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Event Cache: Kayak Trip to Indian Arm


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Hello all,


A couple local cachers and I have been discussing holding an event cache at Granite Falls which is near the top of Indian Arm. This event cache would require a kayak trip that would take about 5-6 hours each way with a number of stops to pick up caches on the route. It may seem like a long time to be paddling but consider that paddling is significantly less effort than walking. This will be an overnight camping trip.


Canadazuuk and I paddled up there this last week and it is an incredibly beautiful location. You can read about and see a few pictures from our trip on the Tsleil-Waututh cache page (we didn't find the cache but we're armed with some new clues from Brad & Myrna and we're going back for it icon_smile.gif )


We each placed a cache on on the way back and are planning to place at least 3 more caches on Indian Arm in the next couple of weeks.


As it stands right now there are 4 caches located in Indian Arm:

Treasure Island by MrGigabyte

Tsleil-Waututh by Brad & Myrna

WE II - Kayakers Paradise by Jomarac5

Canadazuuk placed a cache that should be approved in short order.

Technically speaking, MrGigabyte also has the Admiralty Point cache which is in Indian Arm but it is an hour south from Deep Cove and will not be on the anticipated route.


For those who don't own or have access to a kayak, rentals are available at Deep Cove Kayak and the cost is about $100 per double (24 hours) or about $50 per person. Better rates are available from Mountain Equipment Co-op but require picking up and transporting from their location (the MEC rate is $97 for a fiberglass kayak and is based on a rental from Thursday to Sunday -- all necessary equipment is included). I'll find out more information about rentals in the next few days and post it here.


We will likely have to pair up people who have paddling experience with those who do not.


The campsite at Granite Falls is extremely nice and there is no charge to camp there. There are groomed tent pads and maintained outhouses and the area is nothing short of spectacular.


For now, we'd just like to get an idea of who would be interested in participating and an indication of those who have kayaking experience and how many own their own kayaks. We'll decide on a date when we have a better indication of how many are interested.


Please let other cachers know about this and ask them to post their comments and level of interest here or e-mail me through the site. This could be a really great opportunity to log six or more caches and meet some fellow cachers while experiencing some terrific BC wilderness. This event will certainly be a fun-filled couple of days and we hope that there will be a good response.


Of course, Vancouver Island and the US cachers are most welcome and encouraged to attend.



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I called Deep Cove Kayak and Mountain Equipment Co-op today and this is what I found out:


Kayak Rentals


Double kayak rentals from Deep Cove kayak for all day Saturday and all day Sunday are:


2 day rental double kayak: $140.00

2 day rental single kayak: $100.00


Pick up boat after 7:30 AM on Saturday and return by 8:30 PM on Sunday evening




Double kayak rentals from MEC are:


2 day rental double kayak: $92.00 (fiberglass kayak)

2 day rental single kayak: $75.00 (plastic kayak is $50.00)


Pick up kayak anytime after 3:00PM on Thursday and return kayak before 1:00PM on Monday (this is their 2 day rental program).


MEC also rents tents and sleeping bags.


Note that MEC requires roof racks to rent kayaks -- I called Rack Attack in Vancouver (606.872-7225) and rack rentals are $10.00/day.


Rentals from both shops include paddles and all safety equipment.


Both shops suggest reservations.



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RobertM wrote:

I'm interested! What are the possible dates you had in mind, for how long, etc, etc?

Glad to see that you want to come along, RobertM. We'll decide on a date once we've got a better idea of who would like to attend. I suspect it will be in the later part of August. The trip will be a single overnight stay -- leave early Saturday and return Sunday.



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I think it's worth mentioning here that if you have no kayaking experience you are still welcome to participate. We will work on putting those with little or no experience in a double kayak (because it is far more stable and secure than a single kayak) with someone who has experience.


This is a good opportunity for those of you who have been wanting to try kayaking to experience it. The waters of Indian Arm are very protected from the elements and are well known for their relatively calm water conditions making it ideal for beginner and novice kayakers.


So far we have 11 people who have either posted to this forum or e-mailed me to say that they would like to participate (including 3 from the US).




[This message was edited by Jomarac5 on July 25, 2003 at 02:40 PM.]

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Hi everyone,


I'm still waiting for a reply from a couple of people regarding the date for this event but so far it looks as though it's working out best for everyone on the weekend of September 6-7.


I've also posted a map of the proposed route -- I've blanked out a lot of the areas that aren't important to us to make the file size a bit smaller. The route allows us to paddle each shoreline, either on the way there or the way back with a rest stop at Thwaytes Landing on the return trip.


On the map, you'll notice a few additional spots that I've marked on the route. First is a small log boom in Cozy Cove (across from Deep Cove) this is worth going past on our way as there are always seals hanging out there.


I've also marked the Buntzen Power Stations -- these are huge gothic style buildings that are truly impressive (get you're cameras ready).


Midway from the power stations to Thwaytes landing is one of the deepest spots on Indian Arm at 207 meters (680ft) -- we'll be travelling over the deepest spot (about 1 km further north) on our return trip -- the water here is 219 meters (720ft) deep.


A bit further north is Silver Falls, which is a great place to see lots of marine life and a fun place to hang out for a while playing in the outflow of the falls.


I've planned the route so that we paddle past the Wigwam Inn on our return -- this way we can all say that we've paddled the entire length of Indian Arm.


All total, we're looking at paddling roughly 40 km (25 miles) on this trip -- but it's not too bad as there are no hills. icon_wink.gif


Those who are so inclined may also want to pick up MrGigabyte's Admiralty Point cache on the way back -- it's an additional 6km.


If anyone has any questions or concerns, please post a message here or e-mail me directly.





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Awesome yak 3fros. That's one lucky young fellow there. I'll bet you got tons of good comments about this boat at R2K3 last weekend. Thanks for posting the picture.


For those of you who don't know, 3fros builds his own kayaks -- in fact, we have known each other prior to caching from another bulletin board that is specific to kayak building.


Hope you'll be able to make the trip to the top of the arm.



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Hi Everyone,


Well, it looks like September 6-7 are our dates for heading up the arm. That gives us a bit more than 2 weeks before we head off.


I've submitted a cache page that I hope will be approved some time today. Keep an eye on your watch list for the event cache, "Beyond the Elbow to the Top of The Arm".


Following are a few items that I've listed regarding schedules and gear. If I've missed anything, please let me know.


Paddling Duration

I expect that we'll need 6 - 7 1/2 hours to make the trip to Granite Falls -- this includes stopping for caches along the way (all of the caches are fairly easy to find). To arrive at Granite Falls with plenty of daylight left, I suggest that we have everyone on the water on Saturday morning by 9:30 AM AT THE VERY LATEST. Please arrive at Deep Cove at least an hour earlier to allow time to load your kayak. For those of you who are new to kayak camping, assume that you are planning for a backpacking trip and you'll be fine.


Gear Rentals

If anyone needs to make reservations for kayak rentals, I would suggest doing so very quickly (there are links in a post above for Mountain Equipment Co-op and Deep Cove Kayak). If you need a partner for a double kayak rental, let me know and I'll try to put you in touch with someone else on the list.


Essential Paddling Gear

Bring a hat, sunscreen, sun glasses (bug spray for at the campground).


Tents and Sleeping Arrangements

Please let me know if you need to share a tent with someone or if you have room in your tent for an extra person.


Food and Stoves

As far as food goes, it will probably be best if everyone plans for their own meals. I will be bringing a 2 burner Coleman stove -- which anyone is welcome to use (after I've had my breakfast). If anyone else is planning on bringing a stove, perhaps you could get in touch with me to let me know -- hopefully between us, we will have enough stoves that we can all use.


Fresh Water

I don't know if untreated water from the falls is OK for drinking so it would be advisable for everyone to bring enough drinking water to last for the trip duration. For washing, water from the falls will suffice.


Campground Facilities

There are a number of gravel tent pads and pit toilets (outhouses) and that's pretty much it. Unfortunately, campfires are not allowed at Granite Falls.


Dry Bags and Gear Storage

Pack all of your gear in waterproof containers or dry bags. If you don't have dry bags, pack all of your gear in doubled garbage bags (especially your sleeping bag).


Water Shoes

It's a good idea to have a pair of water shoes or sandals as there are many sharp rocks and barnacles. You can get a pair of water shoes that will work fine from stores like Walmart or Zellers for $5-10. You'll find it a lot easier to pull your kayak onto the beach if you're wearing something to protect your feet.


Pool Noodles

For those of you who are bringing your own boats, it's wise to bring a couple of foam 'pool noodles' with you for when you pull your boat onto the beaches -- all the beaches are rocky and there's lots of hull scraping barnacles. A single pool noodle cut into two 2 foot sections is most likely enough. Canadian Tire is still carrying pool noodles fo about $2 (at least in my neighbourhood).



Typically, the wind in Indian Arm blows towards the south in the mornings and changes to northward around noon. If the wind is in our favour, an umbrella can save you a lot of paddling. In our double kayak, we've been able to reach speeds of up to 7.2 km/hr with a standard size umbrella.


Sunrise and Sunset

The sun on the 6th and 7th will rise at approximately 6:35 AM and set at approximately 7:45 PM


Moonrise and Moonset

The moon will rise at approximately 6:30 PM and will set at approximately 1:30 AM

Since the full moon is on September 10th, we should have plenty of moonlight if anyone wants to go for a night time paddle (proper lights are recommended -- legally, you require a single white light for paddling at night).



Low tide on Saturday is at approximately 9:00 AM so we'll get a slight 'push' on the way up but don't expect too much as the tide advantage/disadvantage is negligible in Indian Arm.


Night Caching

There are two caches close to the campground. If you want to get these ones at night, bring your BFLs.


Tarps and Shelters

I will bring a large tarp and rope that we can hange between some trees. If anyone else has a tarp that they can bring, that would be great.



If anyone has any concerns or questions, please e-mail me at geocache@renweb.net




[This message was edited by Jomarac5 on August 20, 2003 at 08:07 PM.]

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Good news on the stove Dagg.


The crab trap is a great idea -- I've seen boats dropping crab traps off in the Granite Falls area so there's probably a few good crabs around. Mmmmm... perhaps some crab omeletes for breakfast???


The entire North Shore mountain park areas are now officially closed to public access due to the potential of forest fires. Hopefully, these closures won't effect our trip. I've been keeping an eye on the BC Parks website and listening to news broadcasts -- so far (with the exception of Belcarra Park) there are no closures of the parks in Indian Arm -- keep your fingers (and toes) crossed.



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Dagg wrote:

Mmmmm crab omeletes...

So whats the final head count? Hydee will you be joining us?

I'll bring the eggs and the fresh ginger.


There are 9 on the list as of today.


We've got one person joining us from Washington confirmed so far, bring your guy and rent a double Hydee. It would be nice to have a few more American friends here.




[This message was edited by Jomarac5 on August 21, 2003 at 03:44 AM.]

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The cache page is now activated!


Thanks to Hydee and mtn-man for their help in getting the cache page fast-tracked through the approval process so that it would be online in time for this weeks Watch List Notification e-mail.


Oh yeah, while I'm at it, thanks to MrGigabte for the reminder to provide a cache page.


Next time, I'll get the cache page ready earlier and avoid the rush. Thanks. icon_wink.gif




[This message was edited by Jomarac5 on August 21, 2003 at 03:46 AM.]

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Originally posted by SteelHead[bC]:

is there a way to get to the campground without a boat?

You can 4x4 in from Squamish and drive down to the top of Indian Arm. Read the logs on Tsleil-Watuth cache. The camp ground is on the south side of the falls so you need to cross over I believe.

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I haven't gone in from the top end so I asked a friend who has 4x4'd in from the Squamish side. Here's what he said:


-- <snip>

Yup, you can get there by 4x4 and on foot. It is a long haul.


The drive in from Squamish is close to 2 hours unless you have a beefy truck or don't care about your suspension. You park at the old dry sort lot at Iron Bay, directly across from Wigwam Inn.


Then you hike for about 1km of flat road/trail past some boat club piers. They have Private Property signs posted but I suspect the trail is not on their land.


The trail then heads up a steep, section for another 1km. You reach a point where the trail starts to switchback and head east. Just before this point, there is a tiny sign that says Granite Falls/Beach or something like that.


From here you head down, a very, very, steep trail, and pop out just north of the falls.


All told, including hunting for the cache, it took us almost 10 hours, round trip. The hike from the base of the Falls to the top road/trail will be a major grunt with a pack on.


I am sure it is faster to paddle there than drive. An alternative would be to take the water taxi from Deep Cove. No idea how much that would cost, but if some folks wanted to go for the day and were unable to paddle or drive, this would be a very pleasurable trip, I am sure.

-- </snip>


SteelHead, it would be really nice if you could join us for the camping.


Hope this helps.



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Originally posted by canadazuuk:

This is one of several cache trips I have plans to do.


Need a partner for a double kayak, and need to know ASAP, as I have to book time off ASAP to ensure I can get it.


4 on / 4 off rotation has me working weekends thru September...


I'd be into that. I have to see if I can get the saterday off. I work tue/sat.


Pat Patterson

Garmin 12XL

82CJ7 & 79F250

Herd of Turtles 4x4 club

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well i got a big truck but the suspension is stiff so it would take me a day to go there LOL but me and the wife are intrested so maybe we will find a way up .... we love camping and talking to other cachers.... maby to water taxi is something to look into . if there is any one that wants to go that way we should look into it moreicon_smile.gif thanz for the info Jomarac5 we may even go paddling if everything works out but we will have to see what works best icon_smile.gif


talk to you soon


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StellHead[bC], yes, please work on a way to join us -- it's a great spot and it would be nice to meet up with you and yours.


I hadn't thought of something regarding driving in until I watched the news about the fires last night -- I'd hazard a quess that the road from Squamish is probably closed off now to keep people out. Haven't heard anything about this specificly, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were the case.


Hope you can make it.



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StealHead[bC], it may be possible depending on the boat, to beach the boat near the campground, south of the falls. If that's not possible, there's a dock on the north side of Granite falls that you could tie up to, and if necessary, some of us could paddle over and pick you up -- no problem there.



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I'm a newbie geocacher (neocacher?) and used to be an avid sea kayaker although I haven't been in my boat for the past 3 seasons. The Arm used to be my favorite paddling spot so I've paddled it many dozens of times. Only ever paddled up to the end once, though. Camped a few times on the smaller of the Twin Islands.


I'd love to come along if you're not opposed to a rookie tagging along. I have my own beat-up boat that I'm pretty sure is still seaworthy.




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Originally posted by canadazuuk:

I have that weekend confirmed off.


Pat, are you still in? (IT IS TWO DAYS, not 1)


Should be booking the rental ASAP.


Unfortunately not at this point. I have to wait for one of the guys on my shift <afternoons> to get fired. If it happens in time <before the 2nd> the other guy has said I can have the sat that I need <his old day off> and then I would also get my old Sunday back.


To explain; C has the most seniority then B then me. C was in rehab. B had fri/sat off. I had sun/mon. the guy covering C had wed/thur. C came back and demanded fri/sat. That meant B bumped me to wed/thur. But C is back to his old ways and is being suspended at the very least. If they fire him before the 2nd. I will get fri/sat that week, and sun/mon the next making 4 days for me.


If anyone was following along, did that make sence?


Pat Patterson

Garmin 12XL

82CJ7 & 79F250

Herd of Turtles 4x4 club

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Bad news folks...


It looks like our overnight event cache trip is off.


The Provincial government announced today that effective noon tomorrow until September 14 there is a backcountry travel ban in effect for southern BC.


I called the Protection Branch at the Ministry of Forests and was told that access for day use is allowed but overnight camping at Granite Falls is not permitted.


Kayaking in Indian Arm is still allowed at this time. I asked if stopping at beaches would be possible and was told that this was fine. When I enquired about venturing into the forested areas within 100 meters of the beaches, the woman that I spoke with didn't know and suggested that I call back tomorrow for an answer.


I'll call tomorrow to get more information regarding kayak access and if it is permissible to reach the caches, would anyone be interested in doing a day paddle to Thwaytes Landing? This would mean that we would be able to pick up only four caches along the way.


Give it some thought and if you're still interested in a day paddle (permission/conditions pending), post a note to the board here.


I guess we'll have to re-schedule this overnight trip for the spring.


Thanks to everyone for all the positive support for this event.


For more info about the Backcountry Restriction (including a map of the effected areas) see the Ministry of Forests Protection Branch.




[This message was edited by Jomarac5 on August 28, 2003 at 07:44 PM.]

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