Saturday, October 22, 2005

Callaghan Creek, BC

Here're photos from Mike Hoover and a TR from Dr Dave:

On Saturday, October 22, 2005, Dave Moroles, Mike Hoover, Mike Novak, Mitch, and I [David Chatham] set off to run Callaghan Creek near Whistler, B.C. It was a pleasant day, and we estimated the flow at approximately 600-700 cfs with the nearest gauge reading on the Cheakamus at 48 cms (~1700 cfs). This correlated with a low medium flow for Callaghan. Before starting the run, we hiked down a trail to scout the two waterfalls on the run. The flow looked much bigger from the canyon rim than it had at the take out, but once on the river, the flow seemed to be what we expected.

Scouting Callaghan's big drops.

Scouting Callaghan's big drops.

Leadin to the 25' drop, Callaghan Creek.

Dave [Moroles] had done the run a few times before and therefore got to take the lead. Shortly after putting on, we pulled into a small eddy on river right to scout an ~8' ledge drop which looked similar to the main chute at Husum Falls, but without the boof flake. The hole looked somewhat retentive, and we all elected to portage. Dave had run it previously at higher water when they were able to bypass the hole on the right. Dave also mentioned that the left wall was reportedly nicely undercut.

After a few fun rapids, we eddied on the left above the first 15' waterfall. The waterfall had two channels, and we all ran the left side, which appeared much friendlier. Everyone aced this drop. We then entered perhaps the most fun section of the whole run, a long class IV boogie water rapid. We then eddied on the right above the 25' waterfall. Dave, Hoover and Novak all ran this cleanly, while I entered a little too much to the right and got munched at the base of the falls. Good fun. Mitch apparently endo'ed at the base, was upside down, and ended up going for a swim as well.

After this, we entered a beautiful canyon with upstream views of both waterfalls. There were many class IV boulder gardens, most of which were very clean and a lot of fun. There was one drop with a large submerged piton boulder with a line to the left, which we elected to portage.

The portage.

The rapid that we shot photos on turned out to be one of the trashier rapids on the run, but still gives an indication of the nature of the run:

Near the end of the run, we came to a 50 foot long sloping drop leading into a big hole. Dave ran first, and had a spectacular flip at the bottom. Hoover, Novak, and Mitch all had clean runs. My run was going well, until the boat buckled a little in the hole, and I almost held the brace.

Soon after this, we arrived at the bridge, which was our take out. This was a truly excellent day on the water, and we made it an even better day by completing a quick run on the nearby upper Cheakamus which was running at 2.75 on the foot gauge.

[Editor's note] Thanks to David Chatham for the trip report and Mike Hoover for the photos.

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