Trip Reports

Boat Reviews

Articles & Tutorials

British Columbia Trip Report '07

We finished the summer with a trip to our favorite paddling vacation destination - the coast range of BC. Here's a report and some photos from the final destination on our summer tour.

Cheakamus lot and the Whistler Scene
The Cheakamus parking lot is the main meeting place for paddlers in the Whistler area. This unofficial free campsite in the "day use area" is also the takeout for the Upper Cheakamus - the standard class IV bigwater creek of the area. The run is short but sweet, and the fast pace of the rapids means that the 2 mile run only takes 15-45 minutes (depending on eddies and swims). This means you can just sort of hang out in the lot all day and periodically ride up with someone who's going for another run. On a warm sunny day it's almost like sitting at the beach all day and getting up every now and then to go for a swim to cool off. We got about 2-3 sunny days in our 3 weeks in the area this year.

Chilling in the parking lot between runs.

This year the word was out about this spot, and the crowds were pretty thick some of the time - this shot is of about half of the lot and camping spot.

The other cool thing about staying at the Cheakamus lot is that the Callaghan Creek takeout is about 4 miles away. The close proximity and short length of Callaghan make it easily possible to run it and the Upper Cheakamus both in the same day in various combos - the "Callamus", "Cheakahan", or the elusive "Cheakallamus" triple run. Did I mention that the Callaghan has the best waterfall between 20 and 25 feet in the world??!? It's totally clean and can be run almost anywhere. This is one of my favorite drops to photograph - here's some eye candy from it:

Andria spotting her landing.

John Pilson dropping the left side.

Todd Johnson getting hands-on Callaghan experience.

Here's a shot of me taken by Bo Wallace.

The other common pastime in the Cheakamus lot in a high water year like this one is fixing boats that have gotten away from their paddlers. More often than not, swimming results in some boat damage as your boat runs anywhere from a couple of drops to a couple of miles without you in the fast moving whitewater. Luckily boat repair expert Bo Wallace was on hand this year to put the pieces back to gether for folks.

Straightening out a crunched bow.

Welding up a crack.