South Creek

South Creek is the next drainage up from the Ryan. After seeing the level on the Ryan, Jonaven, recommended this run because it is difficult to catch with the right amount of water (low). He also told us how long of a day South Creek is, and to get an early start. We woke at 6am, made some quick breckie, and hit the road. We made it to the creek by about 8:30, but were met with the security guard for a heli-logging operation. After convincing him to let us go up the creek, he told us about his bear attack, while we waited for a logging truck to come down. Eventually we were at the put-in, and despite the blue sky we were getting dressed into all the warm (and dry) clothes we could find, knowing we wouldn't see much of the sun down in this steep canyon. South Creek requires a very steep hike down to the edge of the canyon. From that point, we had to locate a 20 foot waterfall and a 35 footer, and rappel into the canyon between them. While Evan and Connor set up the rappel, Todd and I took a little hike down the edge of the canyon, knowing we wouldn't be able to scout the first four drops once in. Eventually all of us and our gear made it into the canyon, and after a few eddy hops we were scouting the 20 foot entrance waterfall. This waterfall drops you into a beautiful room where the walls go past vertical almost touching at the top, giving it a cave-like feel inside the canyon. The exit of the pool is an 8-10 foot double drop that then sends you to another blind ledge before the next eddy. Another 8 footer that was marginally scoutable, a few more ledges, and then we arrived at the biggest drop that can't be portaged. Its a triple slide with a hole in the middle, and a blind third drop. Connor, our trip probe, dropped in and never popped out at the bottom. Eventually we realized he was sitting in the eddy out of sight at the bottom left. A few more varied lines and we were all out of the unportageable part of the run....whew! From here the river only gains in steepness and the portaging begins. Some of the drops we portaged had new wood from the logging that would look more runnable without wood, and a touch more water. The gradient never lets up on this short run (maybe 600 ft/mile) and the portaging and running of drops continues as you gain sight of the end of the canyon. A broken boat and the increase of technical boulder drops slowed our progress, again making this run a race against the daylight. Seeing the bridge around the final corner was a sweet sight as the logging helicopter landed at the take-out right before darkness.

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