Thursday, July 19, 2012

Little Wenatchee

Bentley and I loaded up and headed down to Leavenworth for a quick weekend of boating, taking creekboats and playboats along for the local goods. Our weekend was cut short with a bout of illness Sunday, food poisoning or otherwise that stopped us from getting out and sent us home early, but on Saturday we got to fire up a run I'd written off before, that being the Little Wenatchee River.

Little Wenatchee is a great class IV/IV+ run with a good potential for wood you should always be on the lookout for. I'd always written it off as not being worth doing because of the wood that was often at the end of the 'Flume', but after Annie and Denny fired it up 2 days prior and said it was worth it, we were pretty excited to hit it up.

It is a long drive, longer than I thought, as it seems to almost parallel Highway 2 along Nason Creek but just the drainage north of it. Once you get there it is a great area with awesome camping and some nice lakes on the road up, a very secluded feel to the general area.

We got on it at 1000 cfs, lower than the 1300 cfs they'd hit it at 2 days prior. It felt like a good level if slightly on the low side of medium though. There was wood in the Flume as well as some wood shortly afterwards in the same canyon that at the higher level they'd gone over, but at this level required a sketchy one boat eddy catch and portage. The Flume portage itself was a lot nice than I thought it would be, definitely well worth doing the run despite that wood, just keep a heads up for the canyon or have someone who's run it.

The first drop, a 6-8 foot ledge with a hole and undercut and wood after, was lots of fun! Let's Make a Deal was a nice drop as well, but the real gem of this run is the crux drop and runout near the end. An exciting, and not too difficult drop that looks much more intimidating from a couple hundred feet up than it is and features a nice pinch drop at the end!

On the drive back Nason looked inviting running around 800 cfs...but our health was no longer conducive to boating by that time...maybe next time! Also missed out on some Lower Icicle laps, which will also have to wait for another day!

Annie nailing the line on 'First Falls'. Photo by Dan Bentley.

The pinch marking the end of the crux drop from high above. Most fun part of the river! Photo by Dan Bentley.

Looking down into the Flume, unfortunately, as is often the case, currently clogged with wood at the end, mandatory portage. Photo by Dan Bentley.

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