View topic - The Kitlope --- anybody been there? Looks awesome!

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PostPosted: January 7th, 2008, 9:27 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 575
Location: Surrey, BC
I used Google Earth to 'discover' an awesome, intact (read 'no clearcuts') lake 14 km upstream along the river that empties into the head of Gardner Canal ( the fiord above the north end of Princess Royal Island).

53.090494
-127.788241
Are the coordinates for the lake.

Apparantly the valley surrounding this one lake has been made a conservancy --- of course the flip side to that is that all the surrounding valleys are now fair game for the saw. :( Instead of saving little tiny areas and then saying every thing surrounding them is loggable, I wish they'd do the opposite.
Anyway --- has anybody been there? Could the river be paddled easily to the point where the lake opens up from the head of Gardner Canal? I don't see rapids on Google, according to which the lake is 12m ASL --- for you whitewater types, if a river drops 12 m over 14km and the satellite shows no rapids, is something not adding up? How fast should it be flowing if in fact it does drop by that much over that distance?
It'll be a tough go getting there --- roughly 380 KM from Ocean Falls or a little less than that from Rupert.
Could a guy get wet launched from a ferry near the entrance to Gardner Canal?
I bet you'd get some awful funky winds in that inlet although the real super-intense outflows would occur mainly in the winter. The Gardner Canal is similar to Bute Inlet --- home of the deadly 'Bute Wind'.
Would VHF marine radios work in those mountainous inlets? I bet not. You might have to do without weather forcasts as a result. And there'd be a zillion bears and maybe even bands of rogue, republican sasquatches.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2008, 1:23 pm 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 10:46 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Smithers
No firm details, but some skiers traversed the coast mountains from Bella Coola and finished the trip by building a log raft tied together with climbing ropes and floated the Kitlope. I think it was written up in the Alpine Journal.

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PostPosted: January 18th, 2008, 1:55 pm 
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Joined: April 26th, 2006, 12:14 am
Posts: 575
Location: Surrey, BC
"Alpine Journal"? Do you have a link, Aaron? I can't find anything with google, although I did find some references by mountaineers. It sure seems like a cool place to explore, eh?

I've been reading about the history of the first nations people in this area --- Kitlope apparantly means, 'people of the rocks'. This tribe had a habit of keeping a watch posted high up in the rock cliffs. When the haida raiders drove up in their war canoes all they found were deserted encampments and were jeered at from up on the rock cliffs, by the 'rock people', or "Kitlope".

I don't know the whole story behind this, but apparantly the present Kitlope band turned down "incentives" valued at over a hundred million dollars by logging interests to get onboard with their plans to log their watershed. If that really is what happened --- good for them. May they stick to their guns. If only that was the usual response to "incentives". It's a sad reflection on the state of affairs in the logging industry BC that the degree of native involvement in logging is directly related to how controversial a given area is --- the more opposition there is to logging a given area, the more the timber corporations bring the natives in on it. It somehow is supposed to make clearcutting ancient forests it more acceptable if aboriginies are involved.

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Mariners must navigate these waters the same way a mouse negotiates a kitchen patrolled by cats: by darting furtively from one hiding place to the next.
"The Golden Spruce", John Vaillant


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