Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Puntledge River, Vancouver island, BC, Canada

The Puntledge river festival is held on the weekend of the 31st - 1st June in the town of Courtney on Vancouver island. It is a great river with a mix of both great low water hole play and high water wave surfing, including a fantastic "hair boating" section on the upper below the fish hatchery. The Upper Puntledge is known for its beautiful cascading "class 5" bedrock slides., but as with many surburban runs in north america is restricted to flows regulated from dams upstream. The festival is a perfect chance to go huck down some beautiful slides and falls, then surf your way into downtown Courtney and party hard at the camp site that night.... and thats what we did....
Boz taking a beautiful late boof stroke on the falls under the bridge.
Kieran boofing the same drop
Sam Ricketts launches on a late power stroke
Sam Tregenza putting on a show for the bOyz
Henry the van getting loaded up for another run.
Kieran having a little spew after a big big night at the festival party
can you say Hungover?
Sammy T firing up nymph falls right side
Sam Ricketts plugging into the pot-hole between slides
Sam T
Boz and the typical Puntledge shit-eating grin
Sam Ricketts
After firing up the section again and again, we watched as the water was slowly turned down after the scheduled recreational flows. Standing on the bridge wondering where to paddle next we watched as a stout line appeared to the right of the waterfalls downstream. so after a little extra motivation we decided to fire it up.
Sam R stepping up after winning the rock - paper - scissors
After rolling through some big cushions and diagonals you needed to stick a difficult little boof stroke in a dirty pot-hole right at the lip before dropping another 6 feet into a shallow powerfull hydrolic
Driving from the puntledge we headed south and camped near what we hoped was going to be a beautiful 35ft waterfall. with not many options to camp we pulled into a logging coupe and camped in the only available flat space. The boys all pitching in to cook up a feast that night, followed by cookies and milk, mmm yum
Boz waking up in a puddle from the heavy rain overnight
beautiful free camping
sam peering warm and dry out of the van in the morning at the early rising campers cooking him breakfast.