Jed Hawkes's Submission - Entered on 11/7/2009 9:53:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 5/23/2013 7:16:39 AM)
EAST FORK LEWIS RIVER NEAR HE
3rd Party Gauge
||05/23 07:00 PDT
Minimum Recomended Level: 700 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 2000 cfs
This run near battleground is a great introduction to creeking and running waterfalls. The pool drop nature of the run makes it feasible for boaters just getting into class 4 at the lower end of flows, while the steep narrow drops can create a significant challenge at higher levels.
Bennett suggests putting in about a mile and a half above Sunset Falls at a place called the ender ledge. Iíve found a primitive campsite about half to three quarters of a mile above the falls gives a decent warmup to the run. When you run a small ledge drop that banks to the right around a bedrock outcrop youíve reached the pool above Sunset Falls.
The left line at Sunset is fairly straightforward, although at higher flows (>1200) a hole at the lip of the falls can kill your speed just before dropping over the edge. The middle line is a bank left off a boulder with an autoboof. Below 1,000, this line is a little manky.
After sunset the river splashes through a mile or so of class 2 and 3 gravel bar rapids and small boulder gardens. Right as youíre wondering when things are goin to pick up the river bends right and you drop through Hippie Johnís Boulder Drop, a fun drop that signifies the beginning of the meaty section. Following Hippie Johnís is my favorite drop on the run, Sky Pilot.
Sky Pilot is a series of ledges run down the left side. The first ledge twists left to right and has a tendency to give nice tailstands. This first ledge can be sneaked right at higher flows. The second ledge develops a meaty hole at higher flow but is easier to boof.
After Sky Pilot thereís a short drop, then itís wise to get out and scout screaming left on the left side as walls climb out of the river. This rapid looks deceptively simple, with a move to the left to avoid a dangerous undercut in the right channel. This move can be trickier than it looks, so itís not a bad idea to set safety here in case somebody blunders down the right side. It should be noted that this drop is easy to portage for those who are unsure of their ability to make the move, or uneasy with the consequences of missing it.
Screaming Left is immediately followed by Dragons Back, a fun ledge that twists left into a powerful hole that stopped my freefall LT dead in itís tracks my first time down. The runout from Dragons back finds you entering an amazingly scenic but short gorge. One last tricky drop is at the exit of the gorge with a ledge leading into a headwall.
After leaving the gorge the run continues for a while with short ledges and class 3 and 4 boulder gardens that are all easily boat scoutable. When the rapids ease off thereís about fifteen to twenty minutes of flatwater mixed up with bouncy class 2 drops before you reach the climax of the run at Horseshoe Falls. You can scout this 22 footer from the left side, or from the island at the top. Avoid the far right channel (door number 1), as it drops into a nasty class 6 line. At lower flows the 2nd door is the best entrance, and at higher flows the 3rd door down works best.
After Horseshoe a few easy class 2 and 3 drops lead you to the takeout.
*** Run Details Submitted by Yotes aka Ryan Yates ***