Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Eagle Creek, OR: Metlako Falls Descent - 90 feet

After knocking off my first runs of Eagle Creek and the L-Dub I guess I didn't torture myself enough for one weekend because I did the 4-5 mile hike into Eagle Creek again on Monday. The highlite of the run was definitely seeing Jamie Wright fire up Metlako Falls with a sick line. He stuck it without swimming or popping his skirt and came out unscathed. The only collateral damage was a strap on his helmet that broke from the impact of a 90 foot waterfall.

Jamie contemplates Metlako from a distance.

Don't slip here.

Jamie starting to get warm on the put-in falls.

Punchbowl is good practice for Metlako, but is still only one-third the size.

Getting psyched up and pondering a very intimidating horizon line.


Still a long way to go.

Focused and on line for about 60 feet of freefall from this point.

Checking out the collateral damage. Jamie said the landing was pretty soft, but it still was able to break a strap on his helmet.

It's interesting being in a beautiful remote place only accessible by kayak, only to hit the reality of rush hour moments later. Mt. Hood is in the background as we continue back to the grind of the city.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I finally got on the infamous Little White Salmon and it was a great trip. The L-Dub is touted as one of the best single day class V runs in the country. There's a lot of hype about this river and I think it pretty much lives up to it. This weekend was one of the warmest and sunniest we've had in the gorge all winter and there was a huge posse of boaters out there - easily 20 people!

Catching our breath after another steep boulder garden.

One of the countless waterfalls.

Joe at the lip of Stovepipe.

The boys contemplating life at the lip of Spirit Falls.

A seriously boiling pool can make the landing interesting.

Joe getting ready to take flight.

Jamie having a spiritual moment after a sick line.

This Little White regular was one of about 8 of us who crushed the line.

Here's a short vid of Jamie Wright, Joe Stumpfel, and me hucking Spirit.
Thanks to Eli Loper for getting the footage.

The granddaddy of Little White Salmon drops.

Stay tuned for a report on the UK's Jamie Wright going out with a bang on his last day in town and descending 90 foot Metlako Falls.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Eagle Creek, OR: Hike and Huck

Eagle Creek, OR is a classic for waterfall enthusiasts. After about 4 to 5 miles of hiking up the creek, Eli Loper and I reached the optional put-in falls - 40ft right into a 10. Several IV-V rapids including a 30+ foot falls drop through a gorge with sheer 100-200foot moss covered canyon walls - whitewater paradise.

Eli hiking through some typical Eagle Creek scenery.

The trail has been blown out of the side of the cliff with dynamite.

Metlako Falls - 90 feet - on the hike up. We saved this one for another day.

Punchbowl Falls on the hike up.

A sweet ten foot rainbow waterfall.

A nice class IV leading into a steep slot canyon.

An unrunnable tributary.

Launching the warmup rapid.
As always, images are clickable

Stoked to be on line in the second part of this committing drop.

Our first portage.

Portage #2.

Eli scouting Punchbowl. Once your in this pool there's no going back.

Eli at the lip, preparing to melt it.

A short video of me dropping Punchbowl from the top taken by Eli Loper.

After Punchbowl we ran a 10 foot ledge and carried up the cliff to avoid 90 foot Metlako Falls waiting downstream. It took us about a mile of hiking before we found a way to scramble back down to the river and avoid hiking the last mile or so out of the canyon. The final section was bumpy class III at this level.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Washougal River, WA - the waterfall run

Watching the gauges before the weekend the Washougal drainage looked like the place to be. Besides our group of seven, we saw at least 3 other big groups paddling in the area on Saturday. Our mission was to hit the waterfall section and after about a mile hike in through the snow we were successful.

As always, all images are clickable

Ken probing the road - can we make it?

No go, about a mile hike in.

Looking up from the trail at the bottom of one of the drops.

Dave in the first waterfall - a sliding lead-in to the falls.

Jamie stomping it.

The left side of the second falls.

Pat flying off the right side.

Louis on the right side of the final falls - a fast sliding entry.

Jamie opted for the middle boof onto rock line.

Blue skies, clear water, and snowy peaks.

If you plan on doing this run be aware that there is lots of fish habitat restoration on this stretch. There are logs chained into the river in several places and often create strange and sketchy features. We also had a note on our car saying that there are going to be some log dams installed summer 2008.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Lake Creek TR and Sweet Creek photos

Lake Creek (Oregon) is a playboating run about 45 minutes outside of Eugene in a coastal mountain range and temperate rain forest. The level was between 13 and 14 feet and the play was awesome. Big wave trains and huge holes characterize this river with some epic downriver play, tons of catch on the fly waves, and even a few sweet spots with eddy service. We spent most of our time at grassy lawn and mill wave. Grassy has a nice retentive pile and was giving up some big air to the locals. Mill wave had a huge, fast green face and was super fun with some good bounce when I was able to make the tricky ferry to get on it. After making it all the way to the put-in Luke realized he forgot his gear bag in Portland so he snapped some photos from shore.

Dozens of waves like this.


Typical Lake Creek.

32 degrees and raining - standard NW winter boating.

Sweet Creek is a steep gem just down the road from Lake Creek so we went to check it out. It's a short, steep section with some seriously classic whitewater on it. It was running high and you better be on your A game at this level. I can't wait to get on this creek at a more sane level.

Every drop was solid class V with no pools and tricky lead-ins.

Boiling 10ish foot ledge.

10 foot ledge with some serious recirculation.

Sweet whitewater, sweet moss-covered forest - Sweet Creek!!