This happened a few weeks ago on a series of great warm days we had. It started off as a few day trip, that was the plan but then i got sick and it looked like i wouldn't get out at all. I started to feel better 1/2 way into the good weather and decided that a long day trip was good enough otherwise i wouldn't get there at all. It actually worked out great as the temps where allot lower than my valley and i wouldn't have been warm enough ,plus the uninvited guests would have been disturbing, more on that later. I was all packed and so headed off early for Kootenay Lake via Slocan Lake and the Summit/Kaslo River Valley .Fall was really happening,well at least for out area, yellow and green.
When i arrived at Kaslo on Kootenay lake the wind was blowing at about 35MPH and there were 2' wind waves on the lake and i thought well its a washout.
I thought about heading south to the middle of the lake and visit friends and thought about turning around and going back to Slocan Lake as it was calm but a little voice inside said "so what if its not a paddle day , why not stick to the plan and head north and do recon and enjoy the day", and see what happens, so that's what i did . Kootenay Lake is a big lake at 90 miles long and 3 miles wide, deep, and Mnts coming right off the lake. As i drove a bit north i got out and took a couple of shots. This is the Campbell Creek Valley and the Purcells , 7-10,000' and after these going east are the Rockies.
That beach on the far side can only be accessed by water or a trail, its on the list for next yr. Here's another shot a bit farther down the road.
A few more miles up the hyway and you reach Shutty Bench and a small hamlet with a great view up the lake. The far side of that farthest peninsula is Fry Cr Canyon , a place i've camped a few times before in my tent days and was hoping to get there this yr but got distracted with poking around Slocan Lake in my new kayak.
I finally reached a place near the north end of the lake called Lardeau and found a good beach for launching. It was calm so i put in right away trying to get as many hrs of the day in as possible just in case the weather from the south came here.. It was 10:30 and still a bit cold, it got below 0*c last night, but who cares the sun is out and we're paddling.
A little bit of scenery along the way
I was thinking to myself that i was glad i didn't just rush off out the door last night to get here in the dark to sleep out as there is nowhere to get out. There are cliffs from short 4' to 30-40' high all along the shore , regardless i can't get out. The water is a bottle green because of the glaciers just north of here and the water is cold.
I keep heading south just enjoying the paddling but in the back of my mind i'm thinking about not getting too many miles down the lake as the weather from the Kalso area might make its way up here and this lake is notorious for big water in minutes. I'm getting hungry and need to pee but there's nowhere to get out. Finally i squeak out a sketchy exit by some boulders below a low ledge and clamber up to a ledge and gully, find relief and decide to stay on the ledge for lunch.
After lunch i decided to head back fearing my good weather luck was going to run out and the cliffs i was paddling by were going into shade and its only 1:30. I get back to the beach i launch from and the day turns to glass so i head north towards the end of the lake.
This is the view north.
Thats the Macbeth Icefields in the distance.To the left is the Duncan valley and Duncan Lake, and to the right just out of view is a series of six glaciers which is why the lake at this end is a green color.
I started heading back south to the launch which is just around the corner in this pic. In the old days of paddle wheelers this was the last stop at the north end of Kootenay lake.
I went back to the beach , the sun was starting to get low even on this spit that was getting more sun than most on this side of the lake.
Now i was eyeing this area in the trees between the launch and Davis Cr as a possible camp spot. Beach in front, a hanging spot,,Mmmm. Just then a young girl comes by to have a chat . Her grandpa takes her hiking up the mnts we've been looking at,(9000'), and i get tired just listening to it ,,good for her. She wants to know about my gear, my stove ect and thinks its all cool, she understands carrying less weight is good when going up these mnts.. I was feeling really tired and relaxed after a day of paddling. She says bears come down to the creek mouth a night sometimes to fish, (remember the uninvited guests).,,,,OK so i don't mind black bears but i don't camp in their fishing spot either,,nice spot too. I have to bring in the last of the firewood tomorrow so would have to leave as soon as i got up, cold and with bears ,,ok so maybe i'll stay for dinner on the beach , watch the sun go down , squeak out the last of the day and head back home. Here's the last pic looking down the lake from launch. Another beautiful day.
I was happy to get out to the main part of Kootenay Lake at least once before winter. Having spent so much time on Slocan Lake this yr i can focus on Kootenay Lake next yr but who knows, i'm just happy for every day out. I was back out onslocan lake yesterday and the week before ,,but thats another story.