The Guidebook

To visit the LiquidLore Guidebook, click right here. It's the starting point for all kinds of whitewater beta and the main reason this site exists - be sure to check it out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Rutherford Creek Revival

After over a months hiatus, LiquidLore returns with some fresh beta for the BC zone and tons of new stuff to post up to the site. With summer in full swing and rivers running throughout the land it's hard to justify sitting down to write about and fool with kayaking photos when I can be out boating instead! Coming down the pipe are more BC snipets, some fresh-off-the-plate updates from the East, and as is the custom for internet-kayaking in June/July (wouldn't want to be left out eh?), updates and new reports out of California.

My first trip down the Rutherford came on the last day of May after blazing hot temperatures in southwest BC - not much to report, check out the beta page if you want to see it for yourself. The Rutherford is a fine stream typical of the area - there is a lot of boulder action in there, and some good bedrock as well. You got to get there at the height of snowmelt these days though as this one has fallen to a run-of-the-river hydro project.

The only thing of note on our trip came in the form of an avalanche. It sounds worse than it actually was. Upon getting up in the morning and checking the level, Kyle confirmed the level was perfect. We left for breakfast, and just as we were leaving we noticed that the powerhouse was not producing power any more - could we be getting even more water on that fine sunny day?

We certainly were going to get more water - returning after food we found a river that was obviously much higher, and it had turned from that nice southern BC cloudly blue to angry brown. We were scared, and debated the merits and possbile pitfalls of putting on a swollen, muddy river without making any decisions about it. Matt was the only one really fired up about it - he's boated a lot in Colorado where apparently high, brown and with no eddies is the way they roll.

Just as we were going nowhere in the decision making process, one of the dam operators came by and explained the situation - there had been a big avalanche upstream that morning that clogged up the river - the resulting drop in flow at the powerhouse caused the generators to stop, as we saw when going for food. Apparently the riverbed dried up for a while, and the brown and high water we were seeing was a result of the bursting of the avalanche dam. With this beta, knowing the river was dropping again and that they would start diverting water soon we headed for the put in, finding a perfect level and blue water once again. What ensued was an uneventful but great day of boating with a level slowly dropping from perfect medium to a little on the low side.

The Rutherford is a good one - go check it out..

These signs are everywhere in BC - people may complain about logging, but it certainly makes getting to rivers easy.

The beautiful (not) artifical course at the end of the Rutherford.

Strolling through the BC forest - really not a big deal on the Rutherford.

Money shot of Matt Mackinnon on the first waterfall on the run.

Discussing the portage up a rotten earth bank - this portage is around a sizable waterfall that while runnable has a gross rapid immediately below. The falls does get run on occasion.

The main reason to portage is this mess - it tragically clamied the life of one boater a few years back.



More, bigger boulders.

Kyle Dunn mushing through one of the last notable rapids on the Rutherford.

1 comment:

tim said...

just to add --- the portage at the big falls is easier if you get out one more eddy upstream to your picture there almost is even a trail. The falls has been run on both sides as well -- left at low flow (once) and right at high flows. The right hand side of the pool forms a strong whirly eddy that traps logs. The rapid below use to be run at low water but the boof over the right side of the hole is guarded by a shallow upsloping rock in the landing. The second waterfall in the lower has been run a grand total of about 3 times and the 1st D was from someone missing the last eddy. Apparently it was an exciting thing to watch with the boater trapped in the caves on the right for quite some time.