Recent heavy rains have started bringing some of the local runs up. Most recently we hit the Hawk Lake log chute, along with Hollow Creek. These are up the highway 35 corridor, and provide some great local hucks.
We first made a stop at Buttermilk Falls. Levels were low. So we made the decision to hit the Log Chute, as that was first on our way after Buttermilk. The level was a solid medium. Enough water to make everything smooth and fun.Oddly enough, MNR happened to be there pulling a half log off the dam. Perfect. We had to drive up the road to wait them out, as they may not have liked us bombing down the chute. Ironically enough, when we took out, Parks Canada rolled up and started questioning us.
A rock paper scissors had myself going first. A smooth run down the chute, a quick eddy out for mike to reset with safety and the camera, and a boof off the last drop. I landed solidly but my edge picked up a little bit and rolled out of it.Typically, the Camera stopped rolling as I was lining up for the drop, and no still shots were taken.
Next up was Mike. He’s a first timer on these runs, so was pumped to hit it. A smooth ride down the chute, and one of the best boofs off this drop I’ve seen made for a completely clean run.
We packed up, and headed further north to Hollow Creek. A quick scout revealed levels had significantly increased over night. Hollow creek has some interesting moves to it, and was on the most technically demanding runs in the area; it’s one of the few true Class V’s in the Hali area. Hollow consists of roughly 700 meters of continuous rapids and 3 major elevation drops. The first stage is an easy line following most of the water, and there isn’t much to it. The second stage is the setup for the crux move. The water squeezes past some shallow rocks, and pushes right. Typically, you need to be left. There is a sneak line on the far left in higer water, so Mike opted for that line. Once your past this, you have 3 munchy holes to get around, followed by the third drop, AKA the Toothpaste Tube. A large slide on river right that ends in a hole with little chance of getting through, or a very narrow band of water pushing off river left that squeezes through.
Once you get past all this, you still have the worst part: it’s a very terminal hole with 15 or so feet of powerful towback. This one is called the Headless horseman hole. There are lines on the far right and left, and an eddy right above if your quick. A mistake here would mean a gaurunteed rescue; there is almost no chance of paddling out, and absolutely zero chance of swimming out.
So, 3 drops, 3 bad holes, and one terminal hole. Some tight lines, and linked continuous moves. Mike styled it. This was his first class V rapid, so he’s definitely chalking that up on the accomplishments list!
We checked the gauge for Oxtongue afterward, and drove by buckslides, but they weren’t meant to be.
The levels are still on the rise, so hopefully there will be more coming up in the area!