Late August in the Pacific Northwest really means one thing for local paddlers… It’s time to make the yearly trek to the Upper Upper Cispus. Most everything around has long since dried up and summer is coming to a close. Just as you find yourself looking ahead to the rains of November. Wham-o, the UUC drops in and we’re all treated to a few weeks of summer time steep creeking.
The run itself mostly consists of class IV – V boulder gardens intermixed with some smaller slide and falls. This all changes and the bed rock begins to creep in as you approach the lower gorge. Approx 3 miles into the 5 mile run.
The crux section of the run consists of a steep and powerful boulder garden in the bottom of a vertical walled gorge that is directly above the lip of a 30 foot waterfall called Behemoth. The boulder garden itself isn’t too difficult, but it certainly has a class V feel to it with the big drop just down stream. Adding to the suspense is the fact that the entire series is must run and it’s fairly difficult to get out of your boat after running the gorge. Go with someone you trust and be prepared to run a 30 foot drop without a scout.
Directly below Behemoth is a sticky 6 foot ledge with a nasty hole on river right. If you run the big one correctly, 90% of the time you’re going to end up gutting the worst part of the 6 foot ledge. Paddle hard!
After the sticky hole there is a big pool and everyone has a moment to catch their breath before dropping into the last series. This quarter mile long boulder garden is as good as it gets. Stay right the whole way and keep boofing.
Then entire series combined has to be one of the better 1/2 miles of white water around and something that shouldn’t be missed if you’re in the Portland/Hood River area at the end of the summer.
I snapped the following shots a few weeks back and have been back in the past two weekends as well. Enjoy.