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Old 02-12-2012   #1
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Hood River Area Kayaking President's DayWeekend


A few of us from Boise are heading for the Hood River area over President's Day. We've never been boating in this area, and we're hoping someone would be willing to show us the class III to IV goods. Any advice or people to meet up with would be greatly appreciated!



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Old 02-12-2012   #2
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
Be aware that they had an ice storm a few weeks ago that knocked down hundreds of trees, so definitely find some locals, and develop a hit list.
Normally I'd suggest BZ to Husum on the White Salmon, as soon as you get to Hood River.
But check out this report, it sounds doable if you are ok with a lot of wood dodging.
Wood on the White Salmon River - BZ Falls to Husum Photo Report
Maybe do Dee to Tucker on Hood river (and Tucker to Marina), and then upper Clack another day?
If East fork Lewis is clear and has water, thats a fantastic IV+, with 2 ~20 footers that are very doable.
I've had good luck posting on the pdxkayaker yahoo group to find paddlers out there.
You can also call the Kayak Shed in Hood River, they will know the scoop on the local runs; or the Portland shops; Alder Creek, and Next Adventure are ones I know; great folks.

Oh yeah, also be aware that with the Condit dam being removed, as far as I know you can't easily take out for the Husum to "NW lake" run; there is no longer a lake (where you want a takeout is steep-banked, no eddies, leading into a dam de-construction zone- no bueno) . This is the class III below Husum on the White Salmon; but I guess its not recommended now. Ask the Wet Planet locals if there is any other takeout for that section; private land may be the issue.

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Old 02-12-2012   #3
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Hey Curtis- Wet Planet has been real good about keeping everyone informed about the current conditions on the White Salmon. Right now I hear it's pretty sketchy. Email Lubes- he might be up for a kayak trip. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 02-12-2012   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 429
holy poop did this affect the entire gorge and are there any updates on other runs?
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Old 02-13-2012   #5
wasatchbill's Avatar
Riverdale, Utah
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 228
Jan 27 was the first report of trees down, here:
White Salmon River | Facebook
Just saw a Farmlands TR there; sounds grim, although they paddled it, with only one portage and one mandatory roll; sneaking 5-6 "massive" log jams.
Here is the bad news for the Green Truss; "do not paddle"; really too bad since all the wood was just swept out of the Truss a few months ago by high water.
Yahoo! Groups

It sounds like the White Salmon got hit worse than most; but there is new wood in play in almost every TR, and it will shift with water levels. "Scout everything, and don't swim" was mentioned for the Farmlands, and BZ to Husum; good advice for any woodfest .
I am guessing that the upper Clackamas is big enough that it won't get riverwide wood; it bumped to 3500cfs yesterday.
Upper Wind is gtg (this is IV+/V-, for those looking for III-IV you'd want to work up to this; the lower levels right now are supposed to be IV+, lets say IV++
Yahoo! Groups
Canyon Creek (IV+ at lower levels): no new wood.
Yahoo! Groups
Perhaps it was warmer nearer the coast? More of an ice event on the White Salmon, than Canyon Creek/EFL/upper Wind? Just guessing.

West fork Hood (IV+) sounds ok; with 4 "easy" wood portages:
Yahoo! Groups

People have been boating East Fork Lewis (EFL); have not seen a wood report (guessing no news is good news for a popular run like that). Below 600 is on the low side; although the "trigger level" for "minimum good" for EFL is 400.
Check pdxkayaker back to Jan 27 for other TRs.

Being an armchair paddler at the moment (in Utah , I find the levels out there quite interesting; Hood river for example is holding at a good level:
While EFL drops relentlessly after each rain bump:
Here is EFL going from 3000 to under 600 in 10 days:
Maybe its raining/snowing at the higher elevs on Mt Hood, but not near Portland?
Opal creek is even running; I don't get why EFL is so low right now.
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Old 02-13-2012   #6
Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Wow!! Didn't expect to hear this! Thanks for the advise. I think we'll have to come up with a wood-free plan. Trees in the river suck!

Thanks for taken' the time.
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Old 02-13-2012   #7
ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 222
Not in the gorge but not too much further is the Opal Ck. run on the Little NF of the Santiam and just one watershed to the east is the Breintenbush. Arguably the best class 3/4 creeking weekend in Oregon. If you'll pardon the pun...Opal is a gem!
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Old 02-13-2012   #8
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Good to know all this planning on heading in a couple weeks.
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Old 03-01-2012   #9
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 160
Any updates on the wood situation?

A group of us from Boise are looking at heading out that way end of March or early April.

I've only been out there once a few years ago so any beta would be appreciated. I'm looking for class IV/IV+. What are some must run sections to do while we are out there if the flows are good?

West Fork Hood?
Opal Creek?

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Old 03-01-2012   #10
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
What is class VI+? If 6 is unrunnable is 6+ certain death?

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