Steve Jermanok’s Active Travels: Rafting the Chilko River, British Columbia
It was 1997 when I first met Brian McCutcheon, owner of Rivers, Oceans,
and Mountains, or simply ROAM. I had been hired by Men’s Journal
magazine to write about the first descent of the Klinaklini River in
British Columbia. It was a spectacular journey down a rip-roaring river
dwarfed by snowcapped peaks and glaciers. I was accompanying Johnny
Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops, who came to the Northwest with his
entourage to hook salmon on the fly. The fish weren’t biting but the
scenery and excitement of riding the Klinaklini more than made up for
the lack of salmon.
McCutcheon now offers multisport trips around the globe, including his latest and greatest, the lakes district of Argentina.
But it’s his native BC that he knows best. For starters, try one of the
most exciting whitewater rafting runs in North America, a weeklong
jaunt down the Chilko River in southwestern BC.
Take an hour seaplane flight from Vancouver to 4,000-foot high Chilko
Lake where a new $10 million lodge was recently unveiled. Then let the
rollercoaster ride begin. You’ll cruise 130 miles, dropping 3,000 feet
through a tumultuous blur of lava gorges and narrow chutes. Looming
overhead are sloping carpets of forest and jagged peaks. And, on those
rare moments when you slow down, you might find yourself staring at an
eagle or grizzly. BC also stands for serious Bear Country, home to
12,000-plus grizzlies. Visit ActiveTravels for more adventures.