Lower Pingston

Contributed by Richard Maggs
What It's Like
Hard charging BC creeking at its gnarliest. Hectic continuous class 5 with even scarier portages. Often full of wood. An absolute treat on its own or as the finisher to a long day of Pingston paddling.
Scouting / Portaging
Scouting and portaging is difficult and may require rope work or confident scrambling abilities
2-3 hours
When to Go
Early spring or late June
1.34cms↑ (Dec 3 22:00)

Start from the bridge or continue down from the middle takeout. Leave your car at the beach by the lake. The turn off is pretty obvious on google maps. It's the only road off the Shelter Bay Main Line for 5k.


This page now shows flow information directly from Pingston dam at the top, but we are still working to understand the correlation between that gauge and runnability.

The old correlation was based on the Cranberry Creek gauge: flows between 5 and 10cms are generally a good indicator.


After about 100m of class 2 boogie the river turns left and drops into the first canyon. Narrow and pushy. Hop from eddy to eddy or scout from the steep bank river left. As the canyon opens up you come to a juicy 4ft cauldron with a nice calm pool after. If you swim into this pool swim right hard. Eddy out right and climb up to scout the big slide. Saskatoon berries grow on the side of this cliff so you can have a little snack whilst you freak out about the horrible life decisions that led you to be on the edge of this cliff contemplating hucking your flesh prison into the abyss below using only a thin layer of plastic to protect you, if it helps with your decision making at all. The portage down and across the scree on the right is just as terrifying. The 20ft drop directly after the 70ft slide looks super sieved out but might go if you’re feeling like rolling the dice. Portage this around the super slimy and slippery boulders on the right if you aren’t feeling superhuman and put in below. A short section of read and run class 3 leads to a horizon line formed by a bedrock shelf at a left turn in the river. Scout for wood from river left. The rapid is a short ledge boof into a juicy slide that rolls into a manky boulder garden. Eddy out left to scout the next drop. Two smaller ledges that form nice boofs left of centre. The canyon opens up here as you come out to the last triple set out to the lake. Enjoy the class three boogie and eddy out in the pool on the left formed by bedrock above the horizon line. #1 is a sweet autoboof best run with a hard left to right. #2 a gorgeous and juicy late boof. #3 changes a lot based on the lake level from a manky staircase to a clean auto boof to nothing at all. Paddle out the lake and get out at the beautiful campsite on the left. Enjoy some takeout beers on the beach while someone else runs shuttle. Pretend you and your crew are from bomb flow in 2012 and take some artistic shots on the beach or trade lines from the Iconic cold open of « the bc episode ». Make up some excuse about why you don’t wanna rip another 20k down the road to Fosthall Creek to rappel in to Twin Falls and call er a day.