Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lava Island Falls at 1000 cfs...

By: Christina Russell
Date: December 31, 2006

Today is New Year's Eve and what does a paddler do? PADDLE! It was of course no warmer than 35 degrees out but the river was 1000 cfs. The Deschutes has been crankin' this winter which ='s LOTS of boating and not much else.

I hooked up with John Cramp and Josh - two locals here in Bend to run Lava Island Falls. 1000 cfs is considered a medium flow,a class 4+ run. Some solid whitewater goodness! It's only about a mile long which means...LAPS on the run. :D
*Unfortunately I have no photos of from today. Getting photos and vid are difficult....the run snakes between two lava flows and there are very FEW eddies. Having an official videographer is really the best way to go.

For photos of Lava Island Falls check:

We put on at roughly 2:30 and completed the run in less than 30 minutes. Josh paddled his brand spankin new Jefe.... he traded his Dagger Crazy 88 for a Jefer just before we rendezvoused! Making the switch to Liquidlogic! We gave him a few minutes to paddle her around- get used to her, and then started down.

From the top of this section, the run looks intimidating- a blind corner into a class 4+. The first drop, Lava 1, is the meatiest. It begins with a tricky right handed airplane turn directly into two channels seperated by a log jam. The right channel is where the meat is-one large keeper hole. You can boof left and land directly in the eddy at the base. The left channel is composed of several ledge holes followed by "Bob's Butthole" at the base...several paddlers have had the unfortunate experience of swimming here...for a while. Boat, paddle, and person were all recirculated atleast a minute. John followed Josh down the left channel shouting, "Go hard left! left! left!"...referring to Bob's Butthole at the bottom. Josh avoided a confrontation with the hole much to his pleasure and ours. Swimming on Lava is something you just don't do. Unlike most river rock in this country that is smooth, Bend's rock is lava. Unlike the boys, I went right and snagged a sweet boof off the ledge along with "love marks" on the hull of ma boat.

Below Lava 1 is "Cut Up". A read and run section full of sharp rocks. At this point Josh decided he was quite please with his Jefe and was stoked for Lava 2. The gradient increases before Lava 2, creating a steep pushy rapid. The drop involves making a hard right above a river wide hole and boofing on the right next to a large logjam.

Following Lava 2, there is some boogy water just above the take out...dry clothes. Overall the run is very straighforward but should be respected. As flows increase, it becomes a completely different animal.

Today, the take out was filled with people celebrating New Years. An enthusiastic local showed us the "world coolest card trick" according to him. He then proceeded to tell us that he hosts the naked skydiving at the Burning Man celebration....right...we did NOT want to know that. But hey according to Franti- "All the freaky people make the beauty of the world!"

With any luck I will hit up Dillon Falls and capture some video :). WOO HOOO! Happy New Year everyone and keep toasty warm... :D

This is "C" over and out!

1 comment:

jason said...

Hi Christina, Jason here from

I notice you posted a link to my Upper Deschutes report. It is easy to get tricked and put the wrong link because I frame my pages, so if you link the frame the user won't be taken directly to the page. This is a common mistake. The actual link to the Lava Island report is: