Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kicking Horse River

Well Clay and I made it up to the Kicking Horse, as well as Chris and Nathan. Although I can't comment on how Chris and Nathan's run went, I can mention a few things about our trip.

WOW!! WHAT A RIVER!!(Find Clay and his boat in this picture!)

This river is really the perfect river. Hard, continuous, easy access, somewhat easy portaging with beer at the end. I can't wait to paddle it again.

We first ran Hunter Creek to Glenogle. At low flows, this was a technical run that was very interesting, but the easier section that we ran. Not that it was easy! I haven't been this freaked out since I found out my wife was pregnant! (kidding) The big rapids, Portage and Shotgun come up quick and they are still pretty big at low flows.

Next we ran Glenogle to Golden which was a more technical section. The rapids get harder and harder until you reach the bridge where they reach the pinnacle with a rather nasty rapid. As you can see from the pictures below, maybe a bit too technical under the bridge!

*As mentioned in the comments, this is a dangerous class 5 rapid with a high risk factor. If you miss the portage point, it becomes quite difficult to get off the river, as we found out. I decided to walk this rapid and spotted Clay from above the rapid with a throw bag. Although this provides added safety, it does not eliminate the risks. Paddle within your ability!

(good start)

(where did he go?)

(not good)

(still not good)

Well after watching a 47L kayak get sucked underwater after it begins to resurface and a bit of an epic we were back on the river. After the bridge it's a pretty action packed section with technical moves to position yourself with good lines. If you could sweat while kayaking, I was sweating. It then finishes with some nice calm water and tourists who love it when you do a roll.

All and all, it was a great river, but I'd hate to be on it and be over my head (there were a couple of minutes where I felt like I was) as it's not a great place for a swim. Well I hope you enjoyed my trip report and we'll see you in the pool this winter! I'll post pool times when I get them.


chris g said...

I knew Clay would run that drop! Was the bottom section like shotgun?

Our trip was good. I launched off through shotgun while nathan was trying to take off and put on his glove. This meant he couldn't follow my line. I guess he missed the part where I said "it doesn't matter where you go just don't be right at the end". Being right at the end nathan had a good spin or two in the hole and then in the next rapid dove right over the center of the hole in portage. It was a fun run though.

Nathan said...

Awesome report, guys. I wish we had some good pics of our Skook and Kicking Horse runs for you as well, but between bailing water, unpinning ourselves, checking for fish at the bottom of holes (as Chris explains abaove), and just plain PADDLING FOR OUR LIVES, we just enjoyed kayaking so much we forgot to take any photos. The beautiful scenery, chatter of wildlife, BOILING/CASCADING WATER, and BIG/SHARP ROCKS will have to ever remain a fond memory. I'll have to buy myself a waterproof camera for next season :-)

Stew & Di said...

Exciting stuff but be careful ... our friend, Calgary paddler Wayne Courtney died in the Bridge Hole a decade or so ago. He flipped and came out of his boat above it - he swam into it and drowned. Cold water and poor weather probably contributed and he wasn't a strong swimmer.

We've missed paddling for a few weeks even though weather's been ideal. Maybe the St. Mary Dam will open.