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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 4th, 2011, 3:58 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2006, 12:15 pm
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Location: calgary
more great pics,too bad it won't be open till later this summer


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 10th, 2011, 9:20 pm 
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Location: calgary
some pics with water in the channel
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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 11th, 2011, 1:24 am 
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This is such a great project and hats off to all who have worked to make it happen but it's killing me that it's taking so long! Done by the end of the summer means yet another year before it can be a place to play on a hot summer's day. Over 3 years of construction (groan). Also there has been little public info and updates about the project and a call to 311 doesn't net much either. I really hope the public gets behind this once it's done and uses it enthusiastically and responsibly. After years and years of convincing we need to show the city and province that projects like this are absolutely worth doing and an excellent community resource.


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 11th, 2011, 4:30 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2006, 12:15 pm
Posts: 263
Location: calgary
latest rumor I heard is july opening(unless they decide to go back in and rework a couple features to make them more paddler friendly)


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 8:38 pm 
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Well it was just too warm and sunny this Saturday to resist so a couple of friends and I decided to go and see about running the Harvie Passage. We brought my old Prijon T-Canyon kayak and my Evergreen Prowler canoe.

We got to the parking lot at the park around 2pm and walked in to the west bank take a look. There were lots of people on the viewing platform and also right inside the fence beside the water just taking a look. There were also few people in rafts portaging around the passage but nobody actually going through. We checked out the 'easy' passage beside the west bank and although the water was pretty high we decided it looked safe enough for our modest skills so we headed back and got the boats. By the time we returned there was already another couple getting their canoe ready at the top of the run and several rafters appearing up river as well.

We got ready ourselves and then my friend went first in the kayak. He made it down the first four drops no problem and then pulled in to wait for us in case we had an upset. When he was ready we headed towards the mouth of the first drop and the point of no return. All went well over the 1st and 2nd but by the 3rd drop things were looking a bit more difficult. We made it through the 3rd ok but took on a bit of water. The 4th drop was the biggest and unfortunately I did not take the right line and we headed right into the curl at the bottom. The canoe torqued, swamped, and we went over :lol: While my front paddler took care of himself and the paddles while I swam after the canoe and managed to rescue it before it went over the last drop by itself. It was a struggle to haul it out of the main current but once out of it the strong back eddy helped swirl me back to shore and my friends waded in to help pull it out.

There were lots of people watching and some kids had been running along side cheering as we went down so I'm glad it was entertainment for someone. As for us, aside from being a bit wet and cold we were laughing too. We sat on the shore and took a look at the passage again while we decided whether to continue on down stream or try it again. As we were watching several rafters went down no problem although they also got pretty wet on the 3rd and 4th drops. The couple we had met at the top also came through in their canoe and although they took on a lot of water they made it through the whole thing without flipping. They shored up at the bottom as well and got out to empty their canoe and dry off before continuing down river.

We decided to stick around and play a bit but as we were getting ready to portage upstream and try it again the Calgary Fire Department showed up in their rescue boat. They were pretty cool and asked how we were doing and what we thought. I said I thought this was a bit more difficult than I had expected for the 'easy' passage but we were having fun and were going to stay and play for a while. They informed us that the passage is not officially open and that since we looked prepared and safe they weren't going to ask us to leave but if they got any calls from people on shore they would have to come back and clear everybody out. We thanked them for the 'warning' and watched as they drove their boat straight up the 'easy' passage. They did this several times actually, going up the easy side and then down the middle passage. Apparently they have been practicing too.

So, sufficiently warm shouldered the boats and headed back upstream. Each of us ran it again in the kayak and had some fun. I ran it twice more in the canoe with a partner and we made it through both times without flipping and taking on much less water than the first time. I also made a solo canoe attempt but chickened out after the first easy drop. My canoe is not a solo boat and is not even set up with knee pads. Without any bow ballast it was just sitting too high and I could not control it in the current at all. Perhaps some more practice this season will help... and some knee pads.

While we were playing many other people showed up to try out the rapids including a bunch of play-boaters who ran both the easy west bank passage and also the much larger drops in the middle and east side of the river. Too difficult for me but they looked like they were having fun. We paddled out below the drops a little later to watch before heading down stream and I have to say it looks far more difficult from below than above. The river was just raging over the bigger drops and a missed line would definitely have sent you into some trouble on rocks on the side. Definitely not for the unskilled.

So my first impression is: wow what an awesome playground but much more difficult than I had expected on the 'easy' side. The CFD fellas did say the water was quite high and that the passage was much more reasonable when flow was lower so that is encouraging for the casual/recreational canoeist who makes the decision to attempt the easy passage without stopping to take a look first. The difficult passages are sure to upset all but the more experienced canoeists and 'yakers but I think the worst you will get is very wet and a long delay as you retrieve your boat and gear as long as you stay in the middle of the flow. The edges of the larger features could definitely do some damage if you went over them, or got pushed into them, by accident. The river below the passage slows down and rounds an easy curve so there is plenty of opportunity to swim to shore safely if you need to or else try and rescue your boat as you continue on downstream to a more shallow area.

We did take a few videos with my iphone but I'm new on here so I'm not sure if I can upload or attach a video yet. I will look into it when I have a minute. Seeing all the other people playing safely there on Saturday was encouraging and hopefully is some indication that it is unofficially open for business. Again I'll mention that the CFD was pretty cool about not bothering people but I'm sure they are watching carefully so hopefully everyone can be responsible and not give them a reason to shut us down for the summer until the scheduled opening this fall. One last thought is that I think we still have higher water ahead. There is a ton of snow in the mountains and it hasn't really started to melt yet so I caution is warranted as we move into warmer weather.


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2012, 7:13 pm 
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
Posts: 40
Location: Calgary
Anyone notice if the Pelicans returned to the weir in 2011....or should I say the former weir?

Image

Great HD video of the former weir and the Pelicans that would frequent there.

http://vimeo.com/groups/panasonicgh1/videos/5903458


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: March 13th, 2012, 3:15 pm 
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Joined: December 30th, 2007, 11:07 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Edmonton
Good Day;

I'm udating my guide (Mark's guide for Alberta Paddlers) and I'm looking for a good overview picture of the completed Harvie Passage (as of late fall 2011) that I could use in the update... I'd be most appreciative!

If you have one... or know of one a reply to <marklund@shaw.ca> would be helpful.

Many thanks,

Mark

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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 13th, 2012, 6:37 pm 
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Joined: February 21st, 2008, 2:11 pm
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Location: Calgary
May 13/2012. +25 C. Stopped beside the Deerfoot southbound (Hwy 2) today and took the following. It appears the Harvie Passage is finally open for business. :thumbup:
Congrats to everyone involved that made this huge project happen. It was by no means a small task. May everyone have a fun and safe passage.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: May 16th, 2012, 4:56 pm 
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Joined: October 20th, 2006, 12:15 pm
Posts: 263
Location: calgary
On sunday afternoon 6 of us headed down to try out the new features,all in open playboats and ranging from beginner to advanced paddlers,we were there for about 3 hours and only ran the river right lowwater(easy side-river right) channel twice,at these water levels it is a great place to park and play in the middle of town,good eddies some surfing and lots of fun. Another group of us will be heading down after the long weekend to go out and explore the bigwater side,will post again after that


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: June 20th, 2012, 6:37 pm 
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Following taken June 20, 2012 from Hwy 2 and river right at the observation deck with the river running @ 285 (m3/S)

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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: June 29th, 2012, 12:39 pm 
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Location: Calgary
June 27, 2012 flow @ 430 (m3/s) :)

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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2012, 6:22 pm 
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Harvie Passage in the news.

http://www2.canada.com/sports/editorial ... id=6878914


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: July 3rd, 2012, 8:05 pm 
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Location: Canmore AB
You had to know this was going to happen,and will again.......
Even with a PDF this guy died.
It just made it an easier recovery.
I'm sure average Calgarians figure this is now a water slide and Class II VS III means nothing.
Someone drifting down the Bow in their crappy tire inflatable, won' t take the time to read a sign on the side of the river.
Hugh

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"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: July 4th, 2012, 9:39 am 
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I agree with Hugh, just because it is now navigational by experienced paddlers, you will still get those that don't consider any dangers. Sadly, it will likely happen again.

On a warm weekend day, there are many hundreds of cheap rafts floating on the river, most of the people not even wearing PFD's, and most of these drinking a fair bit. I have seen where there are literally a half dozen of these rafts leaving Bowness Park every minute.

You also see lots of kayaks now playing there, and who knows the skill level of these people, or how much rescue training they have had.

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"Paddle faster, I hear banjos!"


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 Post subject: Re: HARVIE PASSAGE - Bow River Weir Project Construction Thr
PostPosted: July 4th, 2012, 10:19 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2011, 11:46 pm
Posts: 31
And these same people wouldn't think of going on "Expert" downhill ski runs with only "Bunny slope" training / abilities.

But realistically, most Class III rapids require enough serious canoeing to get to that prospective riverrunners have some idea what they're getting into. When the access is a big-city municipal park, picnic tables, maybe a few brewskis, can you realistically expect warning signs to have much effect?

I mean, Class II and Class III must mean "really easy (boring)" and "fairly easy (really easy for me), slightly less boring)", otherwise they wouldn't have made it so easy to get to, would they?

Deaths like this are always a tragedy.


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