Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Lee Creek

Looks like Lee creek is up pretty good with the rain. You can paddle it from 10cm up, but 30+ is optimal. All images are from a flow of 2 cms.

The narrows up by Beazer is a good section. There are two ledged that are class II to III depending on flows. They are by the mini trailer park and cabin about 1km down stream of beazer.

Then things straighten out. At the narrows the big hazard is a log jam on an island that some current feeds into. The channel on the right is fun. Expect class III.

the entrance to the narrows

the cannal after the narrows

If you take out at the bridge on the Beazer highway there will be a fair amount of flat water until then. Watch out for a barb wire fence just under the bridge. There are lots of logs, but few river wide ones. From the beazer bridge down through Cardston there are a number of fences above the golf course that make things hazardous.


Nathan said...

I was going to do a run on Upper tonight, but with Lee Creek flowing, I might have to go for that instead. Chris, where is the usual put in at? Recommended take out? You up for going around 7pm tonight? We have the division wide BBQ in Magrath tonight, so I won't be paddling until after that. If you want a ride to the BBQ, let me know.

chris g said...

I have to help anne with her math so I am not sure if I can go. The upper put in is down the dirt road just east of the town. Head north on it unitl the ford. If the levels are up you can also just put in at the bridge by the chateau and do some flat water there.

The take out is the bridge along the beazer road just outside of cardston. You could also take out at the reunion center by the cliffs. That saves lots of flat water, but however owns that isn't overly fond of people just driving down.

I think the only chance I have of getting out is on Friday afternoon on the way up to Calgary.

stew said...

Chris & Nathan,

I hope to be able to join in on a Friday afternoon paddle - I've never seen the creek above Cardston and always wondered about it. It looks like about 15 km with a reasonable gradient (about 40 ft/mi). Flow data seem strange - perhaps a gauge problem. Rain predicted for Cardston tonight and tomorrow so there should be plenty of water for a few days.

Nathan said...

I'll see if I can jerry-rig my schedule to make a Friday afternoon run. Are you thinking 1:30 ish?

I took my SuperHero out tonight on Upper to work on eddie turns... I'm definately getting more confident in it. That's the boat I will probably take on Friday.

Stew said...

Are we on for Lee Creek Friday afternoon? I could be down to Cardston by 2 (or later start, as others prefer). Weather forecast is for rain to stop by Fri. late morning.

Di, Irene and I are hoping to paddle the Lower St. Mary Saturday and/or Sunday - short Rain Wave surf run and/or the standard Hairpin run.

surf's up

Stew (home phone 320-9601)

wilco said...

Hey I may be in for a saturday paddle on the lower saint. I'll try to make it work. I'm gone most of the day Friday and so I'll try to check the site or call you (Stew) Friday pm to confirm. What time are we talking about?

Nathan said...

I just talked to Chris, and we will plan on meeting at Dairy Queen in Cardston at 2 pm for the Lee Creek run. Tim Ruggles said that the gauge was messed... the creek is at about 30 cms. Chris verified that tonight as well. Chris has run it at those flows and says that there are some class 3/4 features along with some flatwater paddling. Should be a good adventure.

Stew said...

Nathan and Chris,

I'll be at the Cardston DQ this afternoon at about 2.

MarkK said...

I would like a chance to get in on a Saturday or Sunday Lower St. Mary's run as well... some rain wave play. How is it at 200 cms? washed out?

chris g said...

At 200 the lower saint should be really good. I think the major kick ups in character were at at the following
20-30cms - turns ok
70cms - has a bigger feel to it
180cms- turns into a big water run
260cms - gets pushy
500cms - big waves start to crash on themselves

But that is just my guess. 200 should be great. Probably won't be pushy yet, but will have a big feel to it. Or at least that is my guess.

chris g said...

Lee creek is down to 18cms right now. This will be a straight forward run then. Class II+.

Swiftcurrent is releasing big time. It is at a new historic flow for this time. 3000cfs. I think it would be wild fun too. 500cfs was my min. I did it at 700cfs and it was good.

chris g said...

Just thought I would add a link to the flood frequency for swiftcurrent. This week looks pretty high!

wilco said...

How about lower saint on saturday at 12:00noon. Meet in the NE corner of the costco parking lot (close to lights and bowden's furniture)? If you are coming from Cardston we could meet you at gundie's (not sure on spelling, but the old time gas station on the highway by magrath at 12:20).

MarkK said...

Wilco, have you tried your wet suit on lately?

MarkK said...

Just remembering that Belly river run last year...

chris g said...

The run ended up being nice. It was flowing at about 17cms when we did it. The entire thing can be run from 15 above. I would guess 30cms is where things start to get "high" - remembering of course it has to almost be in flood for this.

The two ledge drops were III- together. The narrows was fun. The cannal was bony, but still a blast with the steep gradient. We had to duck under 6 fences or so, but never got out of the boat.

All in all a nice trip. It would be quite nice if you could get out about a half hour past the narrows. A pour over just above the beazer bridge could make a play spot for local paddlers.

Nathan said...

Chris, I paddled into Tobin Wood on my way out of Lee Creek, and he let me know that he knows a guy who might allow access up higher on the creek. I got out at Tobin's and cut a half hour off the trip, so that might be an option as well.