Saturday, July 25, 2015

Paddle the Squamish River

The might Squamish River drains a very wild 3,200 square km NW of town. It is wide and fast moving and cold which makes it a bit intimidating to paddle down. That being said there are not many rapids that are too difficult in its lower reaches making it a great addition to the outdoor activities in nearby. My good friend Mark was getting married this summer an we decided that paddling the Squamish was an excellent idea for a bachelor party, it was high on the adventure and low on exercise. I  did two trial runs of the river beforehand so that I would be confident in the route, once with Mike from Anderson Beach and once from a little bit down river with David Sylvester. These runs were actually quite beneficial in scouting the rapids. The biggest challenge of the river is near Baynes Island ecological reserve just past the confluence of with the Cheakamus, it is best to stay left here to avoid to tight corners and log james (the right line can be paddled but is a bit exciting). Just before the confluence with the Ashlu there are some potentially dangerous log dames as well, we navigated left but a flood this fall could easily have changed the river's path.

Mark's Bachelor party weekend was on the only rainy one of the summer, luckily with this crew the rain wasn't going to dampen our spirits. We met at the Squamish Valley Golf Course for breakfast then used the Sea to Sky Adventure Company to shuttle us and our canoes up the valley to the Ashlu Bridge. We had a beer and waited out some rain before setting off and going through canoeing 101. As I mentioned above there is a tricky area right before the confluence with the Ashlu, log jams on this river are potentially very dangerous. We had a taste of Vietnam with some Banh Mi  sandwiches from the Locavore Food Truck  on the sandy shores of the river and after some vigorus adventuring made it to our sandbar camp by about 5:30. Baked Bri and some Schooner Bay Rum made it necessary that Mark sleep in a tent with a dirt floor.

Some neat mixing where a creek joins the muddy Squamish

Would you take this crew down a cold fast moving river?

Nobody should ever say that blossom wasn't a hard worker

That was five consecutive minutes of not sitting, you all deserve a beer. 

Flood pants, Camo hat and a guy who thinks he is crocodile dunndee
A taste of vietnam (with Cariboo Orange of course)

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