Monday, June 30, 2008

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Family Float June 30

With the lower St. Mary flowing and 34C forecast, we propose a family float through Box Canyon for Monday.

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

TRIPS JUNE 23rd to 29th

Upper St. Mary's

Well this year has been great for the upper St. Mary's river. We have had consistent flows of anywhere from 70 cms to 100 cms. These flows give you a variety of playing opportunities. Some of the waves get more defined and playful while others change shape and get pushier, making it harder to stay in for long amounts of time. But Everything is playful at these flows and I do mean everything. I can't say enough with words, but I have had a BLAST on all the surf waves and features that were just NOT around last year.
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

TRIPS JUNE 16th to 22nd

Crowsnest River - June 14, 2008

So I am finally able to tell you about the Crowsnest River trip we just had recently, but not only do I get to tell you all about it... you can live it vicariously through us in the video slide I made up at the bottom of this post.

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

TRIPS JUNE 5th - 15th

Kayaks for Sale

from Irene & Hubert

Kayak garage sale June 7+8
Or call whenever.....
Hubert has these boats for sale
Dagger GT XL $650 (this boat is like new)
Perception Pirouette $200
Prijon Fly $200

(Great prices for new paddlers looking to get into the sport - Stew)