Athabasca River - Mile 5 (Gr. 2)
Last Updated on Thursday, 08 February 2007 20:20 Written by Spencer Cox Thursday, 08 February 2007 20:18
Space Godzilla Practise.
Lee Miller with a huge grin at Beckers Hole.
Cartwheelin' back in the day.
Lala Showin us how it's Done.
Gord McCall with the big Ender.
|Getting There: Drive South from Jasper until you see a turn for Alpine Village. Turn left off the highway and park next to the river. This is a good take out as sometimes you can hit the hot tub at the resort. Head back onto the highway and continue South through the Park Gates and make the next left. You will be turning into a parking area right before the Mile Five Bridge over the Athabasca. |
The Fun: Hop in the river and get ready for a super low stress run. The Athabasca is a great beginner run and still entertaining for everyone else. The first rapid is class two and has two options. The Left channel is called Sweeper Ally as it used to be riddled with sweepers. The Right channel is called something else, I can’t remember, but it was named because a local guide dumped a raft there at high water. Even though the Athabasca is class two it still holds a lot of power so don’t under estimate the flow.
Cruise some more smooth water and a couple of cruisy wave trains and you will see Beckers Bungalows coming into view. This is the hardest rapid on this section and the start of the harder class two. Blast through the wave trains and remember the best way not to tip over is to paddle all the way through. At the end of the rapid, depending on level, is Beckers Hole. This hole rocks at the right level and I have spent many days getting trashed and learning to play boat here. Stop and have a surf if the hole is in, you won’t regret it.
Once you pass Beckers you have a bunch more class two rapids on the way down. Rock Gardens is a right left combo rapid that followed by The Down Stream V and then another big sweeping right hand rapid. At high water this will have water in the river right channel and is even easier. You will hit the funkiest rapid on the river next; it is formed by a series of underwater ledges and will just explode and swallow boats sometimes. It is avoidable on the right. Shark Fin rapid is next, you will recognize it by the fin shaped rock sticking up in the middle, follow the water to the left for the smooth ride. Last Chance is next and of course last. Float to the take out and then head into town to the Downstream or the De’d Dog and relive the tale with your buddies.
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