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Clendenning    The Whole Kit and Caboodle™ ©
Class IV-V

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   Gauge Information (Professor Paddle updated levels from Elaho River Near Squamish Conv at 10/19/2015 9:06:36 AM)
Gauge Forecast Height Current Flow Authority Physical Update
Elaho River Near Squamish Conv n/a 0  99.09 cms  BC Hydro 2015/10/19 06:
Minimum Recomended Level:  0 cms     Maximum Recomended Level:  0 cms 

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   Run Description

Clendenning Trip Report

Dates: Sept 19-21 (Friday-Sunday)

Levels: Aprx 100-90cms (Med-low)

Paddlers: Charles Mellon, Nick Silverman, Brian Zderic, Fred Eushew, Scott Baker, Mike Harms

Shuttle Team: Elizabeth and Judah Harms

Run Length: 22miles (12m day one/10m day two)


We loaded boats, gear, and peeps inside an Otter airplane around 4pm Friday. Landed at Clendenning Lake 4:45. Paddle to Glacier look, then back across lake taking 50min. Made camp, filtered water, and ate dinner. Rough night of sleep, air mattress got a hole sitting too close to the fire. No rain. Awake around 7:30.

On the lake and paddling out at 10. Arrived at first Big set of rapids around 11am. Pretty scenic and read/run class IV to that point. There was one log we all squeezed under before getting to the Steep Shiz Rapid, and is easy to recognize from large boulders strew across river and a falling horizon line. Scout and portage on the Right. Noticed a significant sieve in the middle of the river. Portions of the lower section can be run, we did on far right side. A nice small boof ledge, followed by a narrow twisting rock slide. More boogie with a couple more scouts and possible portages (I think I had two more ) leads to a flat mellow scenic stretch. There are many possible camp sites in this stretch. Lots of open flat beaches with stellar views of surrounding mountains and waterfalls. We continued on further downstream day one, so as to have a shortened day 2. Leaving the flats, the first drop encountered is noticed by the pinching of the canyon walls. Scout for wood on river L, where most of the water flows with a twist and turn into a not so sticky hole. The whitewater gradually picks back up with continous class IV for a couple miles. We camped in the next spot available on river left. A small open low bluff, stony, but had several soft open spots.

Next day, some warm up on low end IV builds to the next significant drop, Island Drop. The current goes both ways, but the left side is the main channel. Scout from the Island on the river R (left channel). The drop has some offset holes followed by a great hole at the finish. More similar rapids, some steep, but short, leading to a steep boulder drop that leads into the longest rapid on the run. Most will portage the middle of this drop, as it contains some wood and sieves. Portage is best on Left. The bottom portion of the run out is fun challenging class IV+ ending in a deep reversal with a pool followed by another steep challenging IV+ drop. From here the rapids get easier to read w/o scouts, and gradually the river bed flattens out. Watch for wildlife, we saw a large moose crossing the river in this section. Nice areas for camp. From the last set of large rapids it is about a 1 hour paddle to the confluence with the Elaho. Another hour of flats finishes at the pickup point 50 miles in from Hwy 99.

The first day we paddled from 10am to 3:30pm with a brief stop or two, aside for the hour and half of portage around the first Steep Stuff (11-12:30), strenous. Day two we started shortly before 10 and landed at the takeout around 2:40, with a 30 minute lunch stop. Would not recommend doing the run in a day or at high water level (anything over 110cms is going to be pushy and continous). A missed eddy or swim could be bad news blues. Some rocks around the river were VERY slippery, with a greasy film that skates like ice. Several of us fell at some point, reinforcing the need for care. Portages were at river level, but strenous, and stressful, as a loaded boat is quite heavy. At times, ran short uncomfortable sections to avoid a carry. Scouting is a very good idea, as some drops may land on exposed rocks.

Also, the first day may feel lowish, with some mank and rock bashing. This is OK if sections of bigger drops are to be run, as a little water can make the river quite pushy with small eddies. Eddy’s also can be challenging to catch with a loaded boat, and broaching is much more consequential. A pin is an easy accident if not careful.

This run is mainly class IV with a couple steep and long class V rapids. Very committing, as one is days away from help. Worst case scenario would be a Heli ride out after buddies alerted authorities. The run would not be a great place for tenative class IV boaters, not in the least. And would be outright scary at highwater (IMHO). Scenery is unparrelled.


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