After several months of warm, dry weather with below comfortable river levels, the rains have finally graced our presence. In a matter of 3 days, almost every drainage in Washington exploded with biblical flows. As for the Leavenworth region, we saw a rise of over 9000 cfs in the Wenatchee River, which meant that the tributaries were pumping to feed the beast. I spent the duration of this flush in Southern Oregon on a 4 day Rogue River trip with an eclectic group of party people getting rowdy on a Halloween trip.
So I can’t say I totally missed out, but upon returning, it was on. I rolled back into Leavenworth on Wednesday, November 4th to find the Wenatchee River flowing at a healthy 3400 cfs. I already had my Jackson Karma RG on my car so I headed straight for the Tumwater Dam for a solo session in the canyon. Having not seen this much water in the ditch since June, it was a pleasant feeling airing out of ten foot waves, boofing into frothy holes, and cruising though pillowy rapids.
Throughout the week, I spent as much time as I could in the canyon. The levels are dropping fast as the rain as ceased, so every day, the lines are tighter and the rocks are more pronounced. However, given the fact that we didn’t see levels of over 1000 cfs for over 3 months, we’ll take what we can get.
As we have officially entered the wet, cold, and rainy/snowy season, my hope is that we’ll have healthy flows for the rest of the winter. So pull the dry suit out of the closet, dig the pogies out of the gear bag, through the ear pads back in your helmet, and get ready for a solid winter boating season. See you out there!
Photo: Christopher Kelly