Thursday, September 27, 2007

British Columbia 2007 Creeking trip part 2.

BC 2007 Trip Part 2: SOO with Upper Canyon and Middle Cheakamus (aka, poop run).

TK: There comes a time in most paddling trips where you figure out what looked good online vs. what you can get done with flows, weather, paddling, beta, etc and what needs to get scratched off your list. For us after looking at Fear Canyon of the Elaho at 200 CMS (that is Cubic Meters per second or 7,000+ cfs for those boater who speak Ah-mur-a-cun), we soon realized that the Box Canyon of the Ashlu and Fear Canyon were out for us until the flows came down. So we went back up to the Whistler area with some other ideas.

A Typical BC river scene on the Middle Cheakamus. Photo: CM

TK: We had heard that the Middle Soo was a really good river with a mini gorge section right above the middle (upstream of the 'Normal put-in). We put on and ferried across looking upstream. Everything I could see looked really fun so I figured I would just keep hiking up. The further up we went, the better things got and we just keep going up the railroad tracks looking down at big drop after big drop. Finally, since we had two guys who could set safety down in the gorge, Chris and I decided to give it a go.

Chris Menges, drop 2 of about 6 stacked drops on the Soo mini gorge, getting ready to punch the must run hole 50' below. Photo: Dave.

CM: Drops 2, 3 and 4 as seen from below in the Soo mini gorge. Unfortunately the camera ran out of batteries before TK and I were running them.

The top 3 drops, like all drops from 200 feet above, looks straight forward.
TK on the mini gorge section of the Soo. Water level reveals a little more punch that the 200 foot above river level scout reveled. Only six more rapids like this in the next 1/4 mile to go. Photo: Dave

TK: The upper 1/4 mile of the Soo was high quality section of rapids, and well worth the hike up from the middle Soo put in. The middle Soo alone had some really fun, long and continuous sections that were a blast which all blended together in my brain other than remembering they were a lot of fun.
Looking downstream after the crux of the Soo mini gorge.

Middle Cheakamus

TK getting ready to probe 'poo falls' on the Middle Cheakamus. Photo: CM

TK: Its funny how stories and beta around the campfire don't always help you out. We had heard about one group from another year really having a lot of fun on the middle Cheakamus. This contradicted what we were hearing from a group with multiple swims, lost boats to watch out for, and hikes out, so it's pretty hard to know what you’re getting into.

TK Dropping in. Photo: CM. This falls is not just a simple plop and drop, it's a 4 part rapid that wants to put you into the bottom right wall before the huge log jam around the corner.

TK on part 2 of the poo falls rapid above and below. Photo: CM Check out The VIDEO of TK running the falls here (bonus = a little carnage).

TK on part 3 of the drop....riding the water that surges hard on the river left wall before it surges hard river right at the exit of the drop (follow sequence above to below). Photos: CM

TK: Timing the big surge in the runnout was critical and somewhat tricky. Failure to time the surge quite right sent you straight across the river against the rock wall.

Chris on the first drop (above) and charging out into the oncoming, left slamming current (below). Photos: TK

CM: After the falls section, the river flows into two huge wood piles. TK on the second log jam, looking for a place to seal launch into the gorge. This is a BC style log jam/strainer/wood pile at it's finest! Photo: CM

TK: Chris Menges seal launching into the unknown. After this came the adventure part of the run as we were not quite sure what to expect other than that the river dropped into a few gorges where we needed to be heads up about some wood and a big hole or. Photo: TK

TK in the eddy around the corner and below the seal launch....last eddy before dropping into the gorge. Photo: CM

TK (above) and Dave (below) drop into the Middle Cheakamus canyon. Photo: CM

The rest of these shots are from random rapids in the middle Cheakamus. Great run with lots of boat scouting! Photo: TK

Things that looked tiny from the bank and above usually had a good bit of punch, like this random piece of boogie. TK lovin BC. Photos: CM

Read and run, no-scout, gorged in boogie water (above and below). Photos: CM

Callaghan/Cheakamus Provincial Campground at the takeout; a great place to takeout, have a fire and rest up for another day of BC fun.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Find Nicole Contest" Winner & Answers revealed!

We'd like to congratulate Mike Maccini of Hannover, New Hampshire for winning the "Find Nicole Contest" and winning a free Wedge E PFD. We have sent him his choice, a size L Wedge in Red. Answers to Nicoles hidden locations on the CKS website are revealed below.

Stay tuned for upcoming free gear contests like 'Pimp my Gearbag". If you have any cool ideas for online free gear contest that you'd like to see sponsored by CKS please post in the comments section below.

Nicole Touring on Twin Lakes. Photo: Chris Menges.

Following are the links to the products in which Nicole is hidden:

Nicole in the Astral Wonderpro (hidden in additional images)

Nicole in the FNA X-Tra Helmet

Nicole in the Pyranha Castro Hat (in additional images)

Monday, September 17, 2007

BC Trip: Opening Runs

CM: British Columbia absolutely rocks for whitewater paddling (as well as...pretty much everything else). This is part 1 in a series of PHOTO HEAVY posts about our recent BC trip where we paddled for 9 days straight, getting on as much Colorado Class 5 (which is BC Class 4 - lol) as possible, with a number of cruiser runs to warm up on. If you are interested in paddling BC (which you should be) check these posts out!

Text by Tim Kelton (TK) and Chris Menges (CM)

Ok, so before getting into it, here are a few intro shots that sum up what BC was all about to me on this trip-

BC is all about sweet drops with sweet long as you are landing in the right spot (above). Photo: Amos Hockmeyer.

BC is all about paddling runs like 'Fear Canyon' without a guide, being scared, getting out of the gorged section and seeing intense beauty all around. Photo: Tim Kelton

BC is all about the picture above.....Deep river gorges, huge mountains, thick forests full of cute, snugly bears and glaciers. Photo: Chris Menges.

BC is all about glaciers....and the rivers they feed. Here's to all doing what we can to ensure that these glaciers stick around for more than 15 - 20 years! Photo: Chris Menges.

CM: Ok, so let's get a little more eye candy before we get into more reading about the trip. The following is a sequence of TK on the first waterfall of the Upper Cheakamus river near Whistler. It's on the class 4, quickie 'after work' run (below the waterfall). I'm not sure if the falls are normally run or not...guess it depends on who you are. We took a bunch of sequences of this drop because it was easy to photograph. Photos: Chris Menges.


TK: How the trip came about-
Doing night laps on the Embudo this spring, E-Ro was telling me all about BC and running the Ashlu and Elaho last fall. Guess I'm like most kayakers and have seen plenty of footage of BC, but hearing his descriptions and seeing some of the posts by the TRL guys about what was happening in the Ashlu drainage really motivated me to try and make BC this fall. So Chris, Amos, and I decided to give it a go and see how much we could get done on a pretty short trip.

Our rental Liberty, day 1, waiting in downtown Squamish to be rallied hard! Photo: Tim Kelton

After dealing with traveling with boats, cars, roof racks, and gear for a good part
of a day, we put on Callahan creek for a warm up. Callahan gets this mixed
rap around campfires, but for us coming off a Colorado/New Mexico August it was
a good variety of water and some pretty straight forward waterfalls to get in
the swing of things. The big joke around BC was "oh it's super boney, where
you from? oh Colorado, you'll think it's big water" which sadly was
true. Callahan is shown below at what locals call "Low-Medium'ish"

Amos Hockmeyer on the first Callaghan Creek waterfall (low-medium flow). Photo: Tim Kelton

The most perfect 20 footer you could ask for. Amos having more 'low water' fun. Photo: Tim Kelton

Amos Enjoying some boney ass BC boogie water on Callaghan. Photo: Tim Kelton


CM: Here's a quick flashback from my trip last year-

To see more Callaghan, check out a VIDEO of the Callaghan waterfalls from last years BC trip at even ‘lower’ water. ALSO, since we had better light last year on our Callaghan day, here are few of the stills from that day:

2006 flashback: Bryan Owen in boogie water pool. Photo: Chris Menges.

2006 flashback: Chris Menges on wood drop. Photo: Bryan Owen.

2006 flashback: Bryan Owen on the big drop. Photo: Chris Menges.

TK: From here we started going on different runs around the Whistler area for the
next few days. The upper and middle Cheackamus and the Birkenhead, all of which were at pretty good runnable levels but not super high.

Our campsite for most of the week at the confluence of the Cheakamus River and Callaghan Creek. Not a bad place to be! Photo: Chris Menges.

Putting in on the Birkenhead, a super fun boulder garden run with a few long, complex and continuous drops. We had rainy weather for the first 4 days, which made us really appreciate the clear skies, drier camping and awesome views once the weather broke. Photo: Tim Kelton

Chris Menges on the Birkenhead. Photo: Amos Hockmeyer


CM: So, that's basically it for this post, Callaghan, Upper Cheakamus with waterfall and Birkenhead- our Warm Up Runs.

We were also able to get on: The Soo (including the "gorge" section), the Middle Cheakamus (with 'shit falls'), Tatlow Creek (it's the best), Fear Canyon of the Elaho (it was all of our first times in there and yes, I was scared in places) the Green (cruisy Whistler local) and the Ashlu (pleeeaasse save it!!!!). These runs will be covered with lots of photos and more entertaining text in UPCOMING POSTS soon!

For this post we are leaving you with more shots of the Cheak waterfall from some different angles.

Tim Kelton Scouts his line (above) and hits it (below). Photos: Chris Menges.


Chris Menges on the Cheak falls. Sequence by Amos Hockmeyer. Side shot by Tim Kelton.

A big shout out to our new buddy Dave (or 'Dangerous Dave' as we fondly referred to him) from Seattle, who paddled quite a few runs with us, gave us good beta and enjoyed a few pallet fires and beers with us after days on the river. Cheers, Dave!

Dave celebrates his first run of the Cheakamus falls. Photo: Chris Menges.

Again, don't forget to check out upcoming BC posts as we get into more challenging whitewater.