Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Impromptu Park and Huck: Kookipi Falls

Hiking out post huck. Tony can be seen at the plunge pool, where many fish were landed.

After having an incredible first day running Big Silver Creek, we had driven over the Kookipi-Shovel Creek Pass over into the Nahatlatch drainage and set up camp a few kilometers below the pass. We had a beautiful starry night with a big moon and great temperatures. The next morning we woke up and packed up for the long slog over to Rogers Creek. This would involve around 5 hours of driving, but alot of good scenery too. Shortly after leaving the campsite, Shane and Bone, who were ahead, stopped on the side of the road and began clamoring down the hillside to Kookipi Creek, which was paralleling our route for some time.

For all of us who desparately crane their neck out the window while driving next to some random defile, hoping for some roadside discovery, here is gratification. Shane had caught a glimpse of a waterfall obscured by the trees. More importantly, the lip was good and the pool appeared to be very deep.

Thus began the hasty donning of wet gear and various smack talking that typifies behavior around these scenarios. After all, certainly we would have heard of this sweet 30 footer located a mere 100 feet off the roadway. At least in the southeast, drops of this beauty and appeal do not tend to fly under the radar for long. Despite the stoke being passed around, the drop was definitely on the bony side, and while there were other nice drops below, the creek was not legitimately running.

Keeping your bow up initially is paramount, but letting the angle drop a little to have a smooth transition on the clap 10 feet down. From here it is a concerted effort to bring the bow back down for a stomped out landing, as the aeration was minimal anywhere out from the fall line. Being conservative, I elected to let the others fight for dibs on the first run. A heated and unregulated match of Rochambeau ensued, and frankly, I came out of the experience a little disappointed and surprised at Keith's lack of familiarity with what I thought was standard operating procedure for anyone who was born after 1968. Needless to say, he won the match and ran first, with a huge off kilter flat landing. At this point, I was hoping Shane and Bone would be a little more convincing. Shane had the creme line, as he should, having found the drop. Bone had a good line too, good enough to convince me I would not get hurt.

Overhead of Robert Bone going KooKoo for Kookipi Falls

Yours truly, trying to bring her down for the landing.

My line was average, and in the realm of acceptable, but more water would help make the drop better. Autoboofing from 20 feet into green water is always less than desirable.

After spending some time in there just taking it all in, we hiked out and continued our drive to Rogers, rolling alongside the Nahatlatch, a bigger scenic river, and to the mighty Fraser River. After crossing the Fraser, we drove upstream passing the Stein, and then up to Lillooet where we had lunch. We then got on 99 and drove through the canyon that Cayoosh Creek runs through. It looked like it was running at a good flow, but we had bigger fish to fry. At the top of the watershed we found a truly Canadian vista, Duffey Lake.

Looking west from the head of Duffey Lake.

It is here that the road to Van Horlick Pass turns off into the Stein region. A very inviting notion, but we were unsure of levels and had heard a rather discouraging wood report from a group who had been on the North Stein the previous week.

After topping out on the next pass, we descended into the Lillooet watershed via Joffre Creek. Joffre Lakes looked like an awesome place to explore, but once again, the Mecca was calling. Upon arriving at Lillooet Lake, we turned south onto the West Harrison Road towards Rogers. It was getting late, but I figured we had plenty of time to sort out a class 5 BC creek that none of us knew and was totally committing. Gotta keep things interesting, right?

Stay tuned for the next installment on Rogers Creek.

1 comment:

Ico Schutte said...

HI, just read your post abt kookipi where you did the falls. Can you give me directions to the drop as I am in the area and would love to have a go at it...