Category Archives: Expedition

Lostine River, OR -The Wallowa Mountains

The Wallowa Mountains are a mountain range located in the Columbia Plateau of northeastern Oregon in the United States. The range runs approximately 40 mi northwest to southeast between the Blue Mountains to the west and the Snake River to the east. The range is sometimes considered to be an eastern spur of the Blue Mountains. Also called the “Alps of Oregon” Much of the range is designated as the Eagle Cap Wilderness, part of the Wallowa–Whitman National Forest. The highest point in the range is Sacajawea Peak, at an elevation of 9,838 feet above sea level. The Wallowa Batholith is formed of granite from a magma upwelling in Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous time (between 160 million and 120 million years ago)

Most precipitation in the area is orographic precipitation. Near the tops of the mountains, total annual precipitation can exceed 100 in per year, as opposed to 10 in in the valleys. The Lostine River is a tributary to the Wallowa River draining northwest from the north side of Eagle Cap.

Before this trip Matt King had dialed in a few rivers in the Wallowa’s and after a cross-country road trip, back home for 8 hours, I was on my way to the Lostine with Jacob Cruser. We met up with Tygh and Matt and headed to the river.

The put in. The last calm pool you will see.
The put in. The last calm pool you will see.

 

After the put-in the Lostine tilts on edge and the whitewater begins. A lot of blind turns and consistent gradual gradient goes until the first long boulder garden.

The long boulder garden on the Lostine River

 

The last couple rapids build into vertical walls with an intimidating rapid to exit the gorge and reach the take-out. After ducking a log-jam and catching an eddy on river left, you can see the take-out eddy downstream on river left…in between is the exit crux. This section can be seen from the take-out bridge. Scout well and have fun. The Lostine as well as the greater Wallowa’s are packed full of adventure.

 

Log ducking before the final rapid.
Log ducking before the final rapid.

 

Tygh cruising into the take-out
Tygh cruising into the take-out

 

The Lostine was an instant classic with easy access, flat water put-in shortly followed by non-stop action. The character starts out with fast paced shallow boulder gardens that eventualy forms into a bedrock gorge before the take out bridge.

For video on the Lostine River and a couple other Wallowa Classics, check out this edit by Jacob Cruser

 

Flows: Flows are hard to catch in the Wallowas, but the best time is the spring/summer run off when the rivers slowly drop into a good flow range
Take-out: High bridge on Upper Lostine Rd.
Put-in: About 4 miles up the rd. near the first calm pool.

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Rock Creek, WA – Top of the Rock

Character
Class: IV – VI – Exploratory
Miles: 5
Portages: Many
Shuttle: Drop a car at the last bridge on Rock creek and drive east and head up the Wind River, turn toward Hemlock and proceed up Trout creek until you come to the top of the ridge and trail head.
Put-In: Hike up in about 1.7 miles, mostly downhill.
Take-Out:Last bridge over the river before the PCT.

A break down of the whitewater on Rock Creek
A break down of the whitewater on Rock Creek

December 2014

December 2014 was a tricky season for the Top of the Rock, we ended up being a day late on one of the only days it ran this year.

Making the best of the day...
Making the best of the day…
Ben McKenzie working his way to the creek
Ben McKenzie working his way to the creek
Tony in the midst of the winter wonderland
Tony in the midst of the winter wonderland
Jacob taking in the beauty
Jacob taking in the beauty
The realization that we would have to come back another day...
The realization that we would have to come back another day…

December 2012

Chess games take awhile and this one was as tough as it gets for exploratory kayaking in this area. Many failed attempts at access and one failed attempt to explore this section prior to our trip made it a great opponent. Jacob Cruser had been investigating this section of Rock Creek for sometime before he went in on the first trip; his story here. And as to be expected, after a failed attempt on a deep canyon lined with waterfalls more people got really interested in seeing what could not be seen. Jacob’s write up on the full exploration of this section of the creek can be found here; Mt.HoodH2O.

The first big one.
The first big one.
The second big one.
The second big one.
The in-between drops.
The in-between drops.
The main attraction in the upper canyon
The main attraction in the upper canyon
The inner of the lower canyon
The inner of the lower canyon
The second canyon.
The second canyon.
Getting close to the end of the 2nd canyon near dark.
Getting close to the end of the 2nd canyon near dark.

Other whitewater on Rock Creek

Above Classic – Below Top of the Rock/Random Run

Money Drop/First Falls

Other whitewater nearby Rock Creek

Hagen Creek Gorge

CRG Video (2011-2012)

It has been a busy year for us full of surprises, meeting new friends and working through big missions. We haven’t had much time to post updates or work on many projects here at CRG or gorgehits, but plans are in place for the next project. Keep checking back for more updates coming soon…for now, check out what has been going on the past year.