What is COLT, you may ask. It is a 100 day semester based program at Strathcona Park Lodge. I teach the whitewater kayaking components and get to introduce the students to river culture. It is very fun working on the Campbell river, The Gold river, and the Nimpkish river with some variation there depending on river levels.
This spring we had 5 students and managed to have good levels for teaching despite the low amount of rain that fell on the island. When we headed to the Nimpkish river we had a low amount of 5.4mm of rain in June thus far. Still we managed to hit some good rapids and get two days on the Nimpkish as well as a day on the Lower Gold which was a unique experience for the students as not many get the full run. This was due to the small group size and good levels that this opportunity presented itself.
We had excellent levels to do a lot of our kayaking on the Gold river. This made it possible to work some different sections as the levels dropped down. It is always great to see the students progression through the 9 days on the river. They also spread the days out and have the opportunity to canoe and sea kayak in between the trips which helps build the skills.
Then as the levels drop we head into the lower canyon of the Gold. This section is beautiful and has great eddies and teaching section from 30 – 9cms which makes it very useable during low water seasons. There is a bit of a hike into the river, however that is all part of the adventure. Earning your turns as one might say.
This first night of of my 2nd set of teaching classes I took a little drive to the trailhead of landslide lake to go check on a section with a small hike in. Looked like it has some good potential, will have to wait for some water in the fall.
We spent the next few days playing in the lower canyon of the Gold. Working on catching eddies, running lines, rolls, boofs, and some surfing. It was great to see the energy that they brought and the fun they were having. Also through in a seal launch off a fun rock.
The last part of the whitewater we go out to the Nimpkish river and paddle it from the top to bottom. With the lower flows this year we modified it spent one day on the the Gold paddling the whole Lower Canyon and then headed off for an overnight adventure on the Nimpkish river from below gold creek to nimpkish lake – approx 30km. Enjoy the photos of that below.