Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2nd Times a Charm for Lower Tamihi Creek

After our first aborted attempt at Lower Tamihi Creek, where it turns out we put on too high up at too low a water level and had an interesting go losing a paddle in an undercut and having a self rescue on the 2nd boulder garden we were running...we knew we'd have to go back another day. Compounding things were the fact that we left the breakdown paddle in the Jeep and none of us knew the run and we put on later in the day than suggested...just to make things more fun. We ended up having a good time getting our paddler and his boat across 2 channels of river with wood downstream, hiking up to the road and hiking out the 45 minutes it takes to get into this river...which, of course, we had just hiked in...this all made for a very unproductive 3-4 hour mission where we learned that even though a creek is 5 minutes from your's still a creek, and demands the same respect as a creek hours out in the bush.
Our ill-chosen put-in
Getting ready at the takeout bridge
The much vertical hike out
The roping of Jordan, undercut rock in foreground
For the long weekend, after a good week of 1.6 and 1.8 (highish water) Chilli canyon runs we headed down to The Ashnola amazing 25-30 km of perfectly runnable non-stop roadside (almost completely) class 4 river that only runs during about a month long period typically, or less, in the spring (June usually). We got there and it was at a perfect 2.5 level (medium-high), waking up the next morning it had rained a lot and ballooned to almost 4 (too high for most)...with our group we figured it best to run a flatter/upper section, but it turned out to be just a bit too woody to make it worth reading and running down. We hiked out. There was a good rapid above our put-in that a few people ran.

Ryan running the put-in rapid
Sunday we decided to finally nail off Lower Tamihi Creek, with a different crew including some people who'd run it before...almost makes sense. It was a good run, with a solid medium level, maybe slightly higher we put on lower down at the proper put in for the run which was much cleaner. There were some cool rapids on the run and unfortunately some choked with wood as well...the best rapid before Horseshoe (a bend in the river with some awesome rapids I'd love to take a closer look at sometime when I'm a better boater) and the awesome rapid right after horseshoe were both made unrunnable with wood unfortunately. Causing for a seal launch and one lengthy, bad portage through devils club central. There were a few rapids that only a few people ran, but mostly it was a good time bombing down and eddy hopping. We were the first runners of a new rapid caused by a landslide from the road...a loooong way up. It really makes me want to get on the amazing upper section of this creek before it is exploited and pillaged by the greedy rich corporations who have never even seen it, enabled by the good 'ol Liberal government of British Columbia, in their bid to destroy all of our last natural bits of beauty at taxpayer expense.

The end of the sketchy portage

Looking downstream at runnable goodness

The log blocking the coolest normally runnable rapid

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