Strathcona Wilderness Institute

Whitewater Kayaking the Rivers of Vancouver Island

Have you ever wondered how many rivers on Vancouver Island can be paddled by whitewater kayakers? You might be surprised to know that there are a lot more than you thought and many of them are right in your backyard! Strathcona Wilderness Institute is pleased to present Dave Prothero with his heart-stopping photo and movie presentation on “Whitewater Kayaking the Rivers of Vancouver Island.”

Dave Prothero grew up in the Comox Valley exploring the hills and lakes around the valley, but his quest for knowledge in the outdoors eventually led him to undertake a three month mountain leadership and outdoor program with Yamnuska in Canmore, Alberta. After the course he traveled to Nepal and in the heart of the Himalayas he spent five days rafting down the wild Kali Gandaki River, often referred to as the deepest canyon in the world. Once back in Alberta he decided to learn more about rafting and whitewater kayaking and eventually became a guide.

Upon returning to Vancouver Island, Dave met up with other like-minded paddlers and over the next fourteen years explored and paddled many different rivers, sometimes making first descents on some of the more difficult and dangerous canyons.

In between paddling and working on the island, Dave spent time traveling and working as a professional Raft guide and safety Kayaker taking clients down rivers in twenty-six different countries on six continents. As recently as last year, Dave was in Ladakh, Northern India, rafting on the mighty Indus River.

Locally over the last four years, Dave has been involved with helping to organize the successful Puntledge River Paddle Festival in May with other members of the Vancouver Island Whitewater Paddling Society.

As well as being an exceptional whitewater kayaker, Dave is a successful photographer. He will be sharing his paddling photos and stories of rivers around five island communities, showcasing the classic runs on the Gordon, Harris and Lens Rivers around Port Renfrew; the Cameron, Ash and Parsons Rivers near Port Alberni; the Puntledge, Browns and Piggot Rivers from the Comox Valley; the Ucona, Gold and Heber Rivers by Gold River; the White, Nimpkish and Adam Rivers in the district of Sayward. Following the photo presentation Dave will show a short movie called “Island Times” showcasing a number of rivers in Central Vancouver Island. This movie was first shown at the Cumberland Mountain Film Festival.

By the end of the evening, your hands will be gripping the sides of your seat in anticipation of hitting the pools at the bottom of some of the waterfalls Dave has dropped over, but you will have the luxury of being dry and warm, although a little sweaty.

The presentation is at the North Island College theatre on Ryan Road in Comox on Saturday June 16. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. with the show running from 7 – 9. There is a cover charge of $10 per person at the door. Proceeds support the work of the Strathcona Wilderness Institute.

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