jP's Submission - Entered on 6/9/2009 3:53:00 PM
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Willard to Columbia River
|Little White Salmon
Avg Gradient 238fpm fpm
Play Rating (1-10): 0
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There is currently no Gauge Data on this stretch. Please Email us if you have details about a realtime gauge for this river.
Minimum Recomended Level: 2.6 ft Maximum Recomended Level: 4.5 ft
Put in on the River Left side of the bridge at Willard, on the upstream side of the bridge.
Take out right below the entrance to the Fish Hatchery. Behave yourselves here. Keep your gear and boats out of the road, and don't block the entrance to the Fish Hatchery with your vehicle(s). Be cool.
Generally the prortage around Spirit gets really muddy and sketchy during the rainy/snowy season. Some locals have said they just run Spirit when it's like this, because the danger of portaging is greater.
Easily own of the Crown Jewels of Washington Creek'n!! A fine run as far as class V runs go, and absolutely beautiful. CLASSIC. Lots of really good paddlers from the world over come to paddle and enjoy this river. It's fairly user friendly to the accomplished and qualified paddler, but it can also hand out some serious beat down, particularly at Spirit Falls.
Run Description [Season: ]
The Little White is a spectacular run. You can read the Bennet Book for descriptions of it, and there's plenty of other beta about it online.
Suffice to say that while it is very doable for experienced class V paddlers, it should not be taken lightly. Until you get familiar with the run yourself, it's wise to go in there with someone who intimately knows it. Be confident in your abilites, and in proper physical shape, as it is a fairly non-stop run from put-in to take-out. Especially when you paddle with the locals! Everyone BOMBS it.
Gettin Busy appears right off the bat, and is in some ways the most difficult segment of the trip, due to it's continuous nature and scarcity of eddies at medium to higher flows. Eddies are always to be had along the way though.If you aren't in excellent shape it could give your cardivascular system a run for it's money, so be fit!!
Boulder sluice is a relatively simple boof that yeilds some serious airtime, and many consider this their favorite drop on the run.
Island Drop is a gnarly, manky rapid that can serve out some carnage. It has a sneak route around the right side of the island at higher flows.
After Island, it kinda "gets busy" again for a bit, with more boulder gardens and boogiewater, then you get to Sacriledge. Here the water curls slightly to the right as it goes over a picturesque riverwide ledge. Stay on the little ridgeline formed by this curler and boof out slightly to the right of center. There is an undercut cave on R. Left, so be careful. It gobbles up the unwary.
From here on the river focuses and cleans up, and the drops are bigger. Double Drop is run in the center for the first falls, and right at the second drop.
There's a bunch of boogie water all the way down to the lip of S-turn. Its is a double drop style rapid with a riverwide falls you can boof anywhere between far R. Left to center Right. Where you boof determines which route you take through the second drop: Left or Right. The left slides around the outside of the turn against some rocky ledge holes. The right plunges over a focused ledge into a hole.
Further downstream is a string of random rapids before you reach Bowie Hotel, a riverwide ledge drop which should be boofed on R. Right. There is another nasty cave over on R. Left by the corner of the hole. There is swift water from here all the way to Wishbone.
Wishbone has an active leadin through scrapey slides to a falls that you can boof high on the left (depending on water levels) or you can plug the deep pocket of the hole at the bottom - you may got deep but it'll spit you out. It's common for a group to collect itself here in the pool below.
The canyon below wishbone has some tight technical holes and ledges. You enter left and boof through some stuff along the shadowy left wall, then move right for the next constricted hole. As the canyon opens up here you can catch some eddies, just make sure to line up for the Horseshoe ledge on the right, and boof out so you don't get chundered in the hole.
Eddy out immediatly, because Stovepipe is next.Scout it on R. Left, and portage there, too if you don't like what you see. Most of the river focuses down a central channel, over a glassy hump of water, and plunges down into a pothole between two benches of rock. it's a tight, quirky line, but you can really boof it out. It can be a really fun drop. There is a large pool below Stovepipe, but the surprisingly strong outflow from the falls pushes pretty hard into the undercut Left wall. Be carefull and stay away from that wall! If you portage on R. Left, stay on your ferry or you could still get into trouble here.
Around the corner there's some boogie water before you reach Spirit Falls. Paddle far over to R. Left to scout and/or portage. Spirit is pretty legendary. You just have to see it and experience it for yourself. There's a rope around the tree for lowering your boat back down to the river if you portage. If you feel spiritual, make sure you've had your companions set safety at Chaos. It is a deadly recirculating pocket of nastiness, and has dished out lots of carnage.
Below Spirit there is a brief sequence of easy rock gardens and a little slide on R. Left, followed by a short pool, and then Master Blaster, the final rapid on the run. There is a gnarly line straight down the center Left side of the river, boofing over a big pourover ledge. This hole is pretty nasty at certain flows, so many people take a sneak route: Eddy out on R. Left right at the top entrance of the rapid. Next ferry across the river to the right through a narrow hallway-like slot. Bounch over some bowling ball sized rocks into a little room of an eddy. From here you can see another skinny route downstream, back out to the center aimed right at a boof. Boof this boulder in the center and you're done.
There's 3 little weirs you slide over on your way out to the flatwater below the hatchery.