Adventure Season in BC

The transition from Summer to Winter in the PNW generally means dropping temps, low water, and prime river adventure conditions. This fall, I joined a couple different teams to complete two very different first descents in the Coast Mountains of BC, the Klinaklini River and the Southgate River.

The Klinaklini traverses the Coast Mountains from its inland agricultural headwaters out to Knight Inlet, BC’s deepest fiord. Previous attempts had been thwarted by higher than anticipated water and the final canyons. Todd Wells introduced the team of BenStookesberry, Erik Boomer, and me to the idea. Exceptionally low water and fine weather coaxed us downstream and through the final canyons to make the first complete descent of what we all felt safe to call a classic BC multi-day river trip.


The Southgate was a different story. I don’t think it had been on anyone’s radar and for good reason. There are few people who would be keen for this kind of trip but I was lucky to be joined by Ben Stookesberry and Benny Marr for the attempt. A 15-mile lake paddle-in led to a 12-mile, three-day hike-in, which led to low water and an incredibly steep creek where our “approach” continued. Brief bits of paddling amidst the spectacular portaging carried us through the 10 day trip out to the Pacific Ocean in Bute Inlet. Unlikely to be repeated, but a classic adventure trip none-the-less, and exactly what we were after.

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