Wednesday, May 28, 2008

TRIPS MAY 26 - 31

Hey everyone the flows are still pretty high, but they are coming down a little bit, but still remain high. So expect some squirly water and squirly eddie lines in your regular river runs, but if you are going out this week let us know and lets have some fun. But remember to be safe!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Two Medicine South Fork

Well, it was quite a day for an exploratory run! High water exploratory runs may not always be the best pick for season warm ups.

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.

When it rains it pours!

Well the rivers are flowing! Some interesting highlights are the Castle which it a high of 415cms and we thought things looked impressive at 90cms! Also, Two Medicine hit 9000cfs (255cms) the Waterton is over 200cms, the Upper Saint is over 100cms and the Upper Oldman hit a peak of 270cms!

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

In Development...

Over the years, Wilco has been maintaining the ORCKA homepage. In order to take some of the pressure off, we are moving to a "wiki" style site that can be maintained by several ORCKA members.

The new site will be 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

Trips May 19 - 25

I hope that everyone had a great May Long Weekend! The flows are still coming up so it is the time to go, so comment about your plans or any ideas that you want to work with. Remember to be careful with all the high flows and have fun.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rat Wave

For those of us who'd rather watch than participate in the grade V Lundbreck Lemming Leap, there's a much tamer paddle that starts at the campground below the Falls. It's an hour paddle to the take-out at the dirt-road bridge below Highway 3. A nice grade II run with 'the ledge' that's II+ or maybe a III at some flows and lots of mini-ledges. Maybe the most reliable wave is 'Rat Wave', or if you blow off the back, 'Rat's Wave'.

We've surfed it at flows above 6 cms and here it is at 22 cms, when it's flatter and flushing out.

Stew & Di

Monday, May 05, 2008

3 Rivers Whitewater Rendezvous

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-Paddlers $50.00
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
403-628-2336 evenings
403-632-9598 cell

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:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Trips May 2 - May 8

WHile most rivers are very low, it looks like the Two Medicine is releasing at Medium flows. This will still make things a bit rocky, but it is paddleable. The falls should be good at these flows (963cfs, and maybe set for one more ramp up in release).

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