The Other Skookumchuck

Jun 30, 2015

Most paddlers know Skookumchuck as the ocean narrows on BC's sunshine coast that are home to one of the best big waves around, and justifiably so: it's one of the friendliest, consistent big waves in an amazingly scenic place. On the other hand, relatively very few boaters know of Skookumchuck Creek - one of BC's finest creeks. While generally BC is thought of a creeking mecca, and the southern interior (the Kootenays) does house some amazing rivers, it is seldom traveled.  

The lack of mainstream exposure of this area is largely due to its inaccessibility. There are only a couple old outdated guide books of the area that are hard to come by, beta is often scarce, and the local paddling crews are few in number. I can count the number of paddlers in my town that want to mission and huck something on one hand. For these reasons, a lot of the quality whitewater is often overlooked. 

Get your lean boof on out there!Get your lean boof on out there!

Enter Skookumchuck Creek. Located near Cranbrook, BC (a few hundred km's southwest of Calgary). Let me pretext this by saying that it is by no means a gnarly, hair boating, full on decent. That being said, it's a 21 kilometer (yes, 21) continuous, non-stop class IV boof-fest. It has it's easier sections - class III boogie water, which is what most BC boaters consider flatwater - but for the most part, it's a canyon run full of fun technical moves and good decent volume. In my book a creek doesn't have to be hard to be amazing. There are times to hit those white knuckle runs, and times for this type of creek - non-stop, relatively cruisy but plain fun moves all through a gorgeous canyon. 

Sven Perschmann showing us how it's done

It's a full day run - with a long-ish shuttle. The first time I went in I was expecting an after work type of run and was very surprised as it makes for an arduous day. There is a smaller (5k) section you can run - but pales in comparison to the full run. If you're out the in koots and you're interested in some of the local runs including this gem, get in touch with the local shop here, Just Liquid Sports.

Anyhow, enough write-up - check out the POV highlight reel from the most recent run. Flows were the low end of medium. (and yes, another POV. But it's a 21km run, what did you expect?)




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