Goldie Creek - Sept 2011

Goldie Creek - Sept 2011

Postby cirrus2000 » Fri Sep 30, 2011 4:35 pm

On Wednesday, Jeff and I descended Goldie Creek, a seldom-travelled canyon about a 20 minute drive from downtown Vancouver.

We parked about a 15 minute walk from the trailhead (where no parking was permitted) then hiked in for about 45 minutes to the drop in point. After suiting up, we started into the creek, and within a minute or so were at the first rappel.

The water was much higher than in the photos that were included with the canyon beta, but didn't look insurmountable. The first rap was a short affair, down a splashy chute.

Jeff on the first rappel

We had trouble finding a good, secure placement for the anchor on the second drop. There were some good sized boulders, but the shape wasn't the best for slinging securely. We settled on a pinch between two boulders that seemed fairly secure - at least we were in a good spot to set up the rappel and heave on the anchor before committing to the rappel. As heaviest, though, I went first, while Jeff backed up the anchor.

Jeff backing up the anchor on the second rappel.

This rappel goes about 100 feet down a skinny channel, with a couple of steps on the way and a neat chockstone half way down.

Jeff near the top of the second rap.

Near the bottom, the water kicks out a bit, and it is impossible to avoid going right into the main force of the current. The video of Jeff descending this rappel is at the bottom of the report. Near the end is Jeff emerging from the cascade close to the bottom.

When we were both down, we attempted to pull the 200 foot rope, but it went over a bit of a pinch up near the top, and was jammed really solidly.

It is possible that we could have ascended the waterfall (I would consider giving it a try, at least. May have been too much flow to do so.) but we considered our options. We also had an eighty foot rope, which would be enough for the next few rappels. According to the beta, there were exit options after the fifth and seventh raps. The ninth rap would probably require more rope than we had available, so we decided to continue down at least the fifth rap, and possibly past the seventh if all was goin well. After that, we would exit, and return to the top to retrieve the rope.

Me, at the bottom of the second rappel, after attempting to pull the rope. - Photo by Jeff.

Most of the rappels in this canyon were quite interesting: They were usually over huge chockstones in the canyon, where the water poured off one side or the other, and there were huge alcoves under & behind these chockstones. They were also very close together - seldom did we walk for more than a minute or two before encountering another rappel!

Me pulling the rope on the third rappel, in the alcove under the chockstone. - Photo by Jeff

Jeff starting the fourth rappel.

We were having a great time, and all was going well, so we continued beyond the fifth rappel, past six and seven, then down a really neat down-climbable chute, and finally exited the canyon into the woods.

Jeff (top left) starting the 7th rappel.

Jeff downclimbing near where we exited.

After climbing back up the steep slope to the rim, I pulled out my GPS and discovered we had covered just under 250 meters (about 800 feet) as the crow flies from where we had dropped in - over the course of about 3 1/2 hours. We returned to the start point, and were able to hand-line down from the side, and retrieve the rope from our second anchor - very easy from the top.

We strolled back to the car, and headed out for dinner at a nearby pub. All in all, a fantastic day in a very unique (to me, at least) canyon!

This video is the second rappel. Seriously exciting rappel - one of the best, if not THE best I've ever experienced. Incredibly exhilarating - lots of current in a narrow, tightly focused channel!!

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