Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sweet Creek Video

Here is the video from Rick and my second lap of the day on Sweet Creek taken by some hikers who sent me the footage.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweet Creek debacle

Photo: Richie Slocum


Stream: A short, highly entertaining section of trail-side whitewater near Mapleton, OR.  A coast town about an hour West of Eugene.  If the water is low, hike up from the lower parking lot.  The trail becomes suspended along a cliff at the steepest part of the run.  Put in as soon as its easy to return to the creek after the suspended part, you will be able to scout all the rapids on the hike up.

If levels are not low, I like to put in up at Sick and Wrong and slide down from there.  Then carry back up for the crux a few times.

Photo: Richie Slocum

The lines are pretty obvious, with the crux move being documented here.  To avoid that situation I try to make sure I am left of that crack with a touch of left angle.  

The first lap can be over-stimulating if you are stepping up to this run as everything connects together, but mentally things slow down once you have a lap under your belt.

Below the crux section are three more fun drops, all scoutable on the hike up.  The middle one looks like it has a dubious landing, but if you are in the right spot with a 45 degree angle you will hit nothing but water.  If there is enough water you can slide down the left side. 

Sweet Creek is often combined with the Lake Creek Slides, as shown in the video below.
Both are short/lappable and on the way if you are coming from the Willamette Valley.

Sweet Creek footage starts at 1:30

Birthday Boating with Kory Kellum from Priscilla Macy on Vimeo.


Flows:  Look for the Siuslaw Gauge to be between 8-9.5' a day or two after a big rain for medium flows.  You can scrape down to 7.5', and it has been run much higher.  Locals like to look for a 2' spike on that same gauge a day or two before your trip.

Access:  From Mapleton, cross over to the East side (river left of the Siuslaw) on the bridge in town and head South (downstream) on Sweet Creek Rd.  In 4.6 miles you will cross over Sweet Creek, stay left on Sweet Creek road and in 6.5 miles past the bridge turn right into the Sweet Creek parking lot.

If you want to put in at Sick and Wrong for a shorter hike and more small slides continue driving upstream about 1 more mile to the upper parking lot and follow the trail down to the creek.

Notes:  People who are not in the know tend to get excited for this one when it's raining heavy and the gauge is rising only to drive there and find out it is a whole different beast than when levels are dropping.  I understand the excitement, but it is a flawed approach.  Be patient and stick to the conditions outlined in the "Flows" section to get in right.

Original Write-up

Nate Pfiefer and Jason Rackely have good beta pages for this run.

For such a short, easily accessible, none committing run, I have sure heard a lot of stories about carnage and beatdowns. Now I have my own story to add to the list.
Dan and I picked up Rick Cooley around 11:30, kinda late, but who worries about daylight on a five minute run?
We took 126 through Veneta instead of going by lake creek, which saved us some time.
We arrived and saw a couple guys in playboats getting ready to go. We heard later one had a skirt implosion that lead to a swim, otherwise they had a good run.
We helped Dan strap the raft to the dolly, then hiked up to the put-in. We stopped in an eddy below the first drop, then pealed out for 45 seconds of some of the most exhilarating boating in Oregon.  Not all that frightening, just good clean, fast paced fun.   Only thing I have run in the same category is Henline, but this was a close second. The main section is followed by three unique, fun drops.
We had such a good run we decided to do it again! (as I'm sure most people do).

We got to the top of the gorge again just as Dan was getting up there with his raft. We encouraged him to put in here, but he had high hopes of running Sick and Wrong. We did our second lap, it went exactly the same, except I missed my boof on the third drop of the triple drop and had some trouble rolling in the aerated, turbulent water. I got into some greener water just as the thought of pulling entered my mind. I got up, slid through a hole backwards, then watched as Rick cleaned up on the drop. We slid down the final three ledges with some hikers getting footage.
We then headed up to find Dan, he was pretty pissed at this point as many of the hikers had warned us on the way up :) I guess hauling a raft on a dolly is just as awful as the last time he did it. Good thing we have short memories. He did impress us by hauling it all the way to the top of Sick and Wrong by himself. We helped haul gear up there, blew up the raft, discovered a hole in the floor, roped raft off the edge, sent Dan down, hiked down for video and safety, waited, waited...waited...waited. After about forty minutes, Rick came down to let me know Dan could not run the drop because the current coming from Sweet creek falls was too powerful and kept rejecting him. He had to throw the raft off and I unpinned it from the mess below the falls. Then Rick headed down to his boat and Dan and I were left with running about a half mile of mank, followed by Sweet creek gorge as it was getting dark.  After all that, it turns out there is a short hike in to Sick and Wrong from a different parking area.

With the floor popped, our knees took a beating. Amazingly, we did the whole run in about 20 minutes with no swims or pins. We got dressed in the dark and then were on our way back home.

Level was 9.2 ft on the Lake Creek Gauge and dropping. A medium flow.

One more Lake Creek/Sweet Creek combo video from Emile Elliott


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to the Bull Run

I am back in Gresham for Spring break, which means I am ten minutes from dodge park. This is not an area for going big, but still a cool place to go boating. It is especially a great place to learn to boat, because you can get on a lot of different runs that are manageable for early on in the learning process.
Looking down towards Swingset.
Growing up, the majority of my kayaking was done on the Sandy River and its tributaries. I remember the first time I went on a hardshell only trip with my dad when i was either in 8th or 9th grade. My dad had acquired an RPM Max and borrowed a Redline for me. We decided to try the Bull Run River at a flow of 56 cfs, that is not a typo, 56 cfs. I don't think either of us had ever even hit a rock with a hardshell before, given that my experience in a hardshell was the last 2 miles of the lower salmon in Idaho, and I don't think his was too much more extensive. However, he was still a class five rafter/IK'er and we scraped our way down the run, and amazingly enough, we had developed enough low water skills with IK's that neither of us had to get out of our boats, and we only had to pull ourselves downstream with our hands once. Swingset was an interesting, reasonably technical drop at those flows (probably my favorite level for that rapid). Everything went really well and neither of us had any problems. From then on I was hooked on kayaking.

My dad gearing up on our most recent trip.I went on to have many more runs on the Bull Run, these runs included my first flip (resulting in my first swim), then my first combat roll, and a high water run with close to 5,000 cfs. We also did a couple exploratory descents on a tributary of the Bull Run, including one I did my senior project on. Making the Bull Run one I remember fondly. On our trip yesterday, we took it slow, paddling the slalom gates and checking out the numerous caves and waterfalls sliding into the gorge. The level of 700 cfs was a tame flow, but we weren't there for the rapids, so it was perfect for a fun class III day.
My dad and a slalom boater talking about caves and what not.
My dad checking out the best of the many tributaries falling over the walls of the Bull Run
My dad running the first part of Swingset.
Swingset is a different rapid every time you see it because it changes so much with different water levels. At 700 cfs, the first part was squirly with a couple waves/holes, then fast water leading into this bottom hole, which flushed nicely but could definitely flip a boater. At levels over 1500, two large back to back breakers form.
I missed my dad crashing the hole, but this is him below it.
Myself in the Wall of water.
Looking downstream, class two from here to the takeout.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rafting Money Drop

Dan ran it. March 14, 2010.

(Photo by Matt King)
Fun tidbit, Ben Stookesberry and another guy landed a seventy footer during No Big Names in a raft.

Rock Creek

The day before Dan ran Money Drop, Matt and the Corvallis crew ran the regular section on Rock Creek. I was planning on joining but ended up getting sick. Anyway, Matt took some cool shots at Heaven and Hell, so I thought I would throw those up.
Rick Cooley running the Drop above Heaven and Hell
(a really awesome drop I might add).

Rick hauling down the waterslide next to Heaven and Hell.

Josh Grabel shoes the speed you have when you hit take flight.

The wood is still there in Heaven and Hell, if anyone wanted to make it so this is no longer the case, I am sure it would be greatly appreciated by many :)
This run is a good option when you get rain, but then the runs start to drop out and you don't know what to run cause you don't think you can take the EF Lewis one more time, but Truss and Little White are higher than you want. Then its time to head to good old Rock creek which has a large drainage than Copper or NF Washougal, so it stays in a bit longer. At the levels I am talking about (around 1000 on EF Lewis), Heaven and Hell are manageable drops and the run in general is low commitment, making for a pleasant day with some really cool features.
Thanks Matt for the pictures. Back to studying for finals for me...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Streams I utilized for training as a college student at WOU

Following is a list of after/between-class runs I utilized while attending school at Western Oregon University.

-Little Luckiamute (black rock bridge to Falls City Falls)  Mostly II-III with one or two class IVs that get rowdy at high flows.  There is an odd braided island at the beginning of the gradient.  The channels change regularly at this islandy part, sometimes they go, sometimes not.

-Luckiamute  (About 12 miles upstream of Valley of the Kings) The first mile is pretty action packed III-IV depending on the flow.  The first mile is the best, followed by some easy floating.  There is also a nice ledge rapid just above one of the take outs that has an anthropogenic channel cut around it, presumably for the fish.

-Rickreall Creek. (Starting 1 mile above no trespassing sign on Martin road into the park in Dallas Oregon)  One class III-IV rapid and some interesting II-III.  A fair bit of bedrock for such a low gradient run, word is all the logs they used to send down the creek when that was standard logging operation practice scoured the creek to it's base.

All of these are mediocre runs with plenty of wood (at least they are roadside-ish), but i have enjoyed them all none the less, and none were too much work to keep from returning often (while I lived close by).  While two do make it into the back of guidebooks, the info is limited so you get the joy of figuring out the nuances for yourself.

Last week my roommates joined me on one of my adventures to Rickreall creek to film and see what kayaking is. I also needed to tune-up a few things for the little White, not sure if this creek really provided the best opportunity for that but it's what was available after class.

This is a short clip of me trying to have as much fun as possible on a class 1-2 creek.

There is a sign in the video that clearly states no trespassing. I have talked with the city of Dallas and they allow hikers, bikers, hiking kayakers, etc. up this road, just no vehicles except during the month of November.

Rickreall Creek Oregon from Jacob Cruser on Vimeo.
*mob rules is actually by black Sabbath, not the doors.


Little White Mar 7, 2010

Ryan Scott lead Matt King, Steve Cameron and myself down the Little White today. Super fun, and Ryan was a great leader. Glad to get my first Little White run of the season. There is new-ish wood in S-turn this year. There is now wood in the top drop. Still very runnable. The godfather of the Little White ran it, the rest of us walked. Definitely worth a scout if you haven't seen the wood yet. Other than that it seems the same as last year. -------------------------------------------------------------- We ran the left side at enchanted forest for my first time, if you haven't done it before, I recommend trying it at levels over 3 ft as it is very fun. Also did the right side portage of Spirit, which made for a view of the falls I hadn't seen before. ------------------------------------------------ Really a spectacular run. Too much good stuff to talk about. ------------------------------------------------- Level was 3.3 or a touch under. --------------------------------------- -Jacob

Monday, March 1, 2010

ORT Boater Party Thurday March 4th 7-10pm

Boater Party Thurday March 4th 7-10pm
We might just set the record for the most merchandise and services ever given away at a pdx boater party!
Were fairly certain that we'll attain the overall medal count for prizes given out in 2010 anyway...
Please check the link below for updates as its just not feasible to list EVERYTHING were giving away in an email;
6835 SW Macadam Ave. Portland 97219
LVMS latest!
AND then, were given more stuff away and hosting another party at the Upper Wind!
- the Northwest Rules.
Boater Party Thurday March 4th 7-10pm