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.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Middle Cheak

Does this rapid look familiar? If you've boated in Whistler, it should - it's the put in rapid for the Upper Cheak, one of the most popular stretches around there. This post isn't really about the Upper Cheak - it's about the Middle section. However, it makes sense just to run the Upper and Middle together so there you have it, the first rapid of your trip...

Last week during the Canada Day break, some good friends from Newfoundland made the long journey over from St. John's to Vancouver to check out the scene and run some rivers - it was a good time with us having sampled a lot of the good whitewater in the Squamish-Whistler-Pemberton corridor. We had a grizzly sighting in the Pemberton valley, which in itself was well worth the long drive out of town.

After some warm-up boating on the Chilliwack and Ashlu, we found ourselves at the Callaghan take out looking at low water from cool temperatures, a crappy snowpack and super hot weather in June that ate away at all the snow - being low water and with the prospect of upcoming hot weather maybe bringing up the water a bit, we put it off for later that week, which left us without a plan.

Of course, the Cheakamus quickly came up as an option. Levels were hovering a bit low there as well, and looking for something a little more substantial than a 20 minute blast down the upper we set shuttle at the Cal-Cheak confluence intending to see what we'd see below the House Rock take out.

The Middle Cheak delivered in a big way! The Whistler guys run it often enough, but aside from that you don't hear much about it. I'd paddled down to the first drop of the Middle in the past, but never bothered to keep going and see what was next. To be honest, the Whistler waste treatment facility is right above the first drop of the middle and it's a little gross when you paddle by the outflow, but not too bad all considered. People paddle in way grosser places. Below the first rapid is a ton of other good stuff almost right to the take out and it makes the upper Cheak run into a proper river trip.

There are a ton of log jams on the Middle, but they're obvious from above, and only one blocks the river completely. High water on this section isn't an option because of wood - check out the photos below and you'll see why.. The whole thing ends in a great class IV blast through a beautiful canyon - just go down the middle. Check this one out, I'm sure you'll be stoked you did. Click this link for all the beta.

Bombs away on Balls to the Wall.

Darren McDonald brings it home through the run out of Balls - it's the tricky part...

There's a little bit of wood on the Middle.

Yes, it's as bad as it looks.

Dave Mac below the wood portage.

The log jam you paddle under - you can see Dave ducking under in the shadows.

Dave and Darren rout the final stretch of the Middle Cheak.


Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that run is not really ever called the middle cheak. it would make sence but it normaly is just called the balls to the walls run or just balls to the walls.

the middle cheak is normally would be refering to the section below the daisy lake dam... that being said its normally just call the daisy lake run.. truth be told there really isnt a middle or lower cheak... if your still around and looking for some one to boat with drop me a line i as i live in squamish.

Chris Menges said...

Nice pics! We did that section a few years ago and enjoyed it:

Steve Arns said...

Hey anonymous, if you want to paddle you'll need to give up some more id...

Thanks for the links Chris, looks like you had a good trip down there too - fine piece of whitewater that section.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I cant believe Ive never been down there yet. I always heard bad stuff about that run, Ill be doing it next time Im up there. Looks awsome.

Ryan Bayes