Have you ever wondered why the Ashlu Mine Run is called the Mine Run? Well, it's neither a witty nor a spectacular explanation - there is an old gold mine right next to the river at the start of the run. It's actually pretty cool - on the way to the put in you pass right by the entrance to the mine shaft that was left wide open so you can just walk right in. The only other abandoned mines I've seen (in Newfoundland and West Virginia) were both closed off with permanent steel gates. Maybe there are a few gold nuggets still floating around down there.
Greg, bummed that his gold digging was unsuccessful.
The Mine section of the Ashlu is in my books one of the most underrated sections around - it's probably because it has a a few portages - one of them can be sketchy if you use the shorter portage option - I don't know why you'd do that though - there is a no-stress option just a bit upstream. Discounting this portage (you can put in below the other one) the whitewater is top quality bedrock boating in a small canyon and it never fails to impress every time I go there. At high water this is a fierce section of class V that sends a lot of people running.
While the local lads might revel in torturing visiting kayakers by dragging them down the Mine at high water in July it remains a top quality section of whitewater even a lower levels when the Box Canyon is running (or these days when there is a whitewater release on the Box Canyon). One of the best, proper days of boating around here is to run the two sections together all as one long river - a rarity in the Squamish/Whistler zone where most sections are just a few km long. For a few weeks in late summer and early fall this is easy to do, and it's great fun.
Of course it's also possible to ride the lightning down a high water Mine and paddle the Box Canyon on dam overflow earlier in the summer - I'm not sure if anyone has done this yet. Either way, that would be one hell of a day of class V boating. Hell, someone should go ahead and run the Squamish Triple Crown - Tatlow into the Mine into the Box. The race is on.
Would you too like to run the Mine? Here is all the beta you need - including the critical information about the portage half way down the run:
Check it out. Here's some photos of the Mine, and some more shots of what to expect if you mix it up with a run down the Box afterwards - it's that time of year, get it if you can!
Matt Kompass's favorite river: dropping into the bottom half of the Mine Rapid.
The Mine sports a few humongous holes - Fred and Leif look on as Matt gets ready to smash his way through one.
Greg, not so bummed out any more.
Running the Mine into Box pretty much invalidates the excuse "I'm not warmed up enough to paddle 50/50 today". Greg hits send.
Putting in the less stressful way on the Box.
The first rapid on the Box, much like the Mine, is not trivial. Things only get better.