Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spring Thaw: Water's Up in the Wallowas

Matt here, checking in after a long hiatus.  

The past couple weeks have seen increasing temperatures and some significant snowmelt, so it's time to get after the whitewater I've been thinking about all winter.  This waterfall was the first project this year.  Connor Ross, who's from La Grande, has been looking at this thing since he was a kid.  As a youngster, he had dreams about it and often wondered if it could be kayaked, rafted, tubed, or otherwise survived.  Conner, who also tends to be my best and only boating partner round these parts,  told me we had to go look at it soon after I moved here.  So off we went, last spring, to scout the thing.  It was winter and the water was low, but it looked alright and we knew the time would come when we'd have to give it a try.  Last summer, we checked several different flows, but none of them looked very good.  Between the tricky lead-in with a huge boil, the weird rib that parallels the current at the lip and the cave/wall combo at the bottom, this thing has a pretty small window of opportunity.

This year we knew had a feeling about what the right flow was, and we got a willing crew to come out east (Jacob, Andrew, and Scott Baker).  Fortunately, the flow was right and we got it done.  Connor and I even did a couple laps.  I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking for now.  Stay tuned for some sweet video footage!

The Top


 The Entrance

 The First Half


 The Finale

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