Conquering Canada: ‘Gnarly rapids, brah’

We said goodbye to Vancouver and shot up the Sea-to-Sky highway towards Squamish where we had 9 am reservations with some rapids. But first, in true Canadian fashion, the trio stopped by Tim Hortons and filled up on donuts and coffee.

The drive up to Squamish (and consequently Whistler) is beautiful with water on our left for the entire drive while snowy mountain peaks glistened in the early morning sunlight.

Once we checked in and signed all our waivers to not sue the company, we hopped on a bus to the staging area. Here we (wet) suited up and hopped onto another bus for a nearly 60-minute drive to the start of the rafting trip.

Before the rafting started
Before the rafting started

Some first impressions right away:

  • Our guide was the epitome of a rafting ‘dude.’ Huge beard. Says stuff like ‘gnarly’ and was just super cool.
  • The water was cooooooold. Thank god we had the full wetsuits.
  • This was going to be a blast.
  • Cody and I were going to have to stare at each other for nearly the entire trip. Luckily, he’s pretty.

About 45 minutes in and a couple of rapids behind us, we came to the cliff jumping portion of the trip. We all jumped…into the cooooold water. If we weren’t awake by this point, now we were.

After we had successfully pulled everyone into the boat (that’s an entirely other section I could go into), we hit a few more ‘gnarly rapids, brah’ we stopped for a lunch of chicken/salmon and other goodies. I swear we were being spoiled this entire time!

After lunch was where we found the majority of the rapids. They came strong and fierce, but it was an absolute thrill of a time.

Cody and I were in the front, meaning we got the brunt of the waves which hit us. I, nor Cody, would have traded it for anything. We had so much fun. Chris was behind Cody so he was getting slammed as well!

The entire way down we were surrounded by towering peaks and green landscapes. You couldn’t turn your head without being blown away by the view. (Sadly for those reading, all I have are mental images.)

Our guide even let me “drive” for a good section of it and holy smokes was it hard. The physical rowing wasn’t bad but remembering which way to swing the oars to either propel or brake the raft was difficult/confusing. We definitely did a couple spins before I sorta got the hang of it….but we also ran into a rock wall so maybe I’m being too generous with my skills.

Overall, this was probably the non-hike highlight of the trip. We all had the best time rocketing through the rapids together and doing paddle-fives. PADDLE FIIIIIVVEEEEEEE

Once dry and back in Squamish, we piled back into the car and continued up to the Whistler and the HI hostel there which we would call home for the next three days.

To be noted, Chris and Cody still liked me at this point in the trip. That….would soon change in Whistler. Stay tuned.

Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.

You can follow along the journey on Facebook and Instagram or shoot me any questions and comments about places to go. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to get notified when new posts come out!