Thursday, July 06, 2006

Trips July 6th to July 13th

Oops... We missed a "trips" post last week.

This weekend might be a Crowsnest and Castle weekend for the Smith Brothers. If there is anyone interested in a full day of paddling or even catching portions of the adventure, let us know by commenting. Don't hesitate to comment on other trips that you wouldn't mind others jumping in on either.

Happy Paddling!

15 comments:

Nathan said...

I just checked flows for Castle and Crowsnest, and they are getting thin for running. Anyone have any good ideas for runs this weekend? Sheep? Elbow? I'm interested in class III or IV ish

Scott said...

I'd do the lower saint with you nathan, or try out a different three. if not, anyone want to run a 2? maybe even a bigger run down the milk? the girlfriend has been bugging me for awhile to take her out

Nathan said...

Lower is on the low end for flow. Castle still is an option if flow holds or rises. It's a fantastic and easy calss III+-IV. That's the one that I'm hoping for. We'll keep in touch.

Stew & Di said...

We're just back from BC where flows are still quite good. Excellent runs on the Upper and Lower White with lots of paddlers from Alberta, BC and Montana converging for the long week-end.

Looking at SW Alberta flows, the Lower St. Mary is too low and the Oldman Gap would be OK but low. Probably the best bet is the Castle Canyon - it's quite good even at low flows. At the current 17 cms it'd be an easy III through the Canyon and then a II float to the take-out.

Saturday??

Stew & Di said...

whoops - birthday party Saturday - we'll run the Canyon Sunday afternoon

Nathan said...

If Stew and Di figure Castle is still good at 17cms, we might try for it on Saturday (thanks for the info, Stew, and it's too bad we'll miss you for Saturday). We would like to do both the Canyon and below Castle Falls runs that day if flows agree.

Has anyone done the boulder gardens below Frank on the Crowsnest? Any good?

Stew said...

The Crowsnest 'Cascades' consist of a two-part plummet through the massive limestone boulders at the east end of Frank Slide. Many years ago we made a point of checking them out at various flows, but we always left considering either the top or bottom rapid as too ugly (we were wimps in slalom boats). Paddlers have since run them but I think primarily at higher flows since at low flow they're boulder sieves - Stuart Smith rates them as IV-V. They are quite interesting and worth a look - unlike any other rapids in southern Alberta. The boulder garden below the Cascades is a nice II and was the regular start for the kayak portion of the annual Crowsnest Pass Polyathalon.

Nathan said...

Scott, I forgot your number but wanted to tell you about our plan changes for this morning. Crowsnest is out as a couple people dropped out. Janson and I are going to check out Belly River from the campground down to the Hillspring highway. It's a 4-6 hour run, paddling for 32 km with the possibility of a number of log jams. It's a class II with great scenery from what I hear, but it's unchartered water for us. If your up for the adventure with us, give me a call (330-9895). We'll probably try leaving around 10. Sorry for the last minute thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
I don't think any of you know me- Helen Napadajlo. I just bought my first kayak and was hoping to start out easy, but ASAP! I don't have anyone regular to paddle with, so if anyone is doing something good to start on, I would really love to tag along!

Scott said...

Nathan, how did the belly turn out? did you pull out in the waterton resevoir? Sounds like something i might like to do, especially if i could make it a shorter run
Thanks

Stew & Di said...

Castle Canyon take-out

We had a rather nice run through the Castle Canyon and there seems to be some clarification relative to take-out access. The 'gravel pit' has been off-and-on for a few years and there's now a big sign permitting walking access (about 200 m, gradual slope). This provides about a 5 km paddle, with the Canyon and then almost all of the subsequent ledges - it's about one-half of the distance to the campground bridge and avoids the flatter stretch.

To get to it take highway 507 from Pincher Creek towards Beaver Mines. Just before the turn south on 775 to Beauvais Lake the access turn is to the north, Range Road 1-2. It's a County road and you can drive over a Texas-gate and then down the hill and park at the sign.

The Castle is currently quite low but paddlable and even more scenic than in the spring with crystal clear water - we'd recommend it - grade II with canyon ledge combination and easy III.

Scott said...

Where is everyone?
Let me know if you're interested in a saturday or sunday paddle

Scotty said...

by the way, my number is 315-0114

Nathan said...

Sorry, Scott. I was off having a baby. We had an 8 lbs 3 oz bouncing baby boy July 12. We just got back today, so I will start planning the occasional trip (probably not as frequently though)

Belly was fairly tedious. The first section from the Belly River campground to the Highway 5 bridge would have been class I paddling except for the lag jams and hard corners. It was scenic, but unexciting as far as paddling goes. The great section of Belly lies just after the bridge with a good surf wave and 3 class II+ - III features to liven things up (there is actually a "short" run for this section that requires no shuttle... just a bit of a walk out). There were a couple more surf waves shortly after the 3 features that were okay to play in, but other than that, flatwater paddling. There is a weir to portage around near the end. 6 hours in our small boats about did us in. I'm sticking to the short run from now on :-)

Stew & Di said...

Nathan+

Congrat's on the new family member! Hope mom and son are good and very best wishes to all ... and a new baby won't affect your paddling schedule at all :-)