Pictures and Stories
We are back in Victoria. The trip turned out slightly shorter than
expected and took us 11 days. The first 4 days were spend portaging 30 km
over Robson Pass. We started fast the first two days and those two days
were pretty hard on our bodies. Our feet were sore from hiking in neoprene
boots since the soles are not very stiff. Every kilometer was hiked three
times, once up with the boats and paddling gear, then down again and up
one more time with a pack of food and camping gear. Most of the time, we
would divide the day up into chunks of 4km. We would walk the boats up
4km, then walk back and get the gear and so on. The elevation gain to the
pass was close to 1000 meters. So we had to climb 2000 vertical meters and
descent 1000 vertical meters in those 4 days.
The portage turned out to be slightly longer since the waterlevels were
low for the first 5 km. Then, however, the first major glacier fed into
the river and that rose the level so much that the water was in the trees
in the evening.
The portage was followed by 7 days on the river. The character of the
river was alluvial flats with canyon sections in between. Although the
water was very high in the upper reaches of the river, we could paddle a
lot and had mostly short portages around some severe drops that we did not
want to run. The portages were mostly around nasty riverwide pourover
and ledge holes. Some drops were also severely undercut or had wood in
them. On some drops, we walked the gear, to run empty boats.
Jan had a swim in the Bridge Canyon, where his boat got stuck up side
down against a headwall and he could not roll. After visiting a few
undercuts and going so deep that there was no daylight to be seen, he
could selfrescue himself and his boat.
The weather was spectacular for most of the time with sunny, very warm days
and cold nights that kept the bugs down. It rained only rarely, once very
hard though. The water was freezing and drained a lot of energy out of our
bodies while paddling white water.
These are some statistics:
Total length of portages: 33.5 km
Longest portage: 30 km
Number of portages on the river: 6
Distance walked: 100 km
Distance on the river: 120 km
We would like to thank our Sponsors for their Support: Kokatat,
and Western Canoeing.
We would also like to thank the folks at Wild Blue Yonder Rafting from Grande Cache
for their suppport and the helpful information they provided.
See you in the wild, driven by muscle power!