Thursday, July 21, 2005

First Descent of "The Faucet"...Endall Creek B.C.

When I was up with Shane attempting the upper, upper Ashlu gorge about a month back he asked me if I had ever hiked up to check out the waterfall on Endall Creek. I hadn't and he insisted that it was this super clean 50 footer. It was not until two weeks later up the Ashlu valley when I made the short jaunt from the take out of the upper run with Ethan Smith to look at the falls. From 200 feet up the drop looked sweet. Ethan and I scrambled around for an hour or so trying to get vantage and perspective on the drop. We concluded it was big, but clean. I had dreams about running this water fall for the next two weeks.

one might be able to see why I could not stop dreaming about it

photo by Bryan Smith

With a solid crew of 5 in town from Seattle and the weather the best in weeks, the weekend was shaping up to produce further explorations into Endall Creek. We ran the Callghan and Soo on Saturday, grabed some eats at Pasta Lupino in Whistler, hit the swing at Jonaven's a few times, and eventually made camp at the take out for the upper Ashlu run. The sky was clear and crisp and we all went to bed knowing that we would awake to the towering ice fields that surrounded us.

The morning was filled with anticipation about the waterfall. We headed up to have a look. Both Drew and I had brought a plethora of climbing gear to rap down into the canyon and ascend back out. Drew decided to drop into the lip of the drop from above, while Jonaven, Ethan, and I all rapped down to the pool at the base of the falls. This part of the process went really smooth. In fact the scariest part of this mission was discovering that the pool and exit route was good to go. Meaning there were not too many excuses left not to run it.

the view from the pool at the base of "The Faucet"

photo by Jonaven Moore

We had the crew for safety and communication signals, the weather was stunning and we got an early start, we had fixed routes into the top and bottom of the drop, and I was ready to fire it up. After a half hour escapade with the ascending part of the task, I made it back to the canyon to re-connect with Drew. The line was pretty tech at the entry. The water falls down a short ledge that creates a kicker spout on the right and a folding seam on the left. The move was to enter left and drive past the seam onto and straight off of the spout. Drew confirmed that this was a big move but it would go and also found a small pebble area 100 yards up from the lip I could rap into to start from. I started getting all fired up and put on my boating gear. The crew rallied behind in full support. Jonaven and Ethan rapped back down to set safety at the pool, Drew dropped back onto the lip for photos and central cordination and communication, Eric set up for footage, and Brian and Matt helped lower my boat and paddle to me once I had rapped in. It was a full blown mission at this point. If we would have had radios we could have solved so many communication headaches, but in the end I was sitting perched on a small gravel area, deep in a canyon, just above the lip of a 50 footer, tucking myself into the trusty H3.

I gave Drew the thumbs up and a whistle, he gave me the same signal back, and then on my whistle it was game on. Came into the entry just how I wanted, got a stroke in to pull myself across the seam onto the spout, launched off the spout, spotted my landing, and then stuck the perfect entry into the pool. It was a sick drop! My biggest pure vert falls to date for sure. I guess with the 1st D I get to name the drop eh? "The Faucet" seems like a nice fit. Check out the FOOTY!

just about to go deep

photo by Ethan Smith

So in the end...a six hour mission for 40 seconds of whitewater. It was sweet. It would not have happened without the teamwork of everyone. Killer day. To finish it off, we ran the upper Ashlu. Like I said before...the Ashlu valley deserves multiple visits by every boater.

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