RIVER’S WEEK SIMILKAMEEN RIVER BROMLEY ROCK TO PICARD CANOE TRIP REPORT BY ROGER VERMEULEN
Allow me to say right from the start that I volunteered to write this trip report; I never dumped once during my two paddles on the Similkameen, although it was hinted to us that the river levels might be low due to all the water being in our canoe. In our defence, the canoe was leaking.
Seven canoes left Bromley rock and seven canoes arrived at Picard, some 13 or 15 kms downstream. Class 1 and some 2 rapids were floated by all. One soloist turtled while playing in a class 2 rapid called Gold something, two thirds of the way downstream from Bromley. The paddler bailed and easily made his way to shore just a few feet away, towing his own canoe through an eddy. Greg got back in the saddle and played in the rapid again. Upon scouting this Gold something class 2 rapid I noticed a haystack in the middle of the wave train that wasn’t haystacking as it should. It had a rock in it and that was duly noted by all paddlers; so we all paddled on the left side of the middle of the wave train successfully avoiding the rock. All paddlers had to squeeze between a rock and a hard place. Our tandem Old Town Tripper, heavily laden with fibreglass repairs and sharp ended at both bow and stern took on water at the bottom of the run, this time though it was not due to leakage but rather to just plain old swamping in the high waves at the bottom of the rapid. Stern paddler Mike regularly lifts this rather large canoe sloshing with water onto its side and empties it out, bottom gunwale out of the water. Somewhat impressive I say.
Other than keeping eyes peeled for pillows that weren’t very soft to the touch all the way downstream and trying to find channels deep enough to paddle through, the run was excitingly pleasant and enjoyed by all paddlers. Surfing and playing in the various rapids along the way was enjoyed by all paddlers.