Sunday, February 10, 2008

TR: EF Lewis River

The East Fork of the Lewis River has long been a local favorite delivering clean falls and great rapids. Today, it seemed to be one of the few runs that could still be reached after the huge low elevation snowfall that we have had over the last couple of weeks. Dan Thurber was back in town and Alan Douglas was able to make it so Dan picked him up in route to the river. We had planned on meeting up, but decided we would just meet up at the take out. As it turned out, Dan and Alan caught up to me just outside of Battleground. I happened to notice that Dan was pulling off to the side of the road behind me so I gave him a call. It turns out that the new alternator in his car had died due to a bad battery overworking it. In any case, Dan spent the day dealing with getting his car towed and other random wanderings that I'm sure you will be able to read about on Team Kettle Chips. After deciding that there was no way to get Dan on the water, we pulled his car into a nearby driveway and continued on toward the river to meet up with Ryan Cole and Tyree. We quickly changed and headed up to Sunset Falls for a quick scout. The middle and left lines looked good. Shortly after we got back in the truck continue up the road for a longer run we began to hit snow. We made it perhaps a mile before the snow got too deep to go further. With a little bit of shoveling we managed to get the truck safely out of the road and headed to the river.
Ryan Cole on the short hike to the put-in.
First up, Sunset Falls (17'). I decided to go first and get some pictures. I elected for the standard left line in my EZ. I didn't scout the entrance to the falls so I plugged the little hole above the lip, hit the bottom of the river with my bow then fell over the falls landing on my side. A harder hit than I wanted, but I paddled away. No problem. Tyree and Ryan fired up the middle line with style in quick succession. Alan took the left line making it look way too easy.

Ryan Cole taking the middle line at Sunset.
Alan on the left line at Sunset.
Tyree and Ryan taking in the scenery.

After Sunset, the river offers up some really fun class III rapids. Skypilot, Screaming Left, Dragons back and Hippie John's Swimming Hole all provided some great read and run excitement. (I didn't get any pictures of these rapids on this trip) The last major feature is Horseshoe Falls (22'). Tyree offered to go first taking door number 3. This is a very narrow entrance that lines you up for an effortless drop over the falls. Alan went next and made it look super easy as well. Ryan had his eyes set on coming in through door number 5. He slid through with a great boof. We were all a little surprised at how well the line worked out. I went last through door number 2 and plugged the drop. What a great falls. We finished the run and headed home.
Tyree takes on Horseshoe Falls.

Alan takes his turn at Horseshoe Falls.
Ryan trying door #5 at Horseshoe.

Here's a short video of the footage that Alan was able to capture on his camera. (Thanks Alan)

No comments: