Mike Gottlieb, one of my fellow instructors here at Northwest River Guides, and I had a great 4 days of kayaking this past weekend.  With river raging do to rainfall and warm water melting snow, we had the opportunity to get out on some classic sections of river around Portland, OR and do a little classic high-water paddling.

Here is what we got into:

Thursday – High-water playboting on the Upper Clackamas River.  With Luke Spencer and Mike Northrop(another NRG Instructor) we put-in at fly creek and paddled a raging section from there down to Bob’s Hole.  We had about 8,000 cfs with hugh standing waves and some serious holes but plenty of room to manuever.

Friday – Hagen Gorge on the NF Washougal River.  This was Mike’s first run of the classic Portland-area creek.  While a shorter section of river, this run packs a good punch with 4 stout drops.  Mike was just getting back into the swing of things with a 3 month lay-off due to a broken ankle.  We had a lot of water in the run, 7,000 cfs on the Washougal.  Hagen was higher than I had ever run it before – and I’ve run it quite high.  All the drops went and it was great run.

Saturday – WF of the Hood to the Marina.  Mike and I had one of the best days of paddling in a long while.  We paddled 17 miles of the Hood River in just 3.25 hours!  With a healthy flow (6 ft) and a ride to the put-in (Thanks ORT!) we enjoyed many, many miles of great class 3-4 rapids.  Just a wonderful day of boat-scouting, dodging holes and catching waves on the fly.

Sunday – Mike and I taught the river class for the  January Advanced Whitewater Seminar.  Class was awesome and I could not imagine having more fun on the river.  More about this class later.

Happy Paddling, Dave

Mike on Sunset Falls, EF Lewis

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