Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Flood Updates

With all the rain we have been getting things are looking a bit ugly for climbers and a bit scary for boaters. Hikers, well, just pretend you are in the Shangra La of Vancouver.

Actually if you are looking for some tidbits of information about the flood, check out the forums at calpaddle for things from a kayaker's point of view. You can also check out the snow pack, river flows and damn levels at the Alberta Environment site. Right now though, it looks like the big storm is mainly hitting the prairies. Waterton hasn't had nearly as much rain as Mountain View. That means that although the prairie rivers are higher than they were in the flood of '95 the lake hasn't gotten into flood mode. In fact the upper mountains seem to be on the verge of getting snow right now instead of rain. For instance, out by Mountain View, locals said it was close to 0 this morning. From being out Sunday, it looks like the mountain creeks while high, aren't in flood stage yet - well at least the ones with minimum drainage.

Of course if you are looking for some drier areas, even Stone Hills is getting hit.

For some good reading try the Flood stories page. Here is the Kootenay version:

A small gray bird, despite the prohibition of her husband (a chicken hawk, Accipiter cooperi), bathed in a certain lake after picking berries in the hot sun. There she was seized and raped by a giant in the lake. The bird's husband shot the monster, who in revenge swallowed up all the water to keep others from having it. The woman pulled out the arrow, and the water rushed forth in a torrent. The husband and wife escaped to a mountain until the flood receded. (In variant versions, the woman was seized by a giant fish or water animal. The husband killed it, and its blood caused the flood. The husband escaped up a tree.


At 6/07/2005 01:23:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Chris,
Was that you (yellow kayak)that I met in North Drywood on Sunday? I regret not introducing myself. How was the river?


Posted by Linda Breton

At 6/07/2005 03:41:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Linda,

What were you doing in North Drywood? Did there appear to be in fresh snow? What about road washouts? I heard on QR77 on Monday morning that part of Hwy 6 between Pincher and Waterton was closed because of flooding. Do you know where it was closed? I also heard this morning that it was snowing on Hwy 3 in Crowsnest.

On a similar note, but kind of out of scope for this site, is that the freeze line in Banff, Louise and Jasper has been fluctuating between 7200ft (2200m) at night and 8500ft (2600m) during the day.  

Posted by Dave Stephens

At 6/07/2005 07:47:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Dave,

I went into N Drywood to look at potential scramble routes for Drywood Mt and Pincher Ridge. Just some exploration fun! That was my first time into the valley. Actually, I was feeling pretty sick, so I didn't get very far, but I've got a few options to go and check out for next time.

As for conditions, it was a sunny day when I was there, and no new snow. When I was leaving it looked like the cloud was building. I heard this morning Pincher Creek received 100mm of rain in the past 24hrs, and declared a state of emergency. So it sounds like things are drastically different from when I was there. I haven't heard anything about the highway, so if anybody knows...

On a side note, have you ever gone ice-climbing in N Drywood?

Posted by Linda Breton

At 6/07/2005 08:26:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes that was me Linda. You had a rather surprised look on your face. As long as the bears get as surprised, I don't think I will ever need as large a can of bear spray as you had. Well, as long as I am carrying a 9 foot kayak on my back. Talk about needing a porter! Where was Dave when I needed him! Darn flamethrower burger specials!

The creek was actually pretty good. It took me a few moments at a couple of the drops to decide how solid I felt. However I am trying to head out there again this week.

If you are looking for good routes up those mountains, South Drywood has the best access. Head up to Bovin lake and then catch the ridges on either side. Once on top of any of those ridges, they all interconnect without too much elevation gain. I like the hike up South Drywood over to Red rock. It is a nice day out. Heading up the head of North Drywood valley is a major pain. Lots of low brush. You are better off scrambling up the ridge kind of by where you were.

Hope to see you in the mountains again. Perhaps I won't be wearing a 50lb yellow kayak! 

Posted by chris goble

At 6/07/2005 08:28:00 PM , Blogger chris g said...

As of today the snow level looks pretty low. The hills behind Mountain View had a dusting this afternoon. I would guess the snow level in the park would be just above Bear's Hump. However I couldn't see that far. My parents new house was getting rather wet.

On the up side, though, they cancelled school in Cardston due to all the flooding. Unfortunately the road to Lethbridge was closed so my kayaking plans for the day were awash.

At 6/07/2005 08:53:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Chris! Well it was nice to meet you finally, however brief it was. I was surprised to see anyone at all, I often don't see people when I go out alone. Especially people wearing kayaks...50lbs! Oddly, it looked lighter. As for the bear spray, :) I just bought it, after 10 yrs of hiking without. I've got too many people screaming in my ears about bears, I think.

By the sounds of it, the creek will be more exciting this weekend with the current state of conditions. My brother is into kayaking, I'll have to take him into this region sometime.

Thanks for the info on the mountains. I knew about the Bovin Lake trail to the ridges, but I was not aware of the nasty far end of N Drywood valley...good thing I didn't go that far!

I'm always out in the Castle and Waterton, so I'm sure we'll run into each other again! 

Posted by Linda Breton

At 6/08/2005 07:45:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard more on the radio that HWY 22, just north of Hwy 3 is closed because of snow. That gives me a good idea of where the freeze line is located.

Linda - Blair and I went into North Drywood this past season for ice climbing, but the ice was in bad shape, so it was another one of the many weekends where we took the ice tools for a walk.  

Posted by Dave Stephens

At 6/08/2005 08:56:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, thanks for the update on those conditions. 

Posted by Linda Breton

At 6/10/2005 09:19:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We went up to logans on wednesday, there is a lot of snow up there still. There is probably some good skiing to be had. There is inbetween three and four feet of base with a foot of fresh.


Posted by scott harms

At 6/10/2005 09:36:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dave, Kevin and i were skiing up there last Saturday. It was pretty good in the morning up to early afternoon. By then the snow just gets to isothermic to be really good skiing. 

Posted by Blair Piggot


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