Eric Fostermoore just sent me this video of Matt King, Dan Rubado, and Rick Cooley running the right side of Island drop.
I have only seen video of this section of water, but all the shots Iv'e seen make this drop look really hard to run clean.
Until now! Watch all three of them hit their boof off the top drop. The word from Rick... boof early.
Level around 545 cfs. September 18, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
First off, the method I describe below is really only necessary when other more traditional patching techniques just won't cut it. I've seen traditional welds work just fine. However, this particular situation called for something a bit stronger. There was quite literally a hole in the bottom of my boat (a result of a poor attempt at a traditional weld and some very thin plastic.)
I first got this idea from Pete G. who has succeeded at patching several boats in a similar manner.
It actually works!
What you'll need:
4-6 Machine Screws and nuts
2 sheets of plastic from an old boat (mine were about 4in by 4in)
First Step: Cut out two sheets of plastic from your buddies old boat. Both should be equal in size and should be considerably larger than the area you want to patch. I found plastic that was the same color as my boat, but that this is not necessary. In fact, plastic of another color would just make it that much classier.
Step 2: Place one of the sheets over the area you want to seal on the outside of the boat. Drill holes at the corners of the sheet strait through the boat.
Step 3: Line up the second sheet of plastic on the inside of the boat and drill 4 matching holes through the inside sheet.
Step 4: Now that you have the machine screw holes all lined up, place the sheets of plastic aside for a moment and cover the inside of the crack (hole) with several layers of duct tape. I used a heat gun to heat the duct tape and it conformed to the crack pretty well.
Step 5: Line the sheets up correctly and place a nice thick layer of aqua seal over the entire underside of the outside sheet. Insert the machine screws. They should reach from the outside of the outter sheet through the inner sheet.
Step 6: Twist on the nuts on the inside and tighten er down snug. As you tighten the screws, the heads on the outside of the boat should sink in create a nice smooth surface.
Step 7: Once the patch is tightened all the way together (like a sandwich), use the sandpaper to sand the edges of the outer patch down. It doesn't need to be perfect, but it helps to have the edges as flush as possible to prevent the patch from 'catching' on rocks.
Step 8: Test your patch on low water Olympic peninsula runs in early October. If it holds up (like mine did), you're stoked.
And a quick photo drop: (fall 2011)
Our humble abode for the weekend. Olympic penninsula overlooking the Puget sound.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Headwaters of the ImnahaWe finished the creek from part 3 in high spirits. Matt had a found a good one, but we still had plenty of energy and another mission planned for the next day. We spent some time driving around figuring out access and giving the flow one last check before getting after it that same evening.
It involved a pleasant hike through the Eagle Cap Wilderness, from the Lick Creek trailhead.
Access would involve a 4 mile hike in, with the first mile being uphill. We shouldered our light boats in the night before to the saddle signaling the downhill part of the hike. It turned out to be a bit longer than we had thought it would be, but that just made the next days portion a little easier. Matt and I arrived at the saddle about twenty minutes after dark. We headed back down the trail to find Ryan (who opted out of this trip), and headed back to our cars in the dark. We camped at the trail head excited about the next day. We said farewell to Ryan in the morning and hoped to meet up with him somewhere near the end of the run as he would be following another trail trying to intersect us at some point.
Exiting the saddle and on our way into the valley.
The put in was gorgeous, both upstream and downstream. It was a nice little meadow that made a nice campsite on a return trip.
*It is possible to hike up from the bottom near Indian Crossing. It's a mile longer, but the gradient is moderate and it removes the shuttle and in the end saves time.
We paddled a short bit of meadow with no wood till we came to the first granite outcropping.
It turned out to be a neat looking drop, there was a log in the runout creating a bit of a sieve and neither Matt or I wanted to start a trip of this nature off with a bad moment so we took the sidewalk style portage on the left.
Matt gives the "Snakepit" a look.
Boofing past the Snake Pit on a return trip.
1050 and 1150 on the old Imnaha gauge
Photo: Michael Freeman
We boogied some more class III-III+ down to the next bedrock outcropping. This one did not have the same smooth look to it and had wood in the runout. We regretfully shouldered out boats again, not knowing that this would be the last time we portaged a rapid on the trip.
The wood moved each of the next two times we ran the river.
Below here was a short bit of boogie before our dreams were fulfilled. We found gorge after gorge after gorge. A few of which required half hour scouts to see the whole thing since they were totally boxed in by vertical walls. It seemed that each gorge got slightly harder. All were incredibly fun, sometimes classic, sometimes unique, drops. I actually cannot recall many of the rapids because there were plenty of gorges, each with many rapids.
Matt scouts one of many.
Entrance to "The Leftorium"
This dropped us into the heart of the gorge. I went by Matt who was eddied out. I called out "follow me, every drop goes on the right". Not 3 moments later I was able to see the whole picture at this point and ran the first drop on the left :) Matt wasn't thrown off and we had a good run. The next drop locks you in completely and we finished as we started; left, left, left. Improvisation certainly has a place. Exiting the Leftorium was a short class III-IV respite before getting back into more gorges.
his shot at the rapid!
Myself launching into the rapid.
We had this short bit of flat water before we could see what looked to be another gorge section looming in the distance.
We scouted and ran a couple class four drops before we turned a corner where a logjam required a walk on the left.
Portaging over the boulders on the left, we lamented the nice looking boof the log jam had wedged itself into. Looking downstream, we could see there was something large in the gorge. With the steepness and the spray from upstream I assumed it would be unrunnable. Matt was scouting on the left and the crawl over the boulders looked energy consuming. After I could tell he was scouting the rapid and not a portage route, I looked around and saw a way to scout on the right that looked like easier walking so headed over there. The rapid was in fact class V, the first two holes were plucky and not pushing where we would want to be. These were followed by a slightly marginal goal post move that landed on padded rocks. This lead into some more pushy looking water that lead into a boulder fence that was best run far left to avoid some sieves.
After scouting for awhile I decided I would run it, Matt was certainly feeling the same. The portage on the left is doable, but it would take awhile lifting boats over the car sized boulders for a couple hundred yards. Once we committed, I went back for one more scout and saw what looked to be a way around the goal post move. I decided to take this, though it would require some finesse. The route I took had me angling right through the first hole, using the momentum to get further right and over the second ledge-hole on the right. This set me up to again land right, driving right to make it right of a large boulder separating my line from the goal post move. I turned the corner and dropped a ledge that landed me next to the goal post move, waiting for Matt to come through these posts. Matt ran the whole thing right through the meat, and I rejoined him in the main flow after he cleared the goal posts. Hot on Matt's tail we made the last couple moves, and let out a cheer as we floated through the class four tailings into an area with some eddies against the wall in the gorge below.
Looking back up at "Inclination Gorge" doesn't quit capture the story, but if you look close there is some gradient up there near the top.
Matt hopped out below this next rapid to take pictures and signal me through. I thought it was going to be an easy drop and we had some miscommunication, so I paddled into this small drop thinking it was a small class four with two ledges. However, I came over the first (and what turned out to be only) drop and had a moment of regret looking at a very backed up little whole. Luckily after failing to clear it, I found (as had Matt) that while getting over the boil was not going to happen, the recycle exited through a friendly slot to the left. We had a chuckle over that one.
Whoops, time for plan B.
The easy portage on the right lead to this view, a straight shot of flat water leading out of the final gorge and into the runout!
We both took advantage of the fun seal launch and soaked in the last 50 yards of canyon as we emerged grinning ear to ear.
There was about a mile or two of busy class II-III and no wood portages before we rounded a corner and saw the bridge and Ryan! It turns out he spent his day chasing Oakland around and never got a chance to get past the runout. We shared in a victory beverage and some food as we geared down, amazed at a quality section of river we had previously heard nothing about as far as paddling goes.
Some footage from the Imnaha and other Wallowa streams.
We ran this section at 600 cfs, and about double that the next time according to my notes. I thought both trips were good flows.
A return trip on June 11, 2013 was a friendly medium with flows fluctuating between 1050 and 1250 on the old Imnaha gauge. This was higher than our first trip, but lower than our second trip.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
"The river delights to lift us free, if we only dare to go.
Our true work is this voyage, this adventure." -Richard Bell
Wallowa Wiki #1 really stood out on the maps because it's a deep granite canyon with lots of steep sections and has a road that more or less follows the creek way up into the mountains. If you think of the streams in the Wallowas as the spokes of a bike wheel, this is one of the few where the road gets past the rim. The easy access, great camping, and steepness was calling my name and so I started my exploration there, heading up to the creek several times over the course of spring and getting a sense of what flows we needed. When Jacob and I ended up there during our circumnavigation, flows were too high, but we definitely saw the promise, and we got a delicious taste when we knocked off Cherry Picker.
The highest water season in decades forced me to wait what seemed like an eternity for the water to drop, but finally the time came. It started out with some emails, trying to get some good boaters to make their way east. That's one thing that's been hard about moving to a small town in an area not known for kayaking: there aren't many kayakers, you've got to import them from elsewhere. Thanks to some good convincing by Jacob that I wasn't just crazy and the whitewater wouldn't just be a manky-woody-portage-fest, some folks expressed interest. With the groundwork done, and a solid idea that the flows were right, a small group finally came together. First, we knocked off the obvious treasure, Wiki 1.
The first time down the creek we had Chris Arnold, Ty Overeem, and me. We spent a lot of time hiking off the road and scrambling down, only to get a look at a few hundred yards of clean stream. We couldn't really tell how steep stuff was since we were looking from so high up, but some of it made the creek seem like one giant steep boulder garden. Once we noticed the abundance of single-boat eddies, we decided we might as well go for it and we put on. The put in, by the way, is really nice, some wooden steps lead from a campsite to a serene pool with a gravel beach, a stark difference from what lies just around the corner.
Ryan Scott contemplates the calm before the storm.
Heading around the corner from the campground, the creek immediately begins to tilt on edge and starts rolling on downhill. There are lots of nice little eddy moves and smaller boofs as the river gives you a chance to warm up and get acquainted. About a mile into the run, the first recommended scout shows up, pretty much at a blind right-hand corner. Again and as always, never run a blind corner! It's best to hop out at a landslide on the right and walk down to scout. This one really makes you turn back and forth a lot while dropping at a dizzying rate; we called it Tailspin. The photos only include the middle part of the rapid, it's nearly a quarter-mile long end to end. The most important move was a really nice cross-current boof to avoid a nasty log jam blocking half the river.
The Crux move in Tailspin
Following Tailspin, the river eases off a bit, but there's no point on this whole run where you can relax. Constant boulder boofs and some wood avoidance keep you on your toes. At some point, there's another blind right corner with some house-sized boulders coming off of a landslide on river left. Stop early for this one, an eddy at the corner is deceptive and caught one of our paddlers off guard on our first decent, forcing him to run the corner.
**Log gone in 2016**
**Log gone in 2016**
Once he knew he had missed the eddy, he turned and saw that he was headed straight for a river-wide log. Seeing no way out in his boat, he jumped ship and scrambled on to shore, sustaining some severe bruises but otherwise fine. By the time the rest of us ran down shore and made visual contact, he was standing up on a huge boulder and OK, much to our relief.
No good line.
**log gone in 2016**
**log gone in 2016**
Condemnation is best scouted and portaged on the left, but hopefully by the time this one comes in again, the wood will have disappeared. And after the portage- more bouldery goodness! There were a couple spots that required some tricky wood-avoidance, but this section was mostly clean as well and quite enjoyable.
Soon the walls start to rise, and the Last Delight Gorge emerges from the forest. You can see it coming from well upstream because there's a huge granite face on river right with nothing growing but stunted little bonsai trees. Once you see this wall, get out on the left to scout/portage the entrance drop, which had wood for us.
Once you get past the entrance, the deepest part of the gorge comes into view, and the substrate changes from boulders to bedrock.
The gorge is short, less than a quarter mile, but it sure packs a punch. There's a diagonal hole at the top, then a moving pool into a killer boof. We saw this one when we were scouting before the run, standing on the rocks above like giddy school boys. I've heard from some locals that the boof ledge is the best place around to watch salmon jump. At about 8 feet, they can get above it, but most fish will have to make a few attempts and will enact their best aerial gymnastics.
Scouting the boof
And downstream of the boof
Jacob digs deep.
Ty styling the main attraction.
Below the boof, there's a log jam that looks unrunnable, but can be snuck under on the left. There's a hole under the logs that you kinda blast through while ducking, but the move is quite manageable.
Getting ready for the logjam.
After the jam, there's a nice eddy on the left that we all stopped in, just above the last move of the run. The final move consists of a 90-degree turn against a wall that leads immediately to a speedy ski-jump style launch into or over a big hole. The hole took a couple of us for a ride over the two runs, but didn't hold on too tight and everyone fought till flushing.
Coming to the end.
At the take out, we all enjoyed a cold one, thanks to Oakland who dutifully guarded the cooler while we were on the river. I was really satisfied that this run turned out so well and the boys were far from disappointed. In fact, we all agreed that in terms of steep, bouldery goodness, this was the best whitewater any of us had done... too bad it's only in a few weeks a year.
Video with plenty of footage from the Lostine, as well as the Imnaha.