Monday, August 25, 2008
I saw this one mentioned on a website so I thought I would check it out. There are a whole bunch of signs that say not boating, so I wonder if kayaking counts? Regardless, the flows were less than those I was on the website. This wave is coming out of Gardner Dam, about 1hr north of my wife's families cabin in Saskatchewan.
This is the play wave in downtown Missoula, Montana. For a town of 65,ooo they're doing pretty good. I wish we had such a wave in our town!
Well, maybe someday we can get something like that here. Any ideas?
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I would say at normal flows the run would have lots of really good class II to class III rapids. There will be about a half dozen solid class IV ledges. This is a long run that is a blend of the highwood and castle falls runs, in a remote canyon.
flood water at the put in. Middle fork Gauge at ~25,000cfs to 30,000cfs
the first canyon drop. Quite a bit different looking than at high flows below.
another one of many ledges in the canyon
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
This would be similar to last year's trip as we'll bring our raft and kids and we'd have room for a few others in the raft, and others could kayak or canoe.
Nathan - are you and your kids interested in joining us?
This is a chance to bring your non-kayaker spouse/partner along on one of our favorite local runs.
If you haven't yet enjoyed the lower St. Mary, it's a II+ run with a couple of III's and then Run-no-run (III+) and Hairpin (IV). All rapids are easy to portage (the kids will walk around the 2 bigger rapids). With flow of 45 cms, rapids will be smaller but there should be good play spots and surf, and warm water.
Reply on the blog and give us a call to reserve space on the raft.
Stew & Di
Friday, June 27, 2008
I have been in Cardston for the last few weeks and been able to go out and kayak this river whenever someone gives me the opportunity. I have been paddling with a number of people on this river this year. It has been a lot of fun meeting new people and seeing the different skills and abilities that each paddler has.
The public access is great for this river. The take-out is either at the Kimball River Sports parking area or at the Kimball Campground. To get to the take out you just pass Cardston heading South on Highway 2 then there will be a left hand turn that will take you past Aetna (Highway 501). Pass Aetna and keep traveling south until you cross a bridge over the St. Mary's River then take a right onto Range Rd. 250. Here you should see the Kimball River Sports parking area and office directly to the right and the campground is a little further down the road on the right through a white metal gate. You can't miss the Kimball River Sports cause they have a huge fleet of big red school buses. Once you have dropped off you take-out shuttle, take the gravel road (Range Rd. 250) that you turned onto right after the bridge, and keep heading south on it. The nice thing about this public access is that there is a sign of a man carrying his canoe with arrows directing you where to go, so follow him right to the put-in. This access is on a gravel road all the way to the river.
The river has some great features. Your first river bend to the left comes to a really nice eddy on river right that you can do some really fun Stern Squirts. At medium to high flows the first fun surf wave can catch you by surprise if you don't know where it is. Just a few hundred feet down stream of the river's first split in the river there will be a wave that rarely breaks at the top, so don't look for a white top. It is a very low profile wave that will hold you, but its not steep or a high wave. It's long and low. after this wave you will come up to a big left hand curve in the river. This next big feature is Blender. At medium to high flows an upper wave forms above Blender that is probably the smoothest surf wave of them all. I swear I was surfing in it for almost 10 minutes once (or at least that's what it felt like to me). Just below this wave is the main wave Blender which is a river wide feature. It becomes a pour-over at much lower flows, but its a big wave hole at medium to high flows. there are no eddies to paddle up, but there is always a nice bank on river left that you can paddle to and walk back up to hit the waves again and again. After Blender there are two pour-over holes called Twin Sisters. At these medium to high flows these features become fun side surfing wave holes. the top feature is known as the Twisted Sister because it is a lot bigger than the second feature. Once through these Sisters you will hit the Meat Grinder which is just a small boulder garden that creates some nice rolling waves. Here you come to a flat stretch of water that ends in a left hand curve in the river. on the river right you will find a pretty nice surf wave that has a small eddy on the right of it that helps you be able to catch the wave more than once. after this wave there are a few churning eddies along the right side of the river through this small stretch of water. After burning through that section you have Double Trouble. This feature can sneak up on ya if you don't know where it is, but when you come around a sharp left hand curve the river will start to curve back to the right and you will begin to hear the rapid. The river left side of the river becomes a steep canyon like wall then you will be able to see where the rapid is. its a nice side surfing wave hole, and is really playful with a nice eddy on river left at lower flows. A nice bonus wave that only appears at these medium to high flows is just below Double Trouble and has a nice calm eddy on river left. After you pass the cliffs its a slow flat water paddle to the end.
This video has pictures and video as if you were to make a journey down the river. Chronilogical from the start of the river to the end...
Friday, June 20, 2008
We put in at a small pinkish bridge just west of Highway junction 507 that runs from the Crowsnest Pass to Beaver Mines. This section is a few Kilometers above the falls and lasted for about 2 1/2 hrs. It was a very scenic run, but the most scenery was actually experienced paddling backwards facing all the mountain landscape. But not to worry about us paddling backwards in treacherous waters, it was a calm class I run all the way to the train bridge a few hundred feet up stream from Lundbreck falls. The only action that we saw was a nice little wave hole that was shallow enough that even catching your up-stream edge didn't make you flip, but instead it pushed your boat down to underlying rocks that would stop you from going over. Jollin, our whitewater canoe man, had a great time side surfing this hole. Once again Jollin has impressed me with his balancing skills of such a large boat. He even got so comfortable side surfing in the hole that he was able to spin his paddle above his head for quite some time. Another little fun section of the river was still a class I, but was really cool to experience (or at least I thought so) was a really tight "S" curve in the river where you would do 2 complete 180 turns on the bend. It almost felt like backtracking, but you were still flowing down stream.
Once we go to the train bridge all, but Jeff Milner and I, got out to portage around a section of class II rapids directly above the 30 foot Lundbreck Falls. Jeff and I decided to run the smaller rapids to experience a little more to the Crowsnest than class I. We both caught our eddies with ease and got out to look at the falls.
At this point Jeff was getting the itch... I have already had the itch on more than one occasion, dropping both sides of Lundbreck (river right and river left). River right of the falls was NOT to be dropped because a tree has lodged itself directly below the line of the drop, so Jeff decided to go big or go home. Aaron and myself went to the bottom and set up safety and a camera to take the footage of the event. I will let the video tell the rest of the story!!!
We then got all our boats down the stairs at Lundbreck falls and enjoyed the Class II run for our last hour and a half of the paddle. There are a few play waves and some fun little drops to keep the last part of the trip exciting. Our take out was the gravel road bridge just off the highway, and about a 2 minute drive from the Falls. We had a lot of fun and had great weather too, so enjoy the clip and come join us next time!
Saturday, June 07, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
The hike into the two medicine is about 3km. There were lots of fresh grizzily tracks around. We scared one the was just around the corner from where we unloaded.
The rain was fairly steady all day. However there were a number of semi-open breaks. The river starts off fairly gentle for about 4 or 5 km.
The first major rapid was a dangerous corner into a very long canyon. It was a muncher, with a nasty eddy.
river side view of the first corner muncher
We hiked up on river right to scout and then portage.
rapids just below the corner muncher that starts the canyon.
There was an impassable feeder creek on this side of the river. Clay and I looked at a 30 foot watertfall to launch back into the river, but opted instead for put in higher up and run the rapid above it. (Janson has a picture of this section).
We continued down the river with a bit of trepedation. The flows were constantly rising while our early season stamina was quickly draining. Both Clay and Chris got flipped on a ledge that followed a big hole. With so many dangerous corners, scouting each was problematic. Making the must make ferries and sneak lines was a challenge in the pushy water. The holes were large and violent, but may have may been pushing through. We decided to call it a day and hike out to the road. Dragging our boats up the first ridgeline was quite hard on our calves.
Once we reached the ridge crest, it looked like it was an easy return back to the calmer tail of the river. Instead of bashing through the trees to the road, we decided it would be quicker to rejoin the river and head back to the take out vehicle.
The scenery was truly spectacular. It felt like Scotland with all the colors.
On the lower section we had lots of big rollercoaster waves- which we avoided. There was one big set of rapids - class III+ we plowed through, and Clay had a close call with a swim, getting his role on his 7th go.
All in all, we were happy to see the bridge. The river had risen 2 feet since our put in.
Overview- I would say the Two Medicine would be good when the Middle Fork of the Flathead is around 10,000. The canyon section is fairly committing and long. There is likely to be lots of river wide ledges. I would guess a number of class III to IV drops and a river grade close to that. At these flows it was definitely a step or two up from that.
With more rain expected thru Monday and the weather warming up for Tuesday and Wednesday, there may be some opportunities for after work paddles in the area. Feel free to post any interest in that.
It is also worth noting that as of 6 this morning, the lower saint showed 17cms. If things go up a bit more, there might be an opportunity for a short surf run on "rain wave".
See you on the river!
Friday, May 23, 2008
The new site will be www.orcka.wetpaint.com and it is new as of today so don't expect much. The plan is for several users to build this site up with river descriptions, paddling tips, member contact info, etc.
Expect to get emails in the near future, inviting you to join the site. With any luck this will make things easier rather than harder :)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Monday, May 05, 2008
3 Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous (May Long Weekend)
Its hard to believe that this will be the 10th RUNNING OF THE RIVERS down here in southwest Alberta this year. The Pinch-o-Crow Creekers are hosting the 10th annual WW Rendezvous on May 16-17-18-19, 2008 again this year down in the "Centre of Adventure". We will be organizing and leading trips on the Castle, Crowsnest and Oldman Rivers. There will also be chances 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!
This year’s ww demo boats will be on site for you to try out from Aquabatics and Undercurrents and some sea kayaks are coming as well from High \Level Canoe and Kayak.
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 with flush toilets and a great camp kitchen.
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 $70.00
Non-Paddling Children (under 12) $15.00
Toddlers (5 and under) Free
Families of 3 $115.00
of 4 $125.00
of 5 or more $135 + $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 for Advanced and Novice
Castle Falls to Rodeo grounds - Advanced
Crowsnest River - Novice
Castle Canyon - Advanced
Lee Lake - Novice
Elk - Advanced
Castle Canyon to Reservoir - Advanced
Castle R Rodeo to Canyon - Novice
Carbondale River - Advanced
Crowsnest River - Novice
Upper Oldman - Advanced
Waterton Lake - Novice
Elk - Advanced
Oldman River Gap to Oldman River Dennis Ranch - Advanced
Dennis Ranch to Bob Creek - Novice
So we are building on our very successful long weekend event. In 2007 we had 137 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 and friends.
For those of you with friends or family not paddling, there is some great hikes, mtn biking, Castle Mtn is rumored to open for the weekend??, great historic sites (\Frank Slide, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and the Bar U Ranch) close by, flyfishing, shopping and even some cowboy adventures if you want something totally different.
Chuck Lee: Pinch-O-Crow Creekers Box 162, Lundbreck, Alberta
P.S. If you are a brand new novice paddler, still dry behind the ears, and would like a 3 day lake and river beginner kayak course. We are making special arrangements for you this year. There will be an additional $100 cost to the weekend for you, which is 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.
If you have any further questions please contact Janson by email: email@example.com
Friday, May 02, 2008
The Bull is in the low 20's which is doable.
The Kootenai should be at extremely low flows.
I believe the Kan is still shut down
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Everyone!!! another year has gone by and that means that we have an AGM meeting happening this week. On Wednesday the 30th of April, at 6:30 we are going to meet at the Recreational facility of the University of Lethbridge in room PE264. I have an attatched map to help anyone find their way to the class room.
Our plan is to brief everyone on some events of the past year, coordinate possible new activities, and organize new members of the Exexcutive Comittee, but we need your help an involvement to make this meeting run smoothly and be full of new ideas. Everyone is welcome to invite as many friends as they want that might have any interest in the sport, so tell your friends, family, and neighbors.
A great plus of the meeting is that High Level and Awesome Adventures have donated some products for our "DRAW PRIZES" for anyone who comes to the meeting. Last year these local paddling businesses gave away gift certificates and a variety of accessories for your paddling experiences. SO come join us in deciding on the next years activities and fun events and you just might walk away with some fun stuff.
After meeting for the AGM we are planning to have a last pool kayaking session before pulling the boats from the university. The time for the final kayaking hour is from 8-9.So come enjoy the last paddle in the pool before we move the boats for the rivers.
Hope to see Everyone there!!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
The run starts off pretty gentle.
Things will quickly pick up. A very long boat scout is in order. This picture epitomizes my view of the river.
the view from the first major scouting section
There is one rapid that is significantly larger than the others. If I remember correctly, some wood near the bottom got me portaging. This was below a cement lined diversion cannal on river right. It occurs around the bend from the first steep section. A wood line irrigation canal is found uphill on river left.
looking upstream about 2/3 the way into the first major rapid. I think the irrigation canal is just below this picture on river right - but I could be off by one rapid
There was one more stand out rapid, but I only made it 2/3 of the way down until a pin in the tight bouldery confines got me.
After that it is a long paddle to the take out. About 2/3 the way down there is a large mansion house on river right. They have a nice patio right down at river level. Watch out for logs here, and in the canyon like section below.
It is a long paddle out to your take out bridge. Lots of smaller bridges had me fooled. I kept getting out, getting changed only to find out I wasn't at the take out. Walking back to get to the car at the parking lot took quite some time. Taking a dead end shortcut didn't help matters. I started at 10am and ended at midnight. I think the flows were medium to medium high although Kootenai creek was extremely high the next day, so who knows?
This run was much less stressful than Lost Horse, but proably still a bit bouldery and pinny for many people's tastes.
Rock Climbing is probably a better option in this valley
a typical section at medium? flows
This makes it a painful experience at even medium flows and a really dangerous one at high flows. The steep combined with never ending boulder obstacles makes boat scouting a vegas like risk. Expect to scout most everything.
the painful parts
That being said, there are some really great rapids on this run. I don’t think, they make up for the inbetween sections though.
The road to this run was closed when I got there. I believe the upper road is closed during peak run off. The hike up is a couple of kilometers. I went past the first prominent roadside drop.
This was a mistake. There is little fun whitewater further up. I stopped at a pretty meadow and had some painful ports around beaverdams and logs.
There are two significant drops in this run. They are fairly close together. The first drops into a transverse slot.
horizon line view of 1st main drop
deceptively nice looking view of 1st main drop
This looked a bit dodgy. The second is a long slide combo. This was stellar. I would characterize it as a smaller, maybe steeper version of brave bear on nearby bear creek. A quick hike and huck to only this drop is probably the best way to do this creek.
maybe 30 -40 ft total elevation drop
There are a few very nice rapids lower on the run that are visible adjacent to the road. Because of the boulder bashing and scouting requirements, most people probably won’t be linking these sections together. If the water if chugging and you’ve fully pre-scouted for wood, the lower sections of this run would be absolutely fantastic read and run creeking.
a deceptively steep looking view of the roadside rapids. This one is immediately below a nice camping / pullout spot next to the river
Lost Horse Bouldering & Climbing
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
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