Gordon River, Vancouver Island, B.C.

We decided to take a trip up north before finishing up the final stages of NWVS VI, Here is an update from our trip to Vancouver Island.

One of the many waterfalls hidden on Vancouver Island

Our first stop on the trip was the Gordon River which lies on the west side of Vancouver Island tucked away in a maze of logging roads and coastal mountains. At the end of the road on the west side of Van Island sits the small fishing town of Port Renfrew. This town was our base for four days as we battled the winter time conditons on the island. The crew cosisted of Kim and Christina Russell, Todd Baker, Josh Mckeown, Austin Rathmann, Christie Glissmeyer, Jay Gifford, Rob Bart, Jono Ramsey, and I.

Day One, Monday March 24, 2008

Take out for the lower section on the Gordon River
*Photo Jay Gifford

The put in for the upper section
*Photo Jay Gifford

Day two – Tuesday
Tuesday morning started off rough for a few members of the group as we decided to close down the local bar, it wasn’t too hard since last call was at 9:45pm, and the fresh inch or two of snow in town was enough to slow the pace that morning.

The crew, trying to motivate

Take out for the middle Gordon and put in for the lower section

Once at the put in and in gear, it was all smiles as we made our way through the upper Gordon. That section of the river was an amazing, classic class IV+, B.C. box canyon. We had a few scouts and a few interesting lines before we dropped into the middle section. The Middle Gordon started out with a bang. The first rapid came right around the corner from the put in and split into three seprate channels, each with its own risks. A few of us decided to run the far left and we all had similar lines off the center.

Austin on the first rapid
*Photo Josh Mckeown

Todd Baker first rapid
*Josh Mckeown

Jay, same
*Photo Josh Mckeown

Austin, Todd, and Jay Below the first rapid
*Photo Kim Russell

The author on the first rapid
*Photo by Kim Russell

We came across many fun small boulder gardens and the river began to build into the final set of rapids. At this point everthing had been pool drop nature. We all ran Terminator and worked our way to the Funnel.

Rob Bart working his way through the in-between rapids as Jay looks on

The author in the midst of Terminator

Once we were on the downstream side of the Funnel, Austin City Limits was our last big contender. Only Austin and Todd were fired up to run this one.

Austin, at home on his City Limits
*Photos Josh Mckeown

Todd Baker running Austin City Limits, Middle Gordon River
*Photos Josh Mckeown

We ended the run with the perfect blind eight foot exit drop. A steep hike up lead up to the Boogaboo creek bridge and our take out rigs.

Day Three – Wensday

Back on the Middle Gordon, Jay testing the weather

*Photo Kim Russell

Jay, first rapid with winter conditions

Todd, first rapid

Christie G. walled in above the Funnel

Josh Mckeown running the run out of the exit drop on the Middle Gordon

Our views on the ferry ride home
*Photo Jay Gifford
Thanks to Jonothan Ramsey, Kim Russell, Jay Gifford, and Josh Mckeown for the use of the photos.

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