A kayak ride on the Ashlu ended in tragedy for a 36-year-old Vancouver man on Sunday (Sept. 26).
The kayaker planned to do a solo run between the Ashlu Mine and the 25 mile bridge, a route known as the Mine Run.
He was dropped off in the mine area by his wife at about 3 p.m.
Cpl. Dave Ritchie of the Squamish RCMP reported that after the man was dropped off, he made his way down the river but must have run into trouble before he reached the bridge.
"He was reported missing when he failed to make his meeting as planned at a pickup point further down the Ashlu River," said Ritchie.
Search and Rescue volunteers with the Squamish Emergency Program were brought in to help in the search for the missing kayaker.
Local kayaker Stuart Smith was asked to help with the rescue effort and Smith said he knew the victim well.
Smith estimated that the run the Mine Run should have taken a minimum of three hours and as much as five hours to complete.
The man expected to meet his wife at about six or seven o'clock. By the time the man was reported missing darkness became an issue for rescuers.
Private helicopters were used in the rescue effort the next day and Smith said the victim was spotted by helicopter early Monday afternoon.
Ritchie said the man was located in the stream a short distance from his kayak.
The police estimate the body was approximately half a kilometre from the mile 25 bridge.Smith was flown with his kayak and equipment to a location very close to the victim.
"We dropped right into the canyon and landed on a big rock about 10 metres away," Smith said.
Smith used his kayak to get to the rock the man was found on. The victim was taken out of the canyon by helicopter long line to a staging area.
"He wasn't in a very difficult section of the river," Smith said. "He was just above a very difficult section."
According to Smith, the man's helmet, personal floatation device and other gear was all intact.
"The river wasn't that high," Smith said. "It was pretty low."
Smith described the victim as an experienced paddler. He added that the man was not a high-end kayaker and was not considered an expert. Smith had paddled the run with the victim at another time.
Police did not release the name of the dead man.
Smith said he and his organization, the Whitewater Kayaking Association of B.C., wouldn't promote paddling the 5.4 km Mine Run solo.