Monday, December 22, 2008

Celilo Redux

A while back I posted some short vids from YouTube on Celilo Falls.
Later I heard about this.

*image from the new story link

Monday, November 10, 2008

Outfitting your new boat 101

Hey all-

Below are links to a three part series on outfitting you new boat.
Its specifically targeted to little people (like me) and big boats (like the Magnum 80) but everything in there applies to you and your boat, play or creek.
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

*** UPDATE These links no longer work****
I'll do what I can to get them reposted soon

Monday, October 27, 2008

Low water

Its still really dry! Where's our rain?

A friend's photo of the low water even up in the gorge on the Columbia river made me think about whats down there.

Some YouTubes about Celilo Falls:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Where the hell have you been?

I’ve been too long away from the blog. Its that time of year though. Things get so busy during the summer. All the sudden you can be out boating till 10:00 pm , you stay out all weekend instead of coming home in the dark rainy nights. Some people live like that I reckon, but in the North West, we take out long days when we can get them and when we get them, not much else goes on. Eating, grooming, sleeping, stop really mattering when you can paddle after a full day at work. Life becomes a bleary eyed blur, work, traffic, paddle, dark, drive though, sleep. It's freaking great!

Miraculously, however, the rain has begun to fall again, though a bit slower and not in the quantity that would be nice… but all things to those who wait. I am patient. So long as it comes.

In the meantime, let me recap:

The Cispus at 1000cfs is AWESOME
The Box Canyon of the Ashlu, when Byran calls it “high” if wicked cool and I can’t wait to get back.
The Fear Canyon on the Elaho is also really cool but DAMN does big water scare me.
I didn’t spend nearly enough time at Spencer’s this year AND
Low Water Ohanepecosh is fun but can be very scary in the right company!

Check out a few of my favorite shots from the Summer and Early fall and keep looking for more posts when the rains come for true.









Thursday, September 4, 2008

What happened to the other guy?

Those of you who've read and been following closely my life and times, you may recall a little trip down the Elwha that turned into something more.
You may also recall that I went in and got my bout out but left one behind.

This is Chris G's account of the rescue mission for the other boat at his blog:
Accross The Curtain

Fun Fun??

Give it a read


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Photo update!

Photos from the weekend trips to the Ohane and Upper Upper.
and some mid week shots from Spencer's Hole.




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Why I Soloed the Grand Canyon of the Elwha..

Almost anyway.


Two weeks ago Jeff and I went up to the Olympic Peninsula to run a remote class V near Port Angeles, on the Elwha river. The run involves and 8.5 mile hike in with boats and once we get up there, we have to deal with two class V gorges with difficult or impossible to scout rapids. One rapid is called Nightmare because it is unscoutable. When Jeff and I got to Nightmare we were feeling very tired. Jeff was recently off a 41 mile 6 day class V trip and was mentally pretty fried and I basically stood up out of a desk chair, strapped a boat on my back and hiked many miles over reasonably difficult trails.



We were tired. We knew what rapid we were facing but we saw wood in it and some logs that used to be in the river, were gone, downstream somewhere. After about an hour of talking and several conversations, the last of which was:

EJ- " I think we should go, do you have any strong feelings about that"
Jeff- "I'm scared to death of that"
EJ- "Ok, lets start hiking"

What followed was the sketchiest few hours of my life to date.

We had to ascend steep scree slopes with loose rock, no safety and nothing between us and the several hundred foot fall to the river. We attempted to climb with our boat and when that didn't work, to haul our boats up with ropes. Eventually one of the boats got caught on a rock and because they were tied together, we were forced to leave the both behind. There wasn't time and it wasn't safe to climb back down to the boats to free them. My camera was still in my boat. After we abandoned our gear we still had about 700 ft to the tree line going up the same nasty loose rock slide slopes. In a few places, Jeff had to climb first, then lower me a rope so I could get up. Eventually we just put our heads down, and scrambled up digging out hands and feet in. As long as we kept moving up, we made ground. If we stopped, we started sliding back. Once we made it to the tree line, we felt a bit safer but the terrain was just as steep. We stripped off our gear, scrambled up to the trail and hiked 6 miles back to the car, finishing in the dark. I walked funny for the next 3 days.

Over the next week a few plans hatched and fell through and by the time the Saturday night rolled around, I was planning on heading back in to get my boat and a camera back. So on Sunday morning I set out with two ropes, and rappelling gear, hiked the 6 miles back up the trail and dropped over the side.

About 8 rappel stations down I got to the boats, got them attached to me so while I rappelled the would be lowered as well. After a while of fiddling with ropes, I got both boats down to river level but had to leave both ropes tangled in something on the slope.

I secured Jeff's boat, packed up my gear, portaged the sieve that was the first rapid and set off downstream. I finished out the frist class V gorge, made one more portage and bank scouted once. The river then opens into a broad valley, where I asked a fisherman how to find the trail out above the next gorge. After portaging a ways over logs in the valley, I came to and entered the second gorge, which I had intended to walk around, without having come to a trail. I paddled down to the first horizon line, decided I'd had enough of boat-scouting class V, turned around and paddles back out of the gorge, portaged upstream and bushwacked around till I found a trail.


Once I loaded all my climbing gear and wet kayaking hear into my boat, it weighed around 100lbs or so. Carrying that up the steep 0.5 mile trail out of the gorge and up to the main trail took a little over an hour and was rather painful though once I reached the flat trail, it was easy going and fast back to the car.

I had left the wedding I was attending in Seattle about 10:30 pm Saturday, hopped the 11:45 ferry from Edmonds and gotten to the Whiskey Bend parking lot at lot at about 3 am Sunday. I left the car about 8:30 am got back about 13 hours later at 9:30 pm with my boat and camera and paddle but had left behind Jeff's boat and my two ropes. I scarffed a bagel and drove back to Portland, stopping to rest somewhere, and arrived at about 5:30 am on Monday morning.

That was two days ago.

And now I'm back at work.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Saturday on the White Salmon

July 16-
Corey, Devin, Joe and I met a few other folks up at BZ and did Farmlands through to BZ.
It was 3.2 on the stick at Husum and a really good day up on the river.
Enjoy the slide show!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

This River Log

Since not all of the runs I do are worthy of posting full color spreads (infact some of the rivers I do aren't worth doing) and I like to get out a lot more often than I post, I wanted a way to share the rivers I'm on easily. Its little now but officially, this is the unveiling of ThisRiverLog which also appear in the sidebar.

Stay tuned for a few photos from Mike of the day thats the first entry.
Good times.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Photo Update:


On the return from the Grand, Sybille and I did some traveling. We drove over Glen Canyon, through Grand Escalante, Zion and the Sierras. Slept out Twice in sub-20 degree temps and had a great time easing our re-entry. I shot a few along the way and kind of like them better than my Grand shots. I hope you enjoy


Friday, June 13, 2008

Grand Canyon Photos

They are finally here. I had enough people lay into me enough times and here they are.

We were fortunate to have the controlled flood of 41K CFS on our first couple days. The morning of our put-on we were watching the water rise inches as we packed and that was just the ramp up, the flood gates were opened the next day while we were at Soap Creek. Our first major rapid was flooded.

Many of the major rapids in the Roaring 20s where significantly changed if not gone. House Rock because a riffle with a toungue down the left whereas President Harding Rapid became a huge boat flipper that ate a cataraft and cartwheeled a 16 ft Mauravia from another group.

A few days later we were back down to typically low spring flows, drinking beer and bouncing through wave trains.

Too few days later, we took out at Diamond creek for a rude reentry into the world and a sad, long trip back home. I'm looking forward to my next visit!

Have a look at the photos to see what else went on.
This is the narrow set only 165 out of 1489 that I shot. Enjoy


Thursday, June 12, 2008

WKCC Safety Weekend 2008

The Willamette Canoe and Kayak Club holds and annual weekend of safety classes taught by volunteers to their peers. This year the event was more popular than ever and extremely well organized by Sandra Uesugi. She also led the morning warm up exercises and cooked most of the food, which was excellent.

Land classes included knots, throw bag technique, packing for overnights and extended trips, mechanical advantage including z-drag, escaping vertical pins and entrapment rope rescue. Wet classes were shallow water crossing, swimming rapids, strainer swimming, wet throw bag practice and rescue practice.

I hung out for the free food, good company and to take photos to document the whole thing, not necessarily in that order.

Just a few photos are show below.
All the photos from the weekend: here

Sandra made cupcake and blue icing for all the volunteers! Accompanying kayak benders made for a fun and educational snack. The bender on the right is demonstrating the Oregon Tuck, the left, old school waterfall techinique.

Sandra and Cate warming up

Lindsey about to swim over a strainer

The worst injury of the weekend. What happens when one person has a rope on one really big guy!

Mandatory group shot, Keith demonstrates the running man!

Monday, June 2, 2008

McCoy Cr: The Best Creeking in Oregon...

is in Washington!

May 31st 2008:
Casey, Rick, Jame, Richard and I met the bridge over the Cispus on FR 23 at 9:45AM. Rick and I met up in the morning, the other three had camped up there the night before for a shake down cruise in his new EuroVan.

McCoy Creeks is a bitty trib of the Cispus near Randle Washing. Bennet calls for 150-600 cfs at 5-15% of the Cispus at Randle. We had about 3K there giving us a calculated 150-450cfs but I swear it was more than that. Our own visual estimates were more along the 600cfs range. You can look at the photos and make up your own mind though.

Put on grins

Rick and I had done this one once, about a year before the other three were new to the run. As it turned out, we had forgotten most of the run which is a real shame considering the number of quality drops that are in there. McCoy Cr on Oregon Kayaking.

It looked a bit higher than last time and there was a nervous pause at the put in but that could have had something to do with the miners with guns and a stick pickup truck down the put in path.

The day started out rainy so I missed out on the first few drops but as the rain tapered off and the sun came out so did the camera.

Richard finishing up the drop with the pothole. We all ran left.

Richard below the tight double drop.

James halfway through Chinook Falls

Richard finishing up the bottom slide of Chinook Falls

Richard really hit the boof on the '20ft' falls.

The big portage was next up and though I've heard of a better way, we instead went up and around and roped the boats down a couple hundred feet before 'schwacking down to river level. Once down there and after a short breather, Rick paddled across and looked upstream at the clear path down to the river.

Shortly after that, the confluence of Yellowjacket and a mile or so of read and run class IV followed by a couple more miles of annoying class II.

Unfortunately, my shoulder was too sore in the morning to paddle on Sunday but we spent the better part of the it driving around anyway. We found out that the road to the Super Slides still has plenty of snow miles from the take out and that the put in for Smith Creek is REALLY steep.

BUT my shoulder is feeling better and I'm looking forward to WKCC Saftey Weekend next weekend.

Check out more photos here.

Till next time!

Monday, May 19, 2008

May Melt!

Chris G, boofing. As if you didn't notice

This week has been HOT.
Its like someone open the oven door and turned on the sun lamp. In just a few day, every drainage with a little bit of snow leapt up to bankfull or higher. Including high elevation, rarely run creeks like EF Rock creek.

First run by Jason Rackley and crew and subsequently run a handful of times since then, it was full of wood then and its full of wood now despite the wood faerie's best efforts. it seems the heavy snow that allowed the higher creeks to run and the larger rivers to flood also downed alot of small wood into the creek bed that's barely a boat length wide in most places.

The five of us (Chris G, Jeff H, Richard Y, Rick C and I) got to the put in and stared down the brushy, woody tunnel that was EF Rock Creek and after hiking down the creek to the falls hoping we would see the wood lighten up. Instead, we didn't see an end to the brush and wood and we discussed the possibilities. Eventually we decided that there was too much wood, too much water and too many of us. The likely hood of finding 5 eddies above the next log across the river and the next one and the next one was too low for all of us to on. We opted instead of a quick park and huck and to ease on up to a lap on Opal before camping and hiking in to Battle Axe on Sunday.

I started out with the camera down below straight away while Chris fired it up first, followed by Rick and Richard. All three of the boofed it following Chris's example. He boofed so far out he cleared the boil and nearly ended up on the wood at the bottom of the pool. The sound of his hull, and those that followed, hitting the water was enough to make me decide the boofing out like that was a cool, put potentially painful option. Everyone said it was soft but it sure didn't sound that way. As you can see, I went for the low angle, huck and tuck.

Rick C, at the lip

It seemed like such a good idea to plug it. Richard took this one

The landing was super soft but I flipped in the boil and as I snapped a quick roll something in my already injured arm popped and it hurt like hell. I had pulled the muscles in my arm a couple weeks prior on Opal Gorge in a rookie, hero-highbrace. Luckily, just the muscles, not anything joint relate.

Richard, gettng airborne.

After I rolled up, it was hella painful just to paddle over to the pull out where the team had to help me get my boat back up to the road and once there, get it loaded.

Well, at least the sun is tucking back up soon so maybe I'll be healed up and there will still be some snow up in the hills then. Till then, I'll have to find something else to keep my occupied like puzzles or knitting...

I hope to be out there soon.
Till then.


More Photos from the day
Some of Ricks Shots:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Weekend Update

This past weekend was a busy one for me. Lots of time spent behind the wheel driving up to Seattle and back to Hood River for some important goings on.

The first ever Robe Canyon Race, organized by The Range Life was held on Saturday. The RCR really intrigued me because of its unusual format: Teams of two, time trial with a mandatory portage with expected times over 30 minutes. It was a far cry from the Canyon Creek Race with winning times under 6 minutes. So I drove up to Seattle Friday night to my food friend Kyle's house. I was preceded there by Hood River local, Kris L, Jason S and Jesse. We had planned separately to head up the race and see what was up. None of us has done the run before but were hoping to find others who, like us, had no teammate but unlike us, knew the lines. Unfortunately, by the time we woke up, got some food in our guts, and rolled, convoy style to meet Melina and Hometeam, Ammen and his wife and Brett, it put us a little behind schedule to connect with anyone to race with. Instead Jason, Jesse and I got involved with the safety crew. At least this way we get to run the river and see the local boaters kick some ass.

Put in at Robe.

Kyle, Brett and Kris all hiked in at various places to help out with safety, finish timing and to just plain spectate.

The level for the race was a bit lower than desired: about 4.9” but there was still plenty of water for a race and the advantage was definitely with those who knew the low water lines.

We were following Chris J down to Face Plant to get set above Catcher's Mitt so I have lots of photos of folks in those two drops. I guess that what happens when you set up in only on place but I was happy to help out.

Setting Safety at Faceplant

The winning team: Ben and Rob

After the race we headed over to a grab some beer and pizza from a local place and learned the results.
Check in with TRL for full results
Have a look here for my full set of photos from the day.

That night, I went to bed early and let the rest of the folks head out without me to have some fun. I had other plans for the morning. Though Todd G and Johnny U had expressed interest in my early morning run down the the Little White to catch up with Devin for his first time down. Somehow they never did call. Though I am interested to here how their run down Ernie's went!

Once I got back into the Gorge and to the take for the LW, people just started showing up. Who knew the Midget had such a fan club! Ryan, Austin, Geoff, Keel, Jarred, Lana and I were all in for this 13yr olds first trip down the Little White.

Pre-Trip outfitting adjustments

It turned into a fantastic day: Sunny, warm, about 3.1 on the stick at the top. I'm sure you can expect a full TR from Devin and his Dad coming soon but as far as I am concerned he styled everything he ran ,which was everything except Spirit, and I was just there with the camera. Not everyone was quite as lucky however: Jarred missed his boof at Spirit, and got a pretty good beat down in the curtain and then later in Chaos.

Some of my favorite shots from the day:

Austin at Boulder Sluice

Devin in Island

Geoff in between at S-Turn

Ryan at Stove Pipe

Jarred on his way to some unfortunate events.

Geoff going after Jarred's boat in Chaos

There are more great shots here so be sure to check them out!

After watching the rescue efforts, Devin Lana and I all portaged Spirit. The other three Little White All-Stars had great lines and were even joined by Ben and Jesse C who were in town for the Hood River premier of Hotel Charley 3.



Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NorthWest Creeking Comp

The Peanut gallery at the the starting line

This past Saturday marked the first NW Creeking Competition in its new incarnation. Past years have seen low turnouts and lower water levels for the Canyon Creek Extreme Race but the combination of new ‘management’ and a significantly earlier race date was a grand success.

Joe Stumpfel, I and 80 some-odd of our closest paddling friends, came out in force on April 12th 2008. As some of you may have heard from me before, Canyon Creek levels are measured against the ‘unit’ (he). Its runnable very low and very high but flows within 4 or 5 inches of the unit are pretty standard happy flows. Past years flows have been more like 12 inches under. This year lots of racers we caught by surprise with the higher flows and found themselves rodeo-ing when they should be racing.

Luke S, the guy who made it all happen

You may also notice the Ol’ Joseph was in a K1 instead of a C1… I don’t get it either.

I volunteered as a starter right between Prelude and Thrasher. Prelude is one of the sticker spots on the river and I and the other starters watched or rescued 10 or so swimmers all while watching from above as another smaller handful of paddles swam out of the first drop as well! I heard personally from about 5 people who swam on their morning practice runs!

Richard hitting the boof at Thrasher

Well we couldn’t have asked for a better day and the even turn out exceeded anyone’s expectations. A big thanks to Luke Spencer of Next Adventure for making the whole thing come alive, to Shannon Crosswhite for doing a great job as volunteer coordinator and to all the racers, volunteers and spectators who came out to hang and made the day what it was.

Results are posted at Paddler Magazine

Don’t read to much into my place! 1: it was my first race and I didn’t want to blow my wad 2: since I was a starter, I ended up coming down after the R2s which was well after they were expecting any kayakers SO, I think my time was a little bit made up. No worries though, it was just a good day on the river with friends, in the sun, with great water. Pretty ok in my book! I’ll take the whole thing next year.

Riot C1-er Joe Stumpel, cross training.
Check out some more photos here

Hope to see ya’ll on the river soon.


Photo by


Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Grand Return

Hey All-

I'm back from the Grand, had a great trip with the other 14 people along. The 41K flood was pretty cool though we were kind of bummed to miss House Rock entirely since it was completley washed out. I took over 1400 photos and am still working on getting those sorted and edited so you can all be sure to have a treat in a short time. I got back into Oregon on Monday, was on Neil's Point on Tuesday and back behind a desk on Wednesday (BOO).

Right now my back is sore from boofing Big Brother in my new favorite boat, the Riot Nitro, and I've got some photos to muck with. Can't wait to see ya'll out on the river when all this crazy spring snow decides to do the right thing and melt nice and slowly!



Sunday, March 2, 2008

Grand Canyon Bound

Yep, I'm heading to the Canyon today. I'll be back in about a month and hopefully then I'll have lots of new photos to post. That is, if I make it back from the flood.

EJ (blue haired once again)