Need some opinions and input on BC in early September... - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-13-2012   #1
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Need some opinions and input on BC in early September...

Hey all,
We did a trip last season starting on Labor Day weekend and ending roughly a week later. Upper Cheak was still good, Callaghan was BC low but MT sweet, as was upper Birkenhead. Rogers was a touch high (no run) as was the fly-in on the Clendenning (no run, heard the word)...

Having not been there before last season, I am wondering if a trip heading out of MT on September 7th with this seasons snowpack gonna still provide plenty of goods? We are dreaming on Upper Cheak, maybe a low Callaghan, followed by Rogers Creek redemption, some Ashlu drainage, perhaps Fear Canyon Elaho and a Clendenning as a cherry on top... Still looking for run suggestions outside of these obvious classics that may be a go.

So all you experienced BC boaters.... Are we just dreaming? Was last season an anomaly, or is early September a good time for a mission? Are we likely to get a few of these at good flows and find some other successes outside this lil' tick list? Thanks for your input...


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Old 07-14-2012   #2
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Excellent thread, sir.

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Old 07-14-2012   #3
dawn's Avatar
Acupuncturist, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
ask Leland and Andria

The River Gypsies: whitewater guidebooks, North America Whitewater Guidebook, US Whitewater Guidebook.

This is from one of their trips and I think they were thinking of doing a guide book.

Have fun!
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Old 07-14-2012   #4
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Thanks dawn

Got the book. It is awesome and was instrumental in last years trip. Only issue I have is that it seems that stuff runs longer than early August and we can't get there until early Sept, so I am concerned about too little water for a lot of the stuff. Andria and Leland... If you are out there, any thoughts on this? Anyone else been hitting those in early Sept on a normal year?
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Old 07-15-2012   #5
Whistler, BC
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 25
I'd have thought you'd be fine to come at that time. Everything is pumping right now with all the heat we've had and there's still a lot of snow left up top.

Obviously some rivers drop before others but I'd have thought you'd be good for Upper Cheak, Balls to the Wall and Callaghan.

Fear Canyon is a great option if other stuff gets a bit boney - we ran it last year in late October and it was still clean at a nice non-pushy class IV. Soo could also be good - very under rated run in my opinion.

Give me a shout nearer the time if you want for more info. or to hook up for a paddle.

Check out LiquidLore - British Columbia and

Home - Real-time Hydrometric Data - Environment Canada for water levels (look for Cheakamus river above Millar creek and Elaho river at mouth). Upper Cheak is runnable between 2.0 and over 3.0 but best between 2.4 and 2.7 IMO.

Also check out Whitewater Whistler on facebook for a bit of local knowledge and some pictures.
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Old 07-17-2012   #6
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11
we were doing the callaghan at high flows early last october due to rain. cross your fingers.
for the love of it
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Old 07-17-2012   #7
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 986
stein river is a fun class 4-5 3 day trip.
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Old 07-17-2012   #8
Medford, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1984
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 235
If you can reach a little further west Thompson is really great and don't forget the Chilko some of these are glacier fed (Chilko or Chilko-Chilcotin) and doesn't really peak until late July or August, so for those September is still great.
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Old 07-17-2012   #9
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 90
Thanks Phil and all,
Will call when we are en route. Forgot about Balls to the Wall. It was sweet, too. And I agree about the Soo, though it was starting to get a bit boney. TJ - Stein was on our radar for last season, but it seemed like the bottom was dropping out by late August. A guy that had just come off it recommended against it after a late August float. Again, I have only been there the once, so if you are thinking that might be in, please let me know. It would be a great alternate fly-in to the Clen... Appreciate all the info. Anybody else got an opinion on this? What are the dam release flows like in September for the Ashlu. Small - Med. or Large?
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Old 07-18-2012   #10
River Gypsy
Swannanoa, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 255
They have a big snowpack this year, but how long it lasts will also depend on how hot it is between now and when you want to go. That's the thing about the PacNW - a good snowpack goes a long way, but it's the weather that makes the final determination of how long things run.

I suspect you will be fine planning your trip for those dates this year as long as it doesn't get scorching hot up there and stay that way for a month or more.

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