Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Yacolt Creek

This is a creek you may have noticed if you paddle the EF Lewis very often.  Just passed Moulton Falls, and right as you are turning onto Sunset Falls road you can catch a glimpse to the left of a waterfall.  The creek upstream and downstream of here is pretty tame class II, but Yacolt Creek Falls offers a challenge when in the area.  The drop can be run as a 20' waterfall down the right, or a double ten footer down the left.  The right side is tricky and goes under the right wall a bit so take a good look before running.  After the two sides merge the creek drops over one more 8 foot spout and it's a short class II ride down to a bridge next to Moulton Falls.  The  EF Lewis gauge needs to be flowing over 1,000 cfs for this to be worth a look.

After a run down the EF Lewis, we headed over to Big Tree Falls on Yacolt creek. We looked at it for awhile and while it looks easy at first glance, on closer inspection, you begin to notice problems with it. We decided the two biggest problems were glancing off the boof flake on the left and getting launched head first into the wall on the right. Matt mitigated this issue by running from right to left and melting the drop. The second issue was the undercut immediately after the drop. I thought there was a pretty good chance a boater would get shoved into this so I set safety there after running the left side boof which is easy and low stress.
Matt went, and as predicted, got tractor beamed into the undercut. He caught some downstream current as he flipped over and pulled himself out as he was beginning to sink.
Then he hopped into the raft with Dan for round two.

(All photos by David Riess)
A couple clips of Yacolts Falls at the end of this video.
EF of the Lewis river from Jacob Cruser on Vimeo.

On another note. We met Steve Cameron on this run, who is just getting into boating again. We found out the interesting tid-bit that Steve was on the first decent of the Truss section of the white salmon! They put in below double drop and went down through Husum either 25 or 35 (i forget which) years ago. He was also the third person ever to run Husum falls.


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