Category Archives: Beta

Preparing an anchor at the top of Swan Falls, on Trout Creek near Buntzen Lake

Early Season Update

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Well, it looks like (after a late start) the canyon season is beginning to come into its own. We are finally starting to get some stretches of dry (drier?) weather, and creek levels are starting to subside to reasonable levels.

Just a few updates:

Box has been run a few times so far this year – in fairly high flow, at times. There are some new anchors, specifically on the third and fourth rappels.  Some spots that were jumps and slides are now no longer. All deep pools have filled in with rocks – be very careful out there. The beta page has been updated very recently, but always exercise caution!

Cypress has seen a little bit of change this year as well. The logs that were jammed in the final rappel, below the scenic viewpoint, have been entirely swept away. This greatly simplifies the task of the first person on rappel, in ensuring that the rope follows the best path to the bottom, and also simplifies the rope pull – no chance of the rope hanging up on the way down. This is the first time that I have seen this rappel with no logs at all in the six or seven years I’ve been descending it!

In addition, keep in mind that in high flow, it may be hazardous to access the bolts for the third rappel. We are assessing whether to add a bolt further back to protect the approach, as at the first rappel. The same is true for the final rappel, which would remove the need to climb up and over the viewpoint platform to access that rappel.

Goldie Creek was descended recently by some friends, so anchors in there should be fresh. This creek, a fairly small drainage off of Mount Seymour, may be a good option a couple of days after rains, before some of the larger drainages have settled to reasonable levels.

Britannia continues to remain at fairly high levels, and some of the anchors have received significant damage. We hope to get in there soon, and look at rehabilitating the anchors… Stay tuned for more.

Monmouth should soon be reasonable to descend, especially with a week of two of drier weather approaching. It will be interesting to see how the thunderstorms in the area recently may alter that prognosis…

A couple of us descended Trout Creek / Swan Falls, at the top of Buntzen Lake this past weekend. I hope to have some beta posted on that here soon. The final waterfall sequence is challenging, but beautiful.

If you have any input, thoughts, comments, etc. please leave a comment here, or email bccanyoneers@gmail.com!

 

 

 

 

Rain Is Here!

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Well, it’s been a long time coming, but we are finally getting some serious rainfall this weekend!  Creeks have been dropping to barely a trickle (Monmouth? Seriously, you couldn’t manage just a little more water??) but they should be recharged soon…

As of Friday morning, there is a special weather statement in effect for the Howe Sound area:

Special weather statement in effect for:

  • Howe Sound

Heavy rain over the South Coast this weekend.

A major change in the weather pattern is in the works. The high pressure system that has trapped wildfire smoke over Southern B.C. will finally shift east thanks to a pair of incoming storms. The storms will merge two jet streams into a single river of sub-tropical moisture that will bathe the South Coast with the first significant rainfall in months.

Weather models are indicating 80 to 120 mm of rain over the South Coast between today and Monday morning. 20 to 30 mm of rain is expected to carry over into the mountainous regions of the interior during the same period.

Due to the drought conditions over these regions, the soil has a reduced capacity to absorb water. Heavy rainfall thus increases the risk of flash flooding. Additionally, given the recent prolonged dry period, road surfaces may become slippery resulting in poor driving conditions.

How this will effect the local canyons over the next few days is hard to guess. We’ll just have to keep an eye on the water levels to determine how safe they will be in the short term. There are plans for a fairly large group to descend Box Creek on Sunday, but that may have to change, depending on the rain’s impact.  Another possibility is Britannia, which is generally more open, with avoidable flows.

At least one more group, that I know of, is coming from out of town next weekend.  It will be interesting to see how the creek flows stabilize in the meantime.

Britannia - first rappel

Britannia Creek – Beta

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At a Glance

ACA Rating: 3C II
French Rating: v3a3 or higher, depending on flow and route chosen
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Distance: Technical section – 1300m
Elevation Loss: 220m
Rappels: 4-7, maximum length 20m (65 feet)

Updated September 2015 to provide additional information on technical jumps.

Warning: This canyon can be jumped in a number of spots. It is up to you to determine whether the jumps are safe or not. The ability to jump into a pool without sinking too deeply is a technique that can be practiced and improved. Depth of pools can change at any time. The first person in a party can rappel into a pool and use goggles or a mask to determine the depth of the water.

Overview

An easily accessible canyon along the Sea to Sky Highway, just a few minutes south of Squamish. With two vehicles, hiking is minimal, and makes the canyon an incredibly worthwhile half-day out.

Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment.  Adequate rope for a maximum 20m rappel.  Webbing/rapides for up to 7 rappels – almost all bolted.

Maps

To the Trailhead

From Highway 99, drive to Britannia Beach, and exit the highway east onto Copper Drive.  This is the only set of traffic lights in Britannia Beach.  Drive about 500m along the road, and pull off at a small parking area just before a bridge crossing.  This is the exit point from the creek.  If you only have one vehicle, park here, and walk up the road to the entry point.  With another vehicle, drive up Copper Drive another 3.2 km (2 miles) to the entry point.  This is where the pavement ends, and the road changes to gravel.  There is a small parking area on the north side of the road, and more parking available on the roadside. The hike ahead is very short, so if you’ve driven here, you might as well suit up now, and leave anything you won’t need in the vehicle.

Approach

From the parking area, cross a small (usually dry) streambed into the trees, following orange flagging tape.  You will contour around to your right, ascending slightly, until you reach an old dam on the river.  This is your first rappel.

Route Details

Rappel 1

Your first obstacle is pretty obvious: the dam that blocks the creek.  Find a pair of bolts on boulders near the far side of the creek bed.  Webbing leads to the lip. You may find the rappel awkward to start; sitting on one hip, holding the knot in the webbing, then sliding over the edge will help. You can rappel in the thick of the watercourse, directly down to the pool, or avoid much of the water by keeping to canyon right.  If descending directly into the pool, watch for the footing to get very uneven as you transition from concrete to bedrock.  20m (65 feet) to the pool below.

Five to ten minutes down the canyon, find:

 

Rappel 2

Off a pair of bolts on the bed of the creek, close to the pouroff. This rappel can be optional – it is possible to do as a rather technical jump, with a very small landing area.  Rappel length is 10 m (33 feet) from the bolts to the water.

Five minutes or less of walking leads to:

 

Britannia Rappel 3

Britannia Rappel 3

Rappel 3

Lots of water cascades down a narrow channel.  Bolts are on the right wall.  17 m (55 feet). After getting off rappel, wade (or swim!) under the suspended boulder in the watercourse

Round the corner ahead to find:

 

 

Britannia - Jump after Rappel 4

Britannia – Jump after Rappel 4

Rappel 4

Two bolts on the ground, approaching a drop-off.  Rap down a short wall – can exit on ledge, using about 10 m (33 feet) of rope, or continue another 6 m (20 feet) to a pool. This rap is followed quickly by an optional jump of 4 m into a shallow pool (about 2 m or less in depth). The height of the jump (if any) can be altered by walking further down a ramp.

A couple of minutes later, downclimb to a pool, with a huge boulder on the left side. Just beyond is a cliff band of about 3-4 m in height. This is the location for:

 

Rappel 5

There are a number of ways to pass this obstacle. It is possible to downclimb the dry portion on the right (fairly reachy). It can also be downclimbed through the watercourse on the left – this is quite difficult but there are lots of features, hidden by the water flow.  May not be passable in high flow. Perhaps the best way to sequence the drop is for the best climber to meat anchor the others down, then drop the rope and downclimb with a good spot.

If no one is particularly keen to downclimb, pass the rope around the top of the large boulder and have two team members at a time simul-rap the drop. With an odd number of people, have one member stay on one side of the rope while the final person raps – a meat anchor from the bottom. Then pull the rope gently from below – the rock is fairly jagged.

After this, there is a walk down the river of around 20 minutes or so, until you arrive at the:

 

Britannia - Lower version of the bridge jump

Britannia – Lower version of the bridge jump

Bridge Jump

This jump can range from 6 to 10m high, depending upon where you choose to jump from. The pool is very deep, but you must jump beyond the waterfall in order to avoid a rock outcrop/ramp at the base of the cascade.

When tossing packs and ropes down to this pool, watch for them floating out the far end, and down the next drop!

This jump can be avoided by exiting to the road, and scrambling down to the canyon again on the right side.

Exit the pool from this jump, and you are at:

 

Rappel 6

Anchored off a pair of bolts on canyon right, a fairly long way back from edge. About 15 m (50 feet) from bolts to water.

This rappel is technically optional – it can be jumped, but be very, very careful of boulders on all sides – one member should rap first and scout with a mask or goggles if not familiar.

Just ahead, around a curve to the left, you will find:

 

Britannia - Rappel 7 and its approach

Britannia – Rappel 7 and its approach

Rappel 7

Follow a narrow chute to a suspended pool.  This chute has great footing, but flow can be very high in the constricted space. There is one bolt above, on left wall, to protect this chute.  In the pool, find a pair of bolts on the left wall. The drop is 18 m (60 feet) to either the ground or the pool below – can be rapped in or out of the water.

 

This rappel is followed quickly by a couple of jumps.  Downclimb a little ridge to a good ledge on canyon right, about 3 m above a pool. The pool is quite shallow – under 2 m – so use careful technique not to go too deep. Be aware that there are also obstacles in the water – there is at least one log close to the landing area, a couple of meters to the right of the pouroff as you look down at it (visible as a dark spot in the water). You can downclimb enough so that the depth is not a big issue.

This jump is immediately followed by another into a much deeper pool. It can be jumped from various stances ranging from 3 to 5 m high.

From here, it’s about a 5-10 minute walk to the lower bridge.

Exit

Pretty darn easy: Exit the canyon to the left, and you are back at your vehicle!

GPS Waypoints

GPS waypoint list to follow

Rating Info

v3a3 II (in low flow season) – could become significantly higher in high flow conditions.

v3 – Vertical sections with low water flow. Rappel ends in pool with swimming in calm water. Easily accessed and performed rappels, of no more than 30m.

a2 – Travel in low current. Easy jumps of 3 to 5 m.

 

Deeks Creek Rappel 2

Deeks Creek – Beta

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At a Glance

ACA Rating: 3C II
French Rating: v3a2
Time Required: 4-5 hours
Distance: Technical section – 700m
Elevation Loss: 200m
Rappels: 4-6, maximum length 25m (80 feet)

Updated: 12 July 2015

Overview

An easily accessible canyon along the Sea to Sky Highway, just north of Lions Bay. The canyon itself, while not spectacular, is a worthwhile day out. There are no particular difficulties, but the rappels do descend right through the watercourse; prepare to be doused! This creek can be a raging torrent outside of summertime, but flow is easily assessed from the highway prior to hiking in.

Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment.  Adequate rope for a maximum 25m rappel.  Webbing/rapides for up to 6 rappels – two bolted, the balance off of webbing.

Maps

To the Trailhead

Park in a wide area just south of the Logger’s Creek bridge along Highway 99.  This is about 5km past the Lions Bay Avenue exit, when traveling northbound.  It is about 6km past the Porteau Road exit, traveling southbound. There is also a wide area on the north side of the bridge, but it is more rough and difficult to enter from the highway.

Approach

 

From the parking area, walk (carefully) up the busy highway, northbound about 600 m – across the bridge at Logger’s Creek, to the next bridge, which is Deeks Creek.  Take a look here at how much flow there is coming down the short section of falls just above the bridge. Walk to the far side of the bridge, and find a trail starting up the hillside near the creek.

Ascend the trail for about 20 minutes, to just above 300 m elevation – about 1.1 km of hiking.  Just before some rocky bluffs, break off to the right and contour along toward the creek.  Pick your way down to the creek and suit up! Your elevation here should be about 270 m.

 

Route Details

About 10 or 15 minutes from the entrance, reach a boulder that blocks the watercourse, which falls into a pool below.  This can be avoided by scrambling down some slopes on canyon left. You can also rappel it off of a log that sticks out from the boulder, over the pool.

Rappel 1

About five minutes after the avoidable rap, reach another that is anchored off of a large tree on canyon left, avoiding the watercourse, or off of a tiny (!) tree on the right wall of the canyon.

Rappel 2

Another ten minutes brings you to the next rappel.  A large log is suspended above a boulder in the watercourse, providing a convenient spot for some webbing.

Deeks Creek Rappel 3

Deeks Creek Rappel 3

Rappel 3

This is the first bolted rappel in the canyon.  Find a pair of bolts on the left wall of the canyon, above a waterfall.

 

 

 

 

Rappel 4

This rap is anchored off of another pair of bolts, on a large boulder near the left wall of the canyon.  When we were there, there was no water flowing on this side, but it looked like there was a rock dam that could easily be dismantled and change that up!

Deeks Creek Rappel 5

Deeks Creek Rappel 5

Rappel 5

Anchored off of a slung rock pinned under a larger boulder, just behind a waterfall. A bit of an awkward start, and very very slippery. It is difficult to keep one’s feet on this rappel; the rock is quite blocky and it is very difficult to see what is coming next!

 

 

Rappel 6

Right near the exit from the canyon. Anchor off of a tree beside the watercourse.  May be descended in or out of the waterfall.

 

Exit

You’re now back at the highway!  Exit easily to the right, and walk back to the parking area.

Continuing down canyon from this point to the ocean, according to what I’ve heard, does not allow for retracing your steps, or for climbing back up to the roadway outside the canyon.  Sounds like you’d have to swim along the coastline to easier terrain…

GPS Waypoints

GPS waypoint list to follow

Rating Info

v3a2 II (in low flow season) – could become significantly higher in high flow conditions.

v3 – Vertical sections with low water flow. Rappel ends in pool with swimming in calm water. Easily accessed and performed rappels, of no more than 30m.

a2 – Swims not exceeding 10 m in length, in calm water. Easy jumps of less than 3 m. Short or low angled slides.

 

 

Cypress Creek – Updated Beta – Bolts

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The beta post for Cypress Creek, in West Vancouver, has been updated.  The new beta includes the approach to the upper section, which adds one more (worthwhile!) rappel to the start of the canyon.  Many people have already done this rappel, but the approach used to involve travel through a private work yard, past a gated fence.  While we don’t know of anyone having problems with this approach, there is now a new approach which avoids this area.  All FOUR rappels in the canyon have also now been bolted.

Cypress Final Rap

 

See the beta post for details!

Monmouth Canyon – Beta

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At a Glance

ACA Rating: 3C III
French Rating: v5a4 III-IV *
Time Required: 8-10 hours
Distance: Technical section – 900m
Elevation change: 425m
Rappels: 16, maximum length 45m (150 feet)

Warning: This canyon can be jumped in a number of spots. It is up to you to determine whether the jumps are safe or not. The ability to jump into a pool without sinking too deeply is a technique that can be practiced and improved. Depth of pools can change at any time. The first person in a party can rappel into a pool and use goggles or a mask to determine the depth of the water.

 

The famous tunnel rappel in Monmouth Creek

The famous tunnel rappel in Monmouth Creek

Updated: 5 July, 2015

Overview

A long sculpted, flowing canyon west of Squamish, BC. The canyon is somewhat difficult to get to, requiring a crossing of the Squamish River for access. There are numerous rappels in the 35-45 meter range, some involving two stages. One of the notable features of this canyon is that a number of the rappels end in pools that are enclosed, and escape through narrow gaps into big open rappels A lot of the waterfalls are quite airy, and escapes from the canyon are plenty. The canyon is a fairly serious undertaking, requiring a fairly long day, often battling some pretty big flow!

Note: It has come to our attention that Box Creek and Monmouth Creek, as well as the approaches to both, are in an area that is a designated cultural site of Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish First Nation).

This definitely does NOT preclude use of the area, but we wish to emphasize the importance of respectful use of the area. Please, in particular, attempt to minimize impact by using the old adage: Take nothing but photographs; Leave nothing but footprints.

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Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment. Adequate rope for a maximum 45m rappel. Almost all rappels in the canyon are bolted.  In a canyon like this, always consider bringing a wrench and one or two extra hangers, nuts, and washers, as well as covering eventualities with some webbing, etc.

Map

To the Trailhead

From Highway 99, approaching Squamish from the south or north, turn west at the lights at Cleveland Avenue.  After 400m, turn right on Bailey Street.  The road quickly becomes gravel and comes to a fork.  Keep to the right – this is Government Road. Continue north on Government road for 1.6km, crossing two sets of railroad tracks and getting back onto pavement.  Turn left towards Squamish River Dyke Road (signed for Estuary Access and Squamish Spit) and return to a gravel road.  After 350m, turn left onto the dyke road.  Right here, beside the yellow gate blocking access to the north (right) you will find a short trail leaving the road, down to the river.  This is the best put-in spot when the Squamish River is flowing particularly hard.  Unload canoe/kayaks/gear here. You can park in the wide area on the other side of the road.

In lower flow, the river can be crossed further down.

Shuttle Vehicle

An optional shuttle vehicle can be placed 1.4 km further down the road.  This makes the river crossing to and from the trail much easier. There is a wide area along the roadway, on your left as you drive.  It ends, and the road narrows, just where the trail comes out of the woods.  Ideally, place things like dry clothing into the vehicle that carries the canoe, and leave it at the take-out spot.  If no shuttle vehicle is available, plan on about 15 minutes of walking to return to the vehicle at the put-in spot.

Approach

NOTE:  Crossing a fast-moving river like the Squamish is potentially very dangerous! Depending upon the discharge rate of the river and the dynamic hazards therein, there may be standing waves, snags, partially submerged logs, etc. You can check on the current, recent and historical data here: http://www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/graph/graph_e.html?stn=08GA022

Put in to the river here, and strike out across the river.   Work your way across the river, as you head downstream.  You will find that the trees you see directly across from you are actually on a long narrow island.  You want to round the lower end of the island, and head upstream into a much narrower, slower moving channel on the other side. During high tides, you can head along the shoreline of the island, and through a gap between the island and a large gravel bar. (In very high tides, you may not even see the gravel bar – just a large tree stranded on it further downstream.)  If the tide is lower you may need to continue around the gravel bar, past the large tree lying on it, and then back up the other side.

As you head up this channel on the other side of the island, you will soon come to a small cluster of old pilings on your left, close to the tree-covered shoreline.  There are a couple of tiny coves here (N49.71469 W123.17253) where you can pull in and tie your boat to the trees.  Note: the river here is still tidal and can go up and down a few feet while you are in the canyon – make sure you tie up the boat so it doesn’t float away while you’re gone, or else carry it up out of the river and into a clearing in the trees!

Once you’re ashore, you’ll find yourself in a small clearing with a few narrow trails spreading out into the trees. Go to the north (upstream) end of the clearing and follow the trail there away from the river. After a couple of minutes, it will angle to the left, and in a few more minutes you will hear the chatter of Monmouth Creek.

Continue following the trail steeply up the hill. (For Box Creek, the route exits the trail shortly before the steep section begins.) You will reach a couple of viewpoints that give an exciting preview of the waterfalls to come. Stay on the main trail – it will take you away from the creek for a while, then return to it as the grade eases off.  Note: There are ground wasps in the area.  One nest is located in the middle of the trail, about 45 minutes up from the riverside.  People who are sensitive to wasp stings must be vigilant on the hike in.)

Photo: Approach hike to Monmouth Creek

Approach hike to Monmouth Creek

At about 425m elevation, you will come to a spot where the trail reaches the creek again, and turns upstream,  This is the normal entry point (N49.71533 W123.18801).  You can enter here, or continue up the trail for five or ten minutes to the upper entry point (N49.71511 W123.19111). The upper spot gives you a little bit of pretty canyon, downclimbing, and a short jump.

Entry jump into Monmouth Canyon

Entry jump into Monmouth Canyon

Jumping in

From the normal entry point, an optional 6m slide/jump in a narrow chasm leads directly to the first of the rappels. This jump can be avoided by scrambling down the left bank of the creek, looking down canyon.

 

Route Details

Rappel 1

Photo: First rappel in Monmouth

First rappel in Monmouth

A pair of bolts on the right side take you down a waterfall about 9m (30 feet) to a pool below. May be difficult in high flow.  If necessary due to flow, instead go canyon left, and down a short downclimb to sling a bollard above the pool.

 

 

 

Rappel 2

At the far end of the pool, rappel 23m (75 feet) off two bolts on the left wall. Takes you down a beautiful, wide waterfall. At the bottom of the rappel, there is an awesome little alcove behind a rock, with water curtains on each side.

 

Photo: Infinity pool rappel

Infinity pool rappel

Rappel 3

This is the “infinity pool” rappel. Anchored off of two bolts on the right wall. In and out of the cascade, but ends in the full flow. 42m (135 feet)

 

 

 

Rappel 4

Scramble down and right below a couple of big boulders, and find a pair of bolts on the lower face of a boulder looking down the channel. Follow the wide channel, and over the lip.  Much of the flow can be avoided by keeping to rappeler’s right near the bottom. 30m (100 feet)

 

Rappel 5

This is a short rappel down a slab to an alcove below a boulder.  Anchored off a single bolt on your left as you approach.  Allows you to avoid a diversion into the trees and scramble down mossy logs. 14m (45 feet)

 

Photo: Rappel number six, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel number six, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel 6

Emerge from the alcove under the big boulder, and find a pair of bolts on your left side.  Down the waterfall to a pool below.  In very high flow, could be rapped off a slung boulder in the right side watercourse – less flow here. 24m (80 feet)

 

 

Photo: Rappel seven, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel seven, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel 7

At the end of the pool, find a pair of bolts on the far side of a large boulder in the watercourse,.  Drop down into a pool, over a lip to a ledge, the off to rappeler’s right (canyon left) into an alcove. 14m (45 feet)

 

 

Rappel 8

Off a single bolt under a huge boulder, through a dark tunnel into a deep pool. This rappel is very cool, but can be avoided by an even more amazing jump (about 9 m or 30 feet to the pool) on the right. 12m (40 feet).

 

Rappel 9

Immediately after rappel 8 (or the jump), round the corner and exit the pool (carefully) at the top of the Monmouth Tube rappel. There are a couple of options here.

  • Rap only option: As you exit the pool, there is a single bolt on the left side wall.  Rap off of this anchor into the pool below.  21m (70 feet)
  • Rap and slide option: Exit the pool, and using the bolt on the left as a safety anchor, find the bolt on the right side of the exit, on top of the ridge of rock on that side.  Rig a rope to this anchor, paying out approximately 9m (30 feet).  This length is approximate – rig a contingency anchor for the first rappeler, and prepare to let out more rope if required.  Rappel down the wall to an alcove and drop/slide packs into the pool below. While still on rappel, sit down on the edge of the alcove, facing out, and slide down off the end of the rope, about 8m or so to the pool below.

After the rappel/slide, climb up canyon left to a horn sticking out over the water, and jump in (about 9m – 30 feet).

 

Rappel 10

View from the jump spot on rappel 10 in Monmouth Canyon

View from the jump spot on rappel 10 in Monmouth Canyon

Immediately after the tube rappel, there is a jump of about 3m into a narrow, deep pool. This is quickly followed by your choice of either a long shallow slide down a slab into a pool, or a drop into a small but very deep washing-machine-type pool on the right.

Continue down to where a fin divides the water course into two, and find a pair of bolts on the left side of the left channel.  Again, you have a choice here:  Set the rope length for 15m (50 feet) and rap down to a series of pink ledges, where you can jump into the deep pool below, or else set out 19m (65 feet) and rap all the way into the pool. From there, partner assist through a narrow gap into the “diving board” room.  This can be difficult in high water.

If there is too much flow to safely descend this waterfall, then instead move canyon left, and find a pool with a pinch where you can anchor to descend a groove along the left wall.  With high flow, you will want to make this two stages, all the way into the diving board room. Approximately 27m (90 feet).

Whichever way you descend, make sure to explore both rooms above the diving board section.

Jumping off the Diving Board in Monmouth Canyon

Jumping off the Diving Board in Monmouth Canyon

The pool can be jumped from the diving board log, but is not very deep. During a recent particularly low flow period, the water was only about 1.5 meters deep! Ensure a flatter or scooped landing (or cannonball) to avoid going too deeply into the water. Keep knees bent! Those not comfortable with shallow water jumping should either climb down off the log onto the rock below before jumping, or rappel off of a meat anchor behind the log.  Please do not leave a webbing anchor behind on the log.

 

 

Looking down rappel 11

Looking down rappel 11

Rappel 11

Follow down a nicely carved section of rock to a rappel on the right side.  The route follows a channel on the right past a small pool, and pours down into a narrow section at a 90 degree angle to the main canyon.  There is a single bolt above the pool on the right side to simplify descending to this next rappel stance in higher water.

Drop into the channel that crosses the canyon, and pours off to the left.  Find a pair of bolts on the right wall, and rap down to the pool below. 14m (45 feet)

Rappel 12, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel 12, Monmouth Canyon

Rappel 12

Follow the pool to a large boulder in the watercourse, and keep left. Rappel off of bolts through a waterfall into a pothole, cross it, and continue down into another pool. 14m (45 feet)

 

 

 

Top of rappel 13 in Monmouth Canyon

Top of rappel 13 in Monmouth Canyon

Rappel 13

After rappel 12, a downclimb through a groove leads to a very nice alcove.  Follow around behind a huge boulder, in a very showery room.  Swim below a wedged boulder to a landing with a large pouroff ledge.  You will find a pair of bolts on the right where the water wells up and over a lip.  Big water, and lands in a large pool, occasionally with fish in it! 39m (130 feet)

 

Monmouth Canyon rappel 14

Monmouth Canyon rappel 14

Rappel 14

Move to the channel on the left, and find a single bolt on the left wall. Descend a groove to a stance below a big boulder. 14m (45 feet)

 

 

 

 

Rappel 15

From here, move to canyon right, and find a large boulder with webbing slung around it. Rappel from here to the rocks and shallow pool below. (Length uncertain – approximately 20-25 meters?)

Rappel 16

Some more downclimbing leads to a view down into the bottom of Box Creek, and the lower reaches of Monmouth. Undulating slabs of granite, with varied angles, scoops, pools and streams stretch down to the bottom. Some of the creek splits off to the right, joining Box Creek above the actual confluence. The downclimbing is initially easier here on canyon right, and may in fact continue all the way down to Box without requiring a rappel (though it’s unlikely).

The final rappel of the main canyon is on the left, past a series of scoops and cascades, anchored off webbing in a pinch on the left side of a chockstone. The rappel goes down a narrow corridor, but it’s easy to stay out of the full flow. 12m (40 feet) to slabs which can be followed to the right, all the way to the confluence with Box, and an exit to the trail.

 

Exit

From the base of the final waterfalls, and the confluence of Box Creek, head downstream for about three minutes, and exit the creek easily on the left to rejoin the trail. Hike back to the clearing, hop in the canoe, and recross the river.

Again, head downstream, working your way across.  You will see quite a number of logs stranded close to the far bank. Looking downstream, the trees along the Squamish Spit road start to thin out, and cars (if there are any driving along the road) become visible.  You want to find a little cove roughly even to where the last logs are stranded on the sand/gravel on the east side of the river, and just before the road becomes completely visible.  As you row into the little cove, you will see that it is actually a small side stream that leads through a culvert under the road to the estuary on the other side.  There are a number of vertical posts set into the stream, blocking access. Take the canoe out on the left (upstream) side, before reaching the posts.  You will find a trail here that leads up to the roadway and your parked vehicle – if you have done a shuttle. Otherwise, walk back up the road (900m to lower put-in, or 1.4 km to upper) to retrieve your vehicle.

GPS Waypoints

Upper canoe put-in 49.719579 -123.167867
Lower canoe put-in 49.715572 -123.167973
Take-out canoe 49.707469 -123.170288
Trailhead landing 49.713905 -123.173527
Trail turns uphill 49.713249 -123.181175
Keep right 49.713478 -123.184620
Normal entry 49.715020 -123.187978
Upper entry 49.715059 -123.191296
Monmouth-Box confluence 49.712734 -123.181779

Topo

Monmouth Topo

Monmouth Topo

Rating

v5a4 II (in low flow season) up to v4a4 II (in higher conditions)

* Reasons for rating:
v5 – Vertical sections in medium to strong water flow. Crossing pools during the descent. Slippery or obstructed rappel location.
a4 – Prolonged immersion causing some heat loss. Moderate current. Easy jumps of 5 to 8 m.

 

Box Canyon Creek – Beta

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Kevin in a sculpted chamber in the depths of Box Creek Canyon

Photo by Jeff Wachsmann

Note 1: The first descent of 2016 took place on 13 May, 2016. There were a number of changes in the canyon. Most importantly, pretty much every place in the canyon where you could jump or slide had filled in with stones. Pools that were swimmers now range from ankle to knee deep. In addition, the anchors for a couple of rappels are more treacherous to access. Finally, the fourth rappel, which used to be anchored off an overhead slung pinch in a little cave, is now anchored further down-canyon, at the top of the actual drop.  This anchor is hidden, and is described in the beta below. All new (changed) beta entered in 2016 is coloured blue. Keep in mind that conditions are always dynamic, and may no longer be the same as described!

Note 2: This canyon has now been bolted.  All of the nine rappels now consist of bolted stations of either one or two 3/8″ bolts and hangers.  As should always be the case, ensure that you check the anchors, whether they are natural or bolts. Confirm that the bolts appear to be free of corrosion, that the hangers do not spin, and of course that webbing, rapides/quicklinks and rings are all in good condition!

At a Glance

ACA Rating: 3C II
French Rating: v3a2 II (in low flow season) up to v5a3 II (in higher conditions) *
Time Required: 3-4 hours
Distance: Technical section – 300m
Rappels: 9, maximum length 25m (80 feet)

Most recent conditions update: 13 May, 2015

Overview

A beautifully sculpted, flowing canyon just west of Squamish, BC.  The canyon presents no particular difficulties in summer conditions, but is somewhat difficult to get to, requiring a crossing of the Squamish River for access.  While there is good cell phone coverage in the area, the canyon is impossible to escape in some of the deeper, darker areas.  This all adds to a sense of remoteness and isolation, despite the canyon being a mere 3 km from downtown Squamish as the crow flies.  While only a half day canyon, the feeling of adventure is much greater than expected.

Note: It has come to our attention that Box Creek and Monmouth Creek, as well as the approaches to both, are in an area that is a designated cultural site of Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish First Nation).

This definitely does NOT preclude use of the area, but we wish to emphasize the importance of respectful use of the area. Please, in particular, attempt to minimize impact by using the old adage: Take nothing but photographs; Leave nothing but footprints.

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Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment.  Adequate rope for a maximum 25m rappel.  Webbing/rapides for up to 9 rappels off of bolts.

Maps

To the Trailhead

From Highway 99, approaching Squamish from the south or north, turn west at the lights at Cleveland Avenue.  After 400m, turn right on Bailey Street.  The road quickly becomes gravel and comes to a fork.  Keep to the right – this is Government Road. Continue north on Government road for 1.6km, crossing two sets of railroad tracks and getting back onto pavement.  Turn left towards Squamish River Dyke Road (signed for Estuary Access and Squamish Spit) and return to a gravel road.  After 350m, turn left onto the dyke road.  Right here, beside the yellow gate blocking access to the north (right) you will find a short trail leaving the road, down to the river.  Unload canoe/kayaks/gear here. You can park in the wide area on the other side of the road.

Shuttle Vehicle

An optional shuttle vehicle can be placed 1.4 km down the road.  This makes the river crossing to and from the trail much easier.  Ideally, place things like dry clothing into the vehicle that carries the canoe, and leave it at the take-out spot.  If no shuttle vehicle is available, plan on about 15 minutes of walking to return to the vehicle at the put-in spot.

Approach

NOTE:  Crossing a fast-moving river like the Squamish is potentially very dangerous! Depending upon the discharge rate of the river and the dynamic hazards therein, there may be standing waves, snags, partially submerged logs, etc. You can check on the current, recent and historical data here: http://www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/graph/graph_e.html?stn=08GA022

Put in to the river here, and strike out across the river.   Work your way across the river, as you head downstream.  You will find that the trees you see directly across from you are actually on a long narrow island.  You want to round the lower end of the island, and head upstream into a much narrower, slower moving channel on the other side. During high tides, you can head along the shoreline of the island, and through a gap between the island and a large gravel bar. (In very high tides, you may not even see the gravel bar – just a large tree stranded on it further downstream.)  If the tide is lower you may need to continue around the gravel bar, past the large tree lying on it, and then back up the other side.

As you head up this channel on the other side of the island, you will soon come to a small cluster of old pilings on your left, close to the tree-covered shoreline.  There are a couple of tiny coves here (N49.71469 W123.17253) where you can pull in and tie your boat to the trees.  Note: the river here is still tidal and can go up and down a few feet while you are in the canyon – make sure you tie up the boat so it doesn’t float away while you’re gone!

Once you’re ashore, you’ll find yourself in a small clearing with a few narrow trails spreading out into the trees.  Go to the north (upstream) end of the clearing and follow the trail there away from the river.  After a couple of minutes, it will angle to the left, and in a few more minutes you will hear the chatter of Monmouth Creek.  Before the trail starts to climb steeply up the hillside, turn left off of the trail and drop into Monmouth Creek (N49.71347 W123.18041).  Following the creek upstream, you will soon come to a spot where most of the water is coming from waterfalls on the right.  That is where Monmouth drops down the hillside from Echo Lake.  Rather than turning up here, continue straight ahead, slowly climbing the gradient of the smaller stream.  This is Box – and the water coming down the stream toward you is the water flow in which you will soon be rappelling.

After about 10 or 15 minutes, you will come to a pool at the bottom of a waterfall with some large logs scattered around (N49.71098 W123.18464).  This is the lower end of the technical section – if you wish, you can leave dry clothes, food & drinks, etc. stashed here.

Image28a-001Exit route from the canyon, to climb to drop in point.

To climb to the drop in point, exit the canyon steeply to the right (looking upcanyon) via a big blocky boulder, onto a large log angling up the hill. Be very careful on the slippery log, and watch your footing as you move from the log to the clifftop. There is now a fixed rope to assist on the climb out. Scramble up into the trees, and continue steeply uphill.  Note: Be alert for wasp nests in the area – we encountered two on the way in!  People with sensitivity to wasp stings must be cautious on the approach.  The way from here is now flagged – follow the pink flagging to the drop-in point.  Near the end of the approach, the flagging stays wide, to the right, before dropping down to the creek – follow the flagging to avoid another wasp nest.  Suit up, and get ready for a great little gem of a canyon!

Route Details

There are variations in the way this canyon is descended. I will describe here how most people currently descend it, and some variations that are available.

Rappel 1

First rappel station in Box Creek - high flow!

First rappel station in Box Creek – high flow!

Two bolts around the corner, canyon right, down a smooth chute, under a large log and rock pile. The canyon has now filled in just above the rappel, and it may be difficult to access the bolts in higher flow. Consider using a belay to assist the first team member to the station if the conditions seem to warrant it. There is currently a large log hanging down into the channel – be careful not to dislodge it while rappelling.  11m (35 feet).

 

 

Top of rappel 2, looking toward rappel 3 in Box Creek

Top of rappel 2, looking toward rappel 3 in Box Creek

Rappel 2

Immediately after first rappel.  This rappel has recently changed significantly (early 2015).  From the bottom of the first rappel, walk out then climb down a narrow chute on your right into a slightly lower pool.  There is a single bolt with a rappel ring located on the left wall just as you approach the pour-off.   Two stages – into a pool, then past a boulder to a lower pool.  The first pool used to be a swimmer, and potentially difficult to exit at the far side – it is now ankle deep. 18m (60 feet).

 

Rappel 3

Immediately after second rappel. The bolts that were located here have been destroyed by debris over the winter of ’15/16. Now, move to the left through a gap beside the wall. then keep to your right. You will find a single bolt with rap ring on your right, protected behind the large boulder here. Rap down into the channel below, joining the watercourse where it pours over a log dam. Follow the channel down, past where the water disappears off to the left (looking down canyon).

This spot is potentially very dangerous! It is very difficult to determine exactly how the water exits – it may drop into a siphon, and could have the power to trap someone there if part of your body or equipment gets sucked into the flow. Make your way very carefully past this spot!

You will come to a pour-off that used to be a large waterfall, but is now dry. Stay on the rope, and go right to the edge of the pour-off.  On canyon right, on the outside of the pour-off, is a two bolt chained rap anchor. Anchor yourself here prior to getting off the rappel, and setting up the next rap. This should take approximately 20m (65 feet) of rope.

 

Rappel 4

Rappel four, viewed from the anchor.

Rappel four, viewed from the anchor. The water no longer pours over here, but joins further down.

This rappel used to be a head-pounding waterfall – probably the most challenging in the canyon – but is now mostly dry. The water joins from the side, and you will only enter the flow near the bottom. Rap from the bolts beside the pouroff, approximately 6m (20 feet). Easily spotted for length from the anchor.

 

 

Rappel 5

Immediately after the fourth rappel.  Off two bolts, into a pool, then over a short pouroff. 15m (50 feet).  It is possible to exit the rappel after dropping into the first pool (about 8m, 25 feet), and jump into the lower pool, off the pouroff. Practice shallow jumping technique – and always be sure that there are no obstacles, and that you are comfortable with the jump. Canyon conditions change frequently. As of May 2016, the lower pool is approximately waist deep. It can still be jumped – carefully.

 

Looking down the tube, rappel 6 in Box Creek

Looking down the tube, rappel 6 in Box Creek

Rappel 6

“El Tubo” – the long straight tube. Off a pair of bolts on the left wall. 17m (55 feet). When the bolts were installed, they were about 1.5 meters off the ground – the floor of the canyon here has built up in the meantime!  The pool at the bottom of this rappel is not deep – don’t even thing about sliding near the bottom, or jumping from the lower end of the tube.

 

Emerging from the tube, rappel 6 in Box Creek

Emerging from the tube, rappel 6 in Box Creek

Right after this rap is a short drop into a narrow channel. There are some logs jammed into the gap, making a bridge. In lower flow, it may be possible to hang from the bridge and drop into the lower channel. Be careful, the water is now very shallow.  If you are not comfortable descending into the channel below, there are a couple of options, both of which involve the horn of rock on canyon right, just above the drop-off.

If someone is comfortable descending the gap, they can anchor others from the bottom, by tossing a rope over the horn, and providing a meat anchor. Those getting on rappel must be very careful not to pull out on the rope, as it could then slip over the horn and cause them to fall.

If no one wants to descend the drop, then very carefully slip a bight of rope over this horn, and gently rap down on both strands.  Have a partner monitor the rope, to ensure that it does not slip over the horn. From there, provide a meat anchor as previously mentioned.

After this point, escape from the canyon is possible on the left.

 

Bottom half of rappel seven.

Bottom half of rappel seven. This used to be a slide or a jump, but the pool is now far too shallow.

Rappel 7

Two stage rappel into a gorgeous alcove. Two bolts on the left wall. Awkward start into an overhang, down into a pool, then a sliding rappel into another pool. 20m (65 feet).

Accessing the anchor may now be very difficult (the logs and debris have shifted closer to the anchor recently). If necessary, move to canyon right, and descend a gap in the logs into a groove, and move across to the bolts.

The second stage used to be frequently done as either a slide or a jump into the alcove pool below. The pool is now about thigh deep, or less, and cannot be slid/jumped into! Stay on rope for both stages.

 

Rappel 8

Yet another possible two stage rappel.  Off two bolts on the left side, above the boulder.  Drop into a large pool, then around a corner and down a ramp.  15m (50 feet).  The first part of the rap goes past a large alcove on rappeller’s left, just after leaving the stance at the start of the rappel. Be careful not to slip into here, as you may get bashed around a bit. This alcove also makes a good spot for the first rappeler to get off the rope, and get photos of the other members on rappel.

Again, the second stage can be done as a slide.  Keep to the left, looking down, and try to land with your legs out, rather than “knifing” down into the water.  The pool used to be deeper, but is now about waist deep in the landing area. It can still be safely slid, but keep your legs up!

 

Final rappel in Box Creek

Final rappel in Box Creek

Rappel 9

Two bolts on the left side, below a short downclimb. Three stages. The pull can be tricky, through the turns/drops of the stages.  Pull is easier if you climb up the talus covered slope a little ways on canyon right. 25m (80 feet).

 

Exit

You’re now back at the pool where you exited the canyon to head uphill.  Shuck your wetsuit, pick up your cached food/water/clothes, and head back downstream to rejoin the trail. Hike back to the clearing, hop in the canoe, and recross the river.

Again, head downstream, working your way across.  You will see quite a number of logs stranded close to the far bank. Looking downstream, the trees along the Squamish Spit road start to thin out, and cars (if there are any driving along the road) become visible.  You want to find a little cove roughly even to where the last logs are stranded on the sand/gravel on the east side of the river, and just before the road becomes completely visible.  As you row into the little cove, you will see that it is actually a small side stream that leads through a culvert under the road to the estuary on the other side.  There are a number of vertical posts set into the stream, blocking access. Take the canoe out on the left (upstream) side, before reaching the posts.  You will find a trail here that leads up to the roadway and your parked vehicle – if you have done a shuttle. Otherwise, walk back up the road 1.4 km to retrieve your vehicle.

Canyon Topo

Box 2016

Click to download PDF version

 

Rating Info

v3a2 II (in low flow season) up to v5a4 II (in higher conditions)

* Reasons for rating:
v3 to v5 – Low water flow on rappels. Rappels end in relatively calm water. Both of these jump to higher levels in greater flow. The author has descended the canyon in conditions that made it impossible to keep one’s footing in the water flow.
a2 to a3 – Short swims, no jumps (optional slides). In higher flow conditions, can involve travel in low or moderate current.

 

Lost Creek – Beta

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At a Glance

ACA Rating: 2C I or 3C I
French Rating: v2a4 I (If jumping first waterfall, v2a6 I) *
Time Required: 1-2 hours
Distance: Technical section – 300m
Rappels: 0 to 2, up to 7 meters

 

Overview

A short and easy canyon, a couple of hours east of Vancouver.  Beautiful narrows, nice short swims, and lovely cascades.  The canyon can be descended in two styles: rappelling, or jumping.

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Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment, unless comfortable with jumps of up to 5m.  Adequate rope for a maximum 7m rappel.  Webbing/rapides for up to 2 rappels off natural anchors close to the drops.

Maps

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200847126898979041951.0004d68632d1435910c80&msa=0&ll=49.243697,-122.240349&spn=0.301239,0.793076

To the Trailhead

From downtown Mission, drive eastbound on Highway 7 for 8 km, to Sylvester Road.  Turn northbound (big gas station on the corner is a great spot to stock up on last minute supplies.)  Drive 22 km, along pavement, then a well graded logging road.  Turn left onto a spur, signed Lost-Lease, and continue 1.3 km, to a spur on the right.  Turn up here, and park in the incredibly filthy clearing. As you enter the clearing, look to your left – this is where you’ll find the trail.

Approach

Drop into the trees, and follow the trail down to the creekside. Follow the sound to the top of the waterfall.  There are two ways down, here: follow a trail down and around the falls, to the left, or make the 45 foot jump into the plunge pool below…

 

Route Details

From the pool at the bottom of the 12m waterfall, head downstream, scrambling, downclimbing and wading.  Follow a curve to the left.  The stream is split by a huge boulder in the middle.  Keep up and to the right side of the boulder, onto a ledge, and jump into the deep pool beyond.  The clear water lets you see the depth nicely.  If you’re feeling particularly nervy, go to the left instead, and climb to a high promontory, about 6 or 8m above the water – there are a few options here.

If you plan to rappel this drop, and the water is low, there is a chockstone wedged in the flow on the right side of the boulder – you should be able to thread webbing through, and rap off of this.  Otherwise, there is a boulder a little bit above the channel on the left that will provide an anchor.

Rapping the first drop in Lost

Rapping the first drop in Lost

Approaching the hallway swim

Approaching the hallway swim

A tighter section of narrows

A tighter section of narrows

Continue downstream, swimming through a beautiful, dripping hallway.  Some nice narrows follow…  Eventually, reach a spot with a pouroff on the left, but an easy downclimb to the right of a boulder into a small pool.  Swim out under the boulder – this is a nice, unusual feature.

Round a small fin of rock, up onto a landing before the final cascade to a pool below.  Once again, keep right, moving as far out as you can, and jump into the deep pool.  Otherwise, to rappel, wrap a rope around the fin, like a bollard, keep the rope low, and rappel off the two strands to the pool below.

Rapping the second drop in Lost Creek

Rapping the second drop in Lost Creek

 

Exit

Beyond here, the canyons opens and flattens. This is the end of “the business”.  The canyon can be ascended without technical gear.  Climb both the waterfalls on the left, and make your way back up to the 45’ waterfall.  Perhaps try a quick leap here, if you didn’t on the way in…

GPS Waypoints

Sylvester Road turnoff from Highway 7
N49.15575 W122.20968

Road to Lost Creek
49.33137,-122.250701

Turn on spur for trailhead parking
49.326838,-122.26252

Trealhead Parking
49.327796,-122.261393

Shuttle Parking (optional)
49.328299,-122.27033

 

* Reasons for rating:
v2 – “Easy climbing / downclimbing with little exposure.”
a4 – “Prolonged immersion causing some heat loss. Moderate current. Easy jumps of 5 to 8 m.”
a6 (First waterfall jump) – “Easy jump of 10 to 14 m.”

Terepocki Creek – Beta

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At a Glance

Upper Technical Section

ACA Rating: 3C II
French Rating: v5a4 II *
Time Required: 3-4 hours
Distance: Technical section – 300m.  Total – 2.2 km
Rappels: 4 – longest 25m

 

Overview

Terepocki Creek is made up of a couple of technical sections. This beta currently only covers the upper technical section.  This is a short portion of the canyon, consisting of four rappels, of up to 24m in length.  The gorge is very scenic, and there is quite a bit of water, with some nice swimming sections.  Note: Be very careful of water flow in this canyon! After committing to the second rappel, there is no chance of escape prior to the third rap.  The water is all funneled together for the top of the third rap, and it would be a very precarious spot in high flow.

The author of this beta has not yet done the lower technical section (due to rain starting, and an open Jeep at the trailhead!) The walk between the upper and lower sections is almost two kilometers long, and pretty dreary. The plan is to look for an easy access back up to the vehicle after finishing the upper section – it would make for a very nice short loop.

Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment.  Adequate rope for a maximum 25m rappel.  Webbing/rapides for up to 4 rappels off natural anchors (trees/boulders), mostly fairly close to the drops.

Maps

https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=200847126898979041951.0004d65c8c776920f64f4&msa=0&ll=49.367424,-122.263541&spn=0.017802,0.04961

To the Trailhead

The access to the canyon will require a fairly lengthy drive on logging roads.  It is generally well maintained, but conditions may vary.  To reach the shuttle vehicle parking, a section of rougher road needs to be traveled.  2WD is sufficient, but moderately high clearance will be helpful.

From downtown Mission, drive eastbound on Highway 7 for 8 km, to Sylvester Road.  Turn northbound (big gas station on the corner is a great spot to stock up on last minute supplies.)  Drive 25.3 km, first along pavement, then a well graded logging road.  Turn left here to access the lower shuttle parking.  Follow the road for 3.3 km, to a landing on the right.  Park a vehicle here. Return the 3.3 km the main road, then turn left, continuing northward. After another 4.3 km, there is a spur to the left.  The road is fairly rough, and heavily overgrown – if you want to save your paint, or have concerns about your vehicle’s undercarriage, park here. If you are fearless, drive down the spur for another 450m to a large, open landing. Park at (or walk to) the far end.

Approach

From the end of the landing, bushwhack into the trees, heading downhill toward the sound of the river. Follow a heading of about 215° magnetic, for about 200m.  Look for a rocky outcrop, jutting out a couple of meters above the creek.  This is your jump in!

Route Details

Hop into the creek here – the nice clear water will show a pretty deep hole slightly to the left.  As is often the case, it’s even deeper than it looks. Swim down to the far end of the pool where a large rock promontory splits the creek in two.  On the left is a large waterfall.  To the right is a narrower channel with a smaller cascade.  Anchor off a large log that sits above this channel.

First rappel

First rappel

There is a large pool below – rap into the pool, and swim across to the other side to pull the rope.  Swim through a narrow exit out of this pool, and wade and stroll for about 5 minutes downstream.  The creek now drops into a big, beautiful waterfall.  Move up and to your left, to anchor off of a tree.

Look down this second rappel, and carefully evaluate the flow.  The water drops into a large punchbowl, then down a second stage into an amphitheatre.  If the water here looks intimidating, you may wish to reconsider continuing.  If necessary, the canyon is escapable on the right, as you head back upcanyon, and a bushwhack will take you back up to the parking area.

Bottom of the second rappel.

Bottom of the second rappel.

Otherwise, continue down to the punchbowl, and beyond down the second stage.  From here, swim across the large pool to a narrow slot on the other side.  This slot narrows and becomes more shallow, and finally drops, on your right, over (and under) a log into another waterfall. Off one of the jammed logs, rap down into the next pool. (I have been told that this can be jumped, but I have not done so. Have the first descender check the depth and landing area before attempting to do so.)

Approaching the third rappel.

Approaching the third rappel.

Again, cross the following pool, through a little narrow section, to the top of one last cascade.  There is very little here to anchor a rappel – you may have to use a little ingenuity.  What has worked for at least a couple of parties is a knot-and-rock combination in a small pocket in the canyon floor, near the left wall (looking down canyon) a couple of meters back from the drop-off.

Anchor for the fourth rappel. Knot and rock chock.

Anchor for the fourth rappel. Knot and rock chock.

Starting the fourth rappel

Starting the fourth rappel

 

Exit

From the bottom of the cascade, swim across the pool, and walk and boulder hop for another hour or so downstream.  In the vicinity of the GPS point specified for the exit, look for a trail to the left, leading uphill toward the road.  Follow the road, left, to the landing with the shuttle vehicle.

Otherwise, continue down the stream for the lower technical section.  You can find details for it here:  http://www.canyoneeringnorthwest.com/TerapockiCreek/Terapocki.php

 

GPS Waypoints

Sylvester Road turnoff from Highway 7
N49.15575 W122.20968

Turn for shuttle parking
N49.34987 W122.22394

Shuttle parking (landing)
N49.37410 W122.24307

Turn for trailhead
N49.38446 W122.22265

Trailhead (end of landing)
N49.38246 W122.22549

First jump into creek
N49.38182 W122.22668

End of technical section
N49.37973 W122.22719

Exit left to find road (approximate)
N49.37409 W122.24803

Times

Still to come…

 

Rappel Summary

Rap 1 – 12m down a narrow waterfall, off a slung log.
Rap 2 – Two stages, total of 22-25m, off a tree on canyon left.
Rap 3 – 8m off a slung log.
Rap 4 – 5m off a constructed anchor (knot chock?).

 

*Reason for rating:
v5 – “Vertical sections in medium to strong water flow.  Crossing pools during the descent.”
a4 – “Prolonged immersion causing some heat loss. Moderate current. Easy jumps of 5 to 8 m.”

Goldie Creek – Standard (lower) Route – Beta

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At A Glance

ACA Rating: 3C III
French rating: v4a4 III
Time Required: 5-6 hours
Distance: Technical section – 0.7 km
Rappels: up to 9 – longest 30m
Total Elevation Loss: 700m

Overview

Goldie Creek is an easily accessed canyon, very close to the city of Vancouver. The goods come in a relatively short section, with some nice waterfall rappels coming in rather quick succession. The canyon also contains an amazing, beautiful rappel – 100 feet down a narrow slot, beneath a large chockstone. If there is a moderate waterflow, it is one of the most exciting rappels around!

Gear

Standard gear, including wetsuit and rappel equipment. Adequate rope for a maximum 30m rappel. Webbing/rapides for up to 9 rappels off natural anchors (trees/boulders), mostly fairly close to the drops.

To the Trailhead

Access Road:

From Highway 1, take the Mount Seymour Parkway exit. Follow it eastbound for 4.5 km, and turn left on Mount Seymour Road. (The small mall on the northwest corner is ideal for last minute groceries at the Safeway, or baked goods and coffee at Bean Around the World.)

Shuttle Vehicle: A shuttle vehicle is optional on this route. It will save about 30 minutes of slightly uphill walking at the end of the day, but the total driving involved will total about that over the course of two round trips. To reach the shuttle drop-off: after 500m, take the second right along Mount Seymour Road, onto Indian River Drive. After 700m, turn left on Indian River Crescent. Follow this (it becomes Indian River Drive again) for 3.8 km. Just prior to a tight switchback turn to the right, look for a wide spot to pull out on the right. Park the shuttle here, well off the narrow road. Return the way you came, to Mount Seymour Road.

Continue up Mount Seymour Road, 3 km from the Parkway (2.5 km from the shuttle turnoff.) On the right is trailhead parking for the Baden-Powell Trail. Park here. There is a pit toilet available up the groomed trail behind the information sign.

The actual trailhead is another km up the road, but there is no parking permitted (despite a large gravel area.) To save some energy, drive up to the pullout ahead, and drop off all heavy packs – either hide them in the trees, or leave one or two people to guard them. Drive back down to the parking area, and hoof it up the road. The route drops off from the apex of the hairpin turn, down into the trees. Find the obvious trail (N49.34442, W122.94608)

Approach

From the Trailhead: Drop steeply into the trees. (The “Trail Closed” sign refers to mountain biking.) It’s a little tricky to get there (there are a couple of ways) but you are looking for a trail junction at N49.34569 W122.94325.

The most straightforward trail was flagged with new pink/red flagging tape in late June 2016. Here is the simplest way to get on track correctly.

Start down the trail and after just a short distance (you make a sharp left turn, then a sharp right) you are heading down a long slope with a creek below off your left side. Part way down the slope is some red on the downhill side – your left. Break off the trail here, heading toward the creek. Follow the flagging – it’s not far. Cross the creek, then steeply up the other side, following the flagging.

At the crest of this slope, you come to a trail running left to right. Continue across this trail, to a fainter trail straight ahead of you. There is flagging here, too.  Up and along this brushy, fainter trail, and across a creek bed. Within a minute or two, you come to another trail running left to right. Move slightly left, and immediately right again, where there is more flagging. There is a small tree here that has two pieces of flagging tied to it. This is the trail junction waypoint mentioned above.

Get on this trail, which is marked with small diamond and square pieces of flashing, and follow it for about 45 minutes. It crosses a few other up- and downhill trails, but the correct route is generally contouring cross country. There is some fresh red flagging in a few spots where it may be unclear. Eventually, you will reach the signed crossing of Goldie Creek (N49.35291 W122.92010)

Rappel Summary

This is how we descended the canyon a few years ago. Conditions may have changed, and you need to be prepared for some inventive use of webbing and boulders/logs. Bring a lot of webbing.

First rappel – small groove, 20 feet off tree. Can be bypassed on canyon right, but following a small trail parallel to the canyon, downstream, for about 15 or 20 meters, then breaking off left toward a slab by a pool.

Second Rappel – 100 feet, narrow channel off a fresh pair of bolts on canyon left.

Third rappel – off boulder pinch at side of canyon, around corner and under boulder. About 35 feet?

Fourth rappel – off tree, around boulder. About 25 feet.

Fifth rappel – off a boulder cairn. About 45 feet.

Sixth rappel – off small chockstone. About 20 feet.

Seventh rappel. Two stages, off a large boulder, total of about 60 feet?

Eighth rappel from either a chockstone near top of boulder, or a smaller chockstone on left groove beside boulder. About 45 feet?

Ninth rappel – optional. Pretty easy downclimb using log at right side.

Exit

Approaching the end of the canyon, you will begin to see pipes and hoses, originally used to collect water for the homes below. (None of them appear to be in use any longer.) Stop and change out of wetsuits at this point, prior to reaching a bridge (alternately, change beneath the bridge.) Climb out beside the bridge, and turn right along the road.

This is a private road, Sasamat Lane. Please be considerate of the neighbourhood and drivers on the roadway. Reach a tee, and turn right on Sunshine Lane. Eventually, after about half an hour, you will reach a gate, and Indian River Drive. Turn right, ascend the tight switchback, and find your shuttle vehicle – if you’ve left one.

If you don’t have a shuttle vehicle, continue along Indian River Drive for another 1.5 km (15 minutes) to the signed crossing of the Baden-Powell Trail. Take the trail up the hill, to your right, and follow for another 15 minutes all the way to the initial parking lot and your waiting chariot.

Times

0:00 Creek crossing and first rappel – small groove, 20 feet off tree

0:15 Second Rappel

0:45 Third rappel

0:55 Fourth rappel

1:05 Fifth rappel

1:25 Sixth rappel

1:40 Seventh rappel.

1:55 Downclimb into small, deep pool.

2:10 Downclimb skinny channel, jump into deep pool. Followed by a couple of stiff downclimbs (avoidable)

2:35 Eighth rappel

2:55 Ninth rappel – optional.

Boulder walking…

3:50 (Approximately) Exit at bridge