liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

Trip Report: Illinois River self supported 3-day

Illinois River 3 day self support, March 9-11 with Bruce and Ron. This is a remote run in the Siskyou National Forest, Kalamiopsis Wilderness. Total mileage I think is around 30. Flows were 1,350cfs at launch dropping to 1,150cfs at takeout (Kerby gage is upstream of launch at Miami Bar). Consider launching at highway for longer run and shorter shuttle, next time. This flow was less than half of what I’d seen before and I found it no easier, perhaps harder. Day one we read and ran 9 miles down to Pine Flat and camped on river right because there was a large wood pile there. Shelfy rock and cobble flat, damp, foggy, heavy dew. I wouldn’t camp here again, but I would have boats stop on river right below Pine Flats rapid, collect firewood, before going down to camp on river left. The hole on the right side of the rock at Pine Flats rapid was a potential raft flipper but for a kayak there was a line on each side of the pile. Day two was a long day with big whitewater. Slow going down to Green wall just because the pools were long and the flow not so strong. We scouted Fawn Falls which was no big deal, and took a small break in the sunshine. Greenwall was huge, deserved the class V rating. We scouted the entrance rapid and the main rapid. I knew the hole at the bottom of the main rapid would be hard to avoid but we ran it anyway. Bruce went first and got stuck in the hole, swam. Ron went second and got stuck in the hole, was in there when I came careening through and went under him. My skirt blew and I went deep, coming out of the hole without a surf. I was able to paddle the swamped boat into the river left eddy where I found Bruce’s paddle. Ron came by and I told him “I’m OK, get Bruce, I have his paddle.” Bruce swam into a small eddy on river right above the next rapid and climbed up the cliff and downstream to the bottom of the raft where he had to get back in and swim through a canyon to get to his boat. He lost a shoe. Ron had used Bruce’s rope to get the boat to shore, tying the rope to the boat (because Bruce didn’t have a biner on it) and then paddling into an eddy with the rope in his teeth, then belaying the boat in. Twas a good save. We scouted numerous times from there down to Submarine hole, which was intimidating but not hard. Camped river left after a right bend and a nice waterfall. Third day was mostly flatwater with an occasional class III or III+ rapid. Fantastic scenery, a million waterfalls, great weather, fine company, fires every morning and night. Never ever buy freezedried chicken teriyaki from Mtn House, but the Chili Mac with beef is good.
Tags: kayak, oregon, river, wilderness

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