Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Ashnola 2013 / Callaghan Race Reminder!

This year marked the third year I've been able to take advantage of the Ashnola River near Keremeos, BC. About a 2.5-3 hour drive from Chilliwack or about the same distance as Whistler or Robe Canyon. We had five weekends out there, which seems to be about on par with the last few years. Flow ranges were from low to medium high and groups ranging from 1 to 16 people. It was the first year a few of the heavy hitters who were up in Whistler got out, and they seemed to enjoy it. The weather hasn't been as consistently good as in past years out there but for Canada Day weekend it was amazing!

If you're unfamiliar the Ashnola is 22 km of fairly continuous class IV/IV+ depending on flows, almost all roadside and almost all read and run. Definitely a favorite for Fraser Valley boaters. It presents 5 or 6 more distinct rapids and changes character from low volume creeky at the top to medium volume boulder gardeny at the bottom 6 km. It runs at a range of flows though when it gets low the bottom 6 becomes the most viable option. This year the entire 22 km could be done with between 2 and 4 portages depending on level. Putting in at the 12 km mark, the most common put in, provides a very continuous 12 km of class IV/IV+ where you don't ever need to get out of your boat! It also starts you off with the longest and steepest rapid of the run, Fantasy Island, which used to have a 300 foot tree growing in the middle of the river at the exit of the rapid, which has since broken off, but the stump remains.

Typical flow range is focused around June but can include April through July, possibly even August depending on the weather and snowpack and how low or high you're willing to run it. It will get very high with lots of rain and peak snowmelt and very low the rest of the year. There is also a prime dirtbag campspot right at the takeout!

Also a reminder to make it out to Whistler for the 3rd annual Callaghan Creek Race on July 20th! Information can be found at

Ben Marr sails Final Exam

Marcos Gallegos, Sandy MacEwan and Corey May in the thick of it

Ryan Bayes, every the veteran, showing people how it's done

Marcos with a sweet boof around the corner from Sabertooth

Ben, Marcos and Sandy enjoying a second lap while everyone else is enticed by cold beers at the takeout. Photo by Ryan Bayes

Ben following Marcos over Pyramid Boof. Photo by Ryan Bayes

Typical Ashnola boogie. Photo by Ryan Bayes

Author sizing up Sabertooth at a low level. Photo by Dan Bentley

Author with Mason Lacy and Matt Iwama down typical Ashnola boogie at low levels in the bottom 6. Photo by Dan Bentley

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