Paddling festival celebrates Ashlu 

From seasoned pros to beginners, the time has come for everyone to pick up a paddle and head downstream.

The first Ashlu River Whitewater Festival will take place this weekend, from Thursday, Aug. 19 to Sunday, Aug. 22 in the Ashlu Valley, roughly 35 kilometres northwest of Squamish. And there’s something for everyone.

Hosted by the Squamish Whitewater Paddlers and the Whitewater Kayaking Association of B.C., the event is designed to celebrate and protect the Ashlu River, which is one of the top paddling rivers in the area, according to local paddlers.

Among this weekend’s events are: guided trips on the streams, kayaking clinics, hikes to the nearby waterfalls, a silent auction on paddling gear and on Saturday night there’s the Ashlu Feast and Party at the 20 Mile Ranch campground.

The $45 event fee includes two nights of camping near the river, shuttles throughout the weekend, guided trips by local experts, a barbecue dinner Saturday night and access to a host of other events.

For more information about the Ashlu River Whitewater Festival go to www.whitewater.org/squish.

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