Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Get your Leavenworth

With the drought like conditions we've been experiencing in the Pacific Northwest for around a month now, combined with the ending of the snowmelt season and lower temperatures, not much is running. There are a few options beyond class III that remain however few and far between. Dipper is in this time of year, along with low level Fear Canyon, which among our drunken exploits we've renamed 'Fun Canyon' below 70 cms. In the states you've got a couple gems including Upper Upper Cispus, Lower Lewis Falls, often the Green Truss and of course, Tumwater Canyon on the Wenatchee...

It was a stressful Thursday/Friday at work awaiting word on whether or not I'd be working Saturday, luckily I heard Friday morning I'd be off...made it tough for planning but I was glad to have the time. I decided to combine it with a day I was due from earlier in the month and make it a three day weekend along with some others, so with visions of Halloween whitewater dancing through our heads Josh and I headed off on the 3.5 ish hour drive from Sumas border crossing to Leavenworth with a fresh batch of Timmie's in tow!

I'd never done Tumwater and only ever seen it between 9000 and 16000 cfs, where it looks every bit the big water class V maelstrom that it is at those levels, so I really didn't know what to expect.

We found us a nice campspot up in the hills above the canyon where we luckily woke up to sunshine as it was a cold morning and started off on our own Saturday from the only put in we knew of at Swiftwater Picnic Site. By the time we were scouting 'The Wall', about 20 boaters started to float by, including Ash and Alison from our crew. Along with Kevin and Tom, who'd boated with Alison up on Cayoosh Creek earlier in the year, among a large group of other Stateside boaters. We made our way down and joined Tegan after the dam portage. It was a blast to run POW blind for the first time and hit up Exit Rapid, a very fun rapid with a straight forward line.

Saturday night we spent some time sampling the Leavenworth nightlife and enjoying some local Bavarian dishes (the whole town is like a Bavarian themed Whistler), it was a great time with some heavy alcohol consumption and designated drivers of course!

Sunday morning we met up with Annie and Scott who came down from Vancouver to join our already mixed group of Canadians and Englishmen from Whistler, Golden, Langley, Maple Ridge and Chilliwack and we did some extremely hungover boating. It wasn't sunny anymore and it didn't feel very good. Mistakes were made! Great times altogether though..props to Tegan for completing the entire run short of Exit, which was awesome, including charging into each rapid blind! How's that for a step up on Chilliwack Canyon for ya!

I took another quick look at Exit Sunday and pondered my churning stomach in the eddy above for awhile before charging it again and getting in a nice head dry lap thankfully.

After a more pedestrian Sunday night I put on my photographer hat Monday and grabbed pictures of everyone else running the cheeze. Josh and Kevin had gone home by this point so the group was a bit smaller and it was just us Canucks on the river that day, luckily it turned out to be the warmest and sunniest day of the three.

I highly recommend this low water class IV gem in the 'off-season'...or as off-season as it gets around here when not much else it going. Made a lot of new friends on the water this weekend and had some good times. Now just waiting for that sweet sweet rain.

Now just gotta come back for seconds in the summer with more water...

Taking down the Commonwealth Bastille

Scott finishing off The Wall

Boatercross at The Wal

Alison gets on her elusive near vertical stroke

Mango October resurfacing at Chaos

Tegan digs deep in Perfection of Whitewater (POW)

The rest of the girls coming down POWtown

Scott picking a fight with a wave

Ash nearing the bottom of Exit Rapid

Duckying down Chaos

A series of Exit Rapid shots with Ash

Victory! Quick back across the border before they naturalize us!

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