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.

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