Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Hagen Gorge

Hagen Gorge
EF Lewis ~1700 cfs
See also: Oregon Kayaking

Text and photographs by David Chatham

Mike Novak on Euphoria Falls

It was an interesting week of boating. Two days before this trip, Scott Waidelich and I (with several Catboaters) had run the Green river gorge at 5700 cfs, possibly the highest flow ever done in IK’s. Now we found ourselves running the Hagen gorge at probably the lowest flow ever done by anyone. The general consensus was that at least 2000 cfs was needed on the EF Lewis gauge to make a feasible run on Hagen. However, we had been wanting to run Hagen for quite some time, and figured we could probably make it down with a little less flow. When I had checked flows the night before, the EF gauge was at 1990 cfs. By morning, it had decreased to 1700 cfs, and at the end of the day after our run, read 1550 cfs. Anyway, we ended up finding a flow comparable to the running Copper Creek with about 800 cfs on the EF gauge. We would occasionally get stuck on shallow rocks in the in between stretches, but most of the drops had enough water to get down easily. My partner in crime for this run was Mike Novak doing his first run in nearly 4 months.

Mike dropping Hagen Daaz Falls

Mike running Euphoria Falls

Mike running into the log just below Euphoria Falls

Mike cleaning Teakettle Falls

We both portaged Double Falls as there was insufficient water to be able to run the normal left line for the first drop. There is also a log center right in the first drop that extends almost to the normal landing zone for the left line which might not be visible at higher flows.

With the low flow, we decided to take out at the bridge crossing the NW Fork of the Washougal. Certainly, more water would have been nice, but even with the low flow, we both enjoyed our experience on the Hagen Gorge.