Vancouver Island Mission
Recently myself, Shayne Vollmers and Steve Johnson were able to get out and do Piggiot (sieve) Creek. This was originally done by a crew from TRL, TDub and Bellingham back in May of 2006 with some of the data supplied by Jan Dettmer, an original river daddy of Vancouver Island. By far this is one of the deepest canyon’s that I had done on Vancouver Island. It was an amazing trip.
We started off on Monday, July 25th with a scout of the river by Shayne and me. We headed up the Oyster river main line and drove another section up the Rooister main till we hit the bridge. We were able to find a beautiful trail the a gold miner had made for his tours into the canyon, as well as a put in down to the river off a drainage creek on river right. The nice thing about this was we were able to bypass a section of the river which sounded pretty sketchy in Todd’s write up. We walked in to have a look at the waterfall which would be about 600m upstream from where we were putting in. It was beautiful as you can see in the photo. There looks to be a line but that will be for other people to decide.
Put in day. Got a Facebook message from Todd who had been on the first trip in “get an early start, bring food. tons of rapids in here (or is that tonnes?). lots of wood. looks like you might have lower flow than what we had, which could be good/bad. i felt like our flow was great, but we did have some interesting moments where lower flow would have made some sketchy spots easier to sort out”. We took the info to heart, loading up with loads of food, clothing, first aid supplies, breakdown paddle’s, camera, video gear.. we were prepared for a full day in the canyon or longer. We headed off first thing in the morning leaving downtown at 8am.. after a coffee stop.
Arriving at the put in we loaded up and headed down stream the first 45mins flying by. It was shortly after getting through a number of small canyons and good drops that we reached a 10ft boof that was gorgeous. After this the river tightened up, the walls went steeper. Everything got a bit more serious. The rapids were good to go but there was more consideration and picking of lines. Not a place for the faint of heart.
We bogeyed, danced, shook, rolled, had some moments of consideration. There was one rapid without a spot to set safety closed in on both sides that gave us a moment of pause before firing it up. Shayne had the best line of the three, melting down the middle coming up perfectly beside the river left wall. There were some fantastic portages, but a lot of the stuff went and went well. There was a couple of heart in the throat moments. Time Spent Driving-1.5 hours, Kayaking & Portaging – 8 hours, Take Out with Kayaks – 1 hour 10mins = Epic Mission. Distance Covered on river – 6.3kms ish.
The drops and the canyon are amazing, fantastic considering you can be on the river in less than an hour from Courtenay, BC. Will have a movie of some of the sections done soon.
Enjoy the pics