Thursday, September 4, 2008

The UnLikely Paddlefest

Where: Likely, BC
When: September 19-22, 2008

What: The best paddling festival in western Canada, hands down! Hosted by Adrenalin Mountain Adventures the crew at Red Shred's Bike & Board Shed, for paddlers of all levels.

Rivers: From easiest to more difficult, the Lower Cariboo (grade II-III), Upper Cariboo (grade III-IV), Upper Quesnel (grade III-IV), as well as the Chilko River (III-IV) on Monday. At paddlefest levels, there’s a super fun easy surf wave at the top of the Upper Quesnel, that you can park n’ play at all day. For macho gnar-boaters there’s also Cariboo Falls (grade IV-V) at the top of the Upper Cariboo River. Don’t forget that Quesnel Lake is right at the festival site --- great for flatwater practice, total beginners, fishing, canoeing, or whatever.

Camping: Most people camp right in town, but some stay at Quesnel Forks, while others in Cedar Creek Provincial Campground or lodge in Likely. All the action is right out of town, so this is usually the best place to be. Plus you can stumble out of the Hilton in the evening and end up at your tent easily.

Friday Night: Show up and set up your tent, then meet old and new friends while a DJ spins at the Hilton.

Saturday: Paddling all day with organized shuttles. A rafting company may be around as well.

Saturday Night: The Gold Diggers Ball! Yes this is the theme of the weekend. It’s to commemorate the gold miners who came through during the gold rush and who lived at Quesnel Forks (now a nearby ghost town) and in Likely. There is a parade to kick off the festivities, so bring a costume and get ready to party down. Dinner is served at the Hilton by Gecko Tree Cafe, followed by the raucous funk sounds of Mamaguroove until the wee hours. Guaranteed booty shaking freakshow!

Sunday: Brunch served at the Hilton by Bluespoon, then paddling all day with organized shuttles. Later in the afternoon there will be a BBQ at Quesnel Forks served by the Likely Firehall.

Monday: Chilko River trip, shuttles will be arranged by those participating, departing at 9am Monday from Williams Lake and returning around 9pm. Here's a short video of Ben Pittman on Bidwell Canyon, the biggest rapid on the Chilko:

Cost: There is no cost to camping in town or at Quesnel Forks. Cost for the organized shuttles is by donation --- please be generous! All meals will cost $7-10.

Kayak Introduction Course: Captain Holiday's Kayak & Adventure School will be there to do a 2-day introduction to kayaking course. Don provides everything you need - kayaks, paddles, helmets, lifejackets and wetsuits, and absolutely fun and expert instruction. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged, so call him toll free at 1-888-905-2925 to reserve your boat.

More Info: Call Mark at Red Shreds (250-398-7873) or call Ivan (250-989-2100). Apparently there will also be 50 T-shirts this year available for sale from Mark.

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