#7 DVD's are in! / Stebbins Creek, WA Post Flood

Northwest Video Scrapbook #7 DVD's are available. If your in or around Hood River stop by the The Kayak Shed and pick up your copy of the DVD while supplies last.

Enjoy and check out some recent NW action from the post flood on Stebbins Creek Washington below.

Stebbins Creek, Washington Post November Flash Flood 2008
This past week in the PNW was a phenomenal couple days of rain and water run off down the creeks and rivers! Mother nature kicked in and dumped rain for two days straight sending the rivers and creeks out of their banks, but it wasn't going to last long. Watching water levels during this was tough! I waited up until 1am to see the gauge refresh and it was still the same, everything was going straight up! The next morning at 5am, to my disbelief, the water was dropping very fast and had dropped almost as much as it came up.

For example:Literally, overnight we went from having only the White Salmon and other low water options to paddle to having too much water in the lower elevations! This takes most creek boaters back to dusting off their list and heading into the hills in search of the best option since the freezing level went above 7,000 feet. We had two in mind, but the first went way too high and that left us driving into the Upper reaches of the Washougal drainage to see if the water had dropped enough to run Stebbins Creek. At the take out we were pretty apprehensive seeing Mad Dog Falls pretty well covered with brown water rushing down the creek. Luke Spencer, who was the only previous Stebbins padder here said, "this looks like twice the flow that I've seen in here before!" Thinking back to the photos I had seen of Tsunami Falls, that sounded about right so optimism prevailed and we headed to the put in. We were 7 strong with 6 first timers and lots of water! This usually makes for an Epic day!

Staring into our creek from the top of the ridgeMy hat is off to the first explorers in this drainage. It's not often that I get so turned around on logistics that I feel totally lost, but I did here. After finding the trail we knocked out the 2 mile hike in about an hour and the water level looked a little more reasonable at the N.F. put in.

Dropping in on the NF with the confluence with the SF just down streamThe first half mile was great read and run boogie with one portage due to wood and then we came to the first big one. We scouted a beefy ledge drop, on river left, that had a long run out through some big fluffy reaction waves that lead directly into Jet boat Falls. We all had good lines here down to Jet boat. I gave Keel, Luke, & Tony verbal directions and they routed off the right side of the falls. We even had enough water that a few people ran the far left side of Jet Boat.

Tony on one of the bigger boulder gardens in the top section
photo by Luke Spencer
Dave Hoffman at the end of the bigger boulder garden
More eddy hopping and fun rapids later we had one more scout on a random rapid and then we arrived at the top of Lethal Injection. I knew it as soon as I peered over the horizon, sharp drop off with an extended wrap around wall on the right creating a pinched run out on the left that is blocked by huge old growth logs. (Note: these logs are half the size they were in previous photos taken here and it looks like they would get blown out in the next few years) We hiked up and over the left wall which dropped us on top of Tsunami Falls.

Deep in the portage around LI
"Now this is why we came here", Keel said, as I got fired up to drop in. Tsunami looked pretty stout, but the line looked fluffy and fast! The crux was making the turn behind the entry rock so you would miss the log in the first drop and keep going into the second, third, and fourth part.

Punching the hole on the first drop with the log on my right side

Heading into part 3 & 4 of Tsunami Falls

Scott Baker on Tsunami Falls
A few more followed the left lead in and then Luke decided to try his luck with the right side lead in line.

Luke Spencer dropping into the pit on the right side of Tsunami Falls
photo by TonyFrom where I was he dropped out of site long enough to get very concerned. Eveyone started to scramble for their ropes and then he came flying down the slide and back into a more hospitable place. Apparently the hole on the right side had stopped him when he dropped in and he was going into battle with with a very sticky whirlpool.

Luke exiting the first drop & heading downstream as fast as possible
Dan embracing the feelings we all had after Tsunami Falls
a day well spent!Everyone else ran Tsunami and we moved downstream at a quick pace. Our last scout was at the Zoom Tube. With an almost certain line into a seived out pile of wood in the center, Keel was the only taker on this one and he took the small amount of flow going far right past the mess of wood. The next section was some of the best read and run boogie water. We had picked up a little more flow below Tsunami and the already full creek was getting better. We came around the corner at the take out went off Mad Dog Falls and dropped into the swollen Washougal Rvier. This was one of the best days of paddling an exploratory creek in the gorge for me. The weather, flow, crew, and quality of rapids was a great mix on the Stebbins Creek Post Flood Mission 2008. Check out the video below.

Directions: For directions to this creek, as well as many others, check out the best source for exploratory creeks in the Pacific Northwest at Oregonkayaking.net

Flows: We had 12,000 cfs on the Washougal River when I left for the creek, we took off with the Washougal at 6,000 cfs. However, Stebbins did not seem to lose much water while we were on the creek.

*Photos Provided by Keel Brightman & Luke Spencer


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