liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Trip Reports: Lower Wind, Clackamas, Green Truss/Orletta

I'm not in this video---this is Joey's composite from last weekend on the Truss.

This is the set of falls at the end of the Lower Wind

Thursday night ran the Lower Wind. A new run for me. Craig initiated the trip, Joey and Denny and I showed up. Gorgeous little basalt canyons! An eagle on a nest far above. Warm air, cool water, hot breezes from time to time as the afternoon turned to dusk. Water level was low for the technical stuff at the top, plenty for the falls. There's one other big rapid up from the falls, it was bony and ugly and I walked it. Joey ran it and made it look icky. If there's enough water for the creeky stuff above to be good, the falls are gnarly and I wouldn't run them. There's a 12ish footer then a 20ish footer, then the cheese grater, and finally another 15ish footer that is the dam. The cheese grater rapid is getting a little stupid. We saw a stupendously huge salmon trying to jump up one of the waterfalls. It made it about halfway. I guess it didn't notice the fish ladder on river left. Got a water bottle full of lithium-rich springwater from the hotsprings when we passed by. Nobody else was willing to get out of their boats so I got only a 30 second soak. Silly boaters.

Saturday ran the Clackamas, Sunstrip to Bob's with the LCCC crowd. Really it wasn't a club trip, it was a quiet pickup trip intended not to distract people from the main event of the weekend which was the Slalom race. Mark, Audrey, Doug, Denny and me went, just us last two in kayaks. The other three were all in solo open canoes---all the same boat, the Prelude. We ran the Roaring River slalom course and there was one very tough move, gate 10-11. I fiftied 11 on my first try, but after that started to sort out how to hit it. After some practice I was hitting it 90% of the time. Most of the course was pretty easy, just a couple of tough moves. Doug traded boats with me for a couple miles---down from Hawaii 5-0 wave in strange boats. I flipped over as soon as I sat down in the Prelude. I was just checking out the boat, wobbling it to find its balance, and flipped toward my off side expecting more stability to kick in somewhere. I swam in the eddy. First swim in 3 years. Nobody made me drink beer from a bootie. He flipped over as soon as he peeled out in my kayak, and struggled to get out while washing through some whitewater. But we both got back in and did OK. Twas strenuous paddling a canoe!! I think I pulled a muscle or two but didn't really feel them until the end of the next day of paddling.

Saturday night I had not heard about any paddling trips on Sunday, so I sent out an email asking where folks were going. The only ones to reply were Joey and Bruce, and they were both going to same place. I called Joey to get some beta and decided that if everybody was going to the same run, it must be optimal, so I went. The run was the infamous Green Truss of the White Salmon in Washington.

The flow was around 2.5 at BZ. The river is fun class III+ for the first mile or so, before the larger drops begin. I don't remember them all, but I do recall that somebody got stuck in a hole in the very first rapid and had a long ride, and somebody else swam out of a hole in another class III. Not me, mind you. Then the bigger drops. Most stuff I just got the scoop and went over the edge. Walked Big Brother, even though the lines both looked good to me. It's a tall (20 foot +) one with a tricky side-slipping entrance and a cave at the bottom where you'd rather not get washed. Submarined at Little Brother. I can't always execute the instructions I get from Oregon boaters. They're all into these delayed boofs with the boat perfectly straight. In the Micro 240 I find it much easier to boof with a little angle. So next time, right angle and some speed there. At another drop I sneaked as instructed over a shallow shelf on the right but it had a beautiful 7 foot falls kind of move on the left, that's where I'm going next time. Double drop I just followed instructions, made the first drop fine, had no instructions for the second drop other than go over it so I did, flipped, spent some time against the wall on the left but did roll up. Strange, everybody was congratulating me on my good run when my nose, mouth, and both ears were full of water and I wasn't feeling like it was so hot. Upper and lower Zigzag I scouted as instructed. I remember upper Zigzag because everybody was getting tangled up on these shallow rocks on the right below the entrance while I was scouting. I went about 6 feel left of those rocks and did fine, even though the guy in front of me flipped over and ran the middle section upside down. I did get turned around backwards for one drop and hit a gigantic curler sideways and backwards but luckily it set me up for the next move forwards so I was happy. I don't remember lower Zigzag. At the Flume Jarred gave me the perfect scoop and I had such an easy run, then turned around to watch a series of boaters get slapped down by the curler on the left and run the bottom part upside down. Down below there were lots more rapids, some pushy, and the river turned cold after a bunch of springs poured in. I drank cold water straight from the spring and it was soooo good. I don't know exactly where the Orletta section began, but my group was saying that the water level was pretty high for that, and that the springs must be running high after the hot week on Mt Adams. Lots more good whitewater, nothing that I know a name to or could remember much until I was right there. Portaged BZ falls doing this wild mossy ramp seal launch on river right. Looks like you're just going to fall into that awful hole, but instead you slide downstream and get a nice bounce and land flat going away from the hole. Thank goodness. A short distance beyond that to the takeout. I am grateful to my group: Joey, Jarred, Tyree, Bruce, Scott, David and Michael (who ran Big Brother on the left--his unconventional door #3 line). My group was large and impressively strong, and if a girl ever wanted a whole lotta of backup on the Truss, this is the group.

Double Drop

Big Brother

Bob's Falls
(this guy is blowing it, better to boof right)

outflow of Upper ZigZag

Here's the day I ran it, video by Joey:
Tags: kayak, oregon, risk, river, washington, whitewater

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