Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Weekend Goodies!

For the third year that I've been on the water we gathered together a varied team of boaters and learning creekers for a 4 day class IV trip to Washington with a few classics in sight with a good mix of read and run, ledges and easy waterfalls. This trip always resonates well with me as two years ago marked the first creeks I ran, which are always exciting to get back to. It has also become a bit of a tradition for some of us in the lower mainland involving similar and varied groups of boaters with some people along to get in their first waterfalls or creeks on the way, this is the fourth year it's gone on.

Our trip got off to an interesting start where some complacency led to 3 swimmers on the first drop of the trip, a sticky ledge on Canyon Creek Stilliguamish near Robe Canyon. It was the highest (though I think still lowish) I'd run the creek thanks to warm temperatures causing a bit of a melt (in fact the entire weekend involved temps in the 20's celcius and mostly bluebird sunny days with the exception of Monday). After cleaning up the carnage, which wasn't too bad and continuing on, it would turn out to be a great little run. A good reminder to monitor your group, confirm understanding of what needs to be done with certain drops, adopt a good boating order, and maybe set safety for those stickier holes.

Days 2 and 3 involved runs on the Farmlands section of the White Salmon and camping near the scenic base of Mt. Adams. The Farmlands was a first time run for me that was an incredibly scenic class IV pool drop series of fun rapids and a good waterfall. The run was littered with wood, but all of it manageable with only a riverwide log requiring a portage. It kindof reminded me of Little Wenatchee.

Day 4 was the best day by far starting off with a run down the usually cruisy East Fork of the Lewis where we ended up creating some drama and a number of descents of Sunset Falls (I think Ben did 13 hucks)...for myself it was nice to run the right side of the falls..I think I've taken every line down those falls at this point.

After Ben and Erika headed North early, the rest of us were lucky enough to get on a low water Canyon Creek Lewis, the ultra-classic to prep for the race later in the month. It was too low at the outset of our trip and as we'd hoped the warm temperatures brought it up just enough to be good, it was even slightly higher than the first time I ran it. Of course we took a ton of pictures of that classic and it was a playground for the less seasoned creekers in the group!

All pictures by the author unless otherwise noted. Here is a little video Ben made. A bit of a photo dump ensues.

Typical scene on CC Stilly
Author on Lava, photo by Denny Lunge

A nice boof on CC Stilly

Annie runs a good rapid at the end of Farmlands

Ben on Lava

Ben one of his many descents of Sunset Falls of East Fork Lewis

Denny on Farmlands last drop

Ben on Sunset

Erika on Sunset...I think this was her first waterfall?

Ben in Dragon's Tooth

Denny on Horseshoe

Klade on Thrasher on CC Lewis

Klade on Kahuna

Denny on Champagne

Alison on Hammering Spot with Champagne in the background