Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lens Creek, Vancouver Island

The Lens

Last weekend the flows were running good enough to get in a trip to Lens Creek. This is an absolutely fabulous run. Setting stuff up with Jakub Drnec and Joe Box. I left Comox at 7:30am, knowing it would be a long day with great returns.
With great music and my trusty Honda Accord the drive went fairly smoothly. A couple of stops for good coffee. Met up with the lads at the Park and Ride on the North Cowichan turn off.
From there we drove out into the San Juan Peninsula heading down the Harris main and then into the woods on the Lens Creek Main. First down the West Main which we discover is closed. Boy was it ever, logs and a big ditch. No Passable way through. From there we took the East, which was in fairly good condition. We made it on to the river by 1:00pm.
The Put-in was a nice spot to enjoy a nice little rapid. The action starts downstream a little ways where you drop into the first Canyon. This one is pretty short with only a handful of rapids. We had good flows with the rock at the put in being almost covered.
This provided great action in the second canyon. This is where the goodies are. Loads of sweet rapids with a bit of mank. Had some great light for photography. As Joe said " there is always sun on the lens". It made for a four or so hour day on the river with a nice float out in the end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vancouver Island Classic…..Gordon River

Gordon River… Upper and Middle

Easter weekend extravaganza. THis was a wicked weekend. With a number of other boaters, great levels and some serious driving, the Copper Canyon on the Chemainus river was done at 35cms and I also got a run on the Upper and Middle Gordon river, a classic Vancouver Island Run.

Over 700kms of driving for two very worthwhile rivers. The Chemainus river had heaps of rain coming down while I was there, The river was rising, hence no photos. We had a couple of portages, one due to wood in the middle of a drop, the other was the normal portage below the Headwall rapid. Having been to the Copper Canyon a number of times in the past it was neat to run it with higher flows, as the rocks that normally show in the drop weren't there. Imagine a 800ft wall reaching up on river right and a sweet drop directly ahead of you with a walk option on river left. Just sweet. The rapids were all pretty clean with a bit of push to them. The bonus on this river is at the end you have the opportunity that you can run Bannon Creek Falls. A Cool 42ft waterfall with a slide to drop to slide to drop to slide exit. Pretty cool. Will have video up soon.

We had one swimmer on one of the last rapids of the day. The rescue went fine even though he swam through the rapid below.

I spent the weekend with family as the group ran the Harris river a couple of times and Cameron creek. Joining up for them again in North Cowichan and the mighty Gordon river and its sweet classics of the Upper and Middle Gordon.

We had sweet flows and quickly polished off the Upper Canyon. Afterwards we dropped into the middle. Starting with Loop Creek falls, which at this flow wasn't very nice so we did the slide/ chute thing on river right. It is about a 15ft drop. then straight into a nice chute. It was an amzing day with loads of cool rapids, some scouting a couple of portages and some fun photo taking oportunites. It was unfortunate when we got to the end of the canyon to find that they had logged to the edge of the Canyon rim, and a number of large trees had fallen into the river. Could be cause for caution in later days.

© Dave Prothero Photography/ Rafting Life 2010
Thanks to Braden, Jakub, Albert, and Chris for the fun times.