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.
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.
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 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: 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