I have been whitewater kayaking since 2005. I learned to paddle on the Ottawa River, a friendly big volume river with lots of play and warm water during the summer months. Since moving to British Columbia, I have been paddling in more cold rivers and creeks.
Cold water is a little bit more committing for me. As I get cold quickly, I feel more vulnerable in this environment. After a bad swim two seasons ago in a cold flooding and narrow creek, I have not felt as confident on the water. This trip was a game changer for me mentally! Sure it was cold, but it was wide with big volume waves. I found my joy from kayaking again!
Lochsa Falls is the biggest feature that one paddles through on this section of river. It is powerful, but I made it through everyday with a good forward lean and hard paddling!
Even in cold water I prefer not to wear gloves if I can help it. It gives me better contact to my paddle, which gives me more control on the water. I carry neoprene gloves with me just in case it gets a little too cold. Luckily the sun was out for us most of the time on this trip.
There are two sections of the Lochsa with a campground in the middle. You can warm up on the lower section on day one, and then paddle both sections in a day with a stop at the campground for lunch!
A great weekend with a wonderful crew of paddlers from the Kooteneys.
We are already planning Lochsa 2019 🙂