Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Big Silver Creek Trip Rpt & Slide Show

When looking at the Lower BC Backroads Mapbook, Big Silver Creek stands out like a sore thumb. As such, it's been on the radar since way back in the day, & the idea of checking it out seemed to pop up maybe once or twice a year. There had been some chatter that one of the BC OG's (Stuart &/or Dave Reid) had done some exploring up that zone, & that it was reportedly holding bigtime .. but nothing more detailed than that hearsay, & so for whatever reason, the effort was never really made to go bushwhackin' over in that part of the province. It's difficult sometimes to motivate for a mission with long drive times & high likelihood of failure when there's epic runs surrounding you that are a sure thing.

That is until Chris Tretwold lobbed the first bomb at us back in the first week of April:

"Hey kids,

I just spent some time this weekend scouting and came across something really
nice. If I had to guess it would be somewhere in the 80-140 fpm range, hard to tell for sure. At least 7 miles long, and just about 5 of those miles lie in beautiful box canyon. The rock is granite and the scenery is of dome mtns and pine forests. And its a f*#@ing river! Everything I saw was pool drop and alot was clean, i saw hardly any wood in the river (thank god im tired of wood already).

There, hopefully I have your attention."

Um, yeah, interest piqued ..

Then he sent some video & photos .. I believe my reaction was:

"GODSUCK!!! this email is up in my wheelhouse!!!

i am all fired up tretwold. any day after this coming sunday. name it. we're there."

((Don't ask what that first word might mean, I have no idea .. I think I just blurted it out, but trust that it is not derogatory & it does not make baby Jesus sad.))

So anyway, Schertl & I totally disregarded our very own Zero Tolerance For Cold Wet Weather rule, & drove headlong into a fierce headwind -- after a post-work Top Tye lap, natch -- with a B'ham ETA of 8 pm. Tert, Ryan & Hale would have fresh filets of salmon poppin' out of the oven upon our arrival & after some coffee & further arm twistin' we'd be off to face the always interesting US/CAN border crossing & then drive through the night. Nothing like showing up to a chilly, soggy campsite at 2 or 3 in the a.m. with the prospect of an epic BC exploratory mission when you wake up a couple tossy-turny hours later.

The morning afforded us our first glimpse of the "creek" from a bridge spanning an intensely beautiful & very CaliSierra-esque gorge .. +/- 800-900 cfs charging over silky smooth granite dome rock, through nasty sieves, & over numerous perfect ledges -- hooray!

Then the real fun began. The put-in is a stunning 25-30 waterfall with a tricky lead-in, then the river ducks in & out of jaw-dropping sheer-walled BC granite gorges with manageable class IV & V rapids. In terms of character, this river is somewhere in between the Norrish & the Ashlu, if that makes any sense. Due to a super-late put-in on Saturday, we ended up leaving our boats in the canyon & hiking out to camp for the night. The next day, we finished the mission when we came to a totally unrunnable gorge on the second day. Knowing what we do now, we think we did the best possible contiguous "section" of BS, & could easily do it as a day trip.

Big Silver is totally worth any trouble it takes to figure out the logistics & flows .. Highly recommended! I'll let the photos do the rest of the blabbin'. Enjoy.

*** IMPORTANT NOTE ON THE SLIDESHOW: Roll your cursor over the main image window to get rid of the preview thumbnails & to maximize image window. Otherwise, the bottom hundred or so pixels of the image gets cut off! ***


Robert Payne said...

Beautiful. I guess the pin worked out okay?

Todd Gillman said...


re the "pin": the captain had already jumped ship well before his vessel became shipwrecked on the reef.

Hale said...


Todd Gillman said...

A pirate walks into a bar ..
.. with an enormous ship's helm sticking up out of his pants.

Confused, the bartender can’t help but ask, “What’s with the steering wheel, friend?”

“ARRRRGGH,” the pirate answers, “It’s drivin’ me nuts.”

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys,

Dave Reid here. Yup paddled it back in the day and swam. However, our reconnaissance involved paddling the small sections that were close to the road. After the floods from two years ago I am pretty sure it would have been a whole new river so sign yourself's up for the first descent. I swam at the small 15-2o footer that had cables in the river. The earlier creek that you passed getting there also has two runnable sections and on the lower section a nightmarish portage. We went up, but maybe with roaps you could go down. IT was a big burly waterfall that ran into the wall. Congrats on the recon and give me a ring if you head back. 604 898 5717.

Also, from memory it looked like there was a multipicity of runs to be had on the big silver.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the double post.

The other river's name is Cogburn creek. Also you have already probably done it but the trethaway near port douglas on the southern road is worth doing. The run is nothing special but the waterfall sure is.

Also Tipella was one of Daniel Delaverge's future project. Very small creek near port douglas that is about to be dammed/damned. Heard to scout. my e-mail

Anonymous said...

Did any of you know that there is a large number of run of the river power generation plants proposed for the Big Silver and its tributaries. There is an information meeting on Nov. 3, 2010 in Chilliwack at 5pm in the Evergreen Hall, Cheam Room, 9291 Corbould Street.

Shane Robinson said...

Thanks for the heads up on the meeting. It would be ashame to lose this free-flowing river.


Anonymous said...

Hey guys, we have untill Thursday 25th to comment to the BC EAO and tell them not to allow the hydro projects on these creeks. Statlu Creek is one of the other projects.