Last week I heard a rumor that there had been a landslide near the Chelan Gorge in Chelan, WA. After some online investigation, I found a post on the Chelan County website confirming the landslide: http://www.co.chelan.wa.us/notification/alert/old-chelan-falls-bridge-closed

Worried that this land slide might effect the navigability of the gorge in a kayak, I went to check it out.
Sure enough, the landslide mixed up the last rapid of the gorge called The Fat Lady.

The majority of the slide came down in the upper right hand corner of this photo. It was mostly smaller rocks but there are a couple new boulders as well. It will be interesting to see how the lines change when the water comes in.

This is the whole rapid. The bottom half remains unchanged by the slide. However, the boulder congestion in the middle may pose some unique threats.

Definitely some significant sieve and undercut action in the meat of the rapid.

The next scheduled paddling release of this run isn’t until the third weekend of September 2015. This section, as well as the rest of the gorge should be looked at carefully before getting in there. With this wet winter we have been having, I wouldn’t be surprised to see rock fall in other areas as well.

Rivers are always changing. Chelan Gorge is an incredible run to paddle. If you haven’t been in there yet, I would definitely put it on your to do list. I hope that this doesn’t throw a huge wrench in the ability to safely kayak this river in the future.

 

Cheers,

 

T-Pot