I woke up excited, knowing that I was going to paddle this beautiful waterfall that I've seen pictures of all these years. We'd travelled a long way for the Elk, so we were all really hoping that it was a good decision! Once arriving in Elko it took us around half an hour to find the put in, it then took us another hour to find the take out. Frustrated, we were all ready to hit the water! But all that frustration washed away with those first paddle strokes on the Elk.
Beautiful blue water, in a beautiful box canyon with immense pool drop style rapids and drops. We made it to 'Triple drop' a pushy class 5 rapid with consequences, and scouted for a while. After much umming and arring we all decided to portage and give it more consideration tomorrow. The portage was interesting to say the least, and a big seal launch dropped us in above a class 6 slot which just looked grim!
'Leap of Faith' that beautiful waterfall, I was finally seeing it in the flesh. I knew I was going to run it, there was no question. If I'm honest, I was more nervous about the 20 foot seal launch to put back in! The launch went spot on, and the nerves were gone, lets fall off this thing. Mikel went first and I went shortly after, I ended up slightly further left than planned, but I held a nice angle and landed pretty sweet! We waited for Andy and finally saw his yellow kayak fly off the lip, and then land upside down! He rolled up fast and some good banter was chucked his way.
The hike out of the Elk is super steep, like steep steep! After surviving the hike out we camped at the take out, satisfied with another fantastic day on the water.
The smell of rancid thermals pulls me out of a good sleep, but even that rude awakening can't spoil my mood, because we're kayaking the Elk again today! A bluebird day saw another lap of good lines all the way to Triple drop. We scouted again, and Mikel decided to fire it up. He pretty much styled it except for a boil swallowing his bow between the last two holes, we worked hard to regain his speed and punched through the exit hole.
Andy and I again decided to portage. Could I have run it? Yes. Do I regret not running it? Yes. But for whatever reason, at that moment, it didn't feel right. Sometimes you gotta walk, until next time! We all got epic lines off of Leap of Faith and crawled up the take out path. We parted ways with Mikel and hit the long the road back to Revelstoke.
So was the Elk worth travelling to the other side of British Columbia? Absolutely, go there, you won't regret it. The rapids are beautiful and challenging, the canyon is committing and it has one of the most perfect waterfalls in the world. What are you waiting for?