Over 4″ of rain fell in some areas bringing the creeks up big time. Rock Island got 1.5″ or more and we saw the lake shoot up from 785′ to 801 feet (16 foot rise) in two days and then spill at 30,000 cfs. It is still at 5,300 cfs, while it was 19,000 two days ago, and 9,000 cfs yesterday. Runs over the falls yesterday, Sieve City runs by Nick and Dane, and some awesome hole surfing in the main hole, and the top hole. The Upper Brave Wave was the perfect level until we got there and they shut a gate. it is best from 15,000 cfs to 20,000 and we put on at 19,000 but it dropped to 12,000 while we were on the water. the rains brought warm weather, but the cold weather followed with mornings down to 23 degrees. That hasn’t slowed us down. My IR drytop and new IR pants with built in bootie socks have been keeping me warm and dry. A skull cap, and Glacier Gloves round out the gear, but the key is my Uni-Suit from IR that is the best pair of PJs ever and work perfectly for winter paddling. my Shred Ready helmet got taken away by accident at Suck Creek by Jonathan, but I have some old helmets to wear until I get it back.
We also went to Bear Creek this week…. see the video… I busted out a 2006 Mega Rocker that has been sitting at the factory for a long time getting lonely and only after getting part way down the Bear did i remember why it was there! it was a broken one! It was an idiot move showing up to Bear Creek with a broken boat that i broke much worse after Edward Scissor hands. so I had to hike out from just above Fishbowl, and went upstream on river right. It took me 1.5 hours to get to the ridge of the gorge, fighting through near vertical cliffsides covered in Laurel and Briars. I pushed myself to do it as fast as i could. I had to scramble up dragging my rope and pull my kayak under the laurels and was moving so slow for a long time. I didn’t take a single step towards the takout for 1:45. Luckily I got my bearings straight even though I was very far from the rim and couldn’t see the valley any more (to avoid the laurels). at 2:15 i was at the put-in again and drove down to run shuttle for Clay, Nick, and Dane who wanted to do a second run.
I could have taken Clay’s place, as he offered to let me use his kayak and he drive shuttle for the second run, but it was only 1 hour from dark and they could bomb it faster than me since they just did a run and after my ordeal i was happy to run shuttle and wait at the takeout with my Bud American Ale, some chips, and dry clothes. It was a bust for me that day in terms of paddling, but I got in a great workout hiking the Mega-rocker around, up and down, and pushing myself. It was awesome seeing Dane have so much fun on this creek too, doing a run in 45 minutes and not getting out of his boat. Nick, Dane, and Clay rallied and made it before dark on this classic SE creek. In one week I’ll have my new Villain proto and be out in NC testing it out on the Cascades and then some steeper stuff if it is running!
Meanwhile- i am 30 minutes away from paddling here at rock Island. We’ll be doing some runs over the Falls and then Sieve city, followed by high water hole, and Brave wave (I hope it is in at this level!)