Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Ashlu...Pulling Rank as the Best River in the Valley

As the paddling season starts to fall out in many areas across the west coast, BC is just starting to come into it's prime. And while paddlers are scampering around the province in search of so many possibilities, us Squampton locals start to hone in on one river valley. One drainage that supports three of the best creek runs I have ever paddled and some consolation prizes for when those are too high. Of course in typical BC fashion the road into the Ashlu in no paved, buffed masterpiece. In fact it is a fine example of why a Subaru or Mazda 626 does not cut it in BC. The good news is that the major washout just above the 50/50 bridge has now been repaired so that all the runs are accessible to a decent 4X4. Here are some shots from the upper run. While this a great run, I would argue it is a consolation prize, with the Tatlow, Box Canyon, and Lower Mile pulling rank for sure.

max showing us how to boof

photo by Bryan Smith

typical sweet boulder garden boogie in the upper

photo by Bryan Smith

moving onto more reasonable log extraction missions!

photo by Jonaven Moore

matt showing how technical and tight the upper run can be

photo by Bryan Smith

As many paddlers are becoming aware of, the Ashlu remains the most threatened river in Southwest BC. Ledcore corporation has been given the go ahead by the provincial government to construct a 49 megawatt hydro project on the river, which would forever change the nature of this valley. While I could spew lots of opinions, facts, and propaganda at you, the bottom line is that as paddlers and stewards of the river we all need to be aware of what is going on here. The people of Squamish overwhelmingly said no to the project on several occasions. The provincial government did not like this answer and has basically taken away all local government input in energy projects across the entire province as a result. You can either trust that the BC government really knows what is better for the "greater good" or get up, stand up, come paddle the Ashlu River and see first hand how important this resource is. Could not be a better time to act. The Ashlu River Festival. is BC's biggest whitewater festival and it is coming up the fourth week in August. The event could not be timed any better this season. The Tatlow will be prime, the party will be epic, and lots of boaters will be in town. Come show your support for one of the best rivers in the world!

No comments: