Journey to the Stikine and the Sacred Headwaters

Paddlers know northwest BC’s Stikine River for its class V whitewater and one of the most savage big-volume canyons in the world. Kayakers travel from afar every year to navigate the depths of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine – but few know of the fight to protect its vast watershed from industrial development.

The Stikine and its sister rivers, the Skeena and the Nass, are under threat from dam and open-pit mine development. This is Todd and Brendan Wells‘ film story of paddling the Stikine and learning about the fight to protect the Sacred Headwaters.

Part two tells of the team’s daring decision to run the infamous Site Zed rapid. Site Zed has only been run a handful of times since the first descent by Ben Marr in 2012.

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The rapid begins where BC Hydro plans to build one of two major dams on the Stikine that would flood the entire canyon above. After their portage-less descent of the Stikine, the crew returns to learn more about the fight to save the Stikine and Headwaters from a mine that poses extreme risks to the surrounding wild-salmon-bearing watershed.

Stay tuned for more coverage of the Stikine and the Sacred Headwaters in the next issue of ML Coast Mountains in February.