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scenic or casual paddling novice paddlers 1 day
16 Mile Creek - slush, strainers and frozen fingers
Sunday, March 11, 2001
length: 1 day
difficulty: novice

participants: Caroline Owen, Chris Mack,

We decided to explore the East branch of 16 mile creek up by Lower Base Line/6th line area hooking up with the 16 mile creek down to hwy 5 park. The Credit was a little too low for much whitewater so we opted for the scenic exploration. A couple of locals could not believe we were going to go canoeing as they waited to see us depart down the river in matching purple rivals encased head to toe in various colored pieces of nylon and neoprene.

There was not much sun to speak of but when it did come out we were most grateful. I think I can speak for both of us when I say it was a tad on the cool side. My weak point is my shaft hand (don't go there), no matter what I wear my hands still get quite cold. I brought three pairs of gloves so I could change when I could not feel my fingers any more and I had just stopped to slip into my last pair of warm dry gloves. We started off again and around the first bend the creek narrowed down to a 10' wide chute with about 6 haystacks to get through, they stretched right across the river so there was no going around them. I thought to myself, take the glove off but there was no time as I picked up speed to get through them. It was a fun chute but my glove was now totally soaked and my hands were starting to go numb again. I continued paddling to warm up the hand but it was not working, I looked down in the bottom of my canoe and stared at a previously discarded pair of gloves that were now frozen to the hull and ripped the right glove from the hull and worked my wet glove inside of the larger pair of half frozen ones. Remarkeably it all turned to a warm mush and my fingers started to warm up just as we approached our take out.

It was a beautiful creek, but painfully low in areas, it took us about 4 hours with only one break for tea. No big scary drops to speak of but strainers are a concern, we had to portage around one that completely blocked
the creek.

Take care

posted by: Chris Mack

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