As most people in the Pacific Northwest are well aware of, the winter of 2014-2015 didn’t leave us with a whole lot of snow pack in the mountains. However, it did give us a wet and relatively warm paddling winter which many of us took full advantage of. So to be completely honest, us whitewater kayakers have nothing to complain about when it comes to discussing the abnormally low river levels that we are currently experiencing. To put things in perspective, right now the Wenatchee River is running at 856 cubic feet per second. The last time the Wenatchee River was even close to this low in the middle of July was in 1941 and the reading for July 14th was 1060 cubic feet per second. Needless to say, its been a while since we’ve seen a trickle this small half way through July. Every year is different and we really have no idea what the future will hold concerning drainage flows in this area. All we can do at this point, is get out and rip it!
Even at sub 1000 cfs flows, every rapid in Tumwater Canyon of the Wenatchee River is still entirely navigable. If you know the rapids, you can even avoid all the sleeper rocks. It is just some good ‘ol low water creekin’ out there, in a huge drainage basin. Paddlers in Leavenworth aren’t letting the low water blues get to them. At least the ones who haven’t traveled else where seeking more water. Check out some of these sick lines that are to be had out there right now!!
Brett Barton navigating the dry boulder garden in The Wall
The river is going to do what it is going to do. All we can do is enjoy it. I’ll see you out there.