This is a great title for this entry since the Klinaklini River cuts through the heart of the Coast Mountain ranges and wraps itself around BC’s highest mountain – Mt. Waddington. Measured at more than 13,000 feet, the vertical relief from sea level to peak is extremely dramatic. Since ROAM completed a first descent of the river in 1997 and a year later pioneering commercial expeditions, the Klinaklini River remains very much in the shadows.
It could be argued that the price tag of such an adventure, $6495 US per person, makes it cost prohibitive for most but when you factor in the outlay of time and money to get to trips like the Firth, Alsek or Tatshenshini, the Klinaklini is right on par and offers incredible value. The river has better whitewater than the rivers mentioned above, equally spectacular scenery and even includes a day of heli-hiking in a location second to none. The weather is definitely more hospitable than Alaska and it is easily accessible out of Vancouver, British Columbia saving at least 2 travel days.
In nutshell, the Klinaklini has it all – big rapids (that can be walked if need be), high grizzly bear populations, moose that watch you (unaffected by our presence) from the shoreline, packs of wolves, glaciers that come straight down to the river’s edge, exciting float plane rides in and out of the river valley, a night at a remote wilderness lodge (Chilko Lake), heli-hiking on a wildflower covered plateau, campsites surrounded by waterfalls and glaciers, and last but most perplexing… no crowds. Less than 200 people have traveled down the river and we still cannot explain why?