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White Water Kayaking

Thursday, May 11, 2017

This is the Summer to Finally Raft the Chilko River in BC

It was 20 years ago when I first met Brian McCutcheon, owner of Rivers, Oceans, and Mountains, or simply ROAM. I had been hired by Men’s Journal magazine to write about the first descent of the Klinaklini River in British Columbia. It was a spectacular journey down a rip-roaring river dwarfed by snowcapped peaks and glaciers. I was accompanying Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops, who came to the Northwest with his entourage to hook salmon on the fly. The fish weren’t biting but the scenery and excitement of riding the Klinaklini more than made up for the lack of salmon. 

Like the rest of the West Coast, British Columbia got slammed with snow and rain this past winter. So the rivers are bulging at the seams, ideal for a memorable multi-day paddle. One of the most exciting whitewater rafting runs in North America and a personal favorite of McCutcheon is the weeklong jaunt down the Chilko River in southwestern BC. Take an hour seaplane flight from Vancouver to 4,000-foot high Chilko Lake where a $10 million lodge now stands. Then let the rollercoaster ride begin. You’ll cruise 130 miles, dropping 3,000 feet through a tumultuous blur of lava gorges and narrow chutes. Looming overhead are sloping carpets of forest and jagged peaks. And, on those rare moments when you slow down, you might find yourself staring at an eagle or grizzly. BC also stands for serious Bear Country, home to 12,000-plus grizzlies.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/11/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 18, 2012

Rafting the Classic North American Rivers—Alaska’s Alsek and Tatshenshini Rivers

Two arms of the same river, the headwaters of the Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers are in British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. They converge shortly before entering Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park. Both are stunningly beautiful runs through a United Nations World Heritage Site. The highest coastal mountains in the world and towering glaciers slide down to the river’s edge. The Alsek and its Class IV and V waters are for adrenalin junkies, while the Tat is a wee bit mellower ride. Consider the Tat to be North America’s version of the Zambezi, where hippos and crocs are replaced by grizzlies, moose, and bald eagles flying overhead. If I only had time for one of these classic whitewater runs I’ve discussed this week, I’d choose the Tat. 
I’m off to Nantucket to do a biking story for The Boston Globe. I’ll be back again on Wednesday. Have a great weekend and keep active!

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/18/12 at 12:00 PM
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Spring Thaw Means It’s Time to Dust Off the Kayaks

It hit 60 degrees in Boston today and tomorrow could break a record with highs in the upper 60s. You know what that means. The spring thaw is almost upon us, the time of year that whitewater enthusiasts hit the rivers for both kayaking and rafting thrills. If you want a good list of rivers to run, check out my article for AMC Outdoors. I divulged coveted paddling routes from Maine to Maryland. Not just rivers for the intrepid, but quietwater paddling on placid pond and lakes for all ages.  


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/08/12 at 02:00 PM
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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Idaho’s First Whitewater Park Opens This Month

For those of you headed to Idaho this summer to brave the rip-roaring rapids of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River or Hell’s Canyon on Snake River, you might want to get a little warm-up at the new Kelly’s Whitewater Park. Located an hour and half drive north of Boise on State Highway 55, the park is open to all kayakers, canoeists, rafters, and tubers, regardless of experience. Beginner and advanced areas of the park are divided by a man-made island, so simply choose your level of wave action and go play. The park is open to the public for free and a kayak school will help novices master the tough rapids to get them over to the expert section. The park is located in Cascade on the North Fork of the Payette River. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/03/10 at 01:00 PM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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