Rossland resident back from journey down the Fraser

Rossland resident Wannes Luppens recently completed a 25 day, 1,400 km journey down the Fraser River.

Rossland resident Wannes Luppens completed a 25 day journey down the Fraser River along with others from all over the province

Rossland resident Wannes Luppens recently completed a 25 day, 1,400 km journey down the Fraser River. The trip began at the headwaters near Mt. Robson and finished at the river’s mouth in Vancouver.

Travelling by voyageur canoe and raft, he was one of seven participants on the Sustainable Living Leadership Program, organized annually by the Rivershed Society of BC.

Evenings were spent camping under the stars along the banks of the river, while days were spent learning about stewardship and designing sustainability projects to implement in home communities.

Luppins had nothing but good things to say about the trip, from being in nature the whole time to the friends he made from all over B.C.

“I got to see and learn about a big part of BC that I had never had a chance to experience before,” Luppens said. “Finding out about the Fraser’s history and its impact on the development of the West was fascinating”.

The weather on the trip turned out to be great as well, so they spent most of the nights sleeping under the stars. There was a lot of wildlife, including a huge sturgeon, bears and bighorn sheep. Tracing the river brought him a new perspective on the environment around it.

“You see the river getting bigger and bigger. Where we started, you could call it a trickle,” he said.

The group began the journey in the voyageur canoe, but switched in and out of military style rafts, depending on the severity of the rapids in the part of the river.

“It gets way too wild, I’d say in the beginning it has a similar feel to the Columbia, but then from Soda Creek to Hope it’s wild,” he said. “There’s spots where even with a lifejacket on you wouldn’t stand much of a chance.

At one point, just before Hell’s Gate, a notorious part of the river before Hope, one of the rafts sprung a leak, but they managed to get it to shore.

The idea behind the annual trip came from Fin Donnelly, who twice swam the entire length of the river to raise awareness for its health. Fin has co-facilitated almost all of the trips since 2002, and was also on this year’s trip.

“The two facilitators, Fin and Doug, were awesome,” he said. “Very knowledgeable and inspiring. I love the whole idea that one guy’s ambition to swim a river has ultimately evolved into an entire network of people and organizations right across B.C. that have a shared passion. And it’s literally the river that connects everyone.

“Sustainable living is the common vision.”

Wannes was the only participant that wasn’t from the Fraser Basin.

All in all he said it was great to experience a different river and a different basin than the one he grew up in. He defined is as a trip of a lifetime.

Wannes would like to encourage anyone that is up for a challenge and an adventure and has an interest in sustainability to apply for next year’s trip. Details can be found at www.rivershed.com.

 

Just Posted

West Kootenay traffic officers catch 21 impaired drivers Saturday

Checks in Nelson, Castlegar and Trail were set up as part of a national enforcement campaign

CP Holiday Train headed to Castlegar

The festive food bank fundraiser will take place December 12.

Rossland’s Rekindle lights the fire of the Christmas spirit

Kickoff to the festive season always a treat for young and old

WorkSafeBC investigating serious incident at Trail landfill

Incident shuts down McKelvey Creek landfill Friday morning

Nelson and Rossland accepted as interveners in Supreme Court of Canada carbon pricing case

Victoria, Vancouver, Squamish, and Richmond also have intervener status

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

Province sues over sailing incident that killed teen with disabilities

Gabriel Pollard, 16, died from injuries after marine lift failed

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Most Read