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.