Klinaklini Heli-Rafting Adventure

In June of 1997, we put together an expedition team of professional guides for the first descent of this incredible mountain waterway. In August of the same year, we operated the first commercial trip with Men’s Journal magazine covering the event.  Today, this carefully planned state-of-the-art expedition allows participants to travel where it was once thought unimaginable.

Take some of British Columbia’s highest mountains, largest icefields, bluest lakes, loveliest meadows, richest wetlands, and most luxurious forests. Squeeze through an impossibly narrow canyon, and release into a long, deep coastal fjord. Mix in mountain goats, big horn sheep, bald eagles, grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, cougars, wolverines, weasels, coyote and lynx. Feed it all with salmon, and the web of life that springs from the Pacific’s fundamental fish. At just 195 kilometres in length, with a watershed of 5,780 square kilometres, the Klinaklini River packs a gigantic wallop of biodiversity and ecological variation.

From its beginnings in a small lake in the high, dry Chilcotin Plateau, through its descent past the Silverthrone glaciers and soaring Mount Waddington, to its saltwater meeting with the Knight Inlet waterway, the Klinaklini crosses not only the Coast Mountains, but a cascade of landscapes and eco-regions. It is a river known mostly by its ends – by the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation and eco-tourists of its coastal reaches and by the Tsilhqot’in Nation, ranchers, and rugged adventurers of its Chilcotin headwaters. Even in the 21st century, the Klinaklini’s middle remains wild and mysterious; except for a handful of heli-rafters and heli-fishers, few people have laid eyes on the river’s inner sanctum. Thanks to landmark forestry agreements that have put an end to logging of its verdant valley, there’s a good chance that the Klinaklini’s river refuge will remain.

Trip Length 11 days
Dates
Dates Register
Price $9995
Deposit $1000
Meeting Place Vancouver, BC
Gateway City Vancouver, BC
River Rating Class V
Age Range 13-65*
Itinerary at a Glance
    • Begin with an incredible flight from Vancouver over mountains and glaciers
    • Enjoy 1 night at Stewarts Lodge in Nimpo Lake
    • Board float planes for another spectacular flight to Klinaklini Lake where we make our first camp just below Little Drop of Horrors rapid
    • Raft a few Class III rapids before lunching at Nobody Move rapid: the largest drop of the upper river.
    • Float into the wild. Surrounded by Mt. Waddington and Silverthrone, we are dwarfed by the size and scope of this incredible land of legends
    • Heli-hike in alpine meadows and view the enormous Klinaklini glacier. Camp at the foot of the glacier where icebergs calve into our secluded lake
    • Take a day to hike the lateral moraine and explore the glacial ice caves
    • Raft the West Klinaklini River, which features countless massive wave trains. Sight many of the 200 bird species that call the Klinaklini home
    • Float into magical Knight Inlet and a tidal lagoon, famous for its sightings of grizzly bears
    • Overnight at a West Coast fishing lodge
    • Enjoy a morning of kayaking or fishing in the Johnstone Strait
    • Flight back to Vancouver

What’s Included:

• Experienced professional guides
• All airplane and helicopter transfers as outlined in the itinerary
• Expedition equipment including: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, wetsuit, pfd, splash jacket, dry bags
• All meals dinner Day 1 through lunch Day 8
• Park fees and necessary permits
• Beer, wine and some liqueurs

Detailed Itinerary

We pride ourselves in running a relaxed and flexible schedule. Every trip is different depending upon the group, other trips in the area, and sometimes the weather. (Important: The itinerary is subject to change as it is dependent on weather and participants’ ability. Our daily distances can fluctuate depending on weather, activities, and Provincial Park notices). The following is a sample of what your trip might be like:

Day One (Saturday) Aug 6 

We meet for our 11:00 am flight at the SOUTH TERMINAL of the Vancouver Airport. (Remember this is not the main Vancouver airport terminal.) Please make sure your gear is packed in soft luggage. This will allow for easy storage and transfer of your gear into waterproof river bags. As soon as everyone’s gear is stowed we will board our chartered plane for the incredible flight over the mountains and glaciers to the Chilcotin Plateau. Here we will meet our guides, check into our rooms and enjoy the evening at the lodge. A lakeside view at dinner and an evening to go over last minute details and issuing expedition equipment will help you settle into the moods and rhythms of the trip.

Day Two (Sunday) Aug 7

After a hearty breakfast, it’s into the floatplanes for a spectacular flight to Klinaklini Lake. Upon arrival we will go through the safety procedures for the trip (including a grizzly bear briefing) and teach any would be paddlers the basics. Depending on timing and water levels we will make our first camp just below “The Little Drop of Horrors” rapid. Those not wishing this class V excitement can walk around this section on a portage route and there is ideal point for taking photos of the rafts cascading through this dramatic drop.

Day Three (Monday) Aug 8

After a riverside breakfast, we will board the rafts for a beautiful day on the water. Today will be our longest rafting stretch. We will raft a few class III rapids before lunching at “Nobody Move” rapids. The largest drop of the trip, the guides will scout the river and decide on the options of running this incredible stretch of whitewater. If we can run the drop, participants will once again be given the opportunity to paddle or hike. The afternoon will feature miles upon miles of relentless and fun class IV rapids, which are reminiscent of the White Mile on the Chilko. Tonight’s camp is below the North Klinaklini confluence. Here the glaciers and wildlife will inspire us for more adventure.

Day Four & Five (Tuesday & Wednesday) Aug 9 & 10

On these days we will raft into the heart of the mountainous terrain. Surrounded by Waddington and Silverthrone, you will be overwhelmed by the size and scope of this land of legends. Tonight we will camp above the upper reaches of the Impassible Canyon where not even the most intrepid adventurers dare travel. A prime wildlife viewing habitat, we will explore its wilderness with a few of the guides, while others help prepare another delicious riverside dining experience. The balance of the day is available for hiking, walking, photography, sitting by the campfire or just staring in wonder at the incredible views.

Day Six (Thursday) Aug 11

Today the helicopter arrives to whisk us to places unimaginable. Alpine meadows and views of the enormous Klinaklini glacier make for an unforgettable day of hiking and exploring. Later, your magic carpet will drop you at our new camp at the foot of the glacier where icebergs calve into our secluded lake.

Day Seven (Friday) Aug 12

Today we will have a layover day to relax and explore this incredible glacier. This will allow us to hike the lateral moraine, hike to waterfalls, walk on the glacier and for the more adventurous, hike up to the ice caves. There should be plenty of time for hot showers, reading a good book and simply immersing your self in this spectacular scenery.

Day Eight (Saturday) Aug 13 

Today we will enter the West Klinaklini River which features countless massive wave trains that roller coaster for miles in a rushing chorus. An exciting section of river, its speed dissipates as the river broadens and braids. This region is prime for sighting many of the 200 bird species that call the Klinaklini home. As the river widens, we will pick up the scent of salt air as we float into the magical Knight Inlet and a tidal lagoon, which is famous for its grizzly bears. Here we will jump on to a boat for the scenic ride out of Knight Inlet. Sheer granite walls, waterfalls and dense forests will be a treat as we scan the waterline for orcas. Tonight we will overnight at Farewell Harbour Marine Resort on Berry Island. Nestled in the heart of BC’s largest marine park, we will have an opportunity to explore these rich coastal waters, which are the best in the world for viewing killer whales

Day Nine (Sunday) Aug 14

After breakfast and a morning of kayaking (or fishing for salmon) you’ll say good-bye to your guides and board your plane back to Vancouver rich with new experiences, new friends and fantastic memories. Weather permitting; we should arrive in Vancouver at approximately 3:00 PM.

Pre-trip Accommodations

The Granville Island Hotel* and Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport* offer our travelers “preferred rates” if booked through our Canadian office.

*Granville Island Hotel

1253 Johnston St

Tel 683-7373 Fax: 683-3061, US/Canada 1-800-663-1840

Easy to get to and hard to leave, this is my personal favorite. This island retreat in the heart of the city is right on the water, and within walking distance of the Public Market and other attractions. Centrally located, you can even take the water taxi to shopping districts downtown.

*Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport

10251 St. Edwards Drive

Tel: 604.278.9611?Fax: 604.233.7733 US/Canada 1-800-726-3626

Offering the latest in upscale hotel elegance. Enjoy the convenience of staying at the airport, while still only a short taxi ride to downtown.

Wedgewood Hotel

845 Hornby Street

Tel (604) 689-7777, Fax (604) 608-5348, US/Canada 1-800-663-0666

If you are looking for a small country inn with downtown elegance, the Wedgewood is for you. Proudly owned and managed by Eleni Skalbania, the Wedgewood has loads of character. Eleni’s European heritage is reflected in every detail, from the charming guest rooms to the hotel’s fine restaurant, Bacchus. Well located, the hotel is right across from the Vancouver Art Gallery and close to the Robson Street. shopping district.

Sutton Place

845 Burrard Street

Tel (604) 682-5511, Fax (604) 682-5513, US/Canada 1-800-810-6888; 1-800-961-7555

Home to Vancouver’s burgeoning film industry crowd, the Sutton Place is ideally located in the heart of town. Adjacent to Robson Street, Vancouver’s shopping district, and close to the Vancouver Art Gallery and great restaurants, this is an elegant hotel. ,Its restaurant, Le Club, is not only the best place in town for catching a glimpse of any celebrities in town, but is also home to a decadent chocolate bar. The 400 rooms are large and carefully decorated to make guests feel like they are staying in a much smaller hotel.

About the Region

Rafting the Klinaklini River offers the adventurous traveller a bounty of images and experiences. Your rafting trip begins at the edge of the great interior plateau of British Columbia’s Chilcotin country at Klinaklini Lake. This lake is a jewel encircled by pristine wilderness and the perfect habitat for moose, grizzly bear, wolf, cougar and eagles. Enveloped by the peaks and canyons of the Coastal Range, you will be able to see Mt. Waddington, B.C.’s highest mountain, looming in the distance.

The upper river is a narrow and intimate corridor that opens up exponentially as we descend downstream. For the next days your world is filled with new sounds and fragrant aromas. You will marvel at the simple complexity of nature and remember how good it feels to leave urban existence behind. Four days in, we reach the upper end of the impassable Klinaklini Canyon. From here, your helicopter—a virtual magic carpet—whisks you away to untouched alpine meadows, snow capped mountains and ageless diamond blue glaciers. We spend an unforgettable day drifting beside the flanks of Mt. Waddington. At the end of this day of hiking and exploring, your helicopter lifts you to the next base camp, at the foot of the majestic Klinaklini Glacier.

The final leg of your rafting odyssey begins with dodging icebergs and ends with gliding through giant forests and valley meadows as you are delivered to the head of Knight Inlet, a stunning fjord that penetrates 60 miles into the Coast Range. The rafts allow us to travel the path of least resistance into this beautiful wilderness. There will be plenty of time in camp for hiking and conditions permitting, we are planning a layover day at the Klinaklini Glacier. You’ll always have the option of walking longer or shorter distances, and for the more advanced hiker, there are some challenging routes in close range. Options range from undulating meadows to steep ascents and plenty of options are available for those with sensitive knees.

 

Trip Planner

PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Thank you for choosing a R.O.A.M. wilderness rafting and hiking trip. We are very excited that you will be joining us for an unforgettable river trip through some of British Columbia’s most spectacular wilderness.  In June of 1997, we put together an expedition team of professional guides for the first descent of this incredible mountain waterway. In August of the same year, we operated the first commercial trip with Men’s Journal magazine covering the event.  In 1998, complete with supermodels, we operated the first all-woman descent in conjunction with the Donna Karan Corporation of New York and Marie Claire magazine. Today, this carefully planned state-of-the-art expedition allows participants to travel where it was once unimaginable.

If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call. We strive to fully prepare you for what to expect on your trip so you can spend your vacation thinking more about smelling the essence of a forest of old growth cedars or a field of Alpine wildflowers than whether or not you brought the right pair of shoes.

Getting in Shape

Our trips are designed for people who enjoy the outdoors, rather than for fitness fanatics. Still, they are active holidays. Age is unimportant when it comes to your ability to do the rafting, walking and/or hiking—the more important consideration is your physical condition. If you haven’t attempted the kind of exercise levels required by our trips within the last couple of years, please be aware of the sort of trip you’re taking. It’s an active one, and you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve been doing some exercise before you go. Yet, no previous river experience is required.

Your guides will give you an orientation to rafting and expedition practices on the first day and teach you all the basic skills you’ll require to safely enjoy the trip. Our prime consideration is to provide you with a trip that is as safe and comfortable as possible, while still maintaining the integrity of a wilderness experience. Activities that involve aerobic conditioning, such as swimming, walking, jogging, squash and tennis, are great for overall physical conditioning. Keep in mind the relative topography of where you live compared to the region you will be visiting. If you live in flat country, for example, consider supplementing your training with artificial hill training on a treadmill or stair-master.

A Thumbnail Training Program

  • 2-3 months before the trips starts: try to do exercises that involve aerobic conditioning 3 times each week—swimming, walking, jogging, squash, cross-country skiing, tennis, biking;
  • 1 month before the trip: go for a couple of longer walks each week;
  • The week before your trip: try to go for 3 long walks;
  • Be sure to stretch before exercising—it reduces the chances of injury, muscle pain, stiffness and fatigue.

Camping

To ensure your comfort while in camp, our trips utilize spacious expedition tents, sleeping bag, a deluxe sleeping pad, wetsuit and paddling jacket and waterproof personal gear bags. In times of inclement weather, we deploy a series of tarps that cover the kitchen and eating areas, allowing a more comfortable and enjoyable camping experience. We are equipped with a propane kitchen, comfortable camp chairs and a portable privy. Because we carry ample propane, we will be able to provide clients with a reasonably hot shower each evening in camp.

Expedition Equipment

We use state-of-the-art, self-bailing rafts. These four- to six-person rafts have been designed with center-mount oar rigs and give participants the option of paddling or just soaking up the views. For those unfamiliar with self-bailing boats, the benefits are revolutionary. As water enters the boat, it collects on the inflated floor, which is attached to the side tubes above the waterline, then drains out through grommet holes along each side. Self-bailing boats offer invaluable advantages such as greater portability, stability, capacity and maneuverability

What To Take

While we encourage you to travel light, you’ll also want to be sure you pack all the essentials. We only average about four hours a day on the water, so we want to make sure you are prepared for both land and water environs. Most of the time spent on the raft will require a “farmer john”-style wetsuit with paddle jacket (these are provided), but much of the time in the raft you can wear splash or rain pants over some sort of synthetic underwear. The personal equipment list will address what you will need to wear in conjunction with our gear. However with the incredible hiking opportunities we need to be prepared for any environment, and for obvious reasons, laundry service is not available. At the same time, however, weight and volume restrictions come into play with our air charters. So please follow our recommendations closely.

Equipment Notes

The personal equipment list we provide you has been developed through years of practical experience. It is important that the clothing you bring will withstand the rigours of the trip. Your personal equipment should not weigh more than 40 pounds and all clothing should be quick drying and, ideally, made of synthetics. Warmth and comfort are the main objectives with this outline. In the North, weather conditions vary considerably. It is important to dress in layers so that you can maintain a comfortable body temperature, no matter what Mother Nature may have in store. The inner layer should move perspiration outside, where it can evaporate. The intermediate layer should insulate, while the outside layer should act as a barrier to wind and rain.

Please Note: Your gear must be packed in soft collapsible duffels.  You will transfer your clothing into our waterproof bags. However, your soft, duffel will be coming down the river with us – PLEASE NO SUITCASES.

Rain Gear

In the summer months you are more likely to have the occasional shower than to have an entire day of rain. Still, you’ll be more comfortable if you stay dry and warm, so be sure to pack some rain gear-both tops and bottoms. A jacket is the most important item to keep your torso warm and dry. Good quality nylon rain gear is available, but seams should be taped or sealed. Several manufacturers make Gore Tex waterproof jackets with closures at the wrists and sometimes neck. Whatever you choose, the jacket and pants should be compact enough to fit easily into your daypack.

Pile or Fleece

The best we’ve found is 200-weight Polar Plus, which is used by a variety of companies. This fabric is warm, dries quickly and is not excessively bulky. It can be found in many different styles and colours.

Long Underwear

Synthetic materials like polypropylene, polyester and natural fibres like silk and wool work well. Both are quick drying and bacteria resistant, as well. Do not bring cotton long underwear. When wet, cotton dissipates heat from your body and takes a long time to dry.

Hiking Clothes

Choose lightweight, synthetic fabrics that breathe well for warm weather walking. Whatever you choose, be sure you have a comfortable freedom of movement, especially for uphill and downhill walking.

Footwear for Hiking and Walking

We plan to hike and walk as much as possible. The importance of good footwear cannot be overstated. What may seem like a good shoe at home could leave you with sore feet on your trip. Given that our trails are often gravely or sometimes muddy, you need a good walking boot with a firm sole, good ankle support and a degree of water resistance. It’s now easy to find a “hybrid” walking boot, which combines the lightweight, ventilated features of a shoe with the support and durability of a boot. If you buy new walking shoes or boots for the trip, make sure you break them in well before you go.

Socks

Bring at least one pair for each day of hiking, unless you want to wash them out each night. We recommend a synthetic/wool blend as these draw the perspiration from the foot. It’s a good idea to bring along some additional items such as foot powder, cushioned pads and/or bandages to place inside your footwear-just in case although the guides carry a blister kit as part of their first-aid supplies. You will need a supply of wool or fleece socks for the river. They will keep your feet warm, even when wet.

Day Packs

Bring a daypack that holds approximately 20-35 litres. You’ll want enough room for rain gear, camera and water bottle.

Water Bottle

Bring a 1 litre water bottle or some type of hydration pack for hiking with. There is no need for additional or larger bottles since, in most cases, you’ll be close to sources of water.

Sun Protection

Since you will be spending a good portion of your day outside, we recommend you bring skin protection cream with appropriate SPF. Sun visors or baseball caps can also be helpful.

Some Extras

Binoculars: Many people like to have a pair for those great vistas or for bird or animal watching.

Compass: A fun thing to have for the avid map-reader. We carry a full set of topographical maps on the trip.

Pedometer: For the insatiably curious, those who must know exactly how far they’ve walked each day, though they tend to be fiddly and somewhat inaccurate. Better yet, check out Highgear’s new wrist top computers that give time, temperature, compass, altimeter and barometer

Personal Equipment List

Footwear

  • 1 pair light hiking boots with appropriate numbers of socks
  • 1 pair river sandals (Tevas are great) with neoprene socks and/or wetsuit booties
  • 5-7 pairs warm wool socks

Upper Body

  • 2 long-sleeved shirts (quick dry)
  • 2 t-shirts (quick dry or Merino wool)
  • 2 long underwear tops (synthetic or wool)
  • 1-2 pile or fleece jackets (medium to expedition weight)
  • 1 high quality waterproof rain jacket

Lower Body

  • 2 pairs long underwear bottoms (synthetic)
  • 1-2 pairs of light shorts (quick-drying)
  • 1-2 pairs of quick dry pants
  • 1 pair high quality waterproof rain pants
  • Undergarments (ideally 2 of them synthetic or Merino wool), 1 swimsuit

Head & Hands

  • 1 sun hat or visor
  • 1 fleece or wool hat for nights on glacier

Additional Gear

  • 1 small day pack (for use on day hikes)
  • 1 Litre water bottle or “Camelback style” hydration system
  • Toiletry kit (biodegradable soap and shampoo, personal medications)
  • Small towel
  • Sunscreen, lip salve, insect repellent
  • Extra prescription glasses (if necessary)
  • Sunglasses with safety strap
  • Small flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries
  • Stuff sacks or ziplock bags to separate clothing, etc.
  • Notebook, journal, reading material
  • Binoculars and camera (don’t forget to bring lots of memory and batteries)

Equipment Provided For You

Expedition quality tent, sleeping bag and pillow, deluxe sleeping pad, wetsuit, paddling jacket, life jacket, helmet, waterproof gear bags for personal clothing, waterproof day bag, and camp commissary.

Luggage

We are flying from Vancouver in small passenger planes so your clothes MUST be packed into soft duffel bags. Hard shell luggage will not fit on the plane and cannot be carried down river. The gear you are taking to should weigh less than 40 pounds in total. Once you have landed at the headwaters, you will have an opportunity to transfer you personal gear into our waterproof bags.

Getting Insured –Trip Cancellation Insurance

R.O.A.M. strongly recommends that you purchase trip cancellation insurance. You risk forfeiture of all moneys paid, if you cancel your trip. You have the option of purchasing an insurance policy that meets the specific needs of our travellers. Here’s a link to the insurance company we often use:

http://www.travelinsure.com/what/imedhigh.htm?32931

Please make sure you understand what the insurance will and will not cover. Please consult the policy for exact coverage, details of other risks insured, and for other benefits and limitations of the insurance.

Making Your Travel Plans

Now that you’re packed and ready to go, the following may help you get to the start of your R.O.A.M. trip with a few pleasant adventures along the way. Your trip starts and ends in the city of Vancouver.

Flight Arrangements

Since most international flights arrive in Vancouver, this will most likely be your point of arrival, unless you have pre-trip plans elsewhere in Canada. Your flight reservations should be made as far ahead of time as possible. As with all popular destinations, space on Canadian flights can be limited at peak times, and fares can increase as you near the departure date. If you are planning to use a frequent flyer program or other discounted fare, please take extra precautions to make your plans in advance, as airlines only allocate a limited number of seats for this type of travel, and may impose restrictions or extra costs on changing travel arrangements.

To Downtown Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in North America, and you should plan to spend some time here, either before or after your trip. There are many ways to get downtown from the airport. The easiest way is by Sky Train that leaves form the airport terminal. Taxis are available and take about 20-30 minutes and cost about $40-50 depending on traffic. There is also a regularly scheduled airport shuttle that goes to all major hotels and costs about $20. Should your plans call for a rental car, you’ll find all the major agencies represented at the airport.

The Night Before Your Trip

We recommend that you arrive in Vancouver the day before your trip begins. We’ll depart for the Klinaklini by plane in the morning, and you’ll feel more rested if you’ve arrived the night before.  Early reservations are advised, as Vancouver is a very popular destination. You can reserve your night-before hotel by calling or faxing the hotel directly, or by making the necessary arrangements through your Travel Agent. If you call, you’ll need a major credit card to guarantee your reservation.

Rendezvous

Your Klinaklini Heli-Rafting trip starts at 11:00am at the SOUTH TERMINAL of the Vancouver Airport. This is not the main Vancouver International terminal, but a smaller one by the Harbour Air float docks. Please check in immediately at the Pacific Coastal Airlines desk for the flight to Anahim Lake and our first night’s lodging at Stewart’s Lodge. You are responsible for your own transportation to the South Terminal and shuttles are available. For those driving to the terminal, there is long-term parking available for approximately $45 per week.

After Your Trip

After your trip, you will be dropped off in Vancouver. Weather permitting you will arrive in time to make connecting flights that depart after 3:00 PM. It is approximately 10 minutes by shuttle to the main terminal of the airport, but we recommend you plan to spend the night in Vancouver. If you have any concerns about your return flights or hotel reservations, your guides will be happy to re-confirm them for you prior to the end of your trip.

Further Useful Travel Information…

Currency

The Canadian monetary unit is the Canadian dollar (CDN). The coins are the penny, nickel, dime, quarter and the dollar (Loonie) or 2 dollar (Toonie)” coin. The most common bills are 5, 10, and 20-dollar denominations. Avoid carrying large sums of cash at any time during your holiday. Credit cards are widely accepted, especially VISA and MasterCard. American dollars and traveller’s cheques are accepted everywhere though at exchange rates that thieves envy. When converting American to Canadian dollars, you’ll get the most favourable rates at banks. Most banks are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday but ATMs are everywhere.

Carrying Valuables

Canada is very safe for travelling, but still there is no point in carrying lots of valuables when travelling. Regrettably, tourists are among the most easily targeted, so please exercise some caution. We also recommend that you check your personal insurance policy before travelling to ensure that you are covered for theft and loss while travelling. As a safety precaution, do not travel with excessive amounts of cash or jewellery if it is not necessary.

Language

Canada is officially a bilingual nation with English and French being the two recognised languages. However, the chances that you will hear any French spoken out west are slim. Of course, once you are “oot” and “aboot” on your Canadian holiday, you shouldn’t have any language problems, eh? Once a forbidden subject, it is now okay to speak to Canadians about Olympic Hockey.

Travel Documents

A passport will be required for all air travel to or from Canada. For further information on entry requirements, travellers may contact the Embassy of Canada at 501 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W, Washington, D.C. 20001, tel. (202) 682-1740, or the Canadian consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, San Juan, or Seattle. The Embassy of Canada maintains a website at: http://www.canadianembassy.org/.

Water

You’ll be hard pressed to find better water anywhere in the world than in British Columbia. The water comes directly from the mountains and is more than potable. In camp we still filter our drinking water, just to be on the safe side.

Electricity

B.C. has the same voltage requirements as the United States. Perhaps overstating the obvious, remember that there is no electricity once we launch. Those wanting to use video cameras should be reminded to bring extra batteries.

Time Zones

British Columbia is on Pacific Standard Time, which is the same as California.

Etiquette

On our trip we’ll be travelling through some environmentally and historically sensitive areas. Our excursions are designed to promote an understanding of the delicate ecosystems that make our province unique while preserving their fundamental integrity. We ask participants to share our concern for the environment by practising low-impact touring in this sensitive area.

R.O.A.M. operates on a “leave-no-trace” policy, meaning we travel in a self-contained manner, carrying in what we require and carrying out all garbage and human waste. We believe the survival of the natural environment and the wildlife it supports depends on establishing an economy beyond simple resource harvesting. Our goal is to immerse our clients in B.C.’s vast natural beauty, which, in turn, supports eco-tourism as a viable, economic choice.

Canada’s Taxes (GST + PST )

Canada has a Goods & Services Tax (GST) of 5% and the province of British Columbia has an 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) that is applied to most items.

Telephone and Fax

Phoning and faxing in Canada is the same as in the United States. Coin-operated public telephones are the norm in Canada, and there are also phone card-operated machines. To make a local call using coins, the cost is 25¢. Local phone numbers in Vancouver require the area code (604) followed by the 7 digits. For international calls, you begin by dialling 1, and overseas calls begin with 011.

Emergency Phone

While on the river, our guides will be carrying satellite communication. For emergency purposes only, folks at home can get word to our travellers at this time through our Reservations office 888 639 1114. The phones are used for medical and evacuation purposes only. Should you need a phone at your disposal, you should make arrangements for your own satellite communication. Because of our remote locale, cellular phones are not an option.

Tips and Tipping

Tipping is common in Canada, and fairly similar to U.S. practices. Of course, there are some exceptions, which we have noted on the next page:

Taxis – 5% is appropriate for good service and 10% is generous.

Porters – $2 per bag.

Restaurants – It is appropriate to leave 15% before tax. 

ROAM Guides

Our guides are as impressive as the scenery; passionate about their work, they are delighted to pass on their knowledge and skills. They have an intimate knowledge of a region’s wildlife, natural history, culture and folklore. Trained in wilderness first aid and professionally certified to the highest provincial level in British Columbia, our guides are eager to please and will ensure you have a memorable experience.

The tipping of ROAM guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our guides will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travellers to offer a gratuity. The guides very much appreciate it. We are often asked what is appropriate. In general, we have found that when our travellers offer a gratuity, it is in the range of a “thank you to 15%” of the trip cost per person. But again, tipping is entirely at your discretion.

Vancouver Hotels

The Granville Island Hotel* and Sandman Signature* offer our travellers “preferred rates” if booked by our Canadian office 

*Granville Island Hotel

1253 Johnston St

Tel 683-7373 Fax: 683-3061, US/Canada 1-800-663-1840

Rate range: $200 and up

This island retreat in the heart of the city is right on the water, and within walking distance of the Public Market and other attractions. Centrally located, you can even take the water taxi to shopping districts downtown.

 

*Sandman Signature Vancouver Airport

10251 St. Edwards Drive

Tel: 604.278.9611
Fax: 604.233.7733 US/Canada 1-800-726-3626

Rate Range: $169 and up

Offering the latest in upscale hotel elegance. Enjoy the convenience of staying at the airport, while still only a short taxi ride to downtown.

 

Fairmont Vancouver Airport

Airport Road

Tel (604) 684-3131, Fax (604) 662-1929, US/Canada 1-800-441-1414

Rate range: $250and up

Situated inside the Vancouver Airport this beautiful and surprisingly peaceful hotel offers connecting travelers an easy alternative to other Vancouver properties. 

Sutton Place

845 Burrard Street
Tel (604) 682-5511, Fax (604) 682-5513, US/Canada 1-800-810-6888; 1-800-961-7555

Rate range: $$$ to $$$$

Home to Vancouver’s burgeoning film industry crowd, the Sutton Place is ideally located in the heart of town. Adjacent to Robson Street, Vancouver’s shopping district, and close to the Vancouver Art Gallery and great restaurants.

Wedgewood Hotel

845 Hornby Street
Tel (604) 689-7777, Fax (604) 608-5348, US/Canada 1-800-663-0666

Rate range: $$ to $$$$

If you are looking for a small country inn with downtown elegance, the Wedgewood is for you. European heritage is reflected in every detail, from the charming guest rooms to the hotel’s fine restaurant, Bacchus. Well located, the hotel is right across from the Vancouver Art Gallery and close to Robson St. shopping district.