Thursday, May 30, 2013

Valley of the Giants

 All photos by Emile Elliot

The NF Siletz drainage has provided a wealth of exploratory style boating.  The main stem itself is fun and roadside, but then you get Boulder and Warnicke which are great trips too!  The last section for me to try out was the Valley of the Giants section which is mentioned in one of the guidebooks.  I tried to solo it one day, but got to the top of the big boulder garden (Golden Egg) and having just promised my dad I wouldn't do anything stupid while he was in the hospital decided to hike out and come back with others.

Emile Elliot and Ben Mckenzie decided they would take a risk to check it out and I'm glad they did!  It was great to finish up the stuff I wanted to check out in the NF Siletz zone and see this section of stream.

The scariest part of this run for me was hiking across the broken bridge on my initial attempt.  This time it was a lot less scary as I knew it would hold.

If care is taken, its not too bad.

There is a short hike in before putting in just above some tantilizing bedrock.  

This class four rapid goes around the corner to the right. 

Its a fun sliding affair.

 When a small waterfall came in on the left we got out to scout on the right.  Locating our next eddy on the left got us to a position to scout Golden Egg.

Getting left towards the small eddy above Golden Egg. 

 It was an easy scout on the left.  This was a good class IV/V boulder garden, but wood in the runout required scrambling into an eddy on the left.  I was not up to the task this day so agreed to catch Ben and Emile as the came into the eddy.  Everything went well and the rapid looked fun, I may have to go back and run the Golden Egg some day.

Ben enters on the right.

Ben takes his navigates his yellow egg through the rapid.

 Below here the run is more like what you expect from Oregon streams, bouldery class IV with intermittent log issues.  All the portages were easy and there was enough whitewater to keep us entertained.  Soon enough we went under the hiking bridge for the valley of the giants hiking trail.  The confluence with Warnicke was shortly after this and we splashed our way down to the take out before walking back to Emile's new truck.

While there are higher quality runs in the drainage, this one is still probably worth the trip for the adventurous boater.  For the right person, it could be a fun full day getting both the Golden Goose and the Golden Egg by doing Warnicke, then follow that up with Valley of the Giants down through the NF run.  I'd suggest considering doing the quick Valley of the Giants hiking trail too if you like that sort of thing.

Here is Emile's video of the trip.  He assures us the song in no way indicates male affection towards one another and in fact was chosen for the reference to a valley :)

The Valley from Difficult E on Vimeo.


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