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BC Trip Report '06

Our second voyage to research for "The River Gypsies' Guide to North America" took us back to one of our favorite paddling destinations - British Columbia. After spending a week boating with us out there, Brushy Mountain team paddler John Pilson said that it was his best week of paddling ever. We think the same thing every time we spend a week up there - which is why we keep going back. Here's the report:

Lillooet Valley Mission.
I have been eagerly awaiting my return to Rogers Creek since my first run on it in 2003. When I went before, it was a bit higher than I might have liked. The large level prompted Andria to hike out back in '03, and she was fired up to get in there as well. We headed up through Pemberton and started in on the miles of dirt road to Rogers - camping on Lillooet Lake that night.

Andria got this sweet shot from the campsite in the morning.

We arose at the not-so-early hour of 10am, and piddled around the campsite making a plan for the day. There are some tricky logistics at Rogers to avoid getting shot at or having your car burned out by crazy locals, but we were armed with a good plan and a good shuttle driver - Duncan would be sitting out on the class V, and had agreed to drop us off.

No BC paddling plan can be made without a backroads mapbook, available at most any gas station up there.

After setting up at the hot-springs campground that we would be using for a takeout, we proceeded up to the put-in. We stopped along the way to scout the main attraction from the canyon rim - the three 20 footers that made Rogers the "instant ultra-classic" that it is. The level looked good, so we drove a bit further and began the lengthy "bush-bash" (that's how they say it in Canadia) through an old clearcut full of brush. That's another of the great contradictions of BC - everywhere you look there are huge clearcuts checkered on the mountains - a heartbreaking sight in such an amazing wilderness. The logging roads and clearcuts are the only way to get to all of the amazing whitewater up there, though.

Rogers starts out with some boogie that slowly grows to class V as it gets into the gorge. The meat of it is the three 20 footers back to back to back - with no way to get out of your boat in between. It's one of the more amazing creeks around - it should be a goal for any serious creeker to get on Rogers at some point!

Here's Polly on the hole that ate my lunch on the high water run in '03. The hole was much friendlier at this level - and the drop was about twice as tall!

The first 20' drop is a short slide into about a 15 foot vertical. This one is probably the easiest of the three, but sure has some intimidation factor since you are really on the edge of the world when you peel out to run it.

Young Taylor dropping in.

The second drop is the one with the most consequences, having a pocket against the wall on the right at the bottom which could really ruin your day if you went in there. The solution is to drive hard left and boof toward the eddy at the bottom.

Here I am boofing the second drop
Photo by Taylor Cavin

A little team celebration in the eddy between drops 2 & 3
Photo by Taylor Cavin

After much planning of elaborate hand signals and how to work safety and timing, it was decided that we would go for a photo of the simul-run of the bottom two drops.

Taylor and Andria doing the Doublay.

Shortly after the triple-20 we came to the biggest and most complicated rapid on the run. A lot of southeasterners call this one the "Raven Fork Rapid".

Andria boofing the top drop.

After a successful run, we floated out into the Lillooet for a mile long paddle to the campsite, hot springs, and celebration!

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