Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pure Joy Amongst Pure Hate

The Pure Hate Gorge on Quartzville Creek has a write up on Oregonkayaking that has kept anyone I knew of away.

I had never been particularly interested in the run until Lucas Glick and I were riding on a speedboat with kayaks in tow across Green Peter Reservoir.  We had just paddled off the Middle Santiam Wilderness section and found we were going to get to our cars with plenty of light left.  Conversation with the kind locals quickly died out as nothing but the most basic of pleasantries was possible with the noise of the wind.  I began brainstorming and I thought that Pure Hate was nearby, short, and would be low.  Maybe we should check it out?

Lucas is not hard to convince when it comes to trying new things in a kayak so once we reached the take out and had our gear packed we headed up the Quartzville rd.

 The put in was easy enough to find, a quick walk to the river and we were on our way.  There were a couple small bedrock rapids and some wood before a 6' ledge.  Below here things kicked off.  First was a slide with wood.  Then the creek turned the corner and dropped through some serious whitewater.  The first two rapids had us pretty worried and a downstream view showed another corner in a locked in gorge.  With less than an hour of daylight left we hiked out, deciding to potentially return the next day.

We stayed at the Glick's house in Sweet Home, where we were treated to some cooked food by Lucas's mother.  I was tired after the long day on the Middle Santiam and by the time I fell asleep I had written off boating the next day and Lucas bailed on the Clear Fork.  Lucas came into the guest room in the morning and asked if I wanted to head back into Pure Hate.  I thought about it for a few seconds, but knew I couldn't turn down a chance to see what was in the gorge and before long Lucas Reitman had showed up at the house ready for adventure. While making breakfast we did a lot of research on canyoneering blogs and the like and felt we knew mostly what we were in for.

We put on to slightly less water but still good exploratory flows.  We again arrived at the gnarly rapids at the head of the gorge.  This time the Lucas's were fired up to run the near mandatory one and I decided to portage along with setting safety.

Glick went first and came through with nary a wobble.
Lucas drops into "Fear and Loathing", a two drop rapid with a tricky ledge into a pothole that is just out of sight in this photo.

 Reitman then cleaned it.  I did a throw and go and scouted the next corner giving verbal beta.  

A great place to be.

Below Fear and Loathing the rapids were pretty locked in but not harder than class IV.

There was one logjam that required seal launching off it in the middle of the river.

We ate lunch at a cool side hike with a waterfall.

Once the gorge opens up there are a few more rapids worth scouting.  All the rapids below Fear and Loathing either had a clear line or we were able to portage.

One of the last rapids.

After a slide comes in on the right (it doesn't go as clean as it may look) we were in the runout and the bridge came not much later.

We were stoked on the run and were already planning our next trip to this cool gorge on the drive home. It is very similar to Opal Gorge and Elk Lake Gorge in that it feels like a class five trip, but aside from the entry rapid (Fear and Loathing and its predecessor) its very maneagable.

Our best guess was that good levels for this run are between 500-1000 cfs on the Quartzville gauge from snowmelt.  In the winter when the stream is fed from rain, the gauge reference here may become obsolete.

  -jacob

2 comments:

Daniel Patrinellis said...

Looks sick man. Good job.

Jacob said...

Thanks Dan! It is a cool place.