PNW First Descents, the latest feature episode from Todd and Brendan Wells’ production company Mountain Mind Collective, shows the brothers back home, exploring the Pacific Northwest with the likes of Katrina Van Wijk, Kyle Hull, and Galen Volckhausen. This episode features some of Washington’s classic waterfalls and local runs, including the Little White Salmon River at 5.1 feet and the highest portage-less descent of the run. The MMC crew also tempts a couple first descents, including Asbestos Falls and Cougar Crap Falls in northern Washington and on the Olympic Peninsula, respectively.
Here’s a few of their time stamps to watch out for:
1:01 – Asbestos Falls: Named for the old mine sites at the head of its drainage on Washington’s Clear Creek. This was the first known descent of the waterfall, and likely the last. Brendan and Galen landed on a shelf at the bottom of the waterfall that fortunately didn’t break any bones, but dished out some massive hits. Todd narrowly missed the shelf, which we could just barely see when we looked back at old photos of the waterfall at low water.
4:04 – Cougar Crap: On an earlier trip, Brendan and fellow paddlers unsuccessfully searched for the hidden gem later dubbed “Cougar Crap Falls,” hidden deep in Washington’s Vance Creek. It takes some serious navigating to find the falls. And watch out for cougars! (Todd nearly stepped on some fresh scat near the bottom of the falls.)
6:57 – Little White: Todd Wells takes on the highest portage-less descent of Washington’s Little White Salmon River, at 5.1 feet. (Check out Wells’s LWS run at 5.2 feet.)
7:24 – Powder lines on the Little White!
9:52 – Ben Marr misses a hand-roll below Outlet Falls
11:11 – Kyle Hill, Galen Volckhausen and Todd Wells claim first descents of an un-run 25-foot waterfall above Toketee Falls. (Check out Chris Korbulic’s 2011 first descent.)
13:37 – Abiqua Falls: Galen lays down a stylish line off northwest Oregon’s notoriously challenging 100-footer.
Backyard Ventures is the sixth and final episode in a series of Mountain Mind Collective feature edits debuting exclusively on CanoeKayak.com. Watch Journey to the Stikine and Sacred Headwaters (PART 2), and check out the following previous feature episodes from MMC: Journey … PART I; Battle of the Susitna; Exploring Antioquia; and Cuando en Colombia.