Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silver Creek (Silverton)

I have always had the impression that Silver Creek was a force to be reckoned with.  This came from a number of sources and I may have been reading between lines that were not there.  This run was always on the back of my mind being close to school, but I had never gone for it thinking it was a big mission so as such it was on a large list near the bottom.  Fresh off a different big mission and a sore hind quarters from a bad line off Cascada De Los Ninos we decided we were just fine with a moderate mission.  Silver seemed the ticket and levels were there so went for it.

The levels were not as high as we expected, but the snow put us in a good mood as we walked and dragged our boats down the trail. 

 We may or may not have run Drake Falls, which may or may not be the funnest 20 footer around.  This drop no longer has wood in it.  Twin and Lower North are definitely wood riddled.  

If you really want it there is a line.

Once we reached the confluence there was an easy slide or two before reaching Crag Falls.  We ran this on the right, the best line being as close to the tree as you are comfortable, too far to the right of the tree and you may find a chest level rock in the landing.

There was some tame water below here with some moderate scenery.  Eventually we caught the easy eddy on the left above Dobo Falls.  Dobo is a pretty weird falls that saw three upright lines, but lets just say I’m glad the camera wasn't recording my descent.  

Nate gets it done.

Just below was a ledge we ran on the right with a more interesting looking line on the left.

Following that was a long class two stretch before Dirty Falls that has a slide on the right that is smoother than it appears from the lip.

There was a bridge with a slide best run center left below here, then a long class two float to Murrays Rapid.  This one had a sticky hole, and we were a bit lethargic after nodding off through the last hour of class two (aside from Dirty).  We either sneaked far left or right. 

John takes a lefty on the right.

 This was the last drop and we were soon on the reservoir, with the take out on the far side.

Silver Creek may have a unique appeal:  John pointed out this would be a good run to take a newer boater.  Someone would need to be able to catch eddies and have some form of a roll, but there is a lot of good class two on the run to practice on with a variety of different types of the easy variety rapids, with a couple more interesting drops for the teacher to have fun on and introduce the newer boater to some of the more advanced techniques involved in kayaking (larger drops are easily portaged).  The most challenging moment would be Dirty falls where a wave hole guards the river right eddy.  A further up eddy can be caught before the lead in though.

3000 cfs on the Molalla seemed pretty minimal to us, but the run would be floatable down to 2000-ish.  Also, while the run is 11 miles, it took us less than 4 hours.

I now use the Butte @ Monitor gauge for Silver Creek, I don't have it dialed but 400 cfs is a low runnable, and 1,000 is probably a filled in and padded med-high flow. 

It can also be run at flood level.


post script:  There is a clean 50 footer above the put in that gets run.

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