Thursday, August 21, 2014

Hawt Fire

The Ohanapecosh is a great run, one of my favorites.  People often spend the weekend up there doing as many laps as they can handle on the lower run and camping at Secret Campground.  Last year the Lucas’s, Matt and I decided to add a little variety to our Ohanapecosh weekend and checked out the section starting at the Stevens Canyon road bridge and ending at Ohanapecosh Campground.  The trip started out pretty exciting when we got boxed in above a class VI.  Matt saved the day by doing some sketchy climbing up the left wall and roping us up after him.  Just below was a fun drop we named Hawt Fire as we had all been listening to Andrew Bradley yell “Hot Fire” after everything he ran the week before.

We portaged Silver Falls and scouted out the gorge below, which contains two boxed in ledge drops that were good to go.  Below here things eased off to class II-III with the stand out feature being a travertine warm springs on the left that was too shallow to bathe in, but neat to check out. 

We took off and vowed not to confine ourselves to the lower Ohane when we came up here in the future.

This year I headed back to the Ohane with Alen Bergman, Dan Price, Brian Butcher and Nick Hymel.  We did a couple laps on the lower run the first day and had a great time!  Levels were a little low, but its hard to complain about such trivial things on such a fun run!  Everyone did well, though there was one scary moment when a member of our group went under a boulder in an innocuous rapid just above Butchers Block (he flushed out after a few frightening moments).

We camped out that night and decided we would check out Hot Fire in the morning to spice things up. 

Instead of doing the whole run, we walked in 100 yards before Stevens Canyon road turns left off of HWY 12, avoiding the boxed in class VI.  It was a short/easy walk (veer to the right of the ephemeral stream) and we spent some time scouting Hawt Fire before giving it a go.  A couple of the boaters claimed this was about as fun as rapids get!

We portaged Silver Falls and hiked back to our cars on the trail, then did another lap on the lower Ohane.

  Here is a video Dan made of the weekend.

Hawt Fire access
click to enlarge

Hawt Fire at healthy flows, 1200 or so on the gauge.


No comments: