Liam’s Winter Training Camp – Tamihi, BC

This year I decided to stay in school, get some more of this degree under my belt which put my winter training camp under a tight budget! For almost ten years the Tamihi rapids located in Chiliwack, BC was the national team training site the Canadian canoe slalom team and produced many high achieving athletes. Sometimes the value of a natural course can be lost as we transition into the dominant man-made canoe slalom courses that hold races today.


Tamihi has soul. The river can jump 5 feet overnight. It can range from class 3 to class 4+ in rapid difficulty. The place can be one of the most frustrating venues you will ever paddle as each way can push you completely off line. But, when you find a way to work with the water you’ll find yourself fist pumping into the air as you pull off the most difficult of gate combinations. It’s a love hate relationship, but I managed to come out of the camp feeling positive and optimistic for the upcoming year.

We worked hard and saw progress. You must embrace the cold and push through to become the best in this sport, we did just that.

Shout out to my dedicated friend and training partner Adrian Cole, the whole Alberta High Performance group for taking me in, and special mention to the resilience of Coaches Brendan Curson and Michael Holroyd.



author: Liam Smedley

Loves photography, outdoors tripping, crafting coffee & brewing kombucha. Frequently found in his hammock by the river.


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