Written by Jerrica
The Clearwater River was an unexpected surprise for me. To date, this section of river had the biggest drops we've ever taken in our beloved duckie, Debbie the Duckie (our Aire Tributary inflatable kayak).
Clearwater, BC was a place of interest for the Deibers because we have looked into the whitewater business in this area. We decided to scope out the river on our way through British Columbia. We slept in our van at the gas station in town and then headed into Wells Gray Provincial Park the next morning for some whitewater.
Kevin did most of the research (okay, all of the research) for the section of river we were running. He didn't exactly tell me it was a kayak section of river... not a rafting section, but I figured it out pretty quickly after seeing the river. I doubt many duckies float this section, but we were crazy enough to take it on.
Getting on the river took a bit longer than we had hoped. I got Debbie the Duckie inflated and rigged up, but as we were taking off we noticed the entire left side was going flat. So we got out our patch kit and spent the next 40 minutes or so patching her up. Soon she was good as new and we headed out.
About 200 meters from the put in was Osprey Falls. It's about a 10 foot drop and the biggest (maybe only) water fall we had done in the duckie. We spent quite a bit of time scouting it out before we got back in the duckie and nervously headed for the falls. Kevin was planning on bailing to the right when we went off the edge so that he wouldn't fall on me, and, of course, that didn't go as planned at all. The falls was awesome - short and sweet and barely time to think. Instead of Kevin bailing right, we both tumbled out the left side and quickly got back in. There was a mixture of slight shock and tons of adrenaline and excitement from both of us.
Next, we came to a horizon line that was Myanth Falls... or so we thought. We got out and scouted the big wave train and hit our line beautifully. We were feeling really good about our duckie skills when we soon come upon a much, much bigger horizon line. THIS, was the actual Myanth Falls.
We got out the scout the real Myanth Falls and laughed at ourselves for being so stupid to think that the previous set of rapids was the falls. What idiots. We spent about 20 minutes scouting this area. Osprey Falls, at the beginning, was just one drop that was pretty straight forward. Myanth Falls had 3 different falls, none as tall as Osprey, but just as tricky. It was really wide and really rocky, with lots of drop pools and holes. It was also full of boulders that looked like they could mess you up. it's stuff like this that makes this section of river only appropriate for kayakers. We didn't have much business being there, but, as always, Kevin talked... sorry... tricked me into doing it.
We planned out a line that required a few tricky maneuvers in fast moving water. We went over the plan a few times, and I finally told Kevin that it didn't do any good talking this plan through over and over... it wasn't going to happen the way we planned it. There were just too many pourovers, too many rocks, too many holes. We were going to get yanked around and we were just going to have to figure it out on the fly.
Which is exactly what we did.
We fell out at the first drop.
Somehow Kevin and the duckie were stopped on a rock and I stopped right underneath them. Kev moved the duckie to me and held onto it as he hung from the rock above. I climbed in and he slid off the rock into the duckie after me. We must have looked ridiculous. After getting our crap together on that first pourover we hit the second and third drop as perfect as we could have planned and we stayed in the duckie the rest of the ride. We couldn't stop talking and laughing about Myanth Falls. It was a wild, awesome ride.
We were careful to take out before the class VI waterfall a little ways past Myanth. We got lucky in the duckie that day... but we aren't planning on pushing our luck on something that big.
My description really doesn't do Clearwater River a lot of justice. Watch the video to get a better idea of our ridiculously fun and ridiculously funny ride down the river.