Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mountain Weather

We just finished the mountain section of the 50 day Instructors course with some of the most variable weather I have seen in Oregon. The crews set off in snow storms which gradually turned to torrential rain for a day (on top of 2 ft of powder!) before the sun finally showed its face. It seems to have been a great educational experience for everyone with challenging navigation, snow condtions and just staying warm and dry. We are now headed off for the final section – a run of the Owyhee in far eastern Oregon.

The Sisters from the top of the Snow Creek drainage (you can see the groups trail in the left side of the picture). Levi and Trevors crew camped near here with spectacular views for a couple of nights
Trevor and Levi cooking in camp.
The view out of my snow hole on my last night in the mountains – I had been a bit cold in my tarp so thought this might be warmer. Luckily the clouds moved in a little adding to my warmth.
Levi baking some birthday brownies for a student at 930 at night. (For those of you not used to “fry bakes” the fire is on top of the pan to help bake the food properly – its meant to look like that)
Trevor and Levi snow shoeing with North Sister behind
The ladies in Meagan and Lenka’s crew showing off their hat hair only 4 days in!
Cailin valiantly slogging it out with a sled helping me resupply the crews with food and fuel. She’s actually crossing Green Lake in the this picture on our biggest (10mile) day with the sleds. We were both struggling to stand when we made it to the van as it seems that 100lb (50kg) sleds don’t move too well in deep slushy snow.
Broken top from park meadow.

Posted in Sister Wilderness

Twelve Thousand Cubic Feet per Second

Just got off the first river section of the Wilderness Educators Course. Lots of snow and some warm days set us up for a massive volume of water in the Deschutes. We put on the river at around 8000cfs (the rivers normal flow is 4500-6000) and it rose every day timing the peak perfectly for the biggest rapids. Rapids that we would normally swim through (Buckskin Mary Rapid) had holes that could stop and surf a paddle raft. Some rapids were no longer present along with campsites and boat ramps. We saw a huge amount of debris in the river including fishing platforms, benches, tables and broken boats. We also saw the Deschutes at one of the best times of year (if you have a dry suit), large water, green grass and amazing wildlife. The crew have one more day on the river before we take them too the mountains (which could be interesting given that the oregon mountains have got an average of about 4 inches of snow a day for the last month!)

Levi pulling through the bottom of a very different looking Boxcar Rapid (Class 3)
Oak springs (Class 3 – 4) at high water – for the oregon folks you can just see the entry to the far left line.
Another one for the oregonians, the top rock of Wapanitia (class 3) with the whole left side washed out.
The boat ramp at Wapanitia (you might be able to guess what nadia is saying to Justin across the parking lot and see a floating picnic bench)
A beautiful morning at Davidson Flat
Rafts tied up at Redside in the evening light
Leaving Davidson Flat with a storm behind.

Posted in Uncategorized