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.
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.
A historical photo of the gorge before the dam and dewatering
A dry river bed ???
The two mile paddle in before the river tilts down hill through the gorge
The first drop you get to is entrance exam. Kelly fires up entrance exam
Scotty cleans the line on entrance that no one could duplicate.
Marco gets a good boof off the top
Playing in the middle ledge hole. this rapid was tuff !!!
Adrian bringing her down just before the middle ledge hole
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.
The box hole, the exit of entrance that included 5 swims
Scotty with the arm. This hole was a beast !!!
How did Scott get to the other side of the river so fast ??
Double Slide. A nasty 20 foot plunger some call the meatlocker. it goes ??
Marco.... Double Slide
Alex dropping into Double Slide
This is the best you can hope for. Least your not in the meatlocker..
The most glorious boof ever... Matt Kurle
right below super boof you have Throne. A 15 foot slide that ran right into
a portage. Scott running Throne.
Amazing team work on the portage
Me on the boulder sieve sneak close to the end
Chelan is hard on gear.... it was time anyway....
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 !!!