Sunday, September 22, 2013

Silverhope Creek

Silverhope Creek is a hidden treasure that flows under the Trans-Canada Highway in Hope, BC, approximately 45 minutes drive from Chilliwack..or the same driving time as Norrish Creek in Mission.

After long being a run every so often gem, this little puppy has in recent years started to see some major paddling traffic thanks to more paddlers now living in and around Hope, Chilliwack paddlers using it as their often afterwork fix, the large range of runs on it (class III to V), it's roadside accessibility (a true rarity in BC), the fact that it runs later into the summer than most other creeks with it's buffering lake which also prevents high water flashiness along with it's higher altitude location. With all these reasons you can't go wrong! The same higher altitude means it runs less in the winter than lower elevation goodies.

I must say, it's also one of my favorites, it has a classic quality stretch of continuous class IV boulder gardens with 4-5 larger drops interspersed along it's most run section that can handle a wide range of water levels. It also has a class V section that comes out of the lake and runs down to the class IV section which I've heard a wide range of stories on from 'not worth it' to 'how come no one runs that great section anymore', it's definitely on my 'to-do' list. It also has 4 optional class V rapids immediately below the class IV section takeout, followed by some manky 'portage' roadside stuff that definitely has lines and to my knowledge has been run before. Immediately below this is a decent length class III section which runs down to the Fraser River.

Something I'd definitely want to do one day is fire this up from the lake to the Fraser, running the whole creek, that would be a good day.

There is a gauge on Silverhope, but not online unfortunately. At the base of the bridge pillar on river left (not the Highway 1 bridge, the Flood-Hope road bridge) are orange lines with numbers marking the levels under rebar which used to be used to gauge. For the class IV classic section 2.5 is a great medium level and I wouldn't run it below 2 normally, though I have done it to 1.5 or even lower maybe, and it gets rowdy above 3.5 for sure. For the class V sections use your own judgement obviously but probably a level closer to 2-2.5 I would imagine would go from what I've heard. Directions to the creek and put in/take out info for the different runs can be found on www.FraserValleyWhiteWater.com or www.LiquidLore.com.

Below is an amazing video done by the boys at Eskimo Pictures from April 2013:


Here are some pics all by Mike Seitzinger from early 2013:

Juan and Tristan descending from the standard put-in

Juan under the first bridge

Jen Eddie starts at the bridge

Tristan in the challenging roadside rapid

Watch out for the log!

Tristan scouting the boof drop

...and treating it to it's namesake

Juan airs it out

Class IV boogie fades to class III after the last bridge

Roadside class IV, a rarity in BC!

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