Rowing in the Alpine…The Urban Oarsman Rows Callaghan Lake.
October 21st, 2013, 8:00am. I leave foggy North Vancouver for Callaghan Lake. The Forest Service road to Callaghan Lake closes November 1st, so this is one of the last chances that I will have to Row the Lake. The weather in North Vancouver has been foggy for a couple of weeks and still airs are best for rowing. The weather prediction is that the high pressure area that has kept us foggy will break down over the next week, so, this is the best day to go. I hope that still airs are at the lake.
The drive up the Sea to Sky highway is foggy. Towing Gwragedd Annwn on her trailer, it will take me almost two hours to get to the Callaghan Lake Forest Service road. I will stop at the Starbuck’s just north of Squamish for coffee.
Gwragedd Annwn at the start of the Callaghan Lake Forest Service road. Everything seems O.K.
After a 45 minute crawl, 16.2 kilometres up the gravel road, we are at the boat launch.
The boat launch at the Lake. Fortunately, Gwragedd Annwn on her trailer is quite light, and I can push the trailer over (all be it slowly in 4wheel drive low) the rocks and boulders on the boat launch.
Only a little further and she will be in the Lake. Note the boulder by the rear wheel.
This is the bumpiest launch to date, but I am able to push the trailer over the rocks.
Gwragedd Annwn in the water beside the boat launch. Time to park the truck and trailer.
There is a ten horse power limit on engines on the lake. I have only ever seen canoes, paddle boards and kayaks on the lake…Nothing with an engine.
During the ride up the Forest Service road, the log dog came out of it’s holder and scratched the varnish off of the seat. A little varnishing back home will fix this. The oars also sustained some damage from bumping during the ride up. More varnishing required.
The view looking to the West while rowing North away from the boat launch. I believe this is Mt. Callaghan. There is no wind and the ripples on the water are from me rowing. It is so warm that I am wearing a tee shirt and life jacket to row in. A beautiful day to row.
The view looking Northwest. Mt. Callaghan is out of frame, to the left.
Just off the boat launch again, looking Southeast. Even though it is 11:30am, there is still mist on the South shore of the lake. The sun is warm but the air is still cool.
More mist on the Southeast shore of the Lake. You can really see the algae on the bottom of the lake where the reflection of the trees is.
Another great view of the algae on the bottom of the lake. The water here is the clearest that I have ever rowed in. I do not know how far down you can see, but I would guess 30 to 40 feet.
Lines on a rock at the shore. These are “Ice Lines” that are caused by floating ice rubbing against or freezing to the rock. The lines reflect different water levels over the course of the ice season.
Looking NNW along the East shore.
Another view through the clear alpine water to the algae on the bottom.
Tranquil reflection of Mt. Callaghan.
The morning was picture perfect. I could not reach/touch the log in the picture with an oar, making the log deeper than eight feet down.
The view of the South shore of Callaghan Lake.
Mt. Callaghan again.
Northeast shore of the lake, showing more “Ice Lines”.
This is the “peninsula” that juts out from the North shore.
A scree slope goes into the lake.
Mountain Ash berries?
The tip of the peninsula.
View to the South of Black Tusk.
Almost around the peninsula.
Northwest corner of the lake where Callaghan Creek enters. I am looking due West.
Gwragedd Annwn in the outflow of Callaghan Creek. The creek drains Cirque Lake from the
4915 foot altitude. I do not know if the lake has a name.
Rowing along the Western shore. Whereas the Eastern shore tended to have a steep drop-off, the western shore is much shallower, without a steep drop off.
Shallow water and many rocks on the Southeast shore.
Big rock or small island?
On the South shore, looking East.
The end of the small bay west of the Callaghan Creek outlet bay. More big rocks.
More big rocks or small islets. Still in the small bay west of the outlet bay.
South end of the outlet bay for Callaghan Creek.
Where Callaghan Creek flows out of the outlet bay.
East shoreline of the Outlet Bay, the boat launch is just behind the trees on the left of the picture.
Gwragedd Annwn ready to be hauled onto her trailer for the ride home. Callaghan Lake is three nautical miles around and it took me about two hours to explore the shore line around the lake.
Bringing Gwragedd Annwn onto her trailer. A very rocky boat launch ramp.
Halfway up onto the trailer.
Gwragedd Annwn is aboard and now to drive up the launch a bit to secure her for the trip home.
Gwragedd Annwn is ready for the trip home. To keep the oars from further damage, I have put them on the truck roof racks. All other loose stuff is secure in the FJ. Time to go home.
A good section of the gravel Forest Service road.
Forty-five minutes later I am at the road head. Now it will be pavement all the way home.
A picture perfect day for a prefect row.
The Callaghan Lake Forest Service road will re-open on or sometime after May 15th, 2014.
The Forest Service Road Opened on July 6th, 2013!