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!