April in BC, if it's not raining, can be a little grim for people who like to enjoy whitewater kayaking on a regular basis. While much of the country is experiencing the full force of the spring freshet most of the rivers in the mountain time zones are still dried up. The weather may be nice but where all the snow lives up in the mountains it's still cold enough to keep everything on lock-down.
Nonetheless even if it's dry and cold and the water is low there's always something to do, like going skiing - or if you can't wait to go kayaking, just going kayaking. Last weekend we went to check out the Upper Squamish river, above the rafting run. There's not a lot out there on this one aside from a quick note on TRL. Canyons looked good. Dipper Creek is a tributary - very good. Sunny, beautiful day - even better.
What's in there isn't classic kayaking, but the scene will blow your mind. It's Dipper lite - it's got the canyons and none of the waterfalls. Bring along your granny and the family cat, they'll love it in there.
In all seriousness, the Upper Squamish is worth a visit once to see the river corridor - you could do this by using the take out below the third canyon as your Dipper Creek take out, if that's what you're up there to do. If not it's a great trip for people who don't want to paddle Dipper to be able to experience the same kind of geology, just on a little smaller scale. The whitewater that is runnable isn't too hard and the portaging isn't too bad for what it is. This link will tell you everything you need to know - and enjoy the photos.
It's still winter in dem mountains.
Just at the put in we reached the snow. There was a suprising amount of rockfall on the road on the drive in.
Rob Murphy heads in for the first Irish descent of the Upper Squamish.
The entrance to canyon #1.
A walled in mank fest - it's not often you see waterfalls made only of old growth logs.
Open valley between canyons.
The suprisingly mellow whitewater of the suprisingly tight third canyon.
Come to the light.
That's some serious erosion - smooth right to the top.
The best rapid of the trip, below Dipper Creek.
A quick update about Norrish Creek out in Mission. New photos from a trip back in March, and a light upgrade to the beta page. Norrish is super fun - check it out some time. Try it out at high water and let me know how it goes - it's always the same lowish but good fun level every time I go.
The second rapid on the Norrish.
Phil Morley sliding the slide.
The much anticipated "Must Run". Paddle under the waterfall for the full effect.
The hole at the end of the Must Run - it has a well-deserved reputation for handing out significant beatings, not unlike the one in this videoat that very spot.
Stoked to make it through beating-free. The Norrish canyon is remarkable.
Further along the run, another great scene.