The Gold river has a number of different sections. ‘Around 5’ said Shayne Vollmers. On This trip we would be doing two of the higher sections. The first one is loads of fun and is around 8kms in length. The road to the put in can be quite exciting. Currently there is lots of active logging happening on the North Island. This means logging trucks and not just any logging trucks… Off Road trucks are amazing but a bit sketchy for me driving my ford focus along these roads. We made it to the put in and headed off down this fantastic river. Having been listening to CBC we knew that there would be loads of fish in the river. Heaps of sockeye and steel-head were filling the river. This was due to higher flows and colder temps in the river.
There are some really good rapids on the Upper Upper Gold.. This was my second time down this section. It had been 8 years since my first. Shows you how often I get up to this area. The life of an international guide takes you away from these brilliant places. Though this year on the island has been one in a hundred. With flows still good in early August and the Puntledge still getting water released into this month it is is truly amazing.
The river starts off with some great little rapids between some really interesting metamorphic features and bedrock. The scenery up here is fantastic. Paddling with Shayne Vollmers and Emre Bosut was a great time. We rallied down to the first scout on the river. The river runs through a few holes before heading into a pinch with a bit of an undercut, eddy and a tree on river left. Going first is always exciting and charging down the rapid, still getting the feel in for my Jackson Villian, I over paddled. Ended up upside down on river right in the eddy, got my roll which was good otherwise would’ve given Shayne a good laugh. The boys styled the line and came away all smiles. We finished offf the Upper Upper Gold in good time running though the rest of the rapids smartly. Next up the Monkey Canyon or Unrunnable(runnable) Canyon.
We got out to scout the entrance.. Which seemed bigger than last time I was here. While scouting we ran (almost ) into a bear. It was about twenty feet away up a tree. We got fairly loud and dressed as we were in bright colourful gear he decide to change trees leaping about 6-8ft to another tree, then running off through the woods. Much to our relief. We scouted the entrance to the mini canyon. Found the eddy on river left to avoid the logs on river right. It was all good to go.
Arriving in the eddy above the logs we found we could swim through the entrance and get back into the boats shortly downstream. We arrived at the crux rapid fairly shortly downstream. It was a nice portage around the top drop and then off for the second drop. The Jackson Villian made short work of the second drop eating up the line with it’s speed. We made good time down those two sections and then we ran shuttle so the boys could finish the day on the Heber river.
All and All an amazing day on what has been called Vantasy Island.
Enjoy the Pics.