Thursday, December 20, 2012

Silver Creek (Silverton)

This run was always on the back of my mind being close to school, but I had never gone for it thinking it was a big mission so as such it was on a large list near the bottom.  I may have been reading between lines that weren't there in the existing literature, but I was under any Winter trip to Silver Creek would be a fight against darkness.  Fresh off a different big mission and a sore hind quarters from a bad line off Cascada De Los Ninos Nate and I decided we were just fine with a moderate mission.  John Edwards thought that sounded like a good time too, Silver seemed the ticket and levels were there so went for it.

Kayaking was banned in the park at some point, but AW is in talks with State Parks to see if an agreement could be reached that would allow kayaking.  Stay tuned.  

We didn't see anyone else up there, maybe it was a weekday or something.  I don't recall.

The levels were not as high as we expected, more of a healthy-low.  The snow put us in a good mood as we walked and dragged our boats down the trail. 

 We may or may not have run Drake Falls, which may or may not be the funnest 20 footer around.  This drop no longer has wood in it.  Twin and Lower North were definitely wood riddled as of 2012.  

If you really want it there is a line.

Once we reached the confluence there was an easy slide or two before reaching Crag Falls.  We ran this on the right, the best line being as close to the tree as you are comfortable, too far to the right of the tree and you may find a chest level rock in the landing.

There was some tame water below here with some moderate scenery.  Eventually we caught the easy eddy on the left above Dobo Falls.  Dobo is a weird falls that saw three upright lines, but lets just say I’m glad the camera wasn't recording my descent.  

Nate gets it done.

Just below was a ledge we ran on the right with a more interesting looking line on the left.

Following that was a lengthy class two stretch before Dirty Falls that has a slide on the right that is smoother than it appears from the lip.

There was a bridge with a slide best run center left below here, then another extended class two float to Murrays Rapid.  This one had a sticky hole, and we were a bit lethargic after nodding off through the easy section and all snuck the hole either left or right.  

John takes a lefty on the right.

 This was the last drop and we were soon on the reservoir, with the take out on the far side.

Silver Creek may have a unique appeal:  John pointed out this would be a good run to take a newer boater.  Someone would need to be able to catch eddies and have some form of a roll, but there is a lot of good class two on the run to practice on with a variety of different types of the easy variety rapids, with a couple more interesting drops for the teacher to have fun on and introduce the newer boater to some of the more advanced techniques involved in kayaking (larger drops are easily portaged).  The most challenging moment would be Dirty falls where a wave hole guards the river right eddy.  A further up eddy can be caught before the lead in though.

3000 cfs on the Molalla seemed low and friendly, but the run would be floatable down to 2000-ish.  Also, while the run is 11 miles, we were on the water less than 4 hours.

I now use the Butte @ Monitor gauge for Silver Creek, I don't have it dialed but 400 cfs is a low runnable, and 1,000 is probably a filled in and padded med-high flow. 

It can also be run at flood level.


post script:  There is a clean 50 footer above the put in that gets run.

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