Kananaskis River (Play Run)
|Stretch:||Widowmaker to Canoe Meadows|
|Difficulty:||Class II+ to III-|
|Flows:||28 to 32 cumecs. Check out the TransAlta releast schedule|
|Gradient:||17 fpm average|
|Put-in:||Widowmaker Parking Area|
|Take-out:||Canoe Meadows Parking area|
|Shuttle:||2.3 km, less than 5 minutes one way|
Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip - Day 35:
By this evening we needed to be in Calgary, that part was set. We had tossed around the idea of going for a bike ride this last morning, or maybe a hike. But when we did the Jordan, Honza told us to check out the play run on the Kananaskis. Gerard thought we would be bored in our creek boats and suspected we would finish the run in 30 minutes or faster. But, it was on the way and we both felt like boating again, so we headed that way.
We set our bike shuttle and put on. Finding some nice play spots, though a playboat would have been better. We admired how nice of a training river it would be, and then we got to a horizon line which was an obviously man made play feature. We ended up flat spinning and surfing this feature for the next 45 minutes with some new friends who we met a few minutes in. We then headed down to the next feature and front surfed for another half hour on another glorious spot. These two spots were absolutely fantastic, even in a creek boat. I am seriously jealous of the folks who have this in their backyard. Downstream, we soon entered the slalom course where we played, did enders, and did some attainments before finishing our run, some 2 hours later! So much for the 20-30 minute lap!
Although the run is short, there is fantastic play on this run. I would say it is some of the best I have seen on a river run. Reminded me of a playpark as it is obviously altered by man to make the features, but still, it was so good.
That afternoon we headed into Calgary to visit with a friend of ours, have dinner, and catch up on the happenings of each other's' lives.
Previous: Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip - Day 34b: Mistaya (Canyon)
Next: Jobless Summer 2019 Roadtrip - Day 36: Elk (Middle)
- Widowmaker (II+ to III-). If you are unsure, you can put in below. The river drops though wha tis likely an old structure, perhaps it is a ridge of rock, but I don't think so. The water has a weird seam and sticky eddy on either side. Swing left and run center.
- Hollywood Hole (II+). Just a hole that is a bit trashy but ok for surfing. You can avoid it all together if you want on the right.
- Point Break (II+ to III-). A nice section to practice eddying out, catching eddies midstream, ferrying etc. A nice little natural slalom course with plenty of options for lines.
- Santa Claws (III- to III). A man made play feature is the biggest on the run. You can run far left or far right to avoid the meat of the foam pile. Or run down the middle. Eddy access on either side. We were able to spin our creekers here which was awesome. We really wished we had playboats for this one!
- Surfers Wave (II+). Downstream there is a small feature followed by this excellent feature. It is a wave that a faster boat is better on. The creek boats really shined here as we were able to carve all over the wave. Eddy service on either side. The runout was shallow and I clocked my elbow pretty hard on one ride when I rolled.
- Racecourse (III). The slalom course is just that, a awesome continuous section of rapids that bends around a few corners and has slalom gates set up. Really nice attainments, a few nice ender spots too, and of course plentiful eddies to catch and work on your skills.
- Chubbies (II). 100 yards downstream from the beach take-out, is a nice surf spot that was the site of the Canadian Nationals a few days after we passed through. It is a small hole great for the loops and whatnot that all the cool kids throw.
Take-out: From Canmore, head east on the Trans Canada highway for 28 km to AB-40. Take AB-40 south for 6.2 km until you see signs for Canoe Meadow. Turn right and park at the parking area.
Put-in: Go back out to AB-40, turn right and continue south for 1.9 km. Turn right at your next right which also has signs for Widowmaker access. Follow this down to the parking area.
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