Well the year of 2013 was certainly an interesting one for the whitewater community here in southern BC.
An early start for our creeking season was a real treat with great levels on local runs brought on by high rains and warmer temps. The crew in the Kootenays were running our classics in early April when usually the only option is playboating. Salmo river, Slocan, Koch, and some Slocan Valley rivers were running at great levels.
Our first HTTD on Brilliant wave was a huge hit with friendly levels and a warm sunny day in May. Most of May and June hosted BIG water on the kootenay making the Big Brilliant wave washed out but Solstice and Lucky 13 were amazing options for the thrill seeker. Numerous high water creek runs were taking place on Koch Creek and little Slocan.
The Kootenay whitewater festival turned out to be another rainy weekend but the bad weather held for the party with Shane Phillip and house band Roy has Fire. Kayakers from all over Western Canada came out to experience what Kootenay whitewater has to offer. Next year we will host the festival at the same time for ideal water levels, stay tuned for our festival on the third weekend in June.
The second HTTD took place on Lucky 13 for the highest flows of the season. Usually, Lucky 13 is an enormous hole you would want to avoid. When the flows are high enough the hole turns into the biggest, fluffiest, and forgiving wave ever surfed. Paddlers enjoyed surfing for the best trick and ride category as well as an exciting boater cross race through the wave to the take out eddy. Hayden Standige took best trick, Cliff nabbed the best ride, while Lazer cleaned up on the race. The very next day when the word was out on Lucky 13 water levels plummeted ending our big wave season until 2014.
The first annual Little Slocan Race was a giant success with three races for different skill levels. The race will be a tradition for years to come timing perfect levels for the first week of July, stay tuned for next years race. Check out this blog for more info
Not too much to report for August as we experienced a major fuel spill on the Slocan river, closing the river and dampening our spirits while clean up efforts continued into September. A horrible tragedy for such a pristine river and vibrant paddling community.
Next event on the horizon was also met with tragedy as the HTTD Jordan River race was cancelled before it started after a well known dog of the kayakign community swam into the river above a large drop ending its life. Condolences to the friends of the dog and all that had to witness the event that day. Paddlers still enjoyed the run and met up that night for celebrations of Revelstoke whitewater and the friend who was lost.
A team of paddlers from the Endangered Creeks Expedition successfully completed a three day hike into the head waters of the Incommepleux river followed by a three day paddle to the lake. ECE members are excited for the victory and look to new adventures for 2014. Great work team!
The season finished up with a great year on Trail Wave/Hero hole lasting from the end of September will into the first week of November. Playboaters came from all over to check out our Kootenay favourite.
Thanks for a great season! Next year we hope for awesome water levels, sunny days, and of course safe lines.
Leaving for Ecuador for more paddling!