We were on our way to BC to the Callaghan Fest to support the non dam dewatering act of the BC Hydro projects. All stoked to go check out BC rivers We drive up on friday night and stop in Vancouver to grab some dinner. In the short time we were in the city the truck got broken into and our boating gear was stolen along with other gear and a 1/2 rack of beer. After sorting out the mess we decide to not let that spoil our fun so we re-routed to the Ohanepecosh river 6 hours away to meet up with our original crew. So we got home at 4:30am put some spare gear together slept a little and headed out to get an evening lap in. With the wirlwind day of foiled plans and stolen gear behind us Jeff and I were just happy to be boating and hanging with the crew that was there. The Ohanee was fun, a lot of people tons of boofing and a couple of raft descents made for an entertaining fun time...
JD hanging in the smallest eddy he could find
Jeff Robinson boofing the first ledge
Wilson and Brett hanging in canyon sun
Me coming through Log Slide
Lower Triple Drop
Kris Wilson launching Summit Creek Ledge
Scouting Elbow Room
Fish in the entrance drop
Ryan Slipping through Elbow Room
A sequence of me running the falls
Fish and Hanns finishing the falls section R2 style in the raft..
A scout scene as a guy goes off a drop in the upper falls
JD twisting through some boulders
Yours truly exiting the canyon
Jeff called and the trip was on ! It was Thursday and we had till monday to go to Idaho and paddle 70 something miles from the headwaters of the secesh turning the corner and paddling the 30 mile south fork salmon canyon to the confluence of the main and out 20+ miles to Vinager creek. The water in Idaho had been high and the Idaho boys were running things huge over there this year and as we were watching gages jeff was confident we would have good water. Not having enough water was not my concern... having too much water was the likely. So with our time crunch and my dedication to my habit I called in sick to work and we bailed for Idaho. We made the drive to Mcall and crashed at Jared Alexanders house who was going to be our guide down the secesh. Jared is a big water local legend who just ran the Payette at 8,000cfs and loves big ass water. The next morning we wake up and load our gear. A friend calls Jared and we have one more joining us, Boyce the owner of Liquid Logic Kayaks. So that makes four for a solid crew. Jared and Boyce would paddle with us down the Secech to 5 miles above the SF salmon to the only road out before Jeff and I would paddle down the remote SF canyon on our own. On the way to the put in we drove through the hills on a dirt road and stopped at a bridge where the Secech was flat meadering through the meadows. This was the last piece of flatwater I would see for three days. Jared looked at the gage and said with disgust " ah man, 4.6 this is the lowest I have ever paddled the Secesh" Im thinkng good, low.
Once we got up into the mountains we came to the put in on the other side of the meadow where the Secesh flowed off the other side of the pass into the mountains we could see in the distance. Packing quickly because the shuttle driver was taking our rig I forget my spare paddle and some food. Minor loss for three days. I jumped in my boat with gear in back and my sleeping bag between my legs and had a good couple of miles to get used to my loaded creek boat. The flat water soon tilted down hill and we seemed to be paddling on about 1,000 cfs with all the tribs coming in the flow would double by the time we dumped into the South Fork canyon at what we thought was around 7,000 cfs. Felt like 12,000 in some spots. The Secesh picked up gradient and water and the next 15 or so miles was non stop continuous read and run class IV-V following Jareds yellow helmet bashing through holes and twisting around blind corners. Once we got into the canyon the water was healthy and I thought it looked like Icicle creek at high water. Infact It was juicy, not to high, but it had plenty of water. If this is low I wonder what high looks like I asked Jared.
This was the only portage on our whole 70 +mile trip as we made our way into the canyon.
With Jared routing us through most everything on the river the only scout we had was a crux move in the miracle mile. The miracle mile was a mile or so of stacked class V whitewater. At this point my loaded creek boat became my friend not my enemy with its weight carrying me down stream punching holes I didn't want to stay in.
Jeff coming through the end of the miracle mile.
After the miracle mile the river let up in grade but not in gradient. Here is a calm section of the Secesh as we flow down stream catching one eddy in 5 miles. In all we had one portage one scout and only five eddy's were caught on our 15 + miles of class IV-V blur of whitewater. Thanks to Jared and Boyce for leading I feel we would have been on the river a lot longer if we were on our own. Stunning scenery and hands down some of the best paddling I've done. The Secesh felt like rugged remote Idaho and we were only getting deeper into the canyon about to get into the big water.
FALL IN THE WALL
One of the best little creek runs in WA runs right off Snoqualmie pass down the I-90. The window is short but when the snow melts off (Fall in the Wall) they call it, becomes like a training gym for local boaters. The whole run is 1/4 mile long before dumping over 70' Franklin Falls. It's short but stacked with big fun bedrock slide drops in a small walled in gorge i.e Fall in the Wall. Our group This year did 8 runs in a row hiking the shuttle each time with a total time record on one lap set at 4 minutes top to bottom. Best whitewater gym I can think of being an hour from seattle.......
This is most of the 1/4 mile from top to bottom.