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The Art of Creek Boating in the Winter


“The sun will come around” – he said.

Creek Boating 4

“It shouldn’t be that cold…” – he said.

 

Winter River Missions

As we dragged Paul’s yellow whitewater canoe up the frozen logging road behind his house, slipping side to side on river shoe soles made for rocks and not ice, I had my doubts about not getting hypothermic.

We got a few sideways looks from passers by but, – “That’s the beauty of Squamish, you can walk out your front door in a dry suit in the middle of winter and most people won’t give you a second glance.” Said Paul.

Playing in Snow Fed Creeks

Half sliding, half falling while holding onto boats, we made our way down the steep mossy slope to the Stawamus River.  With walking trails for the dog and technical creek boating right out their backdoor, Paul Scriver and his girlfriend Bella May have found a little slice of paradise.  

We waited, but the low January sun never crested the steep canyon walls.  That didn’t keep us out of the water though.  Swimming through an icy shower, I set up shop in a deep cave under a 7 foot waterfall.  I shivered and waited as Paul dropped the falls a few times, then battled the pounding spray into the cave to check out the shots.

Frozen

Each time Paul clambered up the rock slabs for another lap, the frigid water dripping from his dry suit would instantly freeze into a thin verglas on the rock so we needed the aid of a throw bag to get us and his boat up for another drop.  After about 1.5 hrs we were both shivering and ready for hot chocolate, so we gathered our kit and awkwardly slipped and skidded our way home.

 


Ben Haggar

The author Ben Haggar

Ben is a Squamish based photographer and writer. Using surfing and mountain biking as catalysts, he aims to meld action sports with experiential travel in remote and wonderful locations around the globe. Ben also works as an Assistant Expedition Leader planning and executing expeditions in the Polar regions, but misses BC's alchemy of hops and water when away. He is an ambassador for On-Sight Equipment. Follow him on Instagram @benhaggarphoto

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