After an epic time on the Stikine, we drove to Whistler, the extreme sports meca !
Before the trip, our goals were to run the Stikine and the Ashlu Box. If we were able to do this we would be happy and the stout drive would worth it. With the Stikine behind us, we had to do the Box, but the dam realese on the Box is during the week end, and we arrived to Whistler on moday, so we had a week to discover what Whistler and Saquamish had to offer.
After the Mine section, we went on the Cheakamus. Five minutes away from whistler, with tons of boofs, nice whitewater everywhere and ''easy'' acces, the take out of the Cheak became our base camp, our breakfast was the Cheak. I love the Cheak so much. This river is the perfect gym for any creeker and our friends working in Whistler were able to join us very often on this run to show us all the secrets of the cheak. Following Raph Boudreault-Simard, fellow Quebecxicain, Whistler local during the summer, was the best thing because I was sure to hit all the boof the section as to offer. A funny fact about our runs on the Cheak is that there is a pretty steep and long hill to get to the put in. If you have a SUV you won't even realize that there's a hill, but with our small toyota with four kayaks on it, it was pretty stout. The key to go up the hill was to put someone on the hood of the car to add traction, put the car in first speed, take a good momentum and go fast ! The person on the hood had to hold on !
During a sunny afternoon, we join Evan Garcia and Ryan ''Baby Bird'' Lucas to go to the most famous drainage ditch on the planet. When you get to the bottom of the ditch, the first thing you realize is how steep this thing is, it's way steeper than what it looks in the videos. After that, you needed to walk to the top of the ditch, but I swear it's all worth it. You go super fast, it's a lot of fun and it's one of the sickest thing I've ever done in my kayak ! Enough said.
Finally ! The week end arrived ! It was time for some Shlu'livin. On friday night we camped on the banks of the Ashlu Box. The next morning, we laped the Ashlu at a sick level. Creeking at his best ! We didn't fired up 50/50 on the first day. The level was high and the water was pushing a lot on the right wall. On the second day the level was lower and we all ran 50/50. We realized that the name 50/50 is realy apropriate. At lower level this section wasn't good as it was the day before. It's still a super nice section but way better with more water, according to me. So we spent the rest of the day chilling in the spa and doing flips at the Squamish pool.
After the week end and tons of laps on the Cheak, we wanted to do something new. We had heard about the Sue. 5 minutes away from Whistler village, underrated, class V canyon, this it what we had heard. So we team up with our frenchies friends Mael Nguyen, his bro Charlie and Jean Jean. The run starts with a good warm up of class II-III rapids with tons of fun mooves to do. After a few minutes a nice horizon lines apears in front of you, this is why we are there, the canyon of the Sue. We scouted on the rail road river left. The firts part of the canyon contains 3 nice drops. One big boof, one bumpy drop and a sick ledge hole at the end. From the railroad everything looks good to go, so I went first followed by Frank Wasson (francis maheu), Mike Roy and Romain Rué. I had a super nice line througt the first drop but I realized that the hole was way bigger than I expected, I looked beind my shoulder to make sure Frank Wasson was fine and I just saw his jackson karma almost vertical out of the hole so I went througt the second and third drops. At the bottom I realized that Frank wasn't behind me, he was still in the hole ! So I jumped out of my boat to see what was going on. Romain and Mike had boof over Frank that was still getting beatdowned in the hole. He ended up swiming in the second drop and managed to get to the shore before the ledge hole. His boat had a super long rodeo ride into the ledge hole. When we were about to set a live bait to reach the boat Mike saw a trow bag floating in the eddy and pull it. The other end of the throw bag was still attached in the boat, and while the boat and the rope were spinning in the hole, the paddle had also tangled in the rope. So all the gear we had to rescue came in one jam. Funny moment. The rest of the run was super sick, continus class IV. The Sue is definetely a must if you're around whistler even at low water.
After 2 weeks in Whistler, we decided it was time to go somewhere else, in our way back to Quebec. We knew that the Elk in Fernie might be a good option, so we headed in that direction. In Fernie we met Glen Carpenter, local of the Elk river. With a combination of slides, big boofs, boulder and vertical drop the Elk is a unique run and a must if you're around. The highlight of the run is definately the 40ft drop.
After our run on the Elk, we were tired. We had 3 amazing weeks of kayaking, but just like drug addicted we always want more and it's super hard to stop, but with the long road to Quebec in front of us we took the decision to head east... It was hard to leave the West, for all of us many of our most epic moments in our kayaks happened there, but we all agreed that this trip was our first but not our last. Can't wait to go back to BC.