Tuesday, December 26, 2006

High water on the Riverhouse Run- 1000 CFS

By: Christina Russell
Date: December 26, 2006

The day after Christmas turned out to be a sweet day for paddling here in Bend, Oregon. I woke up to see this .......it was dumping snow and about 30 degrees. Not too cold but WINDY. Most people were up skiing but after several days of rain and snow, all the runs were up. :) How could I resist? My sister, Kimmers, wasn't able to join me today but I was able to round up a crew of 4 people including myself. (Not many people enjoy boating in the snow)

Riverhouse is a fun , local run in Bend. It's named after the Riverhouse hotel just below the put-in. It is about 5 miles long and technical...but it's mostly just fun fun fun . On average, the flow is around 600 cfs.....today is was 1000. It hasn't hit that flow in years. I was so excited to check out the river at this level...it turned out to be big and fluffy :) but very mellow. The 20 foot dam at the put in was unrunnable in the normal location (right) so John Cramp and I scoped out the left side. The line looked clean, so we fired it up. The hole at the bottom wasn't sticky at all and I flew through the hole...leaving my right contact behind. Ugh not cool.

The drop was SWEET but I was not so happy about running Riverhouse with one eye closed. The first drop was mostly flushed out. The third drop called the Wright Stuff was easier than at lower flows because there was less risk of pinning yourself in the middle of the rapid. Just lots of water flushing through tight locations. My personal favorite- the Ogre was nothing like it's low water self. The shelves that sit in the middle of the rapid were completely gone and the foam pile that covers the boulder at the bottom was perty darn big. Im sure things were slightly distorted as I had one eye closed the entire time but it sure made for an exciting run. Note to self- remember to wear the sunglasses! The same picnic table that the Tumalo state park always forgets to move away from the river bank was still in the water. Maybe one of these years they will remember to move it.

This photo is a dramatic re-enactment of my paddling today....a very edible re-enactment :D

So if you are interested in catching Riverhouse at a high flow, fly out to Bend NOW. If you are lucky enough to hit it at or above 1000 cfs you will be stoked...just DONT run the dam on the right side.

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