Saturday, July 22, 2006

Trips July 21th to 27th

There is still plenty of water flowing in BC. If you have any exciting paddling adventures planned, comment on them here.

There are a couple of runs around the Elk that could make a solid day of paddling if linked together (Lodgepole to Wigwam to Elk... class III-IV/V). If anyone else has paddled any of those sections, I'd love to know what they are like. Also, if anyone is interested in planning a trip out there leave your comments.

Happy paddling!


Nathan said...

Upper St is still flowing around 16 cms. It loses a little of it's excitement after paddling class III and IV water, but it still has some good features. The blender is down to a river wide hole that is good to learn hole spins in. Two corners upstream from Double Trouble is an eddy just below a small pour over that makes for lots of stern squirting fun. Double Trouble is quite shallow but still good for some side surf. Current isn't pushy at all, so beginners can run the class II without too many worries.

If any beginner members are interested in doing this run, contact me (653-2064). I can do it early evenings with some advance notice and can give some instruction to those looking for improving some of their river-running skills. Just after Double Trouble is a great eddie for learning to roll in for those looking to either improve their roll or nail their first one. See you in the wet stuff.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know about playspots on the Elk? I've heard some names dropped (Crazy Wave, pocket full of marbles, creek wave, disneyland, landslide?) but can't find any info.

Any park'n'play or play a fairly short walk or float in (I'd be board surfing)?



ScottyG said...

hey nathan.
i'll join you for a paddle if you can go either tuesday or wednesday night. i could potentially go on thrusday night, but i'm off to ireland on friday so that might be pushing it.
if it's a go, i'll ask a few beginners (2) if they'd like to join us

Nathan said...

Wednesday at 7p.m. for Upper St is a go for me. We can plan on leaving my place at that time. Doesw that work for you and your friends, Scott? I'll probably have a couple of paddlers with me as well.

Stew & Di said...

We can provide a bit of info. about the Elk area. Current flows are typical for mid-summer - Lodgepole is too small, Wigwam is fairly low but would still be a good run. At this flow, it'd be mostly big boulder gardens and fairly continuous III+ for a few km. The Bull is still running and the Bull Canyon would be fairly continuous III+ with a couple of bigger holes. The main attraction this time of year is the Elk, with that standard run being the lower Canyon. It's an ugly put-in (although better with stairs) and then a 3-4 hour run that's often III with a couple of IV's. There is a play-spot near the put-in, 'Pocket full of marbles' that's a hole feature at these flows. Dave - I'd guess it'd be poor for the surfboard. Below that is Roller Coaster, the biggest rapid consisting of a longish boulder-garden (III+ to IV). Things downgrade after the first canyon and the Wigwam joins and shortly downstream the second canyon, Swirly Canyon, has the big single drop, 'Horizon Line'. It's changed a lot over the past few years and is a IV - run far right at medium to low flows. The next rapid, 'Slide' has had the boulders wash out so it's now quite tame - vs. a fairly ferocious hole a few years ago. There are still lots of nice features after that canyon although it downgrades to a II or so towards the end. It's a great run with somewhat larger waves and hydraulics than most of the southern Alberta runs.

If you're up for more excitement the 'lower Upper' Elk Canyon is a fairly ferocious IV+ run above the lower canyon. Biggish rapids with a couple of bigger ones that have major hazards (White Room, etc.).

And for some horrendous stuff, the upper-Upper is V+, with 3 water-falls, the upper falls is a fairly clean drop, the middle falls has never been run (I think) since it spills onto a boulder sieve and the final is the 35 foot 'Leap of Faith' that was featured on a Toyota commercial a couple of years ago (see Fernie Paddle and it's the photo on the website homepage). Way beyond us.

For ORKAns looking for good whitewater, we'd recommend the lower Elk Canyon. If you're up for more, you might consider the lower-Upper but it's quite a significant upgrade.

Unfortunately, there's no good, easy access park-and-play near Fernie.

Scotty said...

Works great for me nathan, and for my friend too (solong as he can get a boat). Anyone need a lift from lethbridge?

Nathan said...

Lower Elk sounds good, Stew. I don't think that I am anywhere close to upgrading from class III and easy class IV for a while. Elk sounds like a great spot for me and the brothers to challenge our scouting and paddling skills. Thanks for the info.

Wednesday at 7 pm is a go for the Upper St. for anyone wo is interested. See you around 6:45, Scott.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nathan and Scott. I would like to join you guys if you are still going tonight. I am in Lethbridge and do not get off work until 5 but give me a call if this works for you. I can drive and have a extra boat if one is still needed.

Kevin Seidel
(403) 312-9922

Helen said...

Hi Nathan and Scott. I would love to come too, and I live in Lethbrige as well- I can take another kayak, or I'd be glad to join you, Scott, if you still have room. My # is 634-9547- it's a cell so you should be able to get a hold of me whenever works for you (or I'll call you back right away). Otherwise, I guess I'll just show up in Cardston looking for kayaks! See ya tonight,