Friday, April 27, 2012

Little Klickitat Video

Emile brought his helmet cam along on our recent trip to the Little Klickitat River.  He got a ton of footage and edited it down to just over 5 minutes.  

Trip report from Nate.

Here it is, thanks Emile!


Little Klickitat@ Wahkiacus  ~1300

Saturday, April 7, 2012

TR: Abiqua Creek headwaters

I was curious about seeing the uppermost section of Abiqua Creek, so hiked in 3.5 mile past the yellow gate on Crooked Finger Road, a good bit of which involved post holing through the snow to a confluence just downstream of a bridge (44.8781, -122.4453).

With 400 cfs in Butte Creek, this section was far too low.  But for me it was about seeing it, so despite it being rough on my boat and hitting more rocks than boofs, I enjoyed myself.  The rapids were almost entirely boulder gardens. 

Access:  Follow Crooked Finger road until you hit the yellow gate.  Hike 3.5 miles and put in.

Take out at the spur road on river right that hits river level around Abiqua Lake 44.8832, -122.4993, or continue 5 more miles to Abiqua falls 44.9263, -122.5675.

44.9278, -122.5405

From this gate the hike into this section would be just shy of 7 miles.

Story:  At the end of the day I left my boat down at river level and walked up to Crooked Finger Rd, with plans to jog upstream to my car at the yellow gate.  About the time I hit Crooked Finger a Sheriff pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride.  I set my adult beverage down and hopped in.  He was asking about my kayaking and what my name was, when I said "Jacob" he replied "Cruser?".  This seemed like it couldn't possibly be heading anywhere positive, but he explained we had been corresponding with via email about his team wanting to float the creek looking for illegal netting operations.  That lowered my nerves back down to normal and I learned how it was challenging for him and his fellow sheriffs to patrol the area.  Apparently every 4th person up there has a warrant, and with spotty reception and radio coverage it's a risky job patrolling the area and arresting those people.  This risk for law enforcement played a role in the new gate (2018) that went up on Crooked Finger road, blocking access to Butte Creek Falls from that road and the area higher up in the drainage.  As a kayaker, this closure causes me real pain.  But it's not hard to see things from the perspective of law enforcement either, or Weyerhaeuser, who stood to loose millions of dollars if one of the illegal fires that were being set got loose into their timberland.  It's been rough seeing access to so many areas I was able to freely enjoy so much just 5-10 years ago getting blocked off.  I guess we have human nature to blame.