Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Local Gold..and Frost

The last few weeks have been great for kayaking here in the Fraser Valley as a lower temperature start to the spring helped hold off the full on flood force of the creeks to keep them runnable for a fair amount of time I've been able to pick off some of the local classics. Hitting classics such as Norrish, Silverhope, Stein, and Coquihalla Canyon for the first times in the last couple weeks and even starting after work runs on things besides Chilliwack Canyon, which has also been running at decent levels now for a few weeks.

Detailed info, guides and trip reports for the above runs can be found on, so I won't go into too much detail on them except to say that Norrish ranks up as one of the best I've done, it's so awesome to have 3 (4 once Tamihi Forest Service Road is repaired) established class IV-V creeks within an hour of where I live!

Last night I was surprised to find 2 people besides myself up for a mission I've long been meaning to hit up. Tanner emerged from his domestic servitude for a night and Kiah manned up from a relaxing day off so we could all rally Upper Frost Creek. Perfectly described and accurate info to a tee on Lower Frost can be found on as well.

I first hiked Upper Frost knowing little about it except that it potentially existed last year, it was low (for the tiny creek that it is) water and absolutely choked with wood. The nice thing is that it is very easily accessible with a nice established hiking trail alongside which leads up to a 15 foot waterfall. I went back for a hike a few weeks ago and was excited to find much less wood in play for what could easily be seen from the trail (about half the run can be seen easily) I got excited.

Last night with high water levels, which are required for Frost as it's so low volume (the Upper actually needs even more water!) we ventured in prepared to run what spoke to us. Long story short there is a 15 foot waterfall that is marginally runnable but has a log in it at the moment. Downstream are some goods of similar character to lower Frost but steeper with the odd drop looking good but wanting just a bit more water to fill in the lines. The wood situation is a lot better than before but there are still at least 2 portages in the upper as well as a section away from the path that we didn't bother to look at. We ended up putting in about a third of the way down and running into the lower, which is a run I'll only do once with all the must make, one boat eddies above logjams and portaging it wasn't worth it. Upstream of the falls however it canyons right up and heads around the corner towards the US border, I wonder what's up there...but it doesn't look accessible at all though I've heard rumours of beautiful double falls upstream.

I'd go back to run the waterfall if it were clean, or the Upper with no wood and more water to fill things in, but the odds of finding it in that condition are pretty bleak, but who knows, I might get bored some day and in season that path has the second best berry crop in BC! In the meantime enjoy the pictures!

Tanner looking confusedly upstream at some Upper Frost goodness

Typical Upper Frost, like the lower but steeper and needs more water

Upper Frost

Lip of the waterfall, slide in down this slide and toss a stroke over the lip...wood not visible but horribly in play

The waterfall runout

Lower Frost is full of riverwide logjams with difficult to catch eddies

Kiah on the best rapid of the lower

Author rounding out a high water Chilliwack Canyon run. Photo courtesy Joe Robins.

Dan Bentley knocking in another round of high water Chilli Canyon goodness. Photo courtesy Joe Robins.