Saturday, June 16, 2007

"The Best Place on Earth"

After a record snowfall winter in British Columbia, it probably comes as no suprise that things have been juicy up North. While levels have settled over the past couple weeks due to colder temps, the melt is far from over. Between the local classics, some bushwacks in the BC backcountry, and some incredible sea kayak missions TRL has been well represented in BC so far this season.

For years the BC liscense plates have carried the slogan "Beautiful British Columbia". This year I started to see these new plates floating around and right away I noticed the slogan had changed to "The Best Place on Earth".

The old plate...

The new plate...

So here are a few reasons why BC is "The Best Place on Earth"... really just some solid updates on what is happening up North

1. Callaghan Creek

This run has to be one of the best runs to have in your backyard. Over the past couple weeks the levels have been a perfect medium-high flow. We have been busting out laps on this beauty in the evening. So much fun when you get this run dialed and just catch a few eddies here and there. Access is easy, it has a variety of styles of whitewater from IV+ boulder gardens to a perfect 25 foot waterfall, the sun comes directly into the canyon most of the day, every rapid me it is the perfect run.

Matt about ready to launch off the first ledge just after the put-in.

photo by Maximilian Kniewasser

Steve Rogers dropping the first waterfall. Way better this year without the log!

photo by Amy Christian

Graz launching the 25 foot waterfall

photo by Maximilian Kniewasser

Keep in mind that LEDCOR owns the water license on this river. According to Jan at the BC CREEK PROTECTION SOCIETY there is some kind of a moratorium on development of this particular project until after the 2010 winter games. The Nordic Center for the Olympics is going in up the valley as we speak. I have noticed some monitoring equipiment just below the take-out which most likely has to do with a flow study on the creek.

2. Ashlu Access

Two weeks ago when water was really high due to a week of warm weather, a few of us went up the Ashlu in hopes of hitting the Upper Ashlu. It is well above Tatlow and a big drive, but well worth the mission. The Ashlu was probably the highest I have seen it off of snowmelt.

Standing at the 50/50 bridge...think the Box Canyon might be a little high.

photo by Bryan Smith

We drove up past the mine run. Just crazy to see the excavation that they have done for the dam site. You used to drive up this side of the road and not even be able to see the river! Now it looks like a gravel pit with a river going through it, some old tires laying around...very scenic

photo by Bryan Smith

Now for some some disappointing news. There has been a huge avalance just above the put-in for the play run. It covers the road with debris for about 200 yards and is litered with huge trees and rock. Beyond a burely BC 4X4 mission.

Not just snow...lots of debris.

photo by Bryan Smith

Although or intial thought was that snow would melt and we might be able to get past...the pile of debris is extremely deep and full of big objects.

photo by Bryan Smith

I have already got a few emails this season asking about Tatlow and this certainly throws a bit of a curve ball in. I would expect Tatlow to be in from mid July until early August. This avalalanch is about 2km from the turnoff for Tatlow. So this year it looks like it is going to be a hiking mission. Probably about 5-6km total.

As much as I really wanted to be able to easily get up into that zone right now, I'm also stoked to know that the bears have that whole upper valley to themselves right now.

3. BC sea kayaking is just a vast and exploratory as the river paddling scene.

As some of you may know I have been working on a sea kayaking film PACIFIC HORIZONS. This Spring we did an incredible exploratory trip into the Discovery Islands area, a week long trip in the Bunsby Islands off the North end of Vancouver Island, and a bunch of other stuff. Here are a few pictures, but you should crusie over to the PACIFIC HORIZONS site and check out some of the stories and TRAILER.

Crystal clear water in the Discovery Islands

photo by Steve Rogers

Surfing the long boat on an epic wave!

photo by Steve Rogers

We had amazing weather and took ferry after ferry to get to some new destinations.

photo by Steve Rogers

The latest addition to the water tribe.

photo by Steve Rogers

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Aaahhh, The Best Place on Earth - where gangsters shoot each other in the streets, there are panhandlers on every street corner, thousands of homeless people, an unaffordable cost of living, a goverment that ignores most of the province, rampant urban sprawl, millions of dollars wasted on the Olympics...