Monday, November 26, 2007

Current boat prices

Someone asked about the current boat prices so I thought I would post them.

Model----Paddler Weight--Price
Ace---------4.7 100-160lbs---$700.00
4 fun-------160-200lbs-------$675.00
2 fun-------100-150lbs--------$675.00
Ducky------? -------------------$700.00
Reflex------? -------------------$50.00

These are the approved prices for the 2007 season. The exec may change prices for the 2008 season, but that is usually up to them. Maybe you can find something here that will make a good Christmas present?

gear for sale

I was doing some late winter cleaning, much like spring cleaning just out of season. Thought I would post some gear that I have for sale to see if there are any interested parties out there.

I have a used shortie (L) for sale 20 bucks. It's in great shape, probably used on a dozen times. I bought another one so this is extra. Great for warm days or when the Lower Saint Marys is flowing. It has neoprene on the neck and arms that are comfortable and a rubber seal on the waist.

This is a 1mm rash guard type shirt. Brand new never used! 20 bucks as well. It's a medium, I had this silly idea that because it's neoprene I could squeeze into it. Wrong....

I bought it for under my shortie and pool sessions because it gets cold in that pool! Good for people who get cold easy or for layering under a shortie top.

This is a skull cap (small) that fits well under a helmet. I bought an extra one for a friend who didn't need it so now I've got it. It's new as you can see and works great.

Climbing shoes! On a kayaking site! If your like me, your probably multi-faceted so this should come as no surprise. Bought these for the wife and they turned out to be a bit small. Brand new size 7, Euro 38. They're some 5.10 prima lace ups that are sweet shoes. If they had larger sizes I would have ordered another pair. If they fit you then congrats! Sweet deal at 45 bucks!

New medium harness. Brand new, still has tags on it and such. Bought it for my brother for a birthday gift, but he bought himself a new on a week earlier.

It's a Rock Empire Equator which sells for 44 at MEC. It's yours for 20 bucks, or buy it with the shoes and I'll sell the package for 60.

This is a mesh gear bag that fit's a kayak cockpit. It has a zipper on the top for access when attached to the boat. This thing is sweet! I loved it! Why selling? I got a new boat a Juice 7.1 and it doesn't fit. So with the choice of selling the boat or the bag... I guess I'm keeping the boat. It it fit's your boat then it's awesome. Put your wet gear in it, strap it to the roof with your boat and drive home. Pop it out at home and it carries all your gear to wherever it needs to be.

Keeping with the trend 20 bucks!

Lastly I have a pair of new columbia water shoes (size 10). They were too beefy to wear in my kayak so I'm getting rid of them. Probably better suited for canoeing or such.

I'm getting rid of these suckers for 15 dollars if there are any takers out there.

Well that's it. Maybe you see something here that tickles your fancy or you see a gift there for Christmas. Either way give me a shout if your interested.

mark_iwaasa (at) yahoo (dot) com

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Beginner Kayaking Courses Available at the University


There is Kayaking courses available at the University through the winter months. It is a 6 week course with one lesson a week and the lessons are about an hour and a half. Each week you have a 30 minute in class discussion about river basics and need-to-knows. then the class moves to the pool to learn kayak balancing, bracing, hip snaps, and the eskimo roll. It is a great course to go through if you are interested in hitting the rivers in the new season. BUT please inform any of your friends about this course. Price and details can be found through the University by calling for info or calling to register for the class @ 329-2706. Below is a flyer about the dates and times offered.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Times to Remember: Lower St. Mary's

There was many trips that were taken down the Lower St. Mary's river this year. It is extremely accessible and only like 30 minutes away from Lethbridge! Its a great river for confident beginners, because most of the river is class 2, but the class 4 sections (run-no-run and Hairpin) are very easy to walk around!

Anyways a great memory on this river was when Jon Low got home from his mission for the LDS church, so we took him out and invited a few others. We barley put in and was playing on the "fishing hole" right at the put-in when David was having a blast playing on this surf wave when he went for a brace hitting some rocks with his paddle. I noticed that he was struggling on his roll, which left me a little concerned that something was wrong. I finally noticed that the side of the paddle he was rolling with had NO blade on the end. I believe he figured it out as well and rolled up on his left-side. Jon and I raced down the river to catch the blade. It was hard to get because it would surface and sink again and again! BUT we retrieved it and lucky for Dave he was only about a 5 minute walk to his truck so he just packed up and left to buy a new paddle! It was too bad he couldn't paddle with us, but its better that his paddle broke at the very beginning of the run than in the middle of the run. Another great memory of that day was when Jon finished the 4 hour paddle. He hadn't paddled in 2 years and he was stiff and sore. He could barely walk and when he climbed the fence I could do nothing but laugh and laugh and laugh!

Another day we had Stew Rood write a comment on the ORCKA blogspot about taking a white-Water raft down Lower St. Mary's. A lot of us joined this trip bringing kids to go on the boat and a lot of others brought their kayaks. It was a lot of fun.

David had a new paddle and was finally going to get his chance to run the Lower St. Mary's stretch. We paddled for almost a total of 7 hours. A LONG TRIP! It was really good though. I met a lot of new paddlers that I have never met before, so that was good for me! The kids had a blast in the raft and the rest of us had just as much fun playing on the surf waves and running "Hairpin" again and again and again.... It was a really hot day and a few of us got a good burn being in the sun for about 7 hours, bu tit was worth it.

Another trip involved Nathan, Jeff and I. We made a pretty quick trip, but spent most of our time playing on the wave hole right above "run-no-run". We were all working our spins and side surfing skills. Nathan was using Ethan's old play boat (because he was waiting for his new one to arrive), so we had some fun watching him struggle with Ethan's boat. Nathan used throw bags as make shift hip pads to keep his hips tight in the boat, but they didn't work so well. So when Nathan was surfing you could tell that his boat was really loose, but he managed well getting a few spins in for the day. Jeff forgot to close his plug a couple times and spent a bit of his paddling time on the shore emptying his boat.

All in all the Lower St. Mary's had a lot to offer for the short amount of time that it was flowing. But when it was flowing we were out on it having a blast!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Times to Remember: Cameron Creek

Cameron Creek was probably the most intense adrenaline rush I have ever had paddling! The section that Nathan and I paddled is about a 30-45 minute run (depending on how long you scout rapids). When I dropped "Something Nasty" I got flipped vertical and over backwards then thrown into the rock bank banging up my elbow (which hurt for a good solid month). Nathan dropped Something Nasty nice and clean (see video above). When we got to "Wild Thing" I ended up scouting (looking in fear) this rapid for about 30 minutes. I believe I said about 10 prayers on my walk back to my boat. It was an extremely exiting feature on Cameron Creek (see video below), but my adrenaline was pumping for so long that I only had enough energy left to flop out of my boat on the shore below, and not enough energy to even yell in excitement back to Nathan, who was extremely excited for me. "De JaVu" seemed easy peezy compared to what I experienced with "Wild Thing". A great ride... Oh did I mention that it snowed on us while we paddled this creek!

Times to Remember: Lundbreck Falls

Max, Jon, Nathan and I took a quick trip down the Castle Canyon section to start off the day. It was a really good trip and will always be in my books... I landed my first air loop on the canyon section of the castle. It was a suprise to me that I actually pulled it off, but made for alot of screaming and giggling! he he. After enjoying this great adventure we continued our journey to the Crowsnest river. Nathan, Jon, and I all dropped the river left side of Lundbreck Falls (about 30 feet). It was a lot of adrenaline pumped fun! Nathan and Jon both dropped the falls with style, but when it came my turn... I didn't drop it as clean as I wanted to. I ended up doing half of a barrel role landing upside down in the pillowy fluff of the boiling water below. After the Falls Jon had to bolt, but Max, Nathan and I paddled the rest of the Crowsnest river down to the bridge. It was a day to remember.

Times to Remember: Carbondale

Mark, Mike, Nathan, and I took a quick trip down the Castle Canyon section of the Castle River... loaded up our boats and headed to the Carbondale. We met Chris up there who became our guide because it was some of our first times and others had only gone once before. It was alot of fun. Five-Alive was a nice little drop and continued down many other monuvering rapids which brang us to the last big rapid. The river narrowed into a little canyon and dropped over a ledge that created a pretty squirley hole. We all got out to scout the drop. Chris, in his creek boat, did the drop first to show us the way, and landed a very clean boof stroke keeping his momentum to safely clear the hole. Nathan, who also had his creek boat, decided to go next. He came to the drop, but was not as successful with his boof stroke. When he hit the hole it stopped him dead in his tracks. Chris was right there to push him out of the hole, but Nathan's spectators that were paddling smaller play boats were quick to say, "We're walking!" We figured that if Nathan's bigger longer boat had a hard time making it through, our littler boats would have been stopped pretty quick with any mistake of ot making the boof stroke to get across the hole. But all in all the whole day was a blast. 2 rivers in one day!

Times to Remember: Castle River

This was one of our (Nathan, Janson, David, Mark, Mike) first big trips of the season. It was a blast. We learned alot from this trip! The entrance to the falls was closed so we put in at the bridge that crosses castle river and experienced the extra hour and a half of paddling time. Also that dropping off the ledge of castle falls on river right you need to have a lot of momentum to make sure you drop into the pool, because David dropped too soon and penciled in to nail the front of his boat on rocks then hit his helmet connecting with rocks as well. He was a bit soar from it, but at least now we know! By the time we got to the end of the trip we were all really worn out and ready to get out of our boats. And Mike ended up straining his back carrying his boat out to the take-out shuttle. We all had a good giggle at his pain, but Mike was not laughing.

Times to Remember: Belly River

Being able to get permission from the landowners by Belly River we were able to go a few kilometers south of the highway bridge and paddle for a while longer. The flows were at a good level for fun paddling. It had a good amount of rocking waves (for a class II river) that made the extended trip a little more exciting. I had my first experience with Jolene and Claudia in their White water canoe. I was impressed with what they could do it that big ol' boat. They were catching eddies that weren't much bigger than the canoe. They make a good team! At the end of our journey we scouted the class 5 shuttle and figured that all of us could make the run. A few of us got pretty cold, but Stew Rood was a trooper, holding on to boats and sacrificing the feeling in his hand for the safety of us all!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This morning, to our great dissapointment, when we were about to get ready to go kayaking up at the Kan Nathan looked at the Trans Alta site (below) at the flow schedule and found out that they had changed the Saturday flows from 2pm-7pm to 11am-4pm. By the time we would have left Lethbridge and gotten onto the river we would have had only a few short hours to paddle so we decided to NOT go. Hopefully we will be able to go again here very shortly and have a much longer chance to paddle for a much longer time. So keep updated on this site for future trips this fall/winter!

Monday, October 01, 2007

OPEN KAYAKING starts this month!!!

We are now having the Public Open Kayaking hour at the University Pool! Starting this October we will be holding it on Wednesday nights from 8:30-9:30. It will begin this first Wednesday the 3rd. You will need to show Student Identification at the new front desk, or you will need to pay a fee for the use of the pool. Remember that if you are not a member of ORCKA you will need to bring $5 for boat rentals for the hour. The entrance to the pool is at the new recreational facility of the University. So come and join us and bomb-proof your roll for next season. ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME.

To see the Pool Schedule go to:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

"High Level" are paddling in Waterton (Sorry No Demo Boats)

we are having a paddle for our customers who have boats in waterton this weekend. sunday semptember second. we are meeting at emerald bay at 12:00am and going for a paddle from there in groups. sorry no demo boats will be supplied.

highlevel canoes and kayak
any questions call 327-4506

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Here is the schedule for the provincials. The novice clinic on Friday may interest a number of our paddlers, especially the ones I met at the High Level Kayak demo day.

September 7, 8, & 9, 2007
Provincials and Aquabatics Cup
Canoe Meadows, Kananaskis Country

Friday, September 7, 2007
Novice clinic will be offered if there is enough interest and water flow. (4:00 pm)
Any novice interested in participating please contact
Course construction 4:00
Athletes meeting ?
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Demo Run – 10:30 or 1 hr after Barrier dam release
Whitewater Slalom Race – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
Novice Race following Race
Potluck- Spaghetti
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Classic Downriver Race – 10:30 a.m.
Aquabatics Freestyle Event – 1:00 p.m.

Novice Clinic TBD
Saturday Demo Run will be 1 hour after the Kananaskis river water is turned on

Registration Fees:
Slalom and Downriver Race Fee- $20.00
Aquabatics Freestyle Event- $10.00
Slalom and Freestyle Race fees combined -$25.00

Novice Race clinic TBD - please contact for more information

The fee is $25/unit, 1 unit = 1 RV, 1
large tent, 2 smaller tents, or 4 very small tents (one person each).

NOTE: Any athletes with trophies are requested to bring them along to this event.

For more information please reply to .

Saturday, August 25, 2007

For those still planning to go out... (Troopers)

Just thought I would place this small post for anyone that is wanting to put any information of paddle trips they are planning during this later season.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

High Level is having a Long Boat Kayak demo in Waterton

High Level Canoes & Kayaks are having a Long boat Kayaking demo at waterton. They will be holding the demo at Emerald Bay this sunday, August 19, from 9am - 5pm. If you are interested in trying out new boats, or even trying out different styles or even trying out different makes, come and join High Level and have great time on the water. ENJOY !~!~!

Monday, August 13, 2007

My Kyaking Aventure in Vancouver

I went to Vancouver for about a week, towards the end of July, to see my favourite band Silverchair and visit my uncle. I have always wanted to Sea Kayak on the coast and since I was there I had to try it. I rented a boat from a local paddling shop and took off into the Harbour. It was very scenic. It didn't have the thrills like white water kayaking has, but for what it was it was exciting. I paddled from about 10am - 4pm MAN was I tired. I paddled along the shore line and cut across to another point of land. During my journey I was able to get about 100 feet away from the big crate ships. They are extremely massive. All in all it was quite the experience, but I really miss my WHITE WATER.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tragic Loss...

Posting the comments from Stu & Di, "Linda Englehart, a Calgary kayaker who also paddled in our region and with ORCKAn's died yesterday following a mishap on the Kicking Horse on Saturday. There's some more info. on the CalPaddle blog and news reports should emerge."

This is a sad day, as always when someone so young dies. As from the Calpaddle forum

Traditional Buddhist Prayers will be held in the Chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home on Tuesday, July 31, 2007 and Wednesday, August 1, 2007 from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. A Celebration of Linda's Life will be held in the Chapel of Mountain View Funeral Home on Friday, August 3, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. If so desired, memorial tributes in Linda's name, for her daughters' education fund, to be directed to the Royal Bank (#144, 250 Shawville Blvd. SE, Calgary, AB, T2Y 2Z7). Arrangements entrusted to MOUNTAIN VIEW FUNERAL HOME AND CEMETERY, 17 Avenue SE at Garden Road, (1.5 km east of 84th Street SE) Telephone (403) 272-5555.

I will talk to the executive about a donation to the education fund, as she was an active member of our paddling community. I'm sure many of you had a chance to paddle with her or read her postings on our blog.

Our thoughts go out to her family and the rest of the ORCKA members as they paddle this season. I know many of you will still be on the rivers this season so "Be Safe" and paddle smart.

Friday, July 13, 2007

High Level Paddle and Barbecue Sunday July 15th

High Level Canoes & Kayaks are holding a public paddle down the Oldman River to Pavan Park. Following the paddle they will be having a barbecue to finish off the days activities. If you are in the area please come and support some local paddling activities. If you have any further question contact High Level @ 327-4506, or go to their website link on the side of this blog (events), or click on the link below.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ATTENTION!!! local kayak/canoe volunteers needed.

The Magrath Triathlon is asking the ORCKA club for volunteers to help with the morning swim on St. Mary's reservoir. The Triathlon will be held on Saturday, July 21st . They are holding two separate swim events, an Olympic swim, and a sprint swim. They are asking for a minimum of three paddlers per swimming event (minimum of 6 paddlers total). The reason they are asking for kayakers and canoers is because of the LOW water disturbance created by our smaller boats making it easier to stay close to the swimmers, without disturbing them, if they need help at any time. The Olympic swim starts at 8:45 a.m. and the Sprint swim starts at 9:15 a.m., but they have asked us to show up at the Boat Launch at 8:00 in the morning on Saturday, July 21st. At that point we can organize which paddlers go with which group of swimmers.

To anyone that is interested in helping in this annual event will receive a free T-Shirt from the Magrath Triathlon. So if you agree to volunteer for this event we will need to know your shirt size. We could sure use the help so please leave a comment with your name, contact information, shirt size, and any questions you might have, or call Scott Greer @ 315-0114.

The only favour that we ask of anyone agreeing to volunteer, is that you keep your commitment to volunteer on this date, but if you cannot make it for whatever reason, PLEASE find someone to take your place. Don't drop it on anyone to fill your spot at the last minute. It would be more convenient for us, and better for the Triathlon if we have our needed number of paddlers on the morning of the event.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trips June 24 - July 1 (Beginner/Intermediate)

Comment your trips this week so that more paddlers can get invovled in paddling and meeting new paddlers.

ALSO... Three ORCKA rental boats are located in the Cardston area for any paddlers that would like to rent a boat(s) for the day while paddling in that area. For more information Contact JANSON @ 894-77773.

Trips June 24 - July 1 (Advanced)

Comment your trips this week so that more paddlers can get invovled in paddling and meeting new paddlers.

ALSO... Three ORCKA rental boats are located in the Cardston area for any paddlers that would like to rent a boat(s) for the day while paddling in that area. For more information Contact JANSON @ 894-77773.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Castle Canyon Access

Hi Pinch-O-Crow Creekers Paddling club:

Last week I talked with Chester McCrae about access to the river at the gravel pit below Castle Canyon. As most of you know this is the only decent river access below the Canyon until the Airport Road bridge. Because of this we have tried to maintain good relations with the landowners because it would stretch out a 2 hour kayak trip into 4 hours if we can't use the public road allowance to get out at this point.

Chester fenced off the road last year and seeded the river flats back to grass. He is trying his best to revegetate the land that was pretty torn up by the previous landowners.

As such he is requesting that the paddling community respect his need to control access. He is still permitting us to park at the gate and walk up from the river. But he is not allowing anyone to travel through the gate and down along the road allowance to the river. He is also asking that we be careful when parking at the gate to not block access to the roads heading away from there.

Finally Chester has requested that if you are going to be accessing the river across his property or along the road allowance that you call him on his cellphone and leave a message letting him know that you are going to be there. Chester's cellphone number is 403-327-7555. Chester and I will try to set up a meeting sometime soon to talk about public access to the river at this site and I hope to involve the MD in looking at road allowances that would give kayakers, rafters and fisherman better river access.

Thanks for your assistance in keeping a river access point available for us below the Castle Canyon.


Chuck Lee

Trips June 11-17 (Beginner/Intermediate)

Leave a comment for all the fun kayaking trips you are planning this week. Remember if you are an anonymous person to leave your name within your comment.... thanks.

Trips June 11-17 (Advanced)

Leave a comment for all the fun kayaking trips you are planning this week. Remember if you are an anonymous person to leave your name within your comment.... thanks.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Yeah... it never floods anymore!

Here's an interesting story for those that are interested. Seems like flows are up everywhere. (see below)

Oldman Spillway II-
204.97(m3/s)552007-06-05 20:30:00History
Old Man II+ to IV60.62(m3/s)25.52007-06-05 20:15:00History
Upper St. Mary's II+49.67(m3/s)312007-06-05 20:15:00History
Lower St.Mary III to IV-40.87(m3/s)342007-06-05 21:00:00History
Waterton II+87.95(m3/s)33.52007-06-05 20:15:00History
Castle II to III+71.70(m3/s)26.52007-06-05 20:15:00History

I'm curious as to what people are thinking for the days ahead. You might find me down on the Oldman after work if it gets up around 300. Currently it's around 245.

Evening Paddle on the Oldman

In the interest of helping out some beginners, is anyone interested in a very beginner paddle down the Oldman in Lethbridge? I would help organize an evening paddle around 7pm to 8pm. If there are any interested takers, please post with preferred days for next week.

AWA Events

Alberta Whitewater Association is great with posting paddling events across Alberta. Check out this link for dates on trainings, competitions, camps, and festivals. There are two paddle festivals and a swift water rescue course coming up this month. Good times... good times.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

May Trip Reports

This is a place for members to share links to photos and share picture and video links of some of their latest trips. Stew posted a link to some pictures he took of a Lower St trip we had just yesterday under the advanced trip post for June 4th-10th. Check it out here, and share some of your own stories and media. Good times... good times.

Trips June 4th - 10th (beginner/intermediate)

Plan trips up to class II here.

Trips June 4th - 10th (advanced)

With all this warm weather and flowing water, how can you resist. Plan class III-IV trips here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Trips May 27 - June 2 (beginner/intermediate)

Class I to II+ paddlers who appreciate life enough to not paddle with the monkeys in the advanced group, this is your post. Waterton and Upper St. are still very paddle-able, so get some groups out there. Leave comments on trips you are planning or would like to go on, and remember, paddle smiley side up... at least as often as possible :-)

Trips May 27 - June 2 (advanced)

Advanced? You know who you are... okay maybe you don't, and maybe you are just pretending like me. Please let us know or just check out others trips on class III to IV in the comments. A group of us are leaving early Tuesday morning for Castle Canyon, Carbondale, and Crowsnest with Lunbreck thrown in for good measure (the flows on Crowsnest are getting up a bit, so we'll see how brave/stupid we are when we show up). If you are interested in this trip, leave a shout out in the comments.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Trips May 20-26 (Beginner-novice)

post any trips that are a fun class 1 to class 2, 2+ (maybe even some smaller class 3) here. Remember to have fun and keep up the fun paddling.

Trips May 20-26 (Intermediate-Advanced)

Post any trips that are within the class 3 to class 5 range here. But remember to have fun while doing it.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Don't Forget the May-long Rendezvous

Lot of paddling will be going on in Pincher this weekend at the 3 Rivers Rendezvous. CLICK HERE for detailed info as well as prices for the event.

Trips May 14 to May 21 (Begginer/Intermediate)

Post your begginer and intermediate trips here. The Pincher creek festival is on and is a great opportunity to get out on some easy water with large groups. Free boat demos are also available.

Trips May 14 to May 21 (Advanced)

Post your advanced trips here for the long weekend. Kootenays are large. Some of us are camping out at Lussier for some runs around there. The Pincher Creek Festival is also on.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Trips: May 12th-13th (Advanced)

Post your trips here. Please keep trips to Class III to IV. Of course feel free to go higher ;)

Trips: May 12th-13th (Beginner)

Post your trips here. Please keep trips to Class I to II, with rapids up to II+

Trip Reports

Nathan, Janson, Chris, Mike M and Myself did a run on the Castle (Canyon Section) and Carbondale. Both were good runs without incidents. The last nasty drop on Carbondale seems different this year (shifted rock?) but I walked it as I didn't want to ruin my good day. Chris had a beautiful line that made it look easy.

Sounds like our Vice-Prez got out on the Saint Mary's! How was it?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Monkeys Make Good Paddlers

This is some footage of the trip report posted by Mark below. Good times... good times.

Paddlers are Mark Iwaasa, Mike Mercier, Janson Smith, Nathan Smith, and Dave Stephan. Castle was flowing around 25 cms. It looks as though we will be in for more of a ride at Castle tomorrow. Yeeha!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

NCCP Level 1 Training

The below information was sent to me in regards to a Level 1 Training. We have two members interested in taking the course. There is a need for at least two more paddlers to make having the course viable. If anyone is interested, please touch base with Roxane.

Hey Nathan

The weekend of June 23/24th would work for me. Chuck and I are trying to juggle some candidates so we can make that weekend happen.

Meanwhile, if you know any other folks that would be interested (we need 4 people to run a course), that would be great. We would run the course out of Pincher Creek.


Roxane Esch
31 Ridgemont ave
Fernie, B.C.
V0B 1M2

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Trips: May 4th - May 6th (Advanced)

Post your trips here!

Trips: May 4th - May 6th (Beginner)

Post your trips here!

Trip Reports

Well hope everyone got out that wanted to last weekend. Jeff and Scott, didn't hear from you so hope you didn't get shafted by us. Nathan, Janson, Dave and Myself hooked up with my friend Mike from Calgary.
We ran the Castle from the bridge down to the campground and then we ran the Castle falls section as well. The section from the bridge to the campground was a nice section as long as you take out before the last rapid before the falls. It's an easy one to spot as it's the only spot on the river where you notice the "waterline" and an obvious drop. Probably good for a beginner (with paddling experience on moving water), who is looking for something that is flowing.
The falls were great as always, actually saw someone bottom out on the falls for the first time. Pretty amazing actually...

Anyone else have a trip to report?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Home Spun Industries

Live from the banks of Forester's Creek in the Kootenay's, Homespun Industries is proud to present the glad skirt. Desinged for trashy outdoor situations this custom skirt blocks noxious odors. Duct tape re-enforcements keep it from exploding when under 5 liters of water are encountered. Poly construction ensures 100% waterproofness (seams excluded).

Grab loops are an additional feature envisioned for future production.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

New Link

Links are now higher up on the page! A new link to a complete listing of rivers is found to the left. It links to which was set up by Mackenzie. Red indicates above ideal flow level, but some are missing that data. If anyone can add that missing data, leave it here for Mackenzie to find.

3 Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous (May Long Snofest)

I was lucky enough to scratch that itch last week in Idaho with our
Junior POCC kayak team. Too much fun watching those kids on the Salmon,
Little Salmon, S Fork Clearwater and the Lochsa this year.

If there are some instructors that are interested in teaching novices
this year at the Rendezvous for pay please contact me and let me know.
Last year we had a bunch of brand new novices and we would like to make
arrangements for some instructors to take responsibility for them this

I look forward to seeing you down here this spring. SURF'S COMING UP.

Chuck Lee
3 Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous (May Long Snofest)

The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers are hosting the 9th annual River Rendezvous on May 18-19-20-21, 2007 again this year down in southwest Alberta in the "Centre of Adventure". We will be organizing and leading trips on the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman Rivers in this area. There will also be opportunities to go paddle Cameron Creek and the Carbondale, Elk, Wigwam, Highwood, Waterton or Belly Rivers while you are down here. Only three days and too many rivers to paddle.

There will be opportunities for beginner groups to get on the water and paddle easier stretches as well as more advanced trips. We have something special planned for this year, including more sun, less snow and lots of water for all you big wave fans. Okay seriously – its always been fun and it will be fun this year too!

Camping is going to be the same as last year. We will be at the Castle River Rodeo Grounds. You may remember it as the takeout for the Upper Castle River run. It is centrally located and easy to find off Highway 507 between Lundbreck/Burmis and Beaver Mines, just south of Highway 3. This site is well sheltered and has more conveniences as well.

Drive west on Highway 3 past Lundbreck Falls till you come to Highway 507. Turn south and head towards Beaver Mines and Castle Mountain Ski Resort. Drive 8 km south, after you cross the Castle River at the top of the hill turn east to the Castle River Rodeo Grounds. The road swings back down to the river and we are camped right there.

We will again offer a bbq-burger and fixings dinner for Saturday night and the Sunday night we will have a chili dinner. There will be vege-burgers and a vege-chili for those who want it. Please let us know in advance so that we can order enough for you.

We are again hosting a full breakfast each morning. Cost is included in the package.

Prizes will be drawn for during the weekend.

We are building a package price for the weekend. This price includes all entries, 3 nights camping, 2 suppers and 3 breakfasts, prizes.

Paddlers - Adult/Junior $60.00
Non-Paddlers $40.00
Non-Paddling Children (under 10) $15.00
Toddlers (3 and under) Free
Families of 3 $105.00
of 4 $115.00
of 5 or more $125 + $10 for each additional adult/junior

Please pre-register this year to help us with figuring out how much food to prepare. If you want to set aside a camping spot with your friends I would appreciate knowing that in advance so we can pencil you in and rope a spot off for your group.

There is no need to prepay, we'll collect when you get here.

Trips planned Advanced Novice
Saturday - Castle Falls to Rodeo grounds Crowsnest River
- Castle Canyon Lee Lake
- Elk

Sunday - Castle Canyon to Reservoir Castle R Rodeo to Canyon
- Carbondale River Crowsnest River
- Upper Oldman Waterton Lake
- Elk

Monday - Oldman River Gap to Oldman River Dennis Ranch
Dennis Ranch to Bob Creek

Snowpack in the mountains is well above average this year north of Highway 3 and well below average south of Highway 3, which is surprising given the nice spring we have had. So with some warmer weather we should be well above normal for lots of water this year on the Oldman and below normal on the Castle.

For up to date info on water levels and snowpack go to:
go to Oldman River Basin - River Data - and then check out the Castle and Oldman Rivers.

So we are building on our very successful long weekend event. In 2006 we had 107 paddlers down here, so it was a great gathering and still with so many locations there was lots of space for everyone. We hope to see you down here and look forward to paddling with you. Please pass this message along to your club members.

Chuck Lee
Pinch-O-Crow Creekers
Box 162, Lundbreck, Alberta
403-628-2336 evenings 403-627-3020 days

P.S. If you are a brand new novice paddler, still dry behind the ears, and would like to receive a 3 day pool-lake-river beginner kayak course. We are making special arrangements for you this year. There will be an additional cost to the weekend for you but we can make this a great deal for 3 days all inclusive, camping, meals, equipment and instruction. Contact me if you are interested. THIS HAS TO BE PRE-REGISTERED AND PREPAID.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Boat Sales

Aquabatics is having their annual boat swap on April 22nd and 23rd. This is a good place to pick up a cheap boat for the season. I believe the club is still selling all our boats as a way of encouraging an active paddling community. Check th archives for prices and selection.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Trips April 17 to 30 (Beginner)

It still may be a bit cold this time of year, but for the fool-hardy, post your interests in trips here. Specify canoe/kayak, dates and level.

Trips April 17 to 30 (Advanced)

Post your trips here.

I am planning a 3 or 4 day trip with Mike Mercier somewhere in the East Kootenays during the last weekend. While I am hoping to get on the Wigwam, Kootenai and Yaak, things most likely will be the Skook Bull, and if lucky a cleaning trip down the upper Wildhorse.

I should be around for quick local trips as well - cameron, lundbreck, etc.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Trips April 1 to 16 (Beginner)

Well it's the beginning of paddling season. Post your interests in an Easter Trip here. Specify canoe/kayak, dates and level.

Trips April 1 to 16 (Advanced)

Post your Easter trips here.

Leading River Trips

A request was made for information relevant to leading trip. I am going to try and post what I can here, however, expect this to be a continual work in progress.

Know How to Lead a Group
1. Test out the basic skills of the group
2. Keep weaker paddlers in the middle, but give them time to lead in flat sections.
3. Have established protocol for swims and rescues
4. Use an iterative approach to assess dangers. I like the SiCP method (Situtaions, Consequences, Probablities) iterated through relevant rescue elements
5. Don't listen to begginers who want challenging whitewater, you're more likely to traumatize paddlers out of the sport than keep them in it.

Know How to Read Water
1. no prescriptions here - just practice by predicting and looking back to verify predictions

Local Considerations
1. Belly River - the first corner around the bridge will almost always flip begginers. To bypass this features beginners have to put in on the west side fo the river and walk down 0.5km past the rapid. The canalon river left about 1.5km into the run is dangerous. Most current now feeds into it, and begginers can bounce off rocks when trying to make it to the old channel on the right. Once in it there are no easy eddies to get out. The last hole can be very sticky. It is a poor trip choice because the rapids are shallow and there is no warm up.

2. Castel Falls Run - the main problem to watch out for is the rapid 500m after Narrow Gate (the 5-6 foot Class IV chute). A hole 1/3 into "Follstols Flop?" between the center and river right always gets people. It flushes but may be a tumbler. The trouble is river left looks big, and river right is a hard sneak. The clean looking line tends to feed into the hole. The sharp right turn after this hole will certainly get weak paddlers who bypassed the hole.

3. Castle Canyon - it will be a long flush if you swim. Lots of rock walls and some holes/boiling eddies on either sides of the chutes make things more difficult. You need good eddy skills for this run.

4. Waterton River (to Olsens campground) - Don't take the small channel on river right by the campground to get out. You will get sucked into a low walkway. Go past the campground into the big eddy after the island. Watch the first big eddy after the Waterton Bridge into the park. Begginers will flip, however things are quite wide open. The swim to shore may be long here.

5. Lower St. - Two main features to watch out for: a relatively river wide weir like pour over some time after? Birch hole, and swimming through run-no run and into Hairpin. The hole river center above Hairpin is very dangerous, and the last ledge after Hairpin can have weir like recirculation.

6. Swiftcurrent - there are now logs going through the forest 1/2 way down. The last rapid before it runs by the shore will flip people and result in a rough swim down the shallow river below.

7. Gap run - get out above the dangerous falls. In the channel before the falls, make sure paddlers are moving left to right, and if they flip swim hard to the eddy on the right.

8. Blackiston - if you haven't checked the church camp bridge for logs do so. This can be deadly. On the corner rapid, make sure paddlers aren't too far left or they could get caught up against the wall. There are lots of logs from Red Rock down, so don't do the upper section.

9. Lower Elk - the water can be extremely squirrely through the canyon and swimmers may be in danger, especially at higher flows. There is no feasible way to walk this section. Near the end of the canyon there is a chute that constantly changes shape. I don't think you want to be in the hole on either side of it.

10. Wigwam - corner pocket can trash paddlers in the hole. The lower rapids are very continuous and rescuing a boater would be very hard.

11. Bull canyon - at low water the swims are rough. The last hole at the end of the run can be hard to miss because of diagonal pressure waves. Setting up safety is time consuming and challenging.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

2007 AGM

Well the AGM has come and gone. We must have given out $200 worth of door prizes! Thanks again to High Level Canoes and Kayaks & Awesome Adventures! We had a lot of new faces this year and some new changes. Janson Smith is the new President this year and Scott Greer is the Vice President. The Hironaka's are still doing Rentals and Secretary/Treasurer. Nathan Smith is Outreach and Development and I am free and clear! Just kidding, fact is I'm a lifer.

Following up on the AGM, people were interested in better river descriptions on our site. To clarify things, please post what your interested in seeing in the descriptions and what rivers you would like to see.

Thanks! See you on the River!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

AGM Tomorrow

Don't make me beg! Actually, if you don't show up, I'm keeping all the door prizes for myself ;)

We have some more prizes, donated by Awesome Adventures/Anderson Aquatics.

It would be nice to see some new paddlers out this year to help give the club a fresh look at what people are looking for from the club. We are getting to be some crusty old men. How fitting for our website eh? (not just a bunch of old men...)

See the postings below for location and time.

Level 1 Instructor's Course

Chuck Lee from the Pinch ‘o’ Crow Creekers will be hosting an AWA Level 1 instructor certification course this April. Please find all the information regarding the course posted on and listed below:

Community Kayak Instructor (NCCP/AWA) Level 1 - Open Water

April 21-22, 2007

Pincher Creek, Alberta

Contact: Chuck Lee at

If you plan on taking other certifications through the AWA, this is an excellent course to take as it is early in the season. For more information regarding AWA educational programming and instructional progressions, please visit the website at

Monday, April 02, 2007

AGM this Week!

Well the AGM is this week and we are looking for input! What direction is the club heading? Well here's your chance to be pro-active rather than re-active. Without input, don't expect any dramatic changes.

On a more positive note, we have at least 4 door prizes this year! Items range from a boat sponge, to some T-shirts and a paddling shirt. Lots of thanks to High Level Canoe and Kayak for the dontations See the post below for directions!

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Looks like the middle fork of the flathead is still going strong at 5000cfs . This is a good medium level. The Bull is at 40cms which is a very good low level. It was up to 120cms! While the castle has dropped too low to paddle (22cms) it was up to 37cms, it looks like a warm weekend could mean paddling - well at least for those of us who don't have homework!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

AGM Date Update

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) is set for April 5th. Show up for a night of paddling and some free stuff! Yup in an attempt to get more than 14 people out (one of which was under 5) we are again offering some free stuff as prizes. Stay tuned for more info on the AGM!

Update: Meeting will be in Turcott Hall 133 at 7:30. After the AGM people will be paddling for the last pool session before we move the boat out for the spring run-off.

*you can find a map of the University here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kootenays & Yaak

It looks like the Kootenays are flowing. That means the Bull, Elk, Wigwam, Yaak and Skook should be going.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I am trying to create a "Orcka membership" contact information list. With this updated list, ORCKA, will hopefully be able to inform you of any upcoming programs, lesssons, and significant events that the club will be involved in. Also I hope to be able to inform you of any membership renewals needed and how to renew. Please contact me by email, or by leaving a comment below.


  • First and Last name (include names of all individuals of household membership)
  • email address
  • Phone number
  • HOW/WHO membership was purchased from
  • Approximate time that membership was purchased

Thank you for being a dedicated member of the ORCKA club, and hopefully this information will be a great new tool to involve all members of the future activities of ORCKA.

**If you see this post let other members know, so we can get proper contact information from all the members of the club.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Well Happy New Year! Well we made it through another year and now you can start praying to the rain Gods for another good year of paddling. I forcast rain for the new year. Like snow days, work will be canceled. You'll be able to get in your boat from your doorsteps and ride the waves down the coulee's into the Oldman. Yup, flood conditions 3 out of 5 days a week. It'll flow from April to September, with a new surf wave forming along the Whoop-Up Bridge, when that concrete slab to the south of the bridge collapses into the river. Yes sir folks, another good year of paddling!
As well, I'm sure you all scored some wicked paddling booty this Christmas! A new boat, a sweet paddle, some wicked clothing or a pair of nose plugs?!?

Regardless, I'm sure you're all ready to try it out! Pool sessions for January will be from 8:30 - 9:30 on Thursday nights. Come all! Let's see your cool swag!

And for the paddlers that showed up last week, sorry that you got booted! I chatted with the lifeguards and they regret the mix up. Apparently they put the pool sessions in a different spot. New Year = New Problems. We cleared it up and they're gonna leave a note to hopefully clarify the problem.

See you in the pool!