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.


Anonymous said...

hey guys. looks like it was a great trip great times. we just paddled the whole cheak yesterday. didnt drop the first falls. but rest of the river is great hey! i did it in a inflatable duckie. might be a first@!?

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