Looking Back: A Winter For the Ages

A Record Pacific Northwest Winter, by the numbers

— The following originally appeared in the June 2014 issue of Canoe & Kayak.

55+

Height in feet of Cable Choke Falls, discovered (below) by Ryan Scott and first descended by Tony Skrivnik on February 21. Scott and Trevor Sheehan added second and third descents on March 7, and several others followed in their footsteps shortly after.


2

Women who have dropped Washington’s Outlet Falls. On February 18, Nicole Mansfield (seen below) made the first female descent of the 70-foot waterfall topped with a rowdy lead-in. Shortly thereafter, Hannah Kertesz made the second and third descents on back-to-back days.

Watch more Washington State videos on Frequency


5.3

The gauge height (in feet) of the highest recorded Little White Salmon descent. Todd Wells (below) and Kyle Hull caught the record in mid-February. Other crews including Rush Sturges, Louis Geltman, Ben Marr, and William Griffiths kept chasing the top levels, each with multiple descents over 5 feet.


6

Number of days the elusive “Trestle Wave” came in on the Deschutes. The wave is one of Oregon’s finest and surprisingly receives little attention. But it makes sense considering its location—roughly 100 miles east of Portland—and the amount of rain necessary to raise the Deschutes in a typically dry area to 14,000-18,000 cfs. In fact, this playspot requires such high flows that it often doesn’t come in for years at a time.

26,000

Cubic feet per second, at Eagle Falls on the Skykomish when Index, Wash., local Sam Grafton (below) ran it. While Grafton is no stranger to big water on the Sky (he’s logged multiple descents of Boulder Drop at over 20,000 cfs), lapping this cascading waterfall six times tops the charts for flood-paddling this winter.

pacific northwest kayaking

Grafton on the Sky’s swollen Eagle Falls. Photo: Brian Burger

224

Feet of freefall dropped in a single run of Oregon’s Eagle Creek. On March 16, Jacob Cruser and Matt King became the first to link every previously run waterfall on Oregon’s Eagle Creek in a single trip. The final waterfall, Metlako, stands at over 80 feet.

6

Days in a row Galen Volckhausen fired off 60-plus-foot waterfalls. Starting with Outlet Falls (below), Galen continued on to run 90-plus foot Abiqua Falls, 60-foot Upper North Falls, and 70-plus-foot Toketee Falls, before completing the loop with back-to-back laps at Outlet.

Watch more Toketee Falls videos on Frequency

5,600

Dollars in car repairs the author has been faced with, shuttling to and from the PNW since January 1, trying to keep up with the record flows and flurry of descents.  — Eric Adsit

pacific northwest kayaking

Katrina Van Wijk claims the “Chicks First Descent” of Oregon’s Toketee Falls. Photo: Eric Parker

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