In the aftermath of the huge runoff year that was 2011, we were all speculating that many of the late season classics might not come in because of persistent high flows - for some runs that was true. For example, I don't think anybody got down the Stikine this year, and the Homathko had just a week long window when the weather was still decent. It got run by a few groups, which is cool because it seems to have fallen out of the limelight in recent years - maybe it was popular this season because no Stikine crews had the chance to fire that one up.
Dipper Creek is another of those runs that needs really low flows, and after not coming in to low levels before the fall rains began many of us thought it just wouldn't happen before it got too cold. Well, turns out it dropped down to low enough flows in early November. In retrospect, that's probably the latest in the year it's still reasonable - we put on to run just Vertigo Gorge through the upper Squamish in sub-zero temps with some ice on the rocks down by the river. It was still a wicked day - in fact, running the lower reaches of Dipper makes for a pretty classic day of kayaking with some fantastic canyons, good whitewater and waterfalls and a lot less stress than trying to run the uber-canyoned out middle stretch of the run. Not a bad way to bring the season to a close.
Here are some shots from the day. Thanks to Maxi and Sandy for lending the great images for us to use!
The massive Doug Fir that stands watch over the Dipper Camp clear cut. There are several of these massive trees left standing in the area. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
Todd Wells rolling over the lip of the entrance waterfall to Vertigo gorge.
Hanging out in the Vertigo Gorge teacup - a large mob descended Dipper this year. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
Said mob. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
The rapid that exits the teacup perfectly fits a modern creek boat. There were some short but inconsequential beatings there. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
Me and Fred, in the heart of Vertigo. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
A perfect beam of light at the exit of the gorge. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
The 20 footer just above the confluence - BC Groove Tube? Sandy Macewan photo.
Squamish confluence falls. Sandy Macewan photo.
Rob Murphy heading down the rapids of the upper Squamish below the Dipper confluence. There aren't many canyons like this one. Maxi Kniewasser photo.
Just above the take out. Maxi Kniewasser photo.