Lens River, Vancouver Island

Creeking on the Vancouver Island

Dave Prothero Photography

Fred Norquist running one of the drops in the 2nd Canyon

It all started with a txt message from Gillian Box on at 10pm, “That’s Todd Gillmans number. They’re on the 7pm ferry to Victoria. They’re planning to swing by to get beta from Joe before driving to Port Renfrew“. For those of you who don’t know of Port Renfrew, it is on the southern part of Vancouver Island, has some great surf close by and fantastic river drainage’s. From there a number of txt messages were exchanged till around midnight as plans were made to meet at the put in to the Lens the next day.

The next morning heading deep into the southern west coast of Vancouver Island, a couple of stops for coffee and gas. Making my way down the main branch of the Lens and then the East branch. It is amazing how many logging roads twist there way through the back country on the island. A very handy tool is the Backroads maps, never leave home with out them.

Arriving at the bridge over the Lens shortly after 11am met up with the Seattle / Bellingham crew of Todd Gillman, Leif Embertson, Evan Stafford and Austin Woody. Getting the gear sorted, then  went out and ran shuttle and prepared for the epic day.

Dave Prothero Photography

Leif Embertson at the top of triple drop

Watched a couple of the lads jump off the bridge then we were on the way down the river. Trying to remember how far to the first canyon. The river was a medium level, about the same as the group I was here with last year, with the Harris Gauge at 3cms the night before.

After getting into a roll with the first canyon which provided some interesting moments we were floating through the crystal clear water and nice open sections that separate the two canyons. The 2nd canyon having a bit more stout, to say the least.

Dave Prothero Photography

Austin Woddy heading through the 2nd drop of triple

There was a couple of portages, some sweet little drops.Halfway or so down the second canyon we portaged a nasty drop on river right. Afterwards is four rapids down to stairway to heaven. These were probably my favorite drops of the river that day. Small chutes and some interesting lines.

Dave Prothero Photography

Lief boofing off one of the fun ones

After that section we stopped at the base of the Stairway and looked out into the more committing part of the Canyon.  There were some interesting lines through this part. The next drop had a new log in it which led to some careful consideration of the lines, Todd greased his way through it. From there it was off to line our way down the waterfall, Jumping off and roping the boats in.

Dave Prothero Photography

Looking back upstream to the base of Stairway and Locked in

Afterwards a couple of drops remain before a bit of a winding paddle out to the bridge at the take out. There we had Ranger beers waiting and cheers the good 6.5 hour trip down the river. Now it was time to drive back up Island. Well at least part way, made it to my friend Craig’s for a bit of Single malt tasting and a relaxing evening.

Overall a great day out and great way to paddle back on the Island.

Cheers Lads

Link to Youtube Film

Paddle down the Lens River



Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *



Follow Dave along as he chases whitewater in Kayaks and Rafts on Vancouver Island and around the world.