Words By: Brandon Willms
Another week has past and still no real movement in the local snowpack. Levels were holding nicely down Fernie way, and on google earth I had spotted some fun looking water above the Lower Bull sections that I have been introduced to previously. Maya Blomme and Jason Boutet had time off with me and where in the mood for some fun a little further from the Kan so we thought the Bull woul be a good bet.
The mountains are looking ripe these days. Warm weather should start to bring us the fruit shortly!
Having run the Lower sections recently, I knew the section down to the bridge would be a great way for us to warm up and just has so many fun moves that we were all jazzed on it. I did a right up on this section on my last blog, but this time I managed to get a few more photos to go along with it. I will also chuck it up on paddling ABC when I have time.
A great rapid somewhere in the lower section.
Maya making her way through one of the last rapids on the grade II before the bridge.
We finished off the section feeling good, and drove up river to the Sulphur Creek section. We set our bike shuttle at the lower bridge and went and camped at the put-in right on the river (KM marker 51). It was a cold night, but some sun greeted us in the morning and got us excited about some more paddling. We managed to get some really nice photos from the more significant rapids.
There were lots of fun lines to be had on a picture perfect ledge.
River Report – Bull (Sulphur Creek Section)
Location: Bull River, BC
Our Water Level: 1.86m or 52.5cms on the Bull River Near Wardner Gauge
Grade (at this level): II+(IV-)
Character (at this level): Low volume river running; technical boulder rapids; bedrock rapids; two portageable ledge rapids IV- and III+ respectively; pool drop; some longer rapids; crisp river features; holes, boofs; read and run; scoutable; portageable; hazards include pins, powerful recirculation, and potential for wood.
Directions: Follow Paddling ABC’s directions to the “Lower Canyon” run. Carry on past the bridge and keep going upstream on the Bull River FSR. There is a bridge over the bull just before KM marker 41. This is a good takeout if you are willing to float out. To shorten the run takeout at the landslide at KM marker 46 (or find an alternate take-out on one of the spur jeep tracks). The put-in is at KM marker 51.
Run Spotlight: (The part of the show where we discover the good, the gross and the glorious parts of the river through trial and error/success!)
- Jason and I had a marvelous time running laps on the first ledge rapid. It is a perfect boof, with lots of water going off it, no scraping off the lip. Jason mentioned that it was likely the stickiest boof that he has run to date. It certainly could dish out a bad time if you were to end up stuck in there.
- The first rapid of the second canyon is a really fun class III rapid with a cool sequence through curling waves and holes. It was fun to get creative in here.
- The second ledge rapid has a significant horizon and drops into a canyon. We all ran it on the left side, but other lines exist. Maya stepped up to this one and had a somewhat quirky, but overall successful line!
- The run has plentiful big boulders and it is my guess that it will get more and more fun as the water level goes up. Big boofs will become available! It will certainly be something worth checking out.
Maya about to get airborn on "The Cruncher".
All in all we had a great time checking out some new whitewater for all of us. It was certainly a notable run for anyone paddling in the class II+ to IV- realm and with the already well known sections downstream, and the wonderful camping, it is totally a worthwhile destination.