Creekstone Press

Northern BC's publisher

Creekstone Press Publications

Excerpts from Rocking’ Whitewater: A Guide to Paddling in Northwest British Columbia

Introduction by Tania Millen

Much has been written about the riches of northwest British Columbia – the mountains and lakes, wildlife, scenery and First Nations cultures – all of which contribute to this unique area. This guidebook explores another major asset of northwest BC – the world-class whitewater paddling.

The book was started in 1995 but then life got in the way and the project was shelved. Every few years thereafter local and visiting paddlers discussed resurrecting it, but again life (and paddling!) prevented serious efforts.

In 2011, heeding gentle nudges from the paddling community, the project was restarted. It was certainly a great time to put together a guidebook. There were more paddlers around than a few years earlier and many of the accessible rivers in northwest BC had been paddled, yielding plentiful data.

This guidebook is truly a community effort. It simply wouldn’t have been completed without the generosity of local (and not so local) paddlers, their honest assessment of ‘the goods’, and their unswerving support and enthusiasm for the project. But there are some who consider that by writing a guidebook, the mystique of the included paddling runs might be lessened. I disagree. This book is simply one source of information that paddlers may choose to access. That’s one of the beauties of guidebooks; they provide choice. Readers can access as much (or little) information about a run prior to paddling it as they wish. The choice is entirely up to them.

And there are other reasons for writing a guidebook. As more people move to densely populated areas and become less connected to the natural world, our understanding of the intrinsic value of wilderness is decreasing. I believe that producing this guidebook may help reverse that process. Simply put, it will encourage more people to get out there.

So, the rationale for writing this guidebook includes:
• Providing, for the first time, information for paddlers on the world class whitewater that exists in northwest BC, and;
• Stimulating those not-so-frequent paddlers to take advantage of one of the most abundant, renewable resources in BC.

I also hope that this book goes a long way towards increasing awareness of the special places that exist in northwest BC and the value of their wildness. Enjoy!

November 2011

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