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Sept 2011 Chelan Release was a success.  
For the past decade the PUD has been conducting flow studies for ecological and recreational "whitewater" purposes in the dewatered Chelan Gorge. The river is only 4 miles dumping from the lake to the Columbia with only about 1 mile of actual whitewater with about 5 distinct drops set in an amazing east side desert granite gorge.  The PUD is planning on giving this project to the Parks service potentially and there has been a lack of interest in the past however there is strong motivation now to keep this run alive. The only reason we get to kayak this stretch of canyon is due to American Whitewater and the relicensing of the dam. If we as kayakers  don't show our support for every release it is possible that this section will be closed as in the past to kayaking. having never paddled this section I heard tons of beta like, oh its just five drops, oh it's pretty far away..... having spent the past two summers in search of the best whitewater I would put this on a must see section of classic whitewater. The next release is this month September 24th. I will try and make it to this release and encourage paddlers to support this cause and keep this section open to kayakers. 

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   Here is a map showing the end of the lake with a hydro dam that is used for power and eragation. From there the river falls off the platue and dumps 4 miles into the Columbia river. This section never gets seen by people paddlers or often even water most of the year unless they dump water due to axceeding lake levels or your let in the gates by officials and escorted to the put in for the study. 
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                              A historical photo of the gorge before the dam and dewatering 
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                                                      A dry river bed ???
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                     The two mile paddle in before the river tilts down hill through the gorge 
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                    The first drop you get to is entrance exam. Kelly fires up entrance exam
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                              Scotty cleans the line on entrance that no one could duplicate. 
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                                             Marco gets a good boof off the top
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                                   Playing in the middle ledge hole. this rapid was tuff !!! 
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                              Adrian bringing her down just before the middle ledge hole
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                    The bottom of the drop pinches down into a boxed in hole that was hard to 
                    style. This is the hole above the box hole below the two upper ledges.
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                         The box hole, the exit of entrance that included 5 swims           
                                 Scotty with the arm. This hole was a beast !!! 
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                                 How did Scott get to the other side of the river so fast ??
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                     Double Slide. A nasty 20 foot plunger some call the meatlocker. it goes ??
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                                                    Marco.... Double Slide 
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                                          Alex dropping into Double Slide
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                           This is the best you can hope for. Least your not in the meatlocker.. 
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                                           The most glorious boof ever... Matt Kurle
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                       right below super boof you have Throne. A 15 foot slide that ran right into
                        a portage. Scott running Throne. 
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                                             Amazing team work on the portage 
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                                        Me on the boulder sieve sneak close to the end
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                                    Chelan is hard on gear.... it was time anyway....
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               Bootie time !! everyone went big and Chelan handed out some serious gnarnage... 
               it tested my skill and is one of the most beautiful gorges I've paddled. We need to keep 
               this gem in our backyard. Come support Chelan Gorge and keep the water flowing !!! 
 
 
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Back to BC with Leif and Ryan. The plan was to go to Idaho and paddle the mighty NF Payette however driving all that way when BC was right here and the pixie pool was calling our name seemed foolish. I got the text. Tatlow?  My heart started pounding just thinking about it.  So we were off again to BC to get another lap on the BOX and to hike up and run Tatlow if we got good reports.  Tatlow is a classic BC creek that doesn't get done that often due to water levels and pure accessibility and is a pure class V gem.  All the stories about wall drug and the hike in and the first three blind ledges into the 20 footer. We loaded up Ryan's tank crossed the border and made our way to the Ashlu to warm up and talk to the locals and see who had ventured into Tatlow so we could get beta on wood and access issues. the word was good all was clean and the level was perfect. I started getting nervous knowing we were dropping in the next morning and are wavering plans become as solid as granite. 

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I had not been back since last year when Jeff and I went up to the Callaghan race and got all our paddling gear stolen out of the truck. I still love Canada, you just have to be careful which hash bars you choose to go to I guess...... So my first trip to paddle in BC. This time we didn't stop in Vancouver.  British Columbia is a place of magic, big glacial covered mountains, rivers that fall off every valley and a feeling of true wilderness.  We hooked up with the local legends and some cool Austrians that were in the area boating for a month and had a marathon weekend. Two laps down the "BOX" and the triple crown. That's four new rivers in two days....

 It was a great weekend of paddling and hooking up with new friends and boating new rivers. I had read about all the hydro projects affecting the area but had no idea until I was up there how much the power industry is affecting the wilderness up there. Mini hydro projects are going up everywhere and power lines will soon cross every valley.  BC is still an incredible place.   

                      Ashlu River
                                                         (box canyon)
  The Ashlu river flows into the Elaho river outside of Squamish BC and is one of the worlds finest  gems.  After damming it a few years ago paddlers fought hard for our sport and the freedom of rivers and luckily we can still paddle this section. Not ever doing it before I was glad we had locals Steve Arns, Ali, Steve Rogers and buddy Leif to show me down. It's not long but the first canyon is pretty much boxed in with a cruxie move right out of the gate and into the BOX. If I had to run one river for the rest of my life this would not be a bad river to have......50/50 is huge and I didn't run it but and as I didn't get pics of most of the good stuff in here it's because your walled in and having a blast boating !!! to experience the box is to boat the box. 
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                                                        The 50/50 lead in 
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                                                     Kristof below 50/50 
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                                                       Kristof entering the box 
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                                 commitment eddie, only one way out from here.....
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                                           most amazing canyon i've ever paddled
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                                                exiting the "box" first canyon 
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          the valley opened up after the box for a breather before the entrance to the second canyon
          which wasn't as walled in or hard but had some of the best drops and boofs on the run.  
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                                the double 12 footer run on the right... two perfect boofs. 
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          Making our way through the Ashlu's huge boulder gardens. The rivers here run huge most
          of the year. it's amazing to be paddling in these canyons at there lowest boofing through 
          the huge car sized boulders walled in and committed in one of the most beautiful places in
          the world. 


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   The Whistler Triple Crown 
  The whistler triple crown is running the classic three rivers right near whistler in one day. The Callaghan, Cheakamus and Soo rivers respectively.  
                                           Cheakamus river
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                             Soo River 
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   Alex our Austrian friend entering the Soo via the hydro diversion at the bottom of some serious steepness you can see behind him. Two miles of class II brought us to a canyon that wasn't on the normal put in for the Soo. 
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    looking down the lead in to the upper canyon. It was a two part canyon broken up by a huge river wide hole that you needed to punch and eddie out. 
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                                          river wide hole bottom of section one
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                                            Sam and I entering section one
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                                 me on the move above the big hole you don't want to 
                                 screw up..it was bigger than it looked from the scout
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                                    looking down on section two. Rob getting sporty !! 
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                                        myself dropping into section two
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                                      always bigger in there than you think.......
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                                                         Sam Graffton 


                                       Callaghan Creek 
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The second annual South Fork Salmon river trip. Idaho in general is land of multi-day big water kayak trips and there's not many trips that beat the SF.  It's classic Idaho. Hot weather, big water (well not this year) sweat camping, and more miles of boatable class IV-V than most any other state. 

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                              A wilderness river trip can't get started right without BACON !!! 
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