You better be familiar with mine field if you're going to launch up there. People have lost their boat to River God. I haven't launched from the upper ramp for awhile so I don't know of any changes. In this case I feel no advice is better than the out dated kind. Be careful. SPACE FISH
Upper rapid gets dicier at lower flows, right now, no big deal. Standard approach is just left of the big rock in the tailout of the boat ramp drift. It is about 20-30 ft. off the right bank. Go to the left of it and look for a whitewashing churn about 20ft below, go to the right of THAT and pull hard to the center of the run when you get past. Then you just ride the waves and pull off the wall.
If you go to the right of the boulder in the tailout you can get sucked up against the right bank and will take a big wave or two. At lower flows, say below 3500cfs there is a huge hole there that I would not want to go through.
Minefield is something you may want to look at before you run it. You can land on the gravel bar below Dog Cr. and walk down to check it out.
I take it about 50-60 ft. off the left bank and go between two boulders on the first drop then pull hard to the left bank against the shore and run a narrow slot there.
At flows below 3300cfs I take the same route on the first drop then take the last drop about 30-40 ft. off the left bank.
When the water gets below 2000cfs I will land the boat above the first drop and just walk it through, no need to bang your boat up. If I have two people in the front I make one of them walk down the left side and I pick them up at the bottom.
There is a route right of center that I see boats go through but it is very tight.
That rapid is no big deal to some folk, I run it a lot myself but it can be a boat eater, one went down a few days ago.
Just be careful, scout it and always wear your PFD.
This is a really dangerous thread. I have run that rapid a whole bunch and have never ran it like mad mikey explains. No offense, but that approach would scare me to death.
Some topics should not be on this board. I'd consider both of those rapids good topics for banishment. Reason being is that they really need to be handled with an experienced boater a few times, in person, before being tried on ones own.
I have run alot of whitewater in my driftboat including from Trout Creek to Maupin on the Descutes dozens of times, and many other rivers. I have been through the drift between the upper and lower boat ramp at McKiver two times in my driftboat. Each time I went through, the mine field rock-slapped my boat several times. I don't like to hit rocks with my boat and seldom do. However, I am experienced enough to know what to do when I am going to hit a rock and know what to tell the people in the boat with me to do. Let's just say that I have learned form many close calls. I talked to Jason Bileau about it and he said that it was his observation that the people he knows who run that stretch frequently all have dents in their boats. It is a very dangerous piece of water. As far as running it in a sled, you had better be darn sure of what you're doing. I suggest hiring an experienced guide to take you through there. The bottom line is that experienced boatsman frequently lose their boats in that stretch of the Clackamas River. No matter how good you are, there is always a chance of getting in trouble there. Please be careful, always scout when you can, try to find someone who's done it before and always wear your PFD in these situations.
>>> No offense, but that approach would scare me to death. <<< :whazzup:
Upper rapid or Minefield Cosmo???
In low water it is the only approach for the upper, right now you could take it on the left or center. I just stick to the usual route high or low water. In the Minefield you could do it many ways but I think it's much safer near the left bank.
I WAS referring to driftboat by the way. I also don't encourage ANYONE to do it and especially if they don't have the experience. It took me two years of running that stuff over and over, high and low water to feel comfortable about the Minefield. If I look at it one day and it looks too bony to run I just rope the boat through and don't worry about it.
If it makes you feel any better about this thread I'll delete the routes I described.
KD, two things happened in that rapid that I noticed.
Right bank got chewed out a bit more and exposed some huge rocks which make a nasty hole about 1/3rd of the way down. Low water they are a hole, high water they are monster backbreaking waves that I would not want to hit.
Used to be at flows approaching 4000cfs there was a couple "ditches" or "curlers" right where the rapid started to flatten out near the wall and we had the boat almost vertical ramming through those.
Did that two or three times and decided it was not a good idea anymore at higher flows. Last time we decided against it we had the boat in the water and I walked down to look at it first and decided to pull out and go to the lower ramp instead.
But after the rapid changed the bottom filled in a bit and those big trenches don't appear anymore. we've gone down at 5000cfs or more and it's pretty flat at the bottom.
No problem Cosmo.
If you want to keep it off the board drop me an e-mail, would love to hear about the way you run it.
At the present flows I think the upper is just a hoot, wish I could drag the boat back up and do it again but that is kinda tough.... :grin: