Sunday, July 10, 2005

Statlu/BC Chehalis

After our run on the Bridge, we were sitting in camp on the lovely -- and flowing -- Nahatlatch. Slowly, though, the conversation turned to the BC Chehalis, a rain-fed rainy season run an hour north of the border. Sure it had been raining all of the past week. But would it have water? Were we ready to leave a rollicking III-IV run with campsite access for an unknown flow on a run nobody had seen?

Well, of course we were, particularly after the whiskey drinkers realized "breakfast" consisted of left over potato chips and vodka. That, or an hour round trip drive for food. So off we set, only to arrive at the Statlu Creek putin with minimal flows -- at best. But we opted to go for it, and we were richly rewarded with some 20 or more drops once we reached the Chehalis.

Joe boat scouts on Statlu Creek

The Statlu/Chehalis confluence. Statlu comes in from river right.

This is the drop on the Chehalis above the confluence. You can run this drop by opting for the hike-in rather than coming down Statlu.

The Chehalis had plenty of water, a nice healthy medium flow, with big holes, fun slots, and stunning canyon scenery. No rapid was easier than class III; no rapid was harder than class IV, and there was never more than a few hundred yards of pool before the next great drop. The last rapid? Within sight of the takeout.

All agreed our gamble had paid out far higher than anyone expected. The rapids on this run a re mostly straightforward boulder bars, with a few more technical lines and one or two steep, hole-filled headwall drops. Great play abounded, warm beaches were available, and the sun was out. What a great day on a great run.

The biggest rapid on the Chehalis is Landslide, a drop formed, of course, by a landslide. Easily scouted or portaged on the right, the drop offers a big hole on the left of a fun slot right of center.

Video: Landslide

Fish in the lush canyons.

Fish in one of many great playspots.

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