jP's Submission - Entered on 4/3/2012 9:01:00 PM
Gauge Information (Last updated with USGS at 5/21/2013 9:33:43 AM)
EAST FORK LEWIS RIVER NEAR HE
3rd Party Gauge
||05/21 09:00 PDT
Minimum Recomended Level: 900 cfs Maximum Recomended Level: 2500 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 straight forward, although above 1200cfs a hole at the lip of the falls can kill your speed just before dropping over the edge. The middle line banks left off a boulder with an autoboof. Below 1,000cfs this line gets manky. Avoid the right slide "unless you have a good dental plan", or otherwise can run it upright.
After Sunset the river splashes through a mile or so of class 2 and 3 gravel bar rapids and small boulder gardens. Soon enough you plop over a fun little drop amid boulders that signifies the beginning of the meaty section. The next drop is 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 out 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 the canyon walls up. This rapid looks deceptively simple, with a move to the left channel 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. The undercut itself is tucked under the wall on R. Right. The right channel is fine so long as you
boof away from the wall, just don't plug the hole here. It's been the site of a fatality.
Screaming Left is immediately followed by Dragons Back, a fun ledge that twists left into a powerful hole that can stop a creekboat dead in itís tracks if you plug it. 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. This ledge hole is called "Hippie John's Swimming Hole" and can get gnarly at higher flows. Stay out of the center. If you can boof the right corner of the hole you should be able to scoot out on the eddy line that exits the canyon.
After leaving the gorge the run continues for a while with short ledges and class 3 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. Scouting this 22 footer from the left side is to be discouraged, as it is on PRIVATE PROPERTY. Try not to make a ton of noise if you choose to break this rule. There's a long history of the locals getting unhappy w/ boaters here. A better option is to scout from the island at the top. The landing zone is clean, you just need to see your approach, and Avoid the far right channel (door number 1), as it drops into a pile of rocks full of pin possibilities or worse. 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 ***