friday as soon as possible. Kayak all Sat, and Sunday morning and leave around 1:00 in the afternoon.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Water Walker Film Fest

The Water Walker film fest is up in Calgary this Friday. THe last time I went to it, the films were great. It will be at the U of C in the Kinesiology building this Friday (April 8th) at 7:00. Tickets at $12 at the door.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Hot Tubs

With Chucks River Rendezvous coming up next month, I figured I would check out the possibility of getting a hot tub for the event. Things look pretty good. Apparently rentals are $275 for a long weekend with a $1.25/km transportation fee (one way distance I believe). I am just checking with Chuck to find out if the power requirements are possible (15A at 120V, constant draw). If not a very good generator may do the trick. Lookiing good! It seats 10-12. I was figuring $2 an hour, or $10 a day. This would put the break even point at about 50 people (likely) or 250h (25 full tub hours). The hour thing would be hard to monitor. The daily pass would be much easier, but would lead to over crowding unless people were good about an hour time limit. Any ideas?

Monday, April 04, 2005

Snow Data

Looking at the snow pack from Alberta Environment shows that the Akamina snow pack is about 75% of average. Typically the snow pack starts to melt right about now. We will have to see if the current trend of late spring snow storms will change that. It is hard to predict what the upcoming season will be like. Perhaps it will even be sunny on the May Long weekend River-Rendezvous.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

March Paddling

Pool sessions for this month are running at 7:45 to 9:30 at the U of L pool. So far turn out has been sporadic. With the warm weather it is a tough call how spring paddling will be.

Numerous canoers were out on the Missouri around Helena the other week. Things looked beautiful.

Site Update

I have been playing around with the settings. Part of this entailed a change to a different commenting system. This means old comments have been deleted. It also means comments are currently a little less user friendly. However, it means I will be much easier to track new comments. I may tweak the settings a bit, but this would make it unwieldy for Safari browsers.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Spring Pool Sessions

The pool sessions have been running all year, but as usual, they have picked up after Christmas. They are on Thursday evenings, usually around 8:00. Memberships can be purchased there. Boats can also be rented, or you can choose to bring your own (privided you rinse it out well). Until May there will be an exec there each night to take care of paper work, and help with some basic pointers.

This week (Feb 3rd) we had about a dozen paddlers out. It looks like things are going to stay busy from here on out.

-individual $20
-family $30
-group $50

Pool sessions
-UofL entrance fee ($3.50)
-boat rental ($5 for non members, free for members)