Northwest Boating in April? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-07-2007   #1
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Northwest Boating in April?

I am heading up to Seattle/Vancouver for 9 days or so in the middle of April. Just looking for any kind of beta on whitewater kayaking in these areas. This will be my first time up there and I am comfortable in CO class IV although I would like to find some III-III+ since it will probably be one of my first times out this year. Looking to find out if there are any goods during that time or if I should just sight see and do some sea kayaking intsead. Any info is appreciated.



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Old 02-07-2007   #2
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 169
If you don't take or rent a whitewater kayak out there, you will be punching yourself in the head every two minutes, which is about how often you'll see something you want to run. The Pac Northwest is whitewater mecca. If you're anything like me, you'll want to move out that way after you visit (I'm moving to OR this summer). There should be plenty of options in April, given the only month that typically really sucks out there is Septemberish, and there's usually pretty good snowmelt runoff by April along with the typical rain. I'd check out . You can look at river/creek descriptions throughout BC, Washington, Oregon, as well as check their flows. The write ups are great and have good photos of the runs listed. You may be able to find paddling partners at American Whitewater Association is always a pretty good resource too,, and I guess it all depends on how much traveling you're planning on doing. Definately spend a little time (weekdays preferred) on the Olympic Peninsula/Oly Ntnl's an amazing place. My only recommendation for a IIIish river to run would be the White Salmon, BZ Corner to Buck Creek (write up on the AW page I linked), although if you're staying between Seattle and BC this may be a bit farther south than you want to travel. It's pretty much class III with a small falls at the end that is easily walked/scouted. It's a popular run, and it runs most of the year, so it's usually easy to meet up with a group if you're by yourself, and if you're with folks who know the run and point out the line on the falls, I think it's pretty easy and fun to run it...feels like a IV, but you'll get spanked if you're off your line. Have fun...I love it out there.
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Old 02-08-2007   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
funny, I was thinking the same thing. The Northwest is the shit. I was in whistler on a ski trip in march a few years ago and got to run the ashlu. There are class 3+ runs everywhere up there. In BC, I think the fraser, the thomson, and the lilluoette are big rivers with class 3 stuff. maybe also the Chekamus. I doubt I'm spelling anything right. Washington will be good too. the peninsula is awesome. There is a 3-4 run on the lower Elwha I believe. as well as tons of other rivers.

get a drysuit and check out the site. it's very helpful.

When we went up there the first time, we just went into the local paddle shop and found plenty of people to boat with. I would contact rafting companies too. You can usually find a few dirtbag kayakers that can show you around some good runs.

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Old 02-08-2007   #4
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 6
Thanks to both of you for the info. This is a great start, can't wait to check it out!
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Old 02-10-2007   #5
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This is like their MountainBuzz
James is their Frenchy

He will help out with any advice...
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Old 02-13-2007   #6
Seattle, Washington
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 207
Rent a kayak, you'll have plenty of options. Currently within 90 minutes of Seattle there are several runs flowing at decent levels, class III thru V. In April, there will be many more.

If your looking for playboat runs in this area, I would recommend the the Skyomish and U. Green River Gorge, both classic III/IV and very scenic. Let me know when you get up here and I can give you more beta.

edit: You can get away without a full drysuit that time of year if your just running moderate stuff with a rare chance of swimming.
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Old 03-13-2007   #7
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37
James here "The Frenchy?"

Dude when you get to Seattle get on or call me up. 206-853-4047. We will get you out there as much as you want.

Just FYI ... were having a monster rain event up here in WA right now.

The wenatchee for those who know is up to 11k and the Sky was up around 50k earlier in the week. Juicy Juice for sure

If you used to live in washington or if you have ever been here, check out the flood lust page for WA. Egads is all I can say.
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Old 03-13-2007   #8
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Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
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wow - that is am amazing board to see - every river at high water - i am jealous
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