BC Whitewater

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

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Riverken
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BC Whitewater

Post by Riverken » Thu Nov 17, 2016 7:13 pm

My wife and I are thinking we might retire to British Columbia. Where would an open boater who wants a lot of 3/4- within a two hour drive want to live? Would Vancouver do it? Would Vancouver Island do it (much cheaper real estate there).

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yarnellboat
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by yarnellboat » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:10 am

I'll avoid any cracks about the recent election, or the cost of living in Vancouver and skip to the paddling...

Vancouver's OK, decent local paddling in the winter, and good paddling within 90 mins (Squamish or Chilliwack areas), so there's always something, and decent diversity for small creeks or big rivers. Other nice opportunities within 3 hours (e.g. north of Whistler, or the Okanogan), and the opportunity to paddle with others out of Seattle or Portland.

The most reliable class 3-4 is on the Chilliwack River, and those who live out that way paddle a lot more than most of us in Vancouver.

On the island there isn't much paddling in the summer, but I'll let others reply to that. I'm not really a fan of Victoria (no mountains, no rivers), but you might do OK in Nanaimo or Courtenay/Comox.

If it's all about the paddling, move to the Chilliwack River - it's a great continuous canoeing river, several different sections, including a nice class IV- section, and lots of people get on it often, all year long. Fort Langley might be a nice community in the area to retire to?

WW canoeing is a pretty small community here (see other threads), it's a great place to paddle, but a lousy place to learn to paddle (cold water, continuous rapids).

FYI, there is a local ww canoeing forum if you want to poke around for river info etc.:
http://paddlenet.myfastforum.org/index. ... 3b6551bbcf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Here are a few photos of our 9th annual slalom race, which gets about 30-40 racers, just to show there are some canoes here:
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/lglygdgymufo ... 405Wa?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And here's a video of the most challenging, and very seldom run by canoes, local run (Seymour Canyon, North Vancouver):
https://vimeo.com/158440074" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And a video of a much more typical scene on the local training run (Lower Seymour, North Vancouver):
https://vimeo.com/190325797" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

If you YouTube the Chilliwack River, you should be able to see what's there.

Good luck, Pat.

p.s. I posted on the Vancouver forum to direct a few more BC responses here.

Pierre LaPaddelle
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Fri Nov 18, 2016 6:27 pm

Riverken wrote: . . .Would Vancouver Island do it (much cheaper real estate there). . .
Well, RK, as a retirement project, I moved to the Island, after 45 years in the BC Interior. Now I paddle 70+ days a year. Within 30 minutes' drive from where I live (between Victoria and Nanaimo,) there are 4 great Class II - III+ rivers.

Pat mentioned that the rivers are dry all summer. TRUE! But what he didn't tell you is that we paddle all winter long. Bring your drysuit and base layers!

Rivers are rain-fed, not fueled by spring run-off from snow-pack. In a heavy rainstorm, they can go from 20 m3/s to 200 m3/s overnight. We've learned to have our gear packed, and when the on-line gauge shows good levels, we jump.

There are two broad paddling groups on the Island -- there is a mixed group of canoeists and kayakers who like to get out on Class II - III+; I have over 100 names on my e-mail contact list. Post a trip on Tuesday, and you'll likely get 10 - 15 boaters showing up for Thursday's trip. Any trip will include kayakers, OC boaters, and C-1 paddlers. Even the odd SUPer. We all get along!

There is also a group of Class IV - V boaters, mostly kayakers, who do the steep creeking. And there are creeks to die for on the Island.

Geographically, canoeists tend to live more on the south end of the Island (Victoria and Cowichan areas); hard core kayakers are more spread, from the south to the mid Island, with a strong presence in the Courtney/Comox valley.

As far as real estate is concerned, Victoria on the S. tip of the Island is pricy. The further north you go, the cheaper it gets. You should do fine, as the Loonie is way low against the Greenback these days.

A few more links to browse through:

Island rivers in the II - III range: http://www3.telus.net/mtnclimb/pers/vanIsleWW/home.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Island rivers in the III+ - V range: http://www.bc-ww.com/index.php/river-gu ... sl-rivers/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddlers' Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VIWPS/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

University of Victoria Kayak Club Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/uvic.kayak/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I've got spare bedrooms, RK -- come on out for a tour.

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

Einar
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Einar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:04 pm

sponsored content: Remix'ed Realty- relocating washed up OC'ers our specialty.

Pat and Pierre have summed it up for locations and rivers.
B.C. has rivers, it's a giant theme park, 140% larger than California ...but with only the population of metro San Fran (Approx. 4 mil)

What it doesn't have is O.C. paddlers. I can count the # of grade 3 O.C.'ers on two hands, and grade 4 on ...fingers. I'm talking constant grade, not one rapid per river, per day.
So knowing where co-paddlers are is necessary.
If you are looking for straight gr 3 or 4 in B.C. likely you will running with yakk'ers as partners on their trips.
There is good tight mixed group on the Island, as Pierre pointed out. If I was beaming down I would land on the mid Isle for a look see, nice place to do anything. If I wasn't vested in Vancouver I'd move there.

On the mainland it's pricey but consider the towns of Chilliwack or Squamish on the way to Whistler.
To get a flavour taste as to what is being paddled check out:
Whistler Whitewater Facebook- very active gr 3-4 (Squamish area)
Fraser Valley Whitewater Facebook (Chilliwack)
The Vancouver Kayak Club is very active and friendly to O.C.'ers with the chops.

Due to geographic terrain is quicker to drive to Portland, OR to paddle with Milkman, or to Seattle than it is to drive east-west across B.C. so we tend to have strong-north south connections. Mountains make the water but also make the time.
Einar
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Not misplacing all your crap in somebody else's car seems to be even harder

Riverken
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Riverken » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:39 pm

Wow. You guys are great! Thanks.

Right now I live in Massachusetts near Boston and I do paddle all year round, down to the middle 20s F (obviously I'll have to get used to the metric system and centrigrade if I move to Canada). I love paddling in the snow, it's so beautiful. I often paddle in groups in which I'm the only canoeist. It helps the group to have somebody along who can actually see down river aways, and I'm sure you will agree that you cannot take decent video from a kayak.

You can make all the cracks you like about the election. You may have to build your own wall to keep hordes of Americans out (mostly you will get rapists and criminals, but also some open boaters, so it will be worth it).

I have yet to look at the links you sent, but I'm very pleased to know that Victoria Island has good WW. The property is much cheaper there than in Vancouver and the pictures I've seen are stunning.

Our plan is to visit in January or February so that we can see the place in the rainy season.

Cheers (did I get that right?)

Ken

Einar
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Einar » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:11 pm

Nope, "cheers" didn't cut it.
Instead work on including an "eh" at the of each sentence, and say "sorry" all the time even if it is the other guys fault. :roll:

Visiting in the rainy season before buying is brilliant.
Let us know when your coming.
e
Paddling is easy, organizing shuttles is hard.
Not misplacing all your crap in somebody else's car seems to be even harder

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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by k1c1w » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:34 pm

I also live in Massachusetts (western) and took a three week trip to Vancouver Island this past summer. It is truly spectacular. We drove around the island for two weeks camping in various areas and the last week we spent in Victoria. Didn't see any whitewater boaters, but then it was not the season. Lots of good seakayaking in the summer - you might want to turn into a butt boater for that.

It seemed to me the cost of living was high. I found food and gas very expensive, even with the good exchange rate. Being spoiled here in western Mass. with many local farms, it was disappointing not to see similar availability of fresh veggies, meats, etc. in the supermarkets. One would think the climate there is suitable for some good farming. but there seems to be very few.

The other consideration might be health care. Something to think about.

In Victoria, it seemed most people used bicycles for transportation. I walked everywhere from our rental apt. in Gonzales Bay. I found it a cool little city. Bypassed Nanaimo, so not sure what it is like.

Good luck! If I could afford it, I'd move to BC, too!

Pierre LaPaddelle
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:45 pm

Einar wrote: . . . say "sorry" all the time even if it is the other guys fault. . .
. . . and if it is really the other guy's fault, you can always go to the hospital and get your hurt feelings checked for free.

See you in January. Let us know the dates, and (I assume you're not driving) IF you need pickup at the airport. Suggest you fly into Nanaimo, not Victoria. Boats we have -- how big are you, and what boat(s) do you regularly paddle?

Cheers (oops, I mean 'EH')
Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

Riverken
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Riverken » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:16 am

I was wondering about the eh. So, the rule is simple enough---goes at the end of each sentence, eh?

Checking on the Canadian immigration laws it looks like I might have to enter the country strapped to the underside of a truck, eh? A few years ago it was easy, but now it is quite difficult, eh? Sorry. But I'll continue to research that, eh?

I own a Blackfly Option, a Dagger Ocoee, a Millbrook Blink and a Millbrook Shacho, eh? The older I get the more I like the Millbrook boats, but I will go with the Option if I'm in the mood to boof or on a creek, eh? The Ocoee isn't getting all that much use right now, but in the summer I like it on bigger water, eh. Sorry.

I'm 178 cm and 84 kg. Eh, sorry.

I'll definitely post it when our plans are firm. Based on these responses, I'm looking forward to it!

Thanks again.

Ken

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yarnellboat
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by yarnellboat » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:43 am

I'm 178 cm and 84 kg. Eh, sorry.
Love it. You'll be just fine here RiverKen! I really wish that I didn't weigh over 220 lbs, but on the brightside 100 kg is a very easy conversion to remember! :-?

Manitoba is the province that gets all the credit for being friendly, but we'll take of you here on the coast too!

We'll do our best to set you up with boats, partners, beds, whatever. Rick & Einar are especially well connected with our ready-to-go retiree crowd. Hopefully you don't try and make me paddle the Chilliwack in Jan-Feb, but whatever happens happens.

Einar, have you had an accident in Linda's shop and lost some digits? I don't think we'd need a full 2 hands worth to count the canoeists paddling grade III+. Good catch, it's probably useful to point that out.

k1c1w, the Cowichan Valley up where Rick is a haven for both paddlers and farm-loving foodies.

Cheers, Pat.

craig
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by craig » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:26 am

Thinking of diminishing the OC crew in Mass eh?

Einar
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Einar » Sat Nov 19, 2016 3:06 am

"Have Option, will travel.
Wire Ken, Mass."
Gunsmoke-circa 1950's

The new designs by Smerda and Lauks are a great fit for B.C. but... have had slow acceptance, freight costs et al and... "news by example" has travelled slowly to our B.C. corner. It has taken a few souls with brave cash to take advantage and make changes. Slow but happening.

Your Option and its style of motion would fit in well here; lots of steep creeks with continuous gradient, not many pools so staying dry and dealing with it on the move is important (less pool & drop at the Grade 3+ level and up)
Water tends to run colder on the coast as the rainfall goes from 7000' mountains to salt water in a hurry but we paddle year round close to the salt chuck. (O.K., I ski in Jan/Feb and the Island goes dry in summer)

I paddle an Occoee at the moment but lust after my first PE hull; got to get past the ski sales first.
Cheeks passed thru this summer and impressed a small crowd of enthusiasts. Great video of him dropping on Callaghan Creek, check his FB.
Loved the Blackflys, did multiple runs down Tamihi rapid till they took the toys away.
So, it's the frontier out here, we need some new guns in town. eh
Einar
Paddling is easy, organizing shuttles is hard.
Not misplacing all your crap in somebody else's car seems to be even harder

Pierre LaPaddelle
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Re: BC Whitewater

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:52 am

Riverken wrote: . . . Eh, sorry. . .
Well done, Ken! You're advancing quickly!

Next lesson -- bring your rope, 'biners and pulleys, and we'll practise ZED drags. . .

I asked about your size and boat preference, so we can find something that fits you. When converted to Americanese, I make you out to be around 5' 10", and 185#, y'all.

I have an Option, L'Edge, Fly, and Force -- but they're all bulkhead outfitted to my little chicken legs, and doubt you will be able to squeeze in. Unfortunately, I sold off my old Ocoee. I don't think we've ever seen a Millbrook in these parts. There's lotsa old school hulls around, though, I'll have to ask around to get you a boat which will fit. Leave it with me, y'all.

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

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