The thought of the Upper Lewis Falls scares me. I ran it in 2008 with a friend Marshall Woods, it was a high level and a very powerful falls. He went in the cave behind the main veil and swam out...I was nervous to go up to my boat, but ended up with a good clean line. You can see it in "Demshitz the Movie" or this blog update. Upper Lewis 2008
This time around we have been on a serious rally of paddling so I felt really good in my boat and ready to step up to this drop again. With a rainy June, Washington has had high flows for this time of year, but I didn't know what it would compare to the first time I was there. As we drove up the forest service road 23, from Trout Lake and the Wells house, it was a dark rainy day. This is a bad thing in most places, but here in the Northwest it is kind of the set mood for most paddling exploits. Very mystical!
Upon arrival to the Lewis river we could see that there was no lack of water in the upper reaches. Once we laid eyes on the falls, I knew it was very similar, or higher than my previous run. With that said it has been a few years and my eye for lines and abilities have changed. It looked good! So Myself, Todd, and Brennan geared up for what was sure to be an epic huck session.
Scouting the falls in the classic rainy PWN weather.
Scouting for quite some time Brennan decided he would go first! The biggest issue with this falls, is being able to line up on a 200 foot wide horizon line and hit the exact spot you were scouting from the other side of the river. For those that don't know...the drop is a long slide off a 30 footer landing right on top another 30 footer. Big time for sure! We all dropped in and watched Brennan disappear off into the abyss. Candace, who was taking photos gave me the thumbs up so I followed next. We had a few big markers to line up with and the line we picked set us up perfectly. I ended up launching two of the biggest boofs I have ever done. My neck was a little sore, but I didn't get my hair wet...so I was stoked as all hell.
Brennan trying his best to line up to get the good spot...you can see just how intimidating this lead in really is.
Brennan Wells running Upper Lewis Falls...first!
Go Pro Freeze of the pinnacle moment of running this drop.
Myself hitting the money line to set up for yet another huge airtime off the second step.
Todd was next up! He came over the top falls off balance and plugged vertical. This gave him down time and he didn't get a good stoke off the second falls. There was enough water going off number 2 that the hole was huge in the landing. He was pushed behind the falls, exactly like Marshall was two year ago. After a few very scary moments he came out after swimming into the veil and going deep. He was very happy to see my boat and me ready to paddle him to shore.
After that we ran 3 miles of the Lewis river down to the lip of the Lower Falls. There was some fun slides and surf waves with all the water. We enjoyed our adrenaline rush and the insane scenery of the rain forest like canyon. Seeing the lower falls was a good reminder that H2O is more powerful than you.
The Lower Lewis Falls...a great huck with low levels, just plain scary this day.
It was a good day overall and gave me some good memories of the great summer I had in 2008. We took out and drove a few mile towards Trout Lake when Todd decided to "First D" a cool culvert gorge under the hi-way. It was a good looking drop with some serious consequences. He got through it fine, with a long surf in a boxed in hole, but made it out with some play boating skillz.
Todd getting ready to pick up a lot of speed claim a first D.
Todd coming rocketing out of the tunnel...you can see me filming on the left. It's a great shot.
Another fine day of boating in Washington for us. There have been rumors of record high flows and descents on the North Fork of the Payette...I couldn't miss that!