Friday, September 25, 2009

Gladiator Logistics

This one is tricky to find, and trickier to run, so Iv'e created this page to help stack the odds in your favor.  One of the important factors to getting on Gladiator is being willing to get skunked, you may need to try it a few times before everything lines up right.  Know that even if you do get skunked and leave this Rock un-turned, you will still have another chance to try your luck at the nearby casino.


 The good news is, no shuttle is needed.  4 miles in to the 6 mile hike.
Photo: Priscilla Macy




RULES




This is a nice map from ODFW with rules and other information for the area.





ACCESS



As of 2019, walking in is allowed during the rainy season.  When driving up the access road you will cross a bridge over Gladiator Creek, this is where you take out.  To get to the start of the Haul, continue up this Fire road to a gate.  At the end of the day it's an easy 1/4 mile walk up to the gate from the take out bridge so no need to set a vehicle shuttle.  From the gate the hike is 6 miles, 4.5 miles are relatively flat, 1.5 miles is an uphill slog.  If you are running the middle section, you will be paddling 7 miles.  The wheely-walkers are ideal for this hike, also bring food and water.
 

From the gate at the bottom of the road, it's about 3 miles to the put in bridge for the lower section, there are mile markers painted on the trees to orient during the walk.  To get to the middle bridge, cross this first bridge (the sign is talking about the area next to the road, not the road itself), and it's a steep mile up to a quarry.  A short distance past the quarry veer left (it's not the first turn), this road leads down to the put in bridge in a couple miles.  It is highly recommended you bring your cell phone with a map cached (or a paper map) to help on the hike.



FLOWS


 The visual gauge on Gladiator.

3' is probably too high for a first time trip.
2.5' is a medium flow. IV-IV+(V)
2' is low, and Vesuvius is too low. IV(V) 
1.5' is too low to kayak the creek.

*You can put in at the top of Ludi by hiking down a nose of land from the far end of the quarry if flows are too low for Vesuvius.

Here is how you find the Gladiator gauge:  Find the road that is named after the town.  Along the main highway downstream of the road named after the town is a guard rail as shown in the picture below.  Walk along the guard rail about 75 feet, one of the posts has some yellow paint splashed on it.  Walk to the creek at this point through a couple of trees, the gauge is along the creek bank about 10 yards from the highway.








I use four telemetry gauges to try to guess what the Gladiator gauge will be showing, and it really is a guessing game at best.

Willamina Creek:   I think this one is the most helpful, each time Gladiator has been run, this gauge was between 450-1,000 cfs. 

Sunshine Creek:  This is not in the same drainage, but is at the same longitude and elevation, with headwaters in the center of the Coast Range.
                  
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):    Gladiator has been run with this gauge between 1,000-2,500 cfs, and doesn't seem to correlate beyond that.  Even within that range, Gladiator can be too high or too low.

SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):      Gladiator has been run with this gauge between 1,000-2,500 cfs, and doesn't seem to correlate beyond that.  Even within that range, Gladiator can be too high or too low.



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Because it is so hard to guess the flow on Gladiator, Iv'e added some data points and photos to help sort it out.
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February 18, 2019
This was a low runnable flow, probably right at the bottom of the runnable flow range.  I would not recommend running Vesuvius at this flow, but putting in at the start of the Ludi stretch would be reasonable.

1.9'

Willamina Creek:                                500 cfs average and stable/slight drop
Sunshine Creek:                                  100 cfs and stable/slight drop
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):     1,700 avg and stable/slight drop
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       1,400 avg and stable/slight drop






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February 16, 2019
2.4'

This was a good flow, on the lower side of a high-quality medium.



Willamina Creek:                                  A high of 800 cfs after starting at 700 in the morning.
Sunshine Creek:                                    A high of 175 after starting the day at 150.
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):       A high of 2,500 cfs peak in the afternoon, started at 1,600 in the morning.
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):         A high of 2,400 cfs in the afternoon after starting at 1,500 in the morning.



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Dec 6, 2014



Willamina Creek:                                 Peaked at 700 cfs
Sunshine Creek:                                   Peaked at 90 cfs
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):      Peaked at 900 cfs
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):        Peaked at 1,300 cfs mid-day


This was before I found the visual gauge, my guess is it was over 2.5', but less than 3'.
Great flow, mushy in places.  I liked this flow for Vesuvius, but I think the rapids are a little more crisp with a bit less water.  Plenty of padding throughout and the in-between cleans up.



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March 2, 2019
I was passing through on the way to the coast, so grabbed a data point.  There was water in the creek, but it was too low to kayak.  1.4'



Willamina Creek:                                   240 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.
Sunshine Creek:                                     40 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.                          
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):        450 cfs and falling slowly, almost stable.
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):          550 cfs and falling.

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March 3/4 2012
Low water, ran the last few rapids of the Ludi section for the first time. Scraped the lip at Punisher.


Willamina Creek:                                   450 cfs and stable
Sunshine Creek:                                     80 cfs and stable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):        Right around 1,000 cfs and dropping slowly
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):          Right around 1,000 cfs and dropping slowly



Story reminder: Skirt too small


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Nov 15, 2008


Willamina Creek:                                 500 dropping to 400
Sunshine Creek:                                   Unavailable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):      About 1,000 cfs
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       1,070 dropping to 970

This was low, probably around 2' on the gauge.  We only ran the lower section this day.

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January 1, 2003
High water
First descent of the lower section, from OregonKayaking.


Willamina Creek:                                1,000 cfs and dropping
Sunshine Creek:                                  Unavailable
SF Yamhill At Willamina (WRD):      2,500 cfs and dropping
SF Yamhill at Willamina (NWS):       Unknown


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