Upper Nanaimo River
This past Sunday was a good one. Wished Mom a happy Mother’s Day, then it was on the road to meet up with Shayne, and Brian. Was good to see him again as it had been awhile. First learned to paddle with Brian back in Banff, AB. Super good to be out with my C-1 friend.
Loaded up in the Ford we headed out toward the Nanaimo river. As typical Island paddling denotes we were running a bit late. Now getting into a lot of the creeks and rivers on Vancouver island usually involves logging roads, this usually but not always means gates. We figured that we had till 5pm, which once we had connected up with Steve we had about 4 hours of freedom to shuttle, paddle, shuttle and get out of dodge. Plenty of time, Right! I mean how long could 1.2kms of river take.
The drive up was short and sweet, set the camera up for some time lapse photography got changed and packed the camera for the river in my watershed bag, these are awesome bags for the river. The put in was a bit manky looking at 47cms but it was a great introductory flow to this river. It was packed with drop after drop, slides, double drops, chutes and more. It was like being in a candy store. So much of it was clean, a couple of pieces of wood but for an island creek that is par for the course.
The Interesting and more committing part is a rapid called Bird’s eye, having seen footage of a trip in to the Upper Nanaimo a couple of years back I knew it was a tight line into a recirculating bowl with a tight exit. The portage is a bit of a trick as well. After Shayne had scouted it, we decided to portage. There is a line for sure but not that day. The higlight is when you reach a very apparent horizon line, and you walk around an amazing 50ft waterfall that lands in a bowl with a rock wall blocking the outflow. Has three different chutes running into it, just below is a wonderful double drop, albeit with a couple of sticky holes.
It was a fantastic run finished off with a good dinner of Steak, BBQ yams and pasta triangles (read really good) – stuffed with chesse, beer and Icecream. Quite the way to end an excellent paddle on Vancouver Island.
Upper Nanaimo we will be back.. That is a promise.
Slideshow Below, with Video coming.