The Ash…. Not the other Ashes.
A couple of weekends ago got on the Ash river with some mates. Met up at the local Tim Hortons in Port Alberni for the pre river cup of Java and sweet pastries. From there it was a drive into the backwoods map territory of Vancouver Island. This is a twisting route of logging roads to get to the take out of the upper whichis only a couple of km’s from the put in to the lower. We were able to then get 5 kayaks on and 6 people into Shayne’s Delica plus a dog up to the Upper.
The arrival to the upper is quite amazing. Last time I was here was a number of years back and we ran it quite a low flow… around 5 cms, this day it was a stomping 45-50cms. The put in rapid is quite amazing a 30ft spillway leads straight into a 15ft waterfall. Makes for a very exciting way to start a river.
The group had a scout and then we ran it one after another with great results. Pretty exhilirating. Afterwards there are three class four rapids to contend with before the river slows down for a bit. We stopped at one beach to check out Shayne as he had bruised/pulled some muscles on the lead in ramp. Afterwards we were into the canyon which at this level was quite a ride. Continous and good whitewater over a number of km’s. This produced two swims by the Dunbrack brothers in the same hole.
We made it in good time down to the take out bridge before running shuttle to get on to the lower Ash. Carrie would be joining us for this medium volume Class 3+ romp. The lower Ash starts off with a few splashes before reaching the portage around Dickson falls. Below the falls is a fun pillow, with some of the crew running it three times. Aftewards are lots of long class 3-3+ rapids down to the old logging bridge.
The Rivers went really well. So well that we made the decision to then head to the Cameron river for a speed run to make for a 3 run trip. Not bad for paddling in June on Vancouver Island.
Also if you like this check out these stories on the Island as well
Enjoy the slideshow below, video coming soon.