A paddle with Jaime Sharp down the Upper Browns

Jaime Sharp hiking into the Put in

For a hike in, the Upper Browns is pretty easy, relatively speaking. From parking, the walk-in took Jaime and me 25mins over 1.3kms. This included lowering the boats the last little bit down to the river below the Medicine Bowls.

Setting up for the lower – Photo by Jaime Sharp
Working the boat Lower to the upper browns. Kokotat pfd in the foreground and rocking the NRS pfd in the Background

After getting down to the river we had a short section of river to run before a portage on river right. Approx 100m downstream from the put-in.

Getting ready to go in the Jackson Zen 3… where does the river go… !
J Sharp on the Portage around the slot. This is one of the main reasons we don’t get in here too high.
Jaime Sharp has a look at the portage as he walks around the slot. There is a tree in the run-out which would be a concern.

After the portage, you have a number of interesting drops and chutes to run downstream. The first kilometer holds a lot of the gradient. The is the first slide, followed by a fun chute, afterward, you hit an eddy on river left to scout Triple drop.

The first slide on the Upper Browns – Photo by Jaime Sharp

This run is pretty interesting as it takes you from the Forbidden Plateau area and you can finish the run in downtown Courtenay.

Anyway I digress, The next set of drops is pretty fun with a 10ft ledge, followed by a sliding right to the left chute, then a narrow pinch, and into a 6ft ledge.

Jaime Sharp having a look up at Triple drop
Author dropping down the last ledge of triple drop – photo by Jaime Sharp

Below triple the is another ledge drop which is typically run on the river right of the rock. When we were there it was pretty clean on both sides of the rock ( This is not always the case ). One of the main points of this section is to scout lots, keeping an eye out for wood.

J Sharp dropping into the last of the bigger drops in the 1st KM

Below this, you have 4.5 km of paddling to the lower section, some beautiful canyon sections as you paddle along. Some very fun whitewater with a few interesting sandstone features. Once on to the lower, you have a waterfall, and two more slides before hitting the confluence of the Puntledge river.

After that, it’s a quick shuttle on paved roads all the way back to where you parked your car for the hike. Okay in all truthfulness there is 180m of gravel driving to the start of the walk-in. Enjoy.

The author on a run down the lower at Angel Falls on the Browns river – Photo by Jody L

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