20+ feet till touchdownWe drove down to the trailhead near Quartz Creek with high spirits. I was unsure about how my back would deal with the impacts of the next few falls, but was willing to give it a go. We skipped the trail scout and took a look at Taitnapum from the lip. It was good to go. Nate and Chris fired the center (watch out for the rock lurking behind the vail, just waiting to catch your tail), while I went left. I was able to get forward at the very end, but still felt a bit of impact.
Chris fires up his tallest falls to date with a great line.At this point I ruled out Upper Lewis Falls. We ran the next couple of drops, with only one violent piton to speak of (just keep your nose up when it looks like you should). We then scouted the first tier of Upper Falls, a unique entry into an 8 foot boof. Nate went first, and then Chris's boat went. I heard Chris yell "where's my boat", then "*&^%". I hopped in my boat to help Nate with the chase, seal launched into the drop and hopped out, only to see Chris's boat disappear over the nasty apacolypse drop on Upper Lewis. Nate clipped into a rope I was holding, and recovered the paddle. I then roped Chris across and we headed down to where a bunch of hikers informed us the boat had gone over both the twenty foot first tier, and the lower 35 footer. Chris took off running down the trail while Nate started getting psyched for the big drop on Upper Lewis. We roped him down, and there he was, all alone and commited to a pretty big drop. He looked stoked to be there though and I looked down with envy, remembering how cool it was to be in that spot. He got in his boat, slid backwards into the micro-eddy, then pealed out and dropped 35 ft down a slick ramp. He was really excited in the pool below.
Nate accelerates down the face of the lowest tier in Upper FallsI saw his line and was pretty sure I could run it with minimal impact to my back, I also really wanted to be in that spot right above the drop again. So I doubled up the rope, and lowered myself down there. I followed Nate's line, dropping over this falls for the third time so far, having a totally soft and upright line. I was really glad I had run it. We reunited with Chris (who retrieved his boat minus the front wall and with a new dent in the front) and headed downstream. Shortly thereafter Chris was located with said front wall and we were back in business. The next section involved us getting out of our boats a couple times to walk across the wide bedrock channels in order to avoid abuse on our boats. One slot in here is very small, but goes. Shortly downstream was Middle falls, which we ran multiple times, and butslid as well. One of my favorite drops, especially with water, because it is large and super easy. Next was the low water fun down to Lower falls, this went by in about 20 minutes, then we were at the grand finale for those who so chose. After much deliberation, Nate stepped up to the plate. We set up some solid safety, then watched as Nate tried out a new line. At low water, there is a flake in the center of the falls that attracts a fair amount of the flow. Most people are concerned they will hit it, Nate decided he wanted to hit it. He hoped it would lift his bow just enough to kick him away from the cave on river left. We sent three logs over. The first pitoned hard on the flake, then fell over the handle bars into the pool below. The second did exactly what we hoped Nate's kayak would do. The third had three minutes of downtime... Nate decided to give it a go and set up for the run with a multitude of onlookers. He came off just as planned with the perfect amount of speed, dropped his bow and hoped the flake would do as planned...
Nate fires the biggen'It kicked him hard right (away from the cave), he adjusted in midair and hit the pool in control. He rolled quickly against the right wall and floated out through the most exhilerated 50 yards of flatwater I have ever paddled, and I am sure he was feeling the same. Chris and I jumped off the right side into the pool to congratulate him. Then we hiked up and out, totally stoked on the day. Not many people run the Lewis as a run, mostly just for park and hucks, but it is one of my favorite runs in one of my favorite places. I highly recomend that anyone capable and willing to do a bit of dealing take the opportunity to experience this place from a boat. "Lewis river above muddy river" should be below 500 for the Lower tier of Upper falls to be maneagable (because of put in shelf), and lower falls to be sane. we had 350. -Jacob