Saturday, September 24, 2016


^^Look Up^^

Recently, Nate Pfiefer over at Wheels and Water added "tabs" to his blog.  This makes it easier for people to search for a report he has done.

I liked the idea and added some tabs to this blog as well.  This should make it easier to find individual runs. 

I also aim to update the trip reports on this site with easier to digest beta.  This will take a long time, but in the end be a nicer format than how the blog was laid out in the past.

Our newest shuttle vehicle.

Through college I used a motorized scooter to run shuttle if we only wanted to take one vehicle or if I was paddling alone.  It was pretty neat, but it has been having irreconcilable issues as of late and left us stranded more than once.

We decided to upgrade to a motorized bicycle we bought off Craigslist.  That way if there are mechanical issues it will still be possible to peddle the shuttle.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Closing off the Siletz drainage

                                                                      PLEASE SIGN!
                                                                     PLEASE SIGN!

Word is that August 17, 2017 Weyerhaeuser will be closing off the Siletz River basin to the public. In the past they did this during high fire danger and during the week, this new closure is said to be keeping everyone without a permit out all the time. These permits are hefty, $300-$600 a month in many cases.

Many of my favorite parts of Oregon are in Weyerhaeuser owned portions of the Coast Range, with these fees I never could have afforded to do the exploring that helped shape who I am while I was in school. And even now that I am in the workforce, those fees are still higher than I will be able to justify splurging for. The whitewater is only a small part of why this hurts, the Siletz drainage has world class fishing, hunting, and hiking. It's one of those places I could spend hours driving around and never get bored. In my mind places like this make Oregon "Oregon". There is also historic value in the razed town of Valsetz and some of the largest trees in the coast range (Valley of the Giants) are there.

Here is a list of some of my favorite runs that will lose access in just the Siletz drainage, there are many more across the state that suffer from Weyerhaeuser restriction.

NF Siletz
South Fork Siletz
Little Luckiamute
Valley of The Giants Fork
Main Stem Siletz
Boulder Creek

Scroll down to help the cause

 Weyerhaeuser taking steps to protect their product is reasonable (i.e. closing the areas during high fire danger and during the week when their vehicles are up there), keeping a large portion of the land that makes Oregon "Oregon" out of reach for many Oregonians is not.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Why we go

After a rough start to the summer, watching Nick have a stellar trip down his hardest run to date reminded me about one of the reasons I kayak.

Nick was leaning towards walking out at Island, a broken paddle during a scout made that an easy choice to take had he been looking for an excuse.  However, he decided finishing the run was something he wanted to do and committed to paddling to the lip of Behemoth, a point from which there is not a reasonable option of turning back.

The risk in kayaking can be hard to justify, most often to those who don't do it, though sometimes even to yourself.  As anyone who has ever stepped up their game in a setting like that at Behemoth knows, you can be one person at the top of a rapid, and a slightly different one at the bottom.  

Here is a video of Nick expanding his horizons by means of descending one.

*So understated he got left out of the credits, Ben Mckenzie deserves a shout out for his role on this trip and many others.

Also on this trip was a friend of ours who was helicopter lifted out of the area last year when he broke his leg at Island Rapid.  He succeeded in descending the canyon safely this time around with only a single roll.  I have never hurt myself this badly so can only surmise about how tough that was mentally to come back and run the same river that wrecked him.  Good on you, two significant accomplishments with one river trip.  Powerful moments in a special place.


Friday, June 24, 2016

Ohanapecosh Update

June 18 & 19, 2016

The Ohanapecosh experienced some high water this last Winter, and produced some notable changes on the stretch from Secret Camp to La Wis Wis campground.

Slide above put in:  There is a slide a hundred yards above the put in that had a log jam, that log jam is gone along with a couple river wide logs above that.

Rail Slide:  I had never seen anyone miss the move on this rapid before last weekend, when 5 people blew it.  I guess I attribute this to a couple small, but deceptive hydraulics in the lead in to the ledge.  Think the squirly water above Horseshoe for those familiar with the Little White Salmon.

Photo: Clinton Koontz

First sweeping right turn:  There are a few rapids that you start on the left and then bend right through some medium sized hydraulics.  The first and most pronounced of these has changed significantly.  It's no harder, but notably different.  Driving right after entering left worked best for us.

Shot: Clinton Begley

Non-descript rapid:  A paddler ended up in an innocuous sieve in the bottom right hand side of a nondescript rapid with a left to right move.  It was frightening for all involved and changed the mood of the trip.
 Shot: Clinton Begley
 Shot: Clinton Begley

Fun Boof:  There used to be a small rapid in a straight away with a fun boof at the end, the boof is gone :(

Butcher's Block:  This rapid changed significantly, the portage route on the left now has water flowing through it and a lot of the logs got blown out.  Last weekend all scouting and portaging was done from the right hand side.  Fortunately, the rapid itself is much friendlier and almost everyone ran it multiple times.  It did cause one swim and some flips, but it is no longer the rapid it used to be.

Jesse Shapiro in Butcher's Block
Photo: Clinton Koontz

Triple Drop:  Earlier in the season there was a log on the right side of Triple Drop, it is out of the way now.

Narrow slot on the left:  The boulder garden with the narrow slot on the left has changed in a number of ways.  First is, there is no longer a narrow slot on the bottom left, it is more open and straight forward now.  The sieve on the bottom right appears to have changed, it may even be runnable now.  Also there was a sneaky piece of wood half way down on the left.  It wasn't much of a hazard last weekend but it likely will be at lower flows.  It might be worth scouting your first lap down if flows are below 1200 cfs.

What used to be the narrow slot on the left, is picture here on the right.  No need to tuck the elbows anymore!

Elbow Room:  Lines are the same, but there are some nuanced changed where boulders moved around.  One person ran the bottom right by accident and had a dry head run, but there were about 11 people all holding their breath there for a moment.  The line appeared even thinner over there this year than last.  Left line went ok for everyone who ran it.

Petrified:  Same lines, but with minute changes such as the middle hole is a little less sticky (two people worked their way out of it) and its easier to make the middle to right move (a nubbin at the boof point disappeared).  

Clinton Begley got on the Ohanapecosh for his first time this weekend and like so many others have found out, its a pretty special place.  Here is a video he made, which is where most of the screen shots in this report came from.

/áw-xanapaykaš/ | Ohanapecosh River, Washington | Whitewater Kayaking | My First Descent from clintergalactic on Vimeo.

With all the changes it seems the upper stretch may be worth a look again, but we didn't check it out.

Hawt Fire:  The class VI rapid just above has even more wood in it now, including a giant old growth that wasn't there last year.  If running Hawt Fire definitely don't put in at the bridge!  This was the highest I have run Hawt Fire and the hydraulics were larger, but the ride was still smooth. 

New Old Growth above Hawt Fire

Photos: Dan Price & Adam Edwards

Hawt Fire!

Boater Photo Order:  Ben Mckenzie, Adam Edwards, Priscilla Macy, Jacob Cruser
Photo Sequence taken by: Clinton Begley
 Final two photos by Priscilla Macy and Jacob Cruser

Ben looked at Silver Falls for a long time but in the end saved it for another day, that is one big chunk of whitewater.

Over and out


Friday, June 17, 2016

PPNWWW Guidebook

There is a new guidebook coming to the Northwest, here is a teaser put together by Substantial Media House to help get the word out about the book.

If you would like to support your local shops, please do.  Next Adventure, Alder Creek and the Kayak Shed will have them here in the Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge area.

If you would like to support Amazon, it can be purchased there too.

Paddling Pacific Northwest Whitewater: A Fresh Guide to Northwest Rivers and Creeks from Substantial Media House on Vimeo.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Beyond 3+

Last night was the Eugene showing of "Our Local Epic", before the main event a few local videos were shown.  I particularly liked this new approach to a kayak video and thought others might enjoy it as well.

video by Matt Pearson