16 Mile Creek -- Is it Spring yet?
Sunday, February 18, 2001
length: 1 day
participants: Chris Mack,
Todd and I threw on our wetsuits and headed for the 16 mile creek (Oakville Creek) last Sunday. The sun was out all day and there was a slight breeze out of the south but the water was very cold. We put in at the bridge on Lower Base Line which is east of hwy 25 two blocks north of hwy 5 and took out at the hwy 5 park.
We both felt it was well worth the effort, but the level was a little low. There is still lots of snow in the valley so with a thaw the creek will running again soon. No big drops, more continuous class 1-2 with countless surfs and 2 holes that you can flat spin. There were a few sections that narrow down to chutes with 3' waves to crash through, nice happy waves ;-) The problem was with all the spray freezing on our gear it made it impossible to undo any zippers, open water bottles, grab spare paddle etc. Todd got out of his kayak at one point and found it almost impossible to get back in with his frozen skirt.
The upper stretch was ice free but as we worked our way closer to hwy 5 there were frozen eddies to contend with, Todd would follow me as I crashed my way through with my ice breaker, umm my Rival. We only had to portage one small stretch due to ice jams, everything else was ok. There is one death trap, a river wide strainer that has a foot
of ice built up on it, kinda scary looking. I liked the way the sun glistened off the icicles hanging from the trees that hung over the river (not IN it) as we worked our way down.
Obviously this is not for everybody, just thought I would share a cool paddling story.
Let the games begin.