Monday, December 7, 2009

Slick Rock Creek

Photo by Nate Merrill
Nate, Matt and I ran Slick Rock Creek off highway 18 on the way to Lincoln city back when we had water a few weeks ago.  I had found the creek by chance last year and had wanted to go back to check out what was in there.  Strangely enough, you can drive right to the put-in for this creek on an old forgotten looking gravel road.  The take out we used was right under highway 18.  At the put in there are boulders on bedrock, and immediately enters a section with gorge walls.  We put in and were swept downstream quickly through many class four boulder gardens.  We boat scouted all the boulder gardens, so we didn't get many pictures except where Matt hopped out once.
(photo by Matt King)

Somewhere in here was an island with some bedrock.  We took the left and it was a fast slide ending in some mank, but the right side looked better with a slide and ledge, just watch out for some wood in the bottom right of the ledge.  
       At one point I was in the lead and came across a steeper drop with bedrock on the sides of the walls.  I hopped out to look while Matt and Nate caught up and bashed through some devils club to see a nice double drop.   I signalled Matt through, and Nate went next off verbal beta, then I came down.    It was a nice break from the boulder gardens.

Myself in "Twist off"
(photo by Matt King)

Nate coming through the bottom hole in Twist Off.
(photo by Matt King)
Reason for the name from Matt- "cause it's sometimes nice to get a beer that you can crack easily, but them easy crackin' beers don't taste as good as others."  It also was sort of a twisty drop.
 Below here there were two spots we portaged for wood, and eventually the creek tapered off down to class II-III for the last quarter mile.  In this section Matt found a rope swing and tried it out, in the video it is obvious to tell it was created for low water use :)
            Before too long we passed a building with "park ranger" or something like that on the side.  I decided to hike out here because I was jogging the shuttle, the guy in this building is only there in the Spring.  Nate and Matt continued downstream and reported more class II-III and a surf wave on the way to the highway take-out.  
          The people in the area were very friendly and were interested to see kayakers.  I jogged back to the car, evaded our car alarm (Oakland the dog), and headed back to the highway within 5 min. of Nate and Matt arriving.  The video is not very indicative of the drops, as we have no footage of any rapids except the class III+ stuff at the put-in.   At high flows this run would be rockin'.  Really its a mini version of lower Roaring River.  It's about half the length, the shuttle is 5 min. instead of over an hour, no hike, and the wood situation is better.  Maybe a good way to warm up for Roaring River.
             level of the SF Yamhill should be around 2000, a boater could probably paddle all the way down to 1000, but I wouldn't recommend that. Not sure how high you could go safely.  We had about 1500 and there were a few F.U. rocks.  From Pat Welches site. we ran it 11/18  
A couple weeks ago Ben Sigler and Dan McCain fired up the put-in drop on Butte Creek Oregon.  There used to be wood in there but its good now.  The rafters cleaned up on "The Butte Crack", so I guess it goes.  Here is a video from these two trips.
And I forgot to credit it on the video, but the photos in the video are by Matt King

** Since we ran the creek, a gate has been installed along the access road.  This means a short hike is now required to reach the put in.

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