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.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cascade Creek

What's up internet kayakers? Before I get to the meat of this post, here's some recent beta from the Ashlu, if you happen to be in this area. As of last weekend (26-04) the Box is running, and the big pinches are clear and free of wood. Go get some before the flows come up to summer levels - the work on the dam up there is still ongoing and there's a strong likelyhood this spring will be the last time it runs as a free-flowing river. The loss of this river to hydro developement is a real tragedy - it's heartbreaking to see what's happening up there every time I visit.

Check out the photo gallery update as well, for your viewing pleasure.

Cascade Creek - this one is found in the Fraser Valley east of Vancouver. While there is a long list of rivers to be found between Vancouver and Hope, they are generally of the wide open, not-so-steep variety. The Cascade, tucked away in a small valley near the southern end of Stave Lake is an exception to that generalization. Even if you were just to consider the two giant waterfalls at the end of the river the gradient is notable - above the falls, this small watershed is home to a steep section of boulder drops and a pristine, albeit short bedrock canyon. The biggest suprise about this creek is that there isn't a lot of beta out there to suggest it's run very often (it has been run though) - I don't know why.

Giant waterfalls at the end of the river aside - that have both been run by the way - the Cascade is really nice class IV-V trip - it's not super difficult, but does have enough action to keep you on your toes. You'll find some awesome bedrock falls and slides in there, as well as a great section of boulder slalom style stuff. The only downsides are that it is a hike in trip, and finding the put in that will let you miss the horrible mank section at the start is a bit tricky. That's all part of the adventure though - this creek is begging for others to get up there and run it.

I'm not quite sure what brought us to the Cascade in the first place - we headed out that way in February to look around and see the big drops - the river was much too low to consider running, but a quick look above the falls showed there was still plenty of gradient left for people not quite in to running 110 foot drops. A short walk up river lead us to some good looking boulder stuff. When we reached the end of a canyon section that ended in a 15-20 foot clean falls, we knew that coming back was a definite. Although we couldn't find anyone who had run it, Cody Howard and friends over at Huckin Huge had been there recently scouting (and slaying the big one) and confirmed our suspicions that people had been up there before.

With limited info, our trip went well - we messed up a bit on the hike in and put in too high up the river where, to be honest, there wasn't enough water to reasonably kayak. After a disheartening start because of this, it came as a huge relief to find the lower half of the river to be an amazing bedrock run with some excellent drops.

And with that, you'll want to click here to get the beta. Check the shots, they'll confirm that it really is a fun one.

Taking a rest stop on the slog up the hill to the put in.

This doesn't look too bad does it?

It got really bad.

There was the odd section of ok whitewater in the upper stretch.

Things went from bad to good when a major tributary entered from the left - this was the boof at the confluence.

A small boulder choker at the start of the canyon.

The first half of the first big rapid in the canyon.

More action.

Getting set to run another one.

Slides you'll find.


Rolling into a tight one - this drop caused some drama.

Exit drop.

The first big waterfall, weighing in at almost 110 feet.

Ever stare down the barrel of a 110 foot waterfall?

The second big waterfall - a 60 foot double drop. The top is good, but the bottom tier has a very tight line to not crash into rocks.


Sean Bozkewycz said...

You may recognise some of these drops from Hotel Charley IV or Downunder the Horizon Line...

Steve Arns said...

I haven't seen those movies, but I heard through the grapevine you guys ran the bottom double drop and the hallway drop. Good stuff. I think those rapids are in one of the old Twitch movies as well.