Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Talow Creek- A tat-high

Visit LVM Video to purchase the Whitewater Kayaking DVD of this Expedition.
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To watch video #1 Tatlow Creek=>
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To watch video #2 Tatlow Creek=>
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This summer season Whistler locals, Jonovan Moore (the man who found the creek) Sam Maltby, Stew Smith and Derek Thomas, pioneered a new gem in the Squampton zone, Tatlow Creek. The Tatlow flows into the upper Ashlu, above the ‘Mine’ run and the ‘Box Canyon’. The creek is a mere 6k long, but it packs a serious wallop. The run goes like this; 6-8-8-20-25-10-4-sieve-25-8-35-20-8-6-3 or some such something like that. The Tatlow run just goes to show how many badass creeks must be left to explore in the area. Hats off to Jonovan for sussing this one out.

Mr Hilleke checking out the zone.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Minivan #2 (in 9 days),right above the put-in for the Box Canyon of the Ashlu.

photo by Nikki Kelly

The lip of 50/50 falls on the Box (at maching high water)

photo by Nikki Kelly

Here is a view of the mountains ringing the Ashlu gorge..

photo by Nikki Kelly

The Talow requires a VERY aerobic hike up to the putin. I believe our stats came out something like 900 vertical feet of elevation and 40 minutes of walking close to straight up the hill.

Tommy hoofing it up the old road.

photo by Nikki Kelly

After walking up the road you descend into the creek through a fine piece of BC hellfuck.

Fred Coriell prior to dropping in.

photo by Nikki Kelly

photo by Nikki Kelly

When we arrived at the putin Mr. Grace realized that he left his drytop at the car and he was forced to plod back up through previously mentioned BC hellfuck, it must have seemed like the end of the world for him.

We had guide Polk Deters to show us the way down, and he was a little concerned with the level at the top, setting an ominous tone right off the bat.

Here is Fred dropping off the first 20 footer. There is a bad cave on the right and a nasty wall on the left. Johnnie Kern swam here on a previous trip, so the tension was on the high side of good.

photo by Nikki Kelly

photo by Nikki Kelly

Tommy scouting the first section on the Tatlow.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Here is a sequence of Hilleke running the first falls. The immediate lead in to this falls is a series of three ledges, all in the 6-8 foot range (w/not small holes).

photo by Nikki Kelly

Justin Beckwith running the same falls.

photos by Nikki Kelly

The second falls is a bit dicey and requires a mandatory plugger at the bottom (see videos for action)
This falls had been walked by many in the past, so here we are debating the pros and cons.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Polk Deters ‘nutting up’.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Tommy, same.

photo by Nikki Kelly

Fred Coriell running the double drop just below the second falls. This drop has a nasty hole at the bottom that caused Mr. Deters to be temporarily separated from his kayak.

photo by Nikki Kelly

A river-wide sieve that blocks the whole flow or the creek precedes the third falls.
The sieve requires a very active portage through more BC undergrowth and an additional scout down the canyon of the third falls.

The third falls is a steep ass slide that drops into a wall, very immediately into a wall.

Here is Deters in the third falls.

Justin Beckwith, same falls.

Here is a series of Toby MacDermott having some issues in the third fall.

photos by Nikki Kelly

The next series of falls caused a good bit of problems for our group. The action began with an eight footer into a 35 foot near vertical slide split into two channels. The left channel was death by decapitation and the right side was a bit tricky to get to. Tommy was convinced the drop was good and gave her straight off.

The rest of the group had a bit of a meltdown concerning the ability to catch an eddy/portage the next falls, which the 35 footer flushed promptly into. With concern on his face Freddy gave the ‘I don’t think its such a good idea at this level’ speech and with risk management in mind we all began the very sketchy portage around the falls. The problem was, we weren’t sure if when we got to the river where Tommy was located, on a rock in the middle of the river, if we could portage the next nasty falls (run only we believe by Corey Boux). After much deliberation we ended up returning to the riverbed and working out the portage.

Here is Justin ‘jumping’ the portage.

photos by Nikki Kelly

The last big drop was genuine piece of shit with no portage options. Here are some innocuous shots from the top.

photos by Nikki Kelly

The last two falls spill into a pool blocked by a large strainer.
Polk Deters and Tommy Hilleke falling through the last hourglass canyon of the Tatlow Gorge.

photo by Nikki Kelly

The big loggen bridge marks your takeout, at which time a congratulatory remark or two will certainly be shared.

A despondent Grace awaiting the team at the get out.

photo by Nikki Kelly


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey boyz...Thanks for the credit on Tatlow, but you got it a little wrong...this was Jonovan Moore's work...myself (Sam Maltby) Stew Smith and Derek Thomas came along for the ride. Just thought you guys should know. Nice shots...what a gem huh? Oh ya, if you're ever around Bralorne again..I have a little cabin up there now on Cadwallader that yours to use...gimme a call


9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome Photos and vids! You guys are outside 'yo mind! I'm trying to get in contact with John Grace. My name is JP Swope, 850-445-3234 or Hopefully somebody will get this and give it to him. Thanks!

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