Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Early season at Skooks, BC - Canada

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Tyler Curtis gets back on his Canadian playboating game at Skookumchuck - British Columbia.

Ingredients for a 5 day Skook mission from Calgary

1 truck with canopy
2 ferry rides
3 possessed kayakers
4 hikes in and out to the wave
5 bags of groceries
6 pm departure time
7 gas stops
8 am arrival time
9 minutes of sleep

This winter in Alberta the weather has been fairly mild and the skiing quite epic. But once late March rolls around, many of us find a need to make the transition from mountain ripping back on over to the search for steep creeks and big waves. A good way accelerate the wait for our local rivers to break free from their wintery hold is to make an 11+ hour roadtrip over to the green wet goodness of the BC Coast. This time our adventure could only be of the 5 day version, but our timing was ideal as we were able to hook up with Tyler Curtis and Mariann Saether for some of the first daylight Skook waves of the year.

Michelle Basso airblunt Posted by Picasa

This was Mariann's first time to Skooks and Tyler had not been around here since the days of the EZ. After some coffees and a parking lot fashion show display of some new paddling threads, our Skook crew along with some boaters from the Seattle area paddled out on a cloudy afternoon just as the tide was turning.

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It's better than Christmas! Tyler and Mariann dig into a new box of paddling goodies fresh off the Greyhound express.

If you're still not in the know, Skookumchuck Tidal Rapids is a provincial marine park located on BC's Sunshine Coast about 2.5 hours from Vancouver including the ferry. This glassy tidal roller that forms for a 4-5 hour period once the tide comes back into Sechelt Inlet is now a frequent stop for many local and foreign paddlers. Summer months can sometimes get especially busy when tides over 12 knots begin flow consistently throughout the daylight hours. Camping around the area is easy to find. About 4km before Egmont harbour take a right and head up to Klein Lake Campground if the weather is nice. Another alternative is to camp or rent a cabin at the Egmont Marina Resort.

Although Skook can be a busy place sometimes these days, even a crowd of 20 paddlers can easily get dispersed and tired out which gives you more minutes on the wave than you might think. Still the early spring is when you might be able to find a special day on the wave all to yourself. Find Egmont B.C. on a map, then make sure the flood tide is 12-15 knots and that you're confident paddling in the squirrely water that boils up behind the wave.

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Check Skook's tide levels: Sechelt Rapids.

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TC, Michelle Basso and Sean Allen stop for a sunny break while hiking in for another session.