Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yacolt Creek

This is a creek you may have noticed if you paddle the EF Lewis very often.  Just passed Moulton Falls, and right as you are turning onto Sunset Falls road you can catch a glimpse to the left of a waterfall.  The creek upstream and downstream of here is pretty tame class II, but Yacolt Creek Falls offers a challenge when in the area.  The drop can be run as a 20' waterfall down the right, or a double ten footer down the left.  The right side is tricky and goes under the right wall a bit so take a good look before running.  After the two sides merge the creek drops over one more 8 foot spout and it's a short class II ride down to a bridge next to Moulton Falls.  The  EF Lewis gauge needs to be flowing over 1,000 cfs for this to be worth a look.
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Story
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After a run down the EF Lewis, we headed over to Big Tree Falls on Yacolt creek. We looked at it for awhile and while it looks easy at first glance, on closer inspection, you begin to notice problems with it. We decided the two biggest problems were glancing off the boof flake on the left and getting launched head first into the wall on the right. Matt mitigated this issue by running from right to left and melting the drop. The second issue was the undercut immediately after the drop. I thought there was a pretty good chance a boater would get shoved into this so I set safety there after running the left side boof which is easy and low stress.
Matt went, and as predicted, got tractor beamed into the undercut. He caught some downstream current as he flipped over and pulled himself out as he was beginning to sink.
Then he hopped into the raft with Dan for round two.

(All photos by David Riess)
A couple clips of Yacolts Falls at the end of this video.
 
EF of the Lewis river from Jacob Cruser on Vimeo.




 
On another note. We met Steve Cameron on this run, who is just getting into boating again. We found out the interesting tid-bit that Steve was on the first decent of the Truss section of the white salmon! They put in below double drop and went down through Husum either 25 or 35 (i forget which) years ago. He was also the third person ever to run Husum falls.



  -Jacob

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New hazard in Hagen Gorge

I just saw this post on PDXkayaker so thought I would throw in my idea for an alternative approach.


New Significant Hazard on Hagen Gorge
  Message List  

The man-made log dam on Hagen Gorge has changed. It seems the bottom of the dam blew out. There is no longer a pool from which you can start the portage. The river now drains into a very large mess of strainers and there aren't any sizable eddies directly upstream. Proceed carefully and hop out earlier than you might have done before.

The portage is trickier as well but still doable.

  ~Dave Hoffman
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Euphoria Falls 
photo: Matt King


To avoid the logdeck and make for an easier hike use this map...


View Hagen gorge in a larger map



and follow the directions at the end of this report.




-Jacob

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Big rock Creek

I have been hoping to get on this one for a couple years now. On the maps is an intriguing pinch with high gradient.  The levels lined up and while I needed a late start due to wanting to watch my buddy Alex throw javelin in Salem, I figured 3 1/2 hours was enough time to deal with a mile of gradient.

Jay Kirkwood and Anna Herring both agreed to go along on this trip.  We met in Summit at 1:30 and were at the takeout by 2.  The access was great for an exploratory trip with a bridge at take out and put in.  We got within a half mile of the put in before finding a gate that had not been there when I scouted last year.  After making sure it was a real gate and not a toy, we parked and hiked in.  We were at the river quickly and put in, noting the woody character of the creek.  There was a nice class III under the put-in bridge, followed by a fair amount of wood and mani.  The creek then became class I-II with a couple log portages before we reached the place I originally planned to put in when I thought we could drive all the way.  We paddled some more class I as I assured them that the gradient was coming.  Soon we could see the hill creating the pinch and not long after the creek hit it, turned, and some easy sliding bedrock was encountered in the class II range.

The creek started making its bend to the left where it would drop through the hill and we got out to scout our first rapid.  A fun III-IV double slide with an ominous horizon downstream.  The view scouting this drop was the most promising view I believe I have had on an exploratory trip.  We saw gorge wall and bedrock.  We were pumped!  That is until we scouted the that horizon.  It was an ugly V+ mess with wood and boulders at the bottom.  Luckily there was a river level portage that wasn't too bad.  A lot of wood had collected in this drop and the boulder garden below it, so we set off on a relatively easy, but still taxing portage down to the next runnable rapid.  This was a sweet, but manky boulder garden that went a lot smoother than it looked and reminded me of what I have heard the boulder gardens on the little Sandy are like, just with more water.  Jay pointed out a promising line that we all took.  At the crux move at the end, Anna went for the 180 and showed us up by greasing the crux stern first!  Below here was a III-IV runout before the next short log portage.  Below here was a drop that was challenging to scout and involved some leaping to get onto an island where the first part of the rapid was visible.  It looked really fun, but there was a lower five foot ledge that we could not see the landing from above (The ledge Jay runs in the video).  Not wanting to risk it having a pin spot with no safety, we decided to portage in the name of time as scouting it would have taken as long as the portage, then if it wasn't runnable we would have to portage anyway...

After completing the portage, we were able to scout the drop and were bummed we were not able to run the whole thing as it was a sweet drop!  Jay and I were still able to run the lower ledge and runout though, then fought right to get away from some wood (seen in video clip).  Below here the gradient cooled off and had a couple more fun class III-IV sections.  I think we scouted one more time before the boogie to the end.

 I was still in boat scouting/watch out for wood mode, when Anna passed by me in an eddy giving me a "hey Jacob, its class II now" look and took the lead as we cruised down the runout and one more small slide before getting to the takeout bridge with about 15 minutes of light to spare.  In all the trip went well and I had a blast exploring this place I have been eyeing for awhile now.  It was a good team and I liked the approach we took.  We moved efficiently and safely the whole time.  Everyone stayed in a good mood and we even got to run a few fun rapids.  I won't ever be back, but it was a good adventure and usually that is enough.


   -Jacob

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Stream Guide

This is a guide to the streams I have run in alphabetical order.  The colored names have links that will take you to a report of the trip.

Photo by Matt King


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Battle Axe
Bear
Beaver
Big River
Breitenbush
Briggs Creek
butte
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Cache 
Calapooia River
Calapooya Creek 
Calf
Callaghan
Camas (ID)
Canal Fork
Canyon (the classic)
Canyon (Kerby)
Canyon (washougal trib)
Canyon (milk trib)
Canyon Creek(s. santiam trib)
Canal(Quartzville trib)
Canton
Carberry
Carbon
Catherine
Cavitt Creek
Cedar
Champion Creek
Cheakamus 
Cheeney
Upper Cherry Creek (CA)
Chetco
Clackamas 
clear
Clear (California)
Clearwater (BC)
Clearwater (WA)
Clear Fork Cowlitz
Coal Creek
Collawash
Columbia 
Copeland  
Copper 
Cow Ditch 
Cowlitz
Crabtree
Craigs
Crooked
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D river 
Devils lake fork
Dipper
Dog
Dougan
Drift (SF Siletz)
Drift (Main Siletz)
Drowned out
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Eagle (clack trib)
Elk Creek
Elk (California)
Elk (Oregon, Kalmiopsis)
Elk (North Carolina)
Elk Lake 
Elk (Elkhead)
Elkhorn
Elkhorn (Trask Drainage)
Emile
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Fall River (La Pine)
Fish (Clackamas)
Fish Creek (Lochsa Tributary, ID)
Fordyce Creek
Forest Creek
French Creek
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Gladiator
Gold
Goose Creek
Grand Ronde
Graves
Grays
Green (North Carolina)
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Henline
Hills
Hoffstadt
Hood
Hot Springs fork
Humbug Creek
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Illinois                     
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Jackson
Jenny
john day
johnson
Johnson (SF Coquille)
jordan
Junetta
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Kalama
Kinney  
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Lacamas
Lake
Lawson
Layng
l***** s****
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Mckenzie
Merced
Metolius
Middle Santiam
Molalla
Mosby Creek
Mill (SF Yamhill)
MF Coquille
MF Salmon
MF Smith
MF Tumalo
MFNF Trask
Muddy
Myrtle
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Nestucca
NF Kalama
NF Payette
NF Salmonberry
NF Siletz
NF Silver
NF Silver
NF Skykomish
NF Smith (Gasquet)
NF Smith (Reedsport)  
NF Toutle
NF Tumalo
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Ohanepecosh
Opal
Owyhee
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Quartz (Lewis)
Quartz (GD)
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Reynolds Creek (MT)
Roaring
rock (ef lewis trib)
Rock (GD) 
Rock (Mill City)
Rock (Umpqua)
Rogers (BC)
rogue
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Salmon (California)
Salmon (Lincoln City)
salmon (id)
Salmon (Sandy, OR)
Salmonberry
Sand Hollow (WA)
Sandy
Santiam
Scoggins
Scott (California)
Seymour
SF Calapooya
SF Chetco
SF Coquille
SF Rickreall
SF Salmon (Mt. Hood)
SF Salmon (Idaho)
SF Siletz
SF Skokomish
SF Smith
SF Stebbins
SF Stillaguamish (Robe Canyon) 
SF Umpqua  
SF Yamhill  
Siletz 
snake
Soo
Still
St Mary (MT)
Sultan
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Thompson (BC)
tieton
Tidbits
Tire
Toutle
trout lake
Trinity
Tumalo
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Warnicke
washougal
Welcome 
WF Cow 
white
white salmon
Whitewater
Whychus/Squaw
Willamette
wilson  
wind
Wooley
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   313

More beta can be found on the sites run by Pete and Nate, as well as the godfather of run descriptions concerning Oregon's rivers,  Oregonkayaking.




 Photo: Nate Pfeifer
     
         -Jacob